Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Political songs - a small personal selection
I thought I'd use the stir created by Plan B's magnificent new single (and video) as an excuse to collate some of my favourite political music. Below is my list of 10 songs which demonstrate that music and politics can go together, concluding with Plan B.
Some are fairly overtly political, some more obliquely so - but I think the 'political' tag is accurate in all cases. This doesn't mean they are all protest songs, an overlapping but distinct category. Dorian Lynskey's superb book on protest songs - 33 Revolutions Per Minute - has chapters on a number of my choices and is well worth reading.
Jimmy Cliff, Vietnam/Afghanistan
Country Joe and the Fish, Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die
PJ Harvey, The Words That Maketh Murder
Billie Holliday, Strange Fruit
Lowkey, Long Live Palestine
Manic Street Preachers, A Design for Life
Pulp, Common People
Nina Simone, Mississippi Goddamn
The Specials, Ghost Town
And here's the Plan B video...