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13 Songs About Resistance, Protest and Revolution To Listen To Now

“I just want to live. God protect me,” sings gospel artist Keedron Bryant.

The 12-year old Season 4 of  “Little Big Shots” contestant sang the song and posted it on his Instagram page in tribute to the latest unarmed black person to be killed by police, George Lloyd.

I just want to live..:God protect me," sings 12-year old gospel artist and Season 4 "Little Big Shots" contestant…

Posted by Jay Jay Ghatt on Friday, May 29, 2020

Lloyd’s death came after a store clerk called the cops alleging he had used a counterfeit $20 and  protocol usually calls for a suspect to be given a ticket if more bills are not found on them given the fact that it is possible someone who uses one may not actually know the bill used was fake.

Somehow things escalated and he was arrested without resistace yet it ended getting violently and Floyd was killed mercilessly by an officer after being held down by a total of four. It also happened in front of the smartphone cameras of onlookers who plead for one officer, Derek Chauvin, with his knee in Lloyd’s neck to let the man breathe. He did not let up for 9 minutes and eventually killed him.

That officer has been charged with Third Degree murder and Manslaughter after a couple of days of unrest when the Minneapolis DA failed to arrest and charge the Chauvin.

Lloyd’s name and hashtag is added to Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery who was hunted down by a vigilante ex cop and his son and EMT and Nurse Breonna Taylor, a Louisana mom who was riddled with bullets when police while serving a warrant on a person they already had in custody barged into her home in the middle of night while she and her boyfriend slept.

There has been protests, which has spread to other cities across the country, from Georgia to DC to Louisiana, and some which have turned violent with looting and destruction of private property.

I do not condone any of that.

I have seen reports that say that anarchist groups with agendas to sully the peaceful protestors have been stirring the pot.

Nonetheless, I do know that the United States was founded on rebellion against the British.

The Boston Tea Party was a riot as was The Stamp Act Riots of 1765, the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 and the Stonewall Riots of 1969, each uprisings of oppressed people in America.

In the course of history, many movements in the world have had elements of violence to them: Apartheid in South Africa, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the Arab Spring, Eritrean and South Sudan secessesion from Ethiopia and Sudan, respectively, resulted in resolve after the unrest.

Peaceful protest results in wins but so do anarchist ones.

In any event, I am being moved and motivated by songs of Resistance in history. Here are a few of my faves which are very relevant lines:

1

What’s Going On?” By Marvin Gaye

Picket lines and picket signs

Don’t punish me with brutality

Talk to me, so you can see

Oh, what’s going on

What’s going on

Yeah, what’s going on

Ah, what’s going on

2

We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel

“We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world’s been turning

We didn’t start the fire

No we didn’t light it

But we tried to fight it”

3

War” by Bob Marley

Until the philosophy

Which hold one race superior and another

Inferior

Is finally

And permanently

Discredited

And abandoned

Everywhere is war

Me say war

That until there no longer

First class and second class citizens of any nation

Until the color of a man’s skin

Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes

Me say war

That until the basic human rights

Are equally guaranteed to all

Without regard to race

4

Revolution” by Nina Simone

And now we got a revolution

Cause I see the face of things to come

Yeah, your Constitution

Well, my friend, its gonna have to bend

I’m here to tell you about destruction

Of all the evil that will have to end.

Some folks are gonna get the notion

I know they’ll say I’m preachin’ hate

But if I have to swim the ocean

Well I would just to communicate

Its not as simple as talkin’ jive

The daily struggle just to stay alive

5

Revolution” by The Beatles

But if you want money for people with minds that hate

All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be

All right, all right, all right

You say you’ll change the constitution

Well, you know

We all want to change your head

You tell me it’s…

6

We Gone Be Alright” by Kendrick Lamar

We gon’ be alright

Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

7

Ohio” by Crosby Stills and Nash

Gotta get down to it

Soldiers are cutting us down

Should have been done long ago

8

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gil Scott Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother

You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag

And skip out for beer during commercials, because

The revolution will not be televised

9

“Soweto Blues” by  Miriam Makeba with Hugh Masekela

The children got a letter from the master

It said: no more Xhosa, Sotho, no more Zulu.

Refusing to comply they sent an answer

That’s when the policemen came to the rescue

Children were flying bullets dying

The mothers screaming and crying

The fathers were working in the cities

The evening news brought out all the publicity

10

A Change Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke

It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die

‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky

It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

11

Get Up Stand Up” by Bob Marley

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight!

 

12

I Want to Break Free” by Queen

I want to break free

I want to break free

I want to break free from your lies

You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you

I’ve got to break free

13

Southern trees bearing strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south

Them big bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

Scent of magnolia, clean and fresh

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

“Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday

 

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