Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

HIST 374: Protest Songs of the 1960s: Protest Songs

Dr. Sarah Judson

Protest Songs

Today's class will cover these categories:

  1. The Protest Song tradition
  2. The Cold War
  3. Civil Rights
  4. Vietnam
  5. Environmentalism

The songs

The Protest Song Tradition

Billie Holiday: "Strange Fruit," originally recorded in 1939

Pete Seeger: "Which Side Are You On? written by Florence Reece, Harlan County, Kentucky, 1932

The Cold War

Bob Dylan: "Masters of War." Released in 1963 on album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Randy Newman, "Political Science," released on the 1972 album Sail Away

 The Civil Rights Movement

Phil Ochs: "Here's to the State of Mississippi," from the 1965 album I Ain't Marching Anymore

Nina Simone: "Mississippi Goddam," from the 1964 album Nina Simone in Concert

Bob Dylan: "Oxford Town," written in 1962, released in 1963 on album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

John Coltrane - "Alabama" - the saxophonist's response to the BIrmingham church bombing in 1963

James Brown - "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud"

The Vietnam War

Buffy Sainte-Marie:  "Universal Soldier," written in 1963, and was a hit for Donovan in 1965. 

Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Fortunate Son," released as a 45rpm single in September 1969.

Jimmy Cliff - Vietnam - 1969 hit from one of the first reggae stars

Edwin Starr - "War" - 1970 - a number one hit and one of the first political songs from Motown Records

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - "Ohio" - written in response to the killings of anti-war protesters at Kent State University in May 1970

John Lennon and Yoko Ono - "Give Peace A Chance" - released July 4. 1969 in the US

Environmentalism

Joni Mitchell - "Big Yellow Taxi" - 1970 "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot"

John Prine - "Paradise" - 1971 - the effects of coal mining on a Kentucky town

 

Additional Social Commentary

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention -  "Who Needs the Peace Corps?"

Gil Scott-Heron - "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

Johnny Cash - "The Man In Black"

Head of Special Collections & University Archivist

Profile Photo
Gene Hyde
Contact:
Special Collections, Ramsey Library
(828) 251-6645
Website
Contact: Facebook Page