Great protest songs, originally written and sung before my time, paved the way for the folk-rockers, rhythm & blues artists and early punks who addressed their attention to war and social causes with pop culture music in the late-60s and early-70s.
Protest songs are on my mind today, as I take in the news from the Windy City, images of Chicago that bring 1968 back to mind.
Over the years my taste in music has evolved (or perhaps degenerated). So I can’t say for sure what would have been on this list of five favorites, had I complied it 20 or 30 years ago. Today my five favorite protest song cuts from my time of learning to appreciate such a genre are:
“I Ain’t Marching Anymore” by Phil Ochs (released in 1965); written by Phil Ochs
“People Get Ready” by the Impressions (released in 1965); written by Curtis Mayfield
“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (released in 1969); written by John Fogerty
“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (released in 1970); written by Neil Young
“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who (released in 1971); written by Pete Townshend
OK, I cheated by including the John Lennon video. Nonetheless, over the years it seems to me all five (six) picks have held up fairly well, as music.