Organizing Songs

A long time ago, I blogged about protest songs. You know the kind: songs like Blowin’ In The Wind, The Times They Are A Changin’ and Masters of War (for all you Dylan folks out there.)

Recently, I’ve had a few songs playing in my head while planning some of my upcoming organizing campaigns. I realize now that organizing songs are a distinct sub-set of protest songs. These are the songs that aren’t just down for the cause, but songs that urge you to get up off your ass and do something. They celebrate collective action. Hence: organizing songs (w/ YouTube links):

“The 11th Hour”–Rancid
“Do you know where the power lies/ And who pulls the strings? /Do you know where the power lies/ It starts and ends with you.”

“Small Axe”– Bob Marley
“If you are the big tree/ We are the small axe,/ Ready to cut you down (well sharp) / Sharpened to cut you down.”

“Eyes On The Prize” (traditional)–Bruce Springsteen & Seeger Sessions Band
“The only thing we did was right / Was the day we started to fight/ Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on.”

“Minority”–Green Day
I want to be the minority / I don’t need your authority/ Down with the moral majority/ ‘Cause I want to be the minority.”

“Constructive Summer”–The Hold Steady
“Getting older makes it harder to remember/ we are our only saviors/ We’re gonna build something, this summer.”

“Town Called Malice”–The Jam
“Stop apologizing for the things you’ve never done/ ‘cause time is short and life is cruel/ But it’s up to us to change/ This town called malice.”


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