Political Music - Specific Examples

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Frank Zappa once said, ‘Music is always a commentary on society’. Since politics so greatly defines the society we all live in, it is only apt that music and politics mix. Throughout the years many musicians and bands have used their music as a vehicle to express their political views Time has shown again and again how music can be used in a variety of political expressions such as in protest themes, for example anti-war songs and at the other end of the spectrum, pro-establishment ideas such as national anthems.
‘The Internationale’ is a widely sung left-wing anthem. It is one of the most recognizable songs of the socialist movement and is the official anthem of The Socialist International, a worldwide association of political parties in more than 80 countries which seek to establish democratic socialism. In this case, I like how this song is a common banner under which every single person who supports socialism can stand under.

‘The Star Spangled Banner’ is the national anthem of the United States of America, and has been since 1931. It is a timeless iconic anthem and in a somewhat clichéd manner, I love how this one song, consisting of just 4 stanzas has the power to unite every American, regardless of differing socio-economic status, political views and religious belief in love for ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ that they live in.

‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman released in 1988 is a narrative song of generational poverty. This song deals indirectly with the economic policies that are implemented by government. I think it is a good example of how music is an avenue for expressing not just plain political views, but subversively economic ones as well seeing as how economics and politics are so inextricably linked.

‘A Taqwacore Call to Prayer’ by the Muslim Punk music scene shows the Muslim call to prayer (athan) played on an electric guitar. This music scene aims to openly reject traditionalist interpretations of Islam....
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