Greatest Eighties Protest Songs"(Lets Play) USA ," by Peter Schilling Peter Schilling is famous for his song Major Tom, but he wrote about more than that, (Lets Play) USA is about people who mostly care and centre themselves around profits and what I think, status. If you listen to the lyrics, he's singing about how moral values are dropping rapidly and being forgotten about. "99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons)," by Nena About military paranoia and eagerness to go to war. "Allentown," by Billy Joel Great tune about Reaganomics and the develpment of the rust belt. "All She Wants to Do is Dance," by Don Henley Protest against the U.S. involvement with the Contras in Nicaragua. All Americans wants to do is dance, while the molotov cocktails, and sales of guns and drugs are going on around her. And the boys (the CIA, NSA, etc.)are making a buck or two. "Another Brick In The Wall," by Pink Floyd No more mind control! "Army Dreamers," by Kate Bush An anti-war song about the traumas of a mother when her son goes off to war. "Badman's Song," by Tears For Fears This song (from The Seeds Of Love is a protest against the injustices of religious leaders and their harsh judgements. "Bastards Of Young," by The Replacements The was another "could have been, should have been" song written by Paul Westerberg and Bob Stinson in 1984. It was released in 1985 on the "Tim" LP. On January 18th, 1986 The Replacements played this song on Saturday Night Live. To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't been shown since. The Replacements were not the best live band, and Paul said the f-word. They were visibly drunk. This should have been the rock anthem of Generation X. They wouldn't have wanted all the attention. "Beds Are Burning," by Midnight Oil Big song from 1988 protesting the Australian governments confiscation of aboriginal lands in the outback. "Behind the Wall," by Tracy Chapman Against domestic violence and police incompetence. "Belfast Child," by Simple Minds Fantastic song about the Irish war, 1989, n1 in UK in February. "The Big Stick," by Minutemen Song calling on America to protest the US involvement in Nicaragua and Guatamala. "Uncle Sam supports a fascist regime, That doesnt represent the people over there. We learn and believe there is justice for us all, and we lie to ourselves with a big stick up our ass." "Biko," by Peter Gabriel Released in 1980. The song was included on Gabriel's third album, Peter Gabriel. It is about Steve Biko, a noted black South African anti-apartheid activist. Biko had been arrested by the South African police in late August 1977. After being held in custody for several days, he was interrogated in room 619 of the Walmer St prison in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. Following the interrogation, during which he sustained serious
head injuries, Biko was transferred to a prison in Pretoria, where he died shortly afterwards, on 12 September 1977. Gabriel often plays the song at the end of concerts, encouraging the audience to join in the singing, and eventually leaving only the drummer on stage. (From Wikipedia) "Black Boys On Mopeds," by Sinead O'Connor Not as much another song condemning racism as it is a hate letter to then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. "Blackened," by Metallica This is a song protesting nuclear warfare and the lack of understanding by governments about the problems it can cause. "Black Stations White Stations," by M&M (aka Martha And The Muffins) Accordong to Martha's website, she wrote this song about racial issues after hearing that Van Morrison's hit "Brown Eyed Girl" was supposed to be Brown Skinned Girl, but he had to change it. "Bonzo Goes To Bitbrg," by The Ramones This song was written by the ramones, ad expressed their outage when President Ronald "Bonzo" Reagan visited a nazi cemetary called Bitburg. "Born In The USA," by Bruce Springsteen This song protests the way that middle class Americans were treated in the the era of "Reganomics." "Brothers In Arms," by Dire Straits Released during the Falklands War and promptly banned by the B.B.C. in the U.K. It's a song about the utter folly of going to war. Editor's Note: The Falkland Islands War took place in 1982. Was this song released before 1985 in the UK? "California Uber Alles," by The Dead Kennedys A protest against then-California Governor Jerry Brown. "Cassandra," by Anonyma Hard-to-find folk song. The song starts out from the perspective of Cassandra, who was cursed to tell the truth and be thought insane, then the last verse talks about the women in the UK protesting the housing of US missiles there. Worth looking for. "Channel-Z," by The B-52s I believe it is worth mentioning that "Channel-Z" by the B-52s is more than just "vaguely anti-media." The song also identified numerous problems that were brought about during the Reagan regime: "Space junk---laser bombs---ozone holes" - references towards the United States Government's apathy towards the environment and its program to try and colonise space for military purposes with 'Star Wars' "Giant stacks blowin' smoke, Politicrits pushin' dope" - This was a reference again to the lack of concern for the environment, and more importantly to Peter Deutche's illegal drug trafficking in South America while Reagan was busy at home promoting "this is your brain" propaganda (and the irony of it) "Waste dumps---toxic fog---irradiate---and keep it fresh forever" - The continual build-up of nuclear waste in Nevada, the indifference of the US Government, the threat of catastrophe posed by nuclear power plants along with the never-ending threat of nuclear war. "Good old boys---tellin' lies 'Bout time---I got wise" - References to the Iran-Contra conspiracy and Reagan secretly selling weapons
to the Iranians in exchange for hostages while simultaneously knocking Carter for failing to find a resolution "Gotta tune in---pico waves. Gotta tune out---PCB's Gotta tune in--market crash. Gotta tune out---polar shift Gotta tune in---narrow minds. Gotta tune out--space junk Gotta tune in---bombs. Gotta turn out---atomic lasers falling from the sky" The market crash led by the Reagan-Bush Savings and Loan scam followed by the government bailout of the conspirators under Reaganomics, the polar shifts that were starting by the lack of environmental regulations with the continual build-up of carcinogens in the atmosphere, the conservative build-up of power in the West, the proliferation of nukes, and the Star Wars programme of conquering space for imperial purposes... "Secret wars!---Take my money away!" - Once again, Oliver North and his Iran-Contra conspiracy, along with Reagan's illegal war in Nicaragua. Yes, on top of that, the song also blends in problems with media deregulation that led up to today's media concentration along with its practice of lambasting the populace into submission via a never-ending barrage of information. One could say it is equally revealing. "Cheerleaders," by Minutemen Song relating cheerleaders to war, and about how cheerleading, rah-rah America distracts us from the ugliness of war. "Cherokee," by Europe Describes the life of a native American tribe who lived the settlement of the white man on their lands "The Children Of Kosovo," by The Kelly Family A song for the victims of the war in Kosovo, also produced in French, Dutch, German and Luxembourgian versions. "Children's Crusade," by Sting Compares the militarism of WWI to the Children's Crusade of the Middle Ages. Governments were using propaganda to promote the war effort so much that 14-,15,16-year-old boys were lying about their age in order to enlist. "Civil War," by Guns 'n' Roses Anti war song that tells how we send our children to death and cause pain throughout the society by means of war. "Clampdown," by The Clash Greatest protest song ever against letting your government gain too much control. So many lines of this song are appropriate for what's going on right now. "We will teach our twisted speech to the young believers...we will train our blue-eyed men to you be young believers." Sound familiar in this age of fear and "created" enemies? "A Country Boy Can Survive," by Hank Williams Jr If you listen to the lyrics, it's a protest about the faluire of all parties in govermant to do what is needed, in all layers and stratas of society, to make it safe and equal. Eg: mking sure that all schools are the best that money can buy, so kids can learn to their fullest. "D-Day for Stien Stien," by The Fat Moox Describes the hardships of an overweight child in the war. "The Dead Heart," by Midnight Oil Aboriginal protest song. "We don't serve your country, don't serve your king......We carry in our hearts the true country and that cannot be stolen." "Dear God," by XTC
Strong protest song with atheist feelings. It features lyrics such as "all the people that you made in your image, See them starving on their feet, cause they dont get enough to eat". Or "I wont believe in heaven and hell. No saints, no sinners, No devil as well. No pearly gates, no thorny crown. Youre always letting us humans down. The wars you bring, the babes you drown. Those lost at sea and never found, And its the same the whole world round." "Dear Mr. Jesus," by Powersource Song about child abuse. Created after Lisa Steinberg died from beatings she received by her adoptive father Joel Steinberg. Huge issue in NYC at the time because teachers knew she was being abused, but no one helped. "Death Dealers," by Discharge A protest song against the UK selling arms to third-world countries instead of helping them out with social programs. Discharge, being an political-minded hardcore band, most of their songs are one way or the other a protest song! "Die For Your Government," by Anti-Flag "Distant Early Warning," by Rush Environmental, Nuclear War, Acid Rain, you name it.... "Dogs," by Pink Floyd This song is against society in general. "Do They Know it's Christmas?," by Band Aid This was the original anti African Hunger Song, done by a raft of British Pop stars, led by Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats. Christmas 1984. Raised tons of money, and spawned both the American "We are the World" and the Canadian "Tears are not Enough", which were recorded by equally famous Pop stars. "Down And Out In Paradise," by John Cougar Mellencamp This is a protest against what President Reagan did to America in reducing job and social security for the poor. Written in the form of a letter to the President himself. "Electric Funeral," by Black Sabbath This is a song protesting nuclear warfare. "The End Of The Innocence," by Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby Protest of Reagan. "They're beating plowshares into swords for this tired old man that we elected king". When Hornsby sings it, he changes it to "that's no longer king." The entire song is a metaphor for the farmer's struggles due to the domestic policies of Ronald Reagan. The second verse is the only verse that directly states this. "Enola Gay ," by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Anti the atom bomb and the destruction of Hiroshama and Nagasaki. "Enola Gay, you should have stayed at home yesterday". "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," by Tears For Fears This song protests the way some governmental powers want to literally "rule the world." "Finest Worksong," by R.E.M. The opener from 1987's Document, this song can be interpreted as call to arms against the status quo, generally, and American-style consumerism (which was at a nadir in 1987) particularly. "Take your instinct by the reins Your better best to rearrange What we want and what we need Has been confused, been confused" That's a terrific opening verse for an album that generally rejects Reagan's pure capitalism and its fallout at every turn. It specifically addresses those of us who were under 30 at the time,
not to follow the teeming, mindless throngs blindly: "Your finest hour (blow your song) Your finest hour (blow your horn)" For all the good it did. I'm quite sure he didn't have in mind electing a jackass like the one we have in the White House at the moment. Don't look at me. It never occured to me to vote for that idiot! "The Fletcher Memorial Home," by Pink Floyd A protest song against Regan, Begen, Thatcher and the rest of military advanced countries, Waters is dreaming of a safe place for children to live away from reality "Flowers of Guatemala," by R.E.M. This song, from 1986, was on R.E.M.'s "Life's Rich Pageant" album and is about the violent right-wing govt in Guatemala and the devastating effect it had on the Guatemalan people. "For America," by Jackson Browne Another great anti-war song from Jackson Browne's "Lives In the Balance" LP "Forgotten Sons," by Marillion A Song over the Civil-War in North Ireland. Released in 1983. more Infos about Marillion : http://www.morain.de/index/ "For What's It Worth," by Buffalo Springfeild I think the song is telling us to beware of our goverment. In one part of the song it says "I think its time we stop, children, whats that sound, everybody looks what going down." Could it mean a bomb. "Fragile," by Sting Anti-War song. Nothing ever good comes from violence and nothing ever will. (brings tears to my eyes :*( ) "Free Nelson Mandela," by Special AKA The song that brought Nelson Mandela to the attention of a generation. Kick started the anti-apartheid movement leading to boycotts of Barclay's, Shell & South African sports teams. "Free South Africa," by Stetsasonic The Original Hip Hop Band Stetsasonic collaborated with Jesse Jackson to make people aware of the aparthied situation going on in South Africa. "Freewill," by Rush Essentially challenges religion, suggesting that people use god as an excuse for irresponsibility. "Games Without Frontiers," by Peter Gabriel (1980) Anti-war. "Ghost Town," by The Specials About Maggie Thatchers policies in the 80s and how they were leading to high unemployment especially in northern manufacturing towns. "Give Peace A Chance?," by Yoko and Sean Ono...with other artists. I believe it was a remake of the John Lennon song...."All we are saying, is give peace a chance." It had a lot of butt rockers in it....but the only one I can seem to remember from the video is Slah. "Goodbye Blue Sky," by Black Sabbath A song protesting the bombing of civilians during wars. "Hammer to Fall," by Queen (1984) About the Cold War.
"Hare Rama Hare Krishna," by The Nine Ranges Of Mountain It's a song against any sort of religion.it is based on how visnavism penetrate in Manipur. And here is a social message that "let's not sleep again let others not make you fool again." "Help Save The Youth Of America," by Billy Bragg Though writen in 1985, it rings surprisingly true 20 years later. "Listen to the voice of the soldier, down in the killing zone, talkin' 'bout the cost of living, and the price of briniging him home" "Hideous Towns," by The Sundays Borderline '80s (1989/1990) this song is a protest against people being drafted into the military. "Hope For The Runaway...