Some other political and semi-political songs that made it big

This post was written by Reuben Bard-Rosenberg on December 25, 2009
Posted Under: Music,Uncategorized

It really was excellent to see RATM hit the top of the charts. If you caugth the interview on BBC radio, you would have heard the band – in the face of patronising questions about whether they hated Simon Cowell – try valiantly to hitch the event the broader political issues. Zack de La Rocha argued – correctly or otherwise – the upsurge in suppor for the song reflected ‘wider tensions’ within society.

So anyways I thought now would be a good time to post some other political and semi-political songs that made it big.

System of a Down are definitely a band of the left. Toxicity, despite being fucking good is one of there less explicitly political songs, despite being fucking good. Nonetheless the chorus appears to be threatening the ruling classes with revolution, with the words “What do you own? The world! How do you own DISORDER DISORDER?!

Gill’s Scott-Heron’s The Revolution Will Not be Televised cannot but be mentioned. “There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.”
The World Turned Upside Down, in which of my favourite songwriters Leon Rosselson tells the story of a group of 17th century revolutionaries known as The Diggers, was pushed quite high up the charts when it was covered by Billy Bragg.

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion
Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution

And finally a bit more System of a Down… apologies to anybody who hates this kind of music.

UPDATE: Fellow Third Estater Jacob just made the following comment about System of a down: “I don’t like it, it’s too noisy, these guys don’t understand dynamics”.

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Reader Comments


Nothing by The Clash? No Guns of Brixton? No Police on My Back? I’m shocked and appalled.

Written By Owen on December 25th, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

Your mum is London’s calling

Written By Reuben on December 25th, 2009 @ 9:11 pm
Owen 3.5


Written By Owen 3.5 on December 27th, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

Surely the Dead Kennedys fit in somewhere?

Written By Kam on January 4th, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

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