Protest music

"What does the peace movement need?" asks Sojourners associate editor Julie Polter. Music:
We need laments and elegies: Innocents (and innocence) have died and will again, and the struggle to hope is hard and haunted by loss. In "Solo le pido a Dios," Argentinean vocalist Mercedes Sosa sings, roughly translated, "All I ask of God is that I don't become indifferent to suffering."

We need rants and rally cries: Anger is often what shakes us out of fear or complacency and gets us to the street or voting booth. Le Tigre, Ani DiFranco, and the Coup might do. If your thing isn't newer music or curse words, dig out Public Enemy's "Prophets of Rage" or "Fight the Power," Dylan's "With God on Our Side," or most anything by The Clash.

We need wordplay and songs that make us move: Without humor and play, we'll tire before the job is done and drive others away with our self-righteousness. Stevie Wonder's 1974 "You Haven't Done Nothin'" seems especially prescient for the current administration ("We are amazed but not amused/ By all the things you say that you'll do") and you get the Jackson 5 singing backup on the "Doo, doo wop" chorus. Or sing along with Billy Bragg on "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards": "The Revolution is just a T-shirt away."

We need to sing, even if we can't agree on the song.

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