Playlist Project #4; 5 Songs Which Have A Political Message

This week’s playlist is 5 songs across any genre which have a political message. This is an easy playlist, there are so many political songs! Here’s 5 I personally enjoy:

1. “Searchlight” – Fallon Bowman (2003)

This song comes from the politically heavy album “District 6”, the first solo album by Fallon Bowman (formerly of Canadian heavy metal band Kittie). The album was released under the artist title Amphibious Assault. Ms Bowman is my absolute favourite singer and I’ve been a fan of her since 1999! This was the first song I heard from her debut solo album and I still love it.

This song talks about the peacetime during the Cold War.

“A cold war peacetime,
Fuels a struggle of divine,
Magnitude and strengthens weakness,
Illuminates the searchlight.”

There is no official video for this song, this video is a fan upload.

2. “Russians” – Sting (1985)

I’m a big Sting fan and I’ve always adored this song for it’s beautiful minor key and instrumentation. This song really moves me and gives me goosebumps. Opening with the ticking bomb sound, the political theme is set straight away. In essence the song is about the Cold War. Every lyric makes reference to it. A lyric I particularly love is “There’s no such thing as a winnable war. It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore”. Sting expresses his fear for “Oppenheimer’s deadly toy” and his lack of faith in America’s defence when he sings;

“Mr. Reagan says we will protect you. I don’t subscribe to this point of view. Believe me when I say to you, I hope the Russians love their children too”

3. “Zombie” – The Cranberries (1994)

A song I didn’t discover until I was 19 years old when my old rock band Black Daisy covered it as part of our live set. I fell in love with the song for it’s raw guitars and beautiful haunting melody. Of course I’ve heard it way too many times since, radio overplay has killed it but I can’t bear to leave it out of my list.

Lyrically the song expresses the pain caused by war and also the madness and disillusionment that always comes with it. It is a song for the innocents involved. (“Another mother’s breaking heart is taking over the violence”). It does not have a side nor express an opinion. It does make reference to the 1916 Rising which suggests the song is about political Ireland. (“It’s the same old thing since 1916. In your head, in your head, they’re still fighting”). The term “zombie” could signify the soldier or political leader    who has no thoughts- he who kills without thinking of the innocent victims and the grief violence causes- “Whats in your head, Zombie?”

4. “B.Y.O.B” – System of a Down (2005)

Hard to pick just one song from this band! A truly wonderful band they are! Love, love them! This song is a protest song about the war in Iraq. What I think is really clever is the pop melody for the lyrics – “Everybody’s going to the party, have a real good time. Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine”, combined with the distorted guitars. These lyrics suggest that America enjoys going to Iraq and has a good time there, killing and causing unrest. It doesn’t get more blatent than the following lyrics – “Blast off, it’s party time. And we don’t live in a fascist nation” and “Why don’t presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?”

5. “Black Rain” – Ozzy Osbourne (2007)

Another song about Iraq. Ozzy expresses his bafflement with the war-

“Politicians confuse me
I watch the body count rise
Why are the children all marching
Into the desert to die?”

He clearly sees no point in countries meddling with other countries politics-

“We’ve got our marching orders
Defenders of our home and our pride
We’ve crossed too many borders
Military suicide”

I really like this song. Ozzy really has a way with phrasing words and expressing a message clearly.

Again, no official video for this:

Peace out! 🙂


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