Songs of Political Unrest

The Spotlight

The new decade of the 21st century has so far been remarkable for the overwhelming amount of protests occurring across the world. Brought on by a near collapse of the global economy and information-sharing powers of the internet, the protests taken the form of revolutions in Africa and the Middle East, riots in England, and Occupy Wall Street in the United States. Every movement needs an anthem and Occupy Wall Street has seen some high profile musicians make appearances to lend their support. This week we’ll take a look at those artists and hook you up with some free downloads of protest songs.

The first instance of famous musicians showing up to Occupy Wall Street turned out to be a hoax.  On a Friday in late September, when what has become a nation-wide movement was still in its early stages, the representatives of Occupy Wall Street surprised everyone by announcing that Radiohead (who were currently on tour in New York) would perform that afternoon at at the protest.

The announcement created a fire storm on the internet, with people confirming and denying the rumor left and right. Despite the uncertainty, many people (this writer included) decided to go check out the scene at Zuccotti Park in case Radiohead actually did show up.

They never did show up, but that incident was a huge publicity boost for the protest and the added exposure might have been the spark that took the protest to the next level. Music is an important aspect of protests. Its power to united people and communicate ideas and emotions makes it an important tool for people trying to make themselves heard.

To get you in the mood, here’s some protest music from from the Music Database.