Other than wikipedia's lax standards about what constitutes an interesting topic, my guess is that music is emotional, and politics are emotional, so they are well suited to one another. One allows for a communication of ideas and emotions, the other is a set of rules and systems intended to preserve man, but both have a long-standing tradition of feeding one another.
Sure, you're thinking Bob Dylan. Why wouldn't you? But there's a vast, rich history to the political song dating all the way back to the Greek and Roman empires, probably pre-dating them. In the more modern industrial era, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie were huge populist voices in the US, and most of the 1950s and 1960s fed off of their folk vibes. Rock and Roll was born in blues, steeped in the pain and suffering of Black America, forged in the fires of political oppression. In England and France, music was tied to political and social protest and worker's rights (and women's suffrage and just about every socio-political movement) and gave rise to punk, electronic, and post-punk movements. Normally adapted from hymns, protest songs from the UK (and the southern United States) were adapted to meet the message while retaining the melody; many years later you can hear those simple three-bar structures in every punk song. Every country has it's political anthems, rallying songs for the common man, union songs, adapted populist tunes that mock, deride, celebrate, or in any way create an emotion.
I'm sure there are bourgeois tunes. Some sort of "It's good to be rich and white in America in 1955" stuff. I've not heard any that I am aware of, though I guess popular music (with an emphasis on love and status over politics and meaning) could fill the bill.
Plus I haven't even touched satire! And campaign tunes! And the whole world of anthems and marches! Musicals! Operas! The universe of music touches politics; every genre has it's political section.
I have a feeling that we could talk about the fine lines separating art from pap from politics until we ran out of air. So, why not just make some political tunes?
Here's the idea: create from scratch or re-make a political song. For cover tunes, this can be outright political (anything by the Dead Kennedys, for instance) or something picked up by a political party. You chance to cover Fleetwood Mac is NOW. How about a mashup of "Don't Stop" and "California Uber Alles"?
Original tunes, instrumental, turntable, vocal, or otherwise, should have a political intent. The theme, the message, just the feel of it...now's your chance for punk or metal or, heck, harp music if you want. If it contains the way you feel about civil rights, about Bush, about the Tories, about Woomera, about immigration, the county Sheriff, the local Magistrate, the government of Mexico, China, Nepal, Darfur, north Ireland, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, feudal Japan, Imperial Star Wars...
...you name it, if it's political and you feel it, make your feelings heard. One man, one vote, one collection of notes.
The deadline is September 18th.
I'll co-ordinate an upload location and update when the time comes.
|< Home | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >