I selected two very moving protest songs of the past 100 years. The first song I chose was “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” by Bob Dylan (1964). The version that I posted is a cover, as I was not able to find the original version on YouTube. The second song I selected was “The General,” by The Dispatch (2000). “Only a Pawn in Their Game” is a song about the racist nature of the world during the 20th century. It specifically mentions the assassination of the civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Dylan goes on to mention how although many people preformed terrible deeds, usually due to racism, it was not solely their fault. It was the fault of society, and he says that each person in only “a pawn in their game.” “The General” is an anti-war song about a general who claims that it “is not worth fighting.” The entire song the general is telling his soldiers to go home, and enjoy their lives. The message is that we should avoid war, because we are taking away people’s lives.
In general, protest songs have not really changed over the years. The bottom line is that they are supposed to convey a message to the public and create a change. However, today I think these songs are more direct and crude, as opposed to being more subtle 50 years ago. Today there are also new genres, such as hip-hop, which have produced certain protest songs as well. Besides those few changed there are not many distinct differences in protest songs over the years. The two songs I chose could have been written anytime over the past 50 years, and they would fit in to any time period. Social protests did not change much, as a whole. Like protest songs, they simply just became more outright and uncut. People are not afraid to say or do anything these days.