Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tiffany's Tuesday Tunes: Protest Songs

Happy Election Day!  Because this is not a presidential election year, the vast majority of citizens will not be exercising their right to vote.  Some will be doing it because they do not care, some will be doing it because they cannot access the polls, and others will be doing it as a form of protest.


The act of protest has a very rich history in our country.  Most people, when thinking of protest, think of Vietnam, Civil Rights, Stonewall, and Occupy Wall Street.  And while these are some of the most visible causes of protest in our nation's past, they certainly are not the only ones.  American protest has been around longer than, well, America has.  Boston Tea Party anyone?

Some people think protest is pointless and does not accomplish anything.  Tell that to all the Tea Party candidates who have been elected, and all the incumbents they ousted.  Protest is partly to thank for my ability, as a woman, to vote today (a vote I will choose to exercise).

When you say the word protest, you commonly think of protest marches, strikes and picketing, sit-ins, book burning, boycotts, and hunger strikes.  But my favorite form of protest (is it weird that I have a favorite?) is by and large the protest song.  While we can take pictures of all the above mentioned forms of protest, protest songs themselves live for posterity.  The protest can continue until the struggle has ended.  Many protest songs are haunting, and emotional.  My favorite protest song (again, is it weird that I have a favorite) was recorded in 1939, and still pertinent today, albeit in less degree.

So today, I present one of the more somber playlists I have created, and possibly one of the most beautiful. 

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. "
- Elie Wiesel