Musicians supercharged the turbulent ‘60s with a very groovy soundtrack.
The times were a changin’, and artists responded with some stellar protest songs.
No matter your politics, tracks like “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin proved timely and timeless.
Today, the music industry still cranks out the occasional protest ditty, but they typically hail from the Left. And, in most cases, they don’t break out in popular culture.
Is anyone humming Pink’s “Irrelevant” beyond the folks on her tour bus?
Now, though, right-leaning artists are picking up the slack. These songs can’t be heard on terrestrial radio, and “Saturday Night Live” most likely won’t be showcasing them between its hard left-leaning sketches.
Nevertheless, these songs still leave a serious mark, bumping aside superstars like Lizzo and Adele in the process. One draws so much satirical blood it’s amazing the song’s target didn’t enter the Witness Protection Program.
Either way, they offer both a welcome balance and a sense that the whole “power to the people” cry still matters.
Five Times August
This talented singer/songwriter (real name: Brad Skistimas) enjoys some mainstream success via his extensive TV show and commercial work. He’s appeared on FOX Business and Billboard Magazine, but it’s his satirical songs that deserve greater attention.
Tracks like “I Will Not Be Leaving Quietly,” “This Just In,” and “Fight for You” showcase his abilities, and his sonic assault on Dr. Anthony Fauci may be his most incendiary, and richly rewarding, song to date.
“Sad Little Man,” accompanied by a killer video with echoes of Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python artwork, eviscerates the nation’s best-paid bureaucrat.
Sad little man but he’s treated like a God
As the faithless pray to a fake and a fraud
Worship the man, pledge to his word
One shot, two shot, now you get a third
The rapper isn’t conservative or liberal, but his anti-woke spirit speaks directly to Red State USA. It’s hard to pick just one MacDonald song that undresses the identity politics crowd. He’s deflated the progressive movement with “Fake Woke,” “WhiteBoy,” and “Straight White Male.”
His hit song “Snowflakes” perfectly captures his inner protest singer.
I hear ’em preaching at a protest that hatred’s the problem
But hating straight men, white folks, and Christians is common
Coca Cola telling people they should be less white
They preaching tolerance but if you disagree, they fight
There’s a race war here, elections based on fear
Black lives only matter once every four years
MacDonald’s music videos routinely rack millions of views and often rise to the top of the modern charts.
The country superstar isn’t known for his protest songs, but that all changed in 2022. The singer, part of the Big and Rich duo, uncorked a whopper of a track that instantly caught fire. Those flames didn’t ignite on the radio, broadcast television, or even Twitter.
Rich promoted “Progress” on both Rumble and Truth Social, two platforms that embrace free speech principles.
The result? “Progress” soared to the number one spot on Apple iTunes music chart, knocking Lizzo down a peg in the process.
They shut down our pipelines
And they shut down our voices
They shut down our main streets
And they shut down our choices
They bent us all over
But it’s all over now
‘Cause we’ve figured it out
We ain’t backing down
Five for Fighting
John Ondrasik’s musical alter ego gave us smashes like “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” and “100 Years.” The hockey devotee leans to the Right, but his music hardly reflects that world view. He’s also an unlikely artist to embrace the protest song ethos.
Things changed after he watched the heartbreaking headlines generated by President Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. The news proved so awful even the corrupt mainstream press couldn’t cover for Biden.
Ondrasik has deep ties to the military community, and when he had learned of even more devastating news tied to the withdrawal, he had had enough.
He wrote “Blood on My Hands,” a withering takedown of Team Biden, and released it on YouTube.
Got blood on my hands
Got blood on my hands
Flag of the Taliban
General Austin, is there no honor in shame?
Can you spell Bagram without the letters in blame?
Did uncle Joe stick a drip in your veins?
To no one’s surprise YouTube censored the song, claiming the Taliban-related imagery accompanying the track wasn’t appropriate. Ondrasik had put up his own “graphic warning” label on the video and applauded YouTube for doing the same after they added a child content restriction. His hands stopped clapping, though, when the Google-owned platform removed the clip. YouTube eventually restored the video.
The conservative rapper sensed the time was right to put a melody behind the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant. His song of the same name did more than that. It earned Gray a YouTube strike for so-called “medical misinformation,” but that didn’t stop it from hitting the no. 1 spot on iTunes charts.
If you ask questions ’bout the vax, then they gonna ban us (It’s true)
Ayy, this is ’bout control, everybody knows
Everyone complies weigh the cons and pros
I don’t need a plane, I just hit the road
I do what I want, I can’t sell my soul
Market ’bout to crash, this is what you chose
The rapper, whose song ranked higher than a new ditty from Adele, thanked YouTube for making his song soar even higher:
“Cancel culture doesn’t work anymore. It only works on people who are scared … all it does is help me out. Thanks, YouTube!”
This country crooner went to Nashville to start his music career, but the suits said he shouldn’t sing about conservative themes. Brown took his guitar and left, forging his own indie career via YouTube.
Now, his videos rack on millions of views, and he’s able to speak his mind sans filter. Brown’s political songs are silly and smart, puckish but not mean-spirited. With “We Gotta Be Less White,” he takes Coca-Cola to task for its woke agenda.
We gotta be less white, be less white
‘Cause liberals gone wild and they lost their minds
We gotta be less white, be less white
Now I’m switching to Pepsi
And it’s all alright
Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.