Sunday, November 17, 2013

Protest songs

Oh, where have the years flown?
I may not have any photographs with me to chronicle my journey, but my life in years just opened up as I unpacked a battered box full of tapes and CDs -- the earliest music tapes from about 30 years ago.  My first set of protest songs -- received as a gift from S for writing my first angry feminist poem (printed under Julie's name on the back cover of a major international women's conference proceedings and lost from my own files now) -- with songs of Donovan Leitch, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Bob Marley, John Lennon...There are a few sad-sounding songs in Spanish too (from Nicaragua? Ecuador?) How I cared for this tape and worried I would lose it or tape over it (yes, the two squares at the bottom are carefully broken to prevent that from happening). 

Then I did not know that 'Universal soldier' was written by Canadian Buffy Sainte-Marie.  Here is Donovan's rendition.

Catch the Wind by Donovan.

Pete Seeger singing 'What did you learn in school today?'

John Lennon singing 'If you had the luck of the Irish.'

Farewell Angelina by Baez. 

Baez at her saddest and best in "Cambodia" brings a flood of tears from such a long time ago for me.
If I ever have a chance to go back in time and do a PhD all over again, it will be in figuring out why protest songs move you in such a powerful way.  

Here is a page dedicated to protest songs in Russia.

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