g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Mental Health
Blogs / Social Networking
Kidney Disease
Today in History

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Folk Music Site

BellaOnline's Folk Music Editor


Protest Singer Song Writers

Guest Author - Chris Curtis

The term Protest Song brings to mind a cry against war but the truth is songs can be written in protest of many controversial societal concerns such as religious strife, working conditions in the mines, the labor movement, freedom from slavery, womanís rights, environmental conditions etc. A protest song can be a call to action used to draw supporters into the cause promoting solidarity such as those common with the labor movement of the 1900-1920s. They might also be used to raise awareness of the social issue or deliver a political message. Protest songs can be found in cultures all over the world.

A few of the more prominent protest singer song writers in the United States are: Woody Guthrie, Hazel Dickens, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, and Utah Phillips.

Woody Guthrie began traveling Americaís roadways at the age of 13. His voice of protest was his unique political view point of what he saw during those travels as he observed the effects of the Great Depression across Americaís Landscape. His best known protest piece was This Land is Your Land which is said to be his response to Irving Berlinís God Bless America. This Land is Your Land is a cry for the people to stand up with pride and rebuild Americaís strength.

Hazel Dickens came out of the coal mining hills of WV with a calling to fight for laborís rights. She was one of the most prolific protest songwriters to fight against oppression. Her work has been highlighted in film and documentaries. Her song Theyíll Never Keep Us Down was featured in the documentary Harlan County USA which depicted the coal minerís struggles.

Phil Ochs, posthumously, has become highly recognized as a major contributor to activist and protest styled folk music. He wrote politically infused songs about the Vietnam War, Civil Rights and Labor Rights. His success as a noted folk singer and song writer was cut short when at the age of 35, manic depression and alcohol abuse drove Phil to take his own life. His most notable protest song on war was I Ainít Marching Anymore.

Pete Seeger's contributions to folk music are legendary. He has been an activist, pacifist and environmentalist for more the 60 years. His voice has resonated and endured on topics such as Labor Rights, the Cold War, Vietnam, Civil Rights, and the environmental condition of the Hudson River . One of his most recognized and greatly covered songs has been Where Have All the Flowers Gone, which he has said represents a call for peace.

Utah Phillips was inspired to use music to deliver his view of the human condition across America. His work centered on Labor Rights, the devastation of war and homelessness. His political views were shaped by a father who was a labor leader, a stint with the US Army during the Korean War, his hobo years riding Americaís rails, and his work with homeless people. One of his most poignant songs was I Saw my Countryís Flag Go Down which lamented Kennedyís assassination and speaks of the nationís political mood at the time.

This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Twitter Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Facebook Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to MySpace Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Del.icio.us Digg Protest+Singer+Song+Writers Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Yahoo My Web Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Google Bookmarks Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Stumbleupon Add Protest+Singer+Song+Writers to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Folk Music Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chris Curtis. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Chris Thile Wins 2012 MacArthur Foundation Award

Music Through the Southern Heartland

Royal Southern Brotherhood

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor