All Things Music, Social Justice, and Protest

Category Second Listen

For your Second Listen, I’d like you to listen to your chosen song by thinking about it in terms of the context in which the song was written—or, what “C. Wright Mills called a ‘sociological imagination’: It helps musickers to see the social roots in what might otherwise be felt as individual stories or problems. It identifies collective and structural arrangements—who has power? who does the work? who gets the payoff? who decides?—as the origin of what is usually felt to be one’s personal situation” (Rosenthal & Flacks, p. 20). In your post, I’d like you to write about two things:

First, the historical context in which your song was written and released. What was happening in the world at that time? Is the song connected to a particular social or protest movement? If only maybe possibly tangentially connected, you can say so; don’t create a strong connection that might not exist.

Second, how has the songwriter integrated that context into the song? That is, what is the song’s “sociological imagination”? Please don’t site every single instance; one or two is fine.

Link to and/or embed external sources in such a way that helps educate the reader (don’t assume the reader is familiar with what you are writing about). Data and statistics are encouraged. Use direct quotation, as needed. Be thorough.

Before you publish, make sure to select the Second Listen category and add necessary tags.

Second Listen of Nina Cried Power

Hozier released Nina Cried Power as an EP before the release of his entire album. The song is titled as the first track on the album, and received great praise from his fans and critics alike. The song was the… Continue Reading →

Listening Journal 2

  During the time of this song (2018), Meek Mill had paired up with Jay-Z and others in an attempt to fight for criminal justice reform. When meek was 19 years old, he got into run ins with the law… Continue Reading →

No Church in the Wild- Second Listen

Given the length and success of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean’s musical careers, it is beneficial to contextualize when “No Church in the Wild” was written in order to more thoroughly understand its roots. The song was released in… Continue Reading →

Waiting on the World to Change- Second Listen Revision

Second Listen Revision- Waiting on the World to Change John Mayer’s, Waiting on the World to Change, was written around 2006 and released in 2007. Around this time in the United States, George W. Bush was the president at the… Continue Reading →

Second Listen: “Land of the Free” by The Killers

In March of 2019, just two months after The Killers released “Land of the Free”, the Department of Homeland security announced that illegal immigration was at a twelve year high, there was a 97% increase in apprehensions, and that apprehensions… Continue Reading →

Second Listen: Looking for America by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey released a video to Instagram of herself singing “Looking for America” in a recording studio. The video was posted on Aug. 5, 2019, and the official single was released on Aug. 9, 2019. Del Rey wrote and… Continue Reading →

Second listen – “JUNKY”

JUNKY was released on August 15th, 2017–the tenth song on SATURATION II. The song tackles several social justice issues, with each of the vocalists featured in the song focusing on one specific topic. Though an eclectic collection of voices, sounds,… Continue Reading →

The Man ~ Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s The Man calls out the disparities between men and women in regards to society’s perception of success and power. This song is a way for Swift to express her feminism progressively into the public sphere. The Man is… Continue Reading →

“Society” Second Listen

“Society” is somewhat unique in its historical context in that it was written specifically for a film, Into the Wild, which is a direct depiction of Jon Krakauer’s book, based solely on true events regarding the life and travels of… Continue Reading →

Darkness: A Second Listen

“Darkness” was released as a response to the recent epidemic of gun deaths in the United States. As of 2016 statistics, the U.S. was in the top 20 countries for death rate by firearms, with over 37,000 deaths. The ending… Continue Reading →

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