All Things Music, Social Justice, and Protest

Category Second Listen Spring 2021

For this second listen, I’d like you to think about the musical lineage your song exists within, just as we considered in class on Wednesday, 3/3. 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.

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” –> Green Day’s “American Idiot” –> Childish Gambino’s “This is America” –> to J.S. Ondara’s “American Dream.” 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 2 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 Spring 2021” category before posting.

Post due 5/3 by 11:00pm.

“What About Us”: Lineages

“What About Us” by Pink mirrors the pain and grief of many Americans who feel abandoned and unheard by today’s society. This song sheds an important light on the political issues that are faced everyday, especially those who struggle with… Continue Reading →


AmeriKKKas Most Wanted- by Ice Cube LAND OF THE FREE- Joey Bada$$ Land of the free- the killers   The album that THE LAND OF THE FREE is featured in is called ALL AMERIKKKAN BADASS. The three Ks in the… Continue Reading →

Lineages – “Hunger” by Florence and The Machine

The two lineages that I find to be most interesting that my songs connect to is the theme of eating disorders or self-love and acceptance and the word choices used. In the song Hunger the word hunger is used to… Continue Reading →

2nd Lineage: Cough Syrup

Glee’s rendition of “Cough Syrup” discusses the themes of sexual identity, bullying, mental health, and suicide. As said before, “cough Syrup is a metaphor for temporary relief. My playlist consisted of a variety of themes. For my second post, I… Continue Reading →

Chanel: Lineage

Frank Ocean’s visual album Endless was released August 19, 2016, seven months before Chanel and four years after his last album.  In every interview during and after this time when asked if he is making anything he always says Yes,… Continue Reading →

“The Man” Lineages

“The Man” by Taylor Swift highlights the idea of inequality amongst men in women in many aspects of daily life. Throughout the song she goes through different scenarios of how men and women’s lives differ even though it is now… Continue Reading →

“Make Me Feel” Lineage

“Make Me Feel” is a fun and infectious pop anthem that celebrates the fluidity of sexuality and is a clear statement of freedom, strength and evolution. There is undoubtedly the musical influence of Michael Jackson and Prince present in many… Continue Reading →

“I Can’t Breathe” Lineage

In my last post I analyzed H.E.R’s “I Can’t Breathe” which is a song dedicated to speaking out and against the racial inequality and police brutality going on in America currently and in the past. Given that the message is… Continue Reading →

“Female” Song Lineage

Keith Urban’s song, “Female,” tackles the intense issue of sexism — which is not something most male country singers sing about. When trying to figure out the song lineage for this song, it was certainly a challenge because Keith Urban… Continue Reading →

“Crooked Smile” Lineage

“Crooked Smile” Is a song with more than one meaning. While the lyrics deal with womens insecurities the music video shows the harsh reality of the War on Drugs. The music video came at a time when the media lacked… Continue Reading →

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