All Things Music, Social Justice, and Protest

Category Second Listen Fall 2023

For this second listen, I’d like you to think about the musical lineage your song exists within. By lineage, I mean how songs connect to one another by theme, phrasing, direct reference, and so on. Sampling can be a part of a lineage, but sampling is also used for reasons other than thematic connection, such as, for the beat and to pay homage

For example, consider the lineage of: Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” –> Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” –> Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” –> Childish Gambino’s “This is America” –> Gary Clark, Jr.’s “This Land.” Each of these songs exists as a critique of America and one or more of its policies, with a direct reference either in the lyrics or the title. They hint at a connection, even though it is not overt. But, and this is key, knowing about the prior song(s) adds a new level of understanding to the other song and so on. They construct a history of critique.

Lineages can also have songs made in reaction to other songs. For example, The Beatles’ “Help!” –> The Damned’s, “Help!” Or, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “That’s How I Like It” –> Green Day’s “American Idiot.” Or, Neil Young’s “Southern Man” –> Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” In these examples, bands and their music lead to other bands, working against them.

So, for this listen, I’d like you to discuss 1 of your song’s lineages based on the subjects covered in your song. Create lineages of 3 – 5 songs and explore not just what connects them but how those connections enhance your understanding of your chosen song.

Be sure to choose the “Second Listen Fall 2023” category before posting.

Post due Friday, 9/29 by 11:00pm.

Second Listen: “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath

Which Songs Have Parallel Themes to “War Pigs” This Bob Dylan song was written/released at the height of the Cold War in 1963, and while the specific time-frame is different from the one discussed in “War Pigs”, the songs share… Continue Reading →

Second Listen – Lineage of Police Brutality and Racial Injustice

“Chains” (2015), By Usher ft. Nas & Bibi Bourelly was produced in response to the heightened killings of black Americans around the Nation. The pressing issue of police brutality and racial injustice is something that reached the public eye through many… Continue Reading →

From 1973-2023 – The Musical Lineage of “i” by Kendrick Lamar

The Musical Lineage of “i” by Kendrick Lamar “i” is a song that doesn’t have many obvious related songs that directly influenced its writing. Of course, this by far isn’t the first song dealing with gang violence in Compton and… Continue Reading →

Second Listen Fall 2023

Tupac Shakur’s Keep Ya Head Up is surely not the only old-school rap song that addresses topics ranging from misogynoir to police brutality to systemic oppression. It has long been a common misconception that rap degrades women, glamorizes gang culture,… Continue Reading →

Second Listen ~ Songs of Struggle: A Lineage of Racial Injustice and Identity

The song “The Blacker the Berry” by Kendrick Lamar part of deep and rich musical lineage that explores various themes regarding racial identity inequality, discrimination and social injustice. This lineage consists of songs that connect through their powerful commentary on… Continue Reading →

2nd Listen “Looking For Somebody (To Love)”

Although school shootings are a fairly new phenomenon, there have been plenty of songs discussing and addressing the social issue and what causes such a tragic event. I would like to discuss the lineage of Metallica’s “Ronnie” → P.O.D.’s “Youth… Continue Reading →

“Breakfast” Second Listen

“Breakfast” by Dove Cameron is an alternative pop song that focuses on empowering women and getting rid of the power dynamic between men and women. As I was searching for songs that encapsulated this idea in a similar way, I… Continue Reading →

Second Listen White Boy Bikini Kill

 Bikini Kill’s song, “White Boy” discusses toxic masculinity and how misogynic men are violent towards women. Kim Gordon, a female vocalist for Sonic Youth wrote a song called “Kool Thing” in the 1990s. Now, this was a bit before White… Continue Reading →

Second Listen – Butchered Tongue, Hozier (Emma Kelly)

Second Listen Lineage Zombie, The Cranberries -> Foreigner’s God, Hozier -> Butchered Tongue, Hozier “Zombie” “Zombie,” by The Cranberries, is one of the most recognizable contemporary protest songs. Written by an Irish band, about the heavy violence present in the… Continue Reading →

Second Listening Post- Lineage of Music

Killing In The Name Of (1992)→ The Kill (2001)  Fortunate Son (1969)–>The Kill (2001)  London Calling (1979)–> The Kill (2001)  The Kill (2001)–> B.Y.O.B (2005)    While every song listed above ties together an important lineage of anti-war music, perhaps… Continue Reading →

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