You know how I have to have a soundtrack for everything. These are songs for the Occupy movement…some new,some old. Only 10. For now.
1. “Wake Up” by Rage Against The Machine
It’s hard to choose just one song from Rage Against the Machine to fit the movement. RATM was made for this. “Wake Up” has been on my mind since the beginning of the Occupy movement but you take almost any song by Rage and it’ll speak on some level about corporate greed and economic disparity.
Zack de la Rocha also recently wrote an Occupy Wall Street Poem .“This poem is dedicated to the Occupy movement whose courage is changing the world. Stay Strong. We are winning.”
Also see: One Day As A Lion
And while we’re talking about Rage….
2. “World Wide Rebel Song”, The Nightwatchmen
Tom Morello’s Nightwatchmen project follows the same vein. “World Wide Rebel Song” could easily be an anthem for Occupy.
3. “Merchandise”, Fugazi
When we have nothing left to give
There will be no reason for us to live
But when we have nothing left to lose
You will have nothing left to use
We owe you nothing you have no control
Merchandise keeps us in line
Common sense says it’s by design
What could a businessman ever want more
than to have us sucking in his store
We owe you nothing
You have no control
You are not what you own
4. “Mountains O’ Things” ,Tracy Chapman
Favorite song by Tracy Chapman and even more then “Talking About A Revolution” and “Fast Car”, this illustrates better how the “American dream” has become a myth, where you work hard to get nothing and those who have everything have way too much of it ,usually by exploiting other human beings.
5. “Village Ghetto Land”, Stevie Wonder
Children play with rusted cars
Sores cover their hands
Politicians laugh and drink-drunk to all demands
That they seem to do.
6. “I Hate Banks”, Mojo Nixon
“Wall St can eat my meat!”
7. “The Man Don’t Give A Fuck”, Super Furry Animals
Lyricist Gruff Rhys refers to this song as a “multi-compass protest song” against “any organisation which you feel is terrorising you as an individual, anyone who’s cramping your style”. It fits especially well into the Occupy ethos.
8. “Fight With Tools”, The Flobots
There are many songs from the Flobots that are relevant but this jumps out at me lately …. “There’s a war going on for your mind! Those who seek to occupy it will stop at nothing. The battlefield is everywhere; there is no sanctuary, there are no civilians. You have two choices: surrender or enlist.” So, occupy right back,people. Be the heroes we need.
9. “We Stand As One”, Joseph Arthur
There are a bunch of people who have celebrity who have shown up at Occupy protests and even some who have just released songs ,advertising them to be “Anthems of the Movement”. I’m cynical. I think some of them are just looking for publicity. Joseph Arthur (you may know his one song “You’re So True” because it was in Shrek but his other stuff is good too..) seems sincere with this.
I like what he says here:
Protest songs should be open and somewhat naive
They can’t help but reference Bob Dylan referencing Woody Guthrie
They usually speak in somewhat general terms
And to be effective at all, they say things that even those coming from a similar space, may not fully agree with.
They are easy targets for the venom of music critics (because of all the reasons above)
And yet still sometimes
They are necessary
So with that I am happy to present you
We Stand As One.
I hope you love it
Or hate it
Or love to hate it
Or let yourself
Hate to love it
but either way,
In some small way,
I hope that it helps.
- Joseph Arthur
10. “Distraction”, Talib Kweli
Likewise, Talib Kwali really does have only solidarity as his motive.