By: Alyssa Trybus


The two songs I am considering to spotlight for my protest anthem podcast are “I’m Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks and “I Want to Break Free” by Queen.


I’m Not Ready to Make Nice” – Dixie Chicks

The music begins and I immediately noticed the minor sound and simple strumming of a guitar. With the first refrain comes more instruments, and voices harmonizing with the lead singer, filling the framework created with the guitar. A section of dramatic chords from orchestra instruments make the last refrain really powerful until the song finishes with just the guitar. The singer’s closing statement “I’m still waiting” comes a decrescendo which fades out ending the song with a quiet sadness that acts as a call to action for the listener.

At first listen, the lyrics in the refrain are what stand out to me as the strongest most important message. I have noticed that this is something I remember most from the listen of any song, probably because this is the most repetitive portion.

The lead singer has a gritty, emotional tone that is honest and expresses her emotion.

The message The Dixie Chicks ultimately communicate is the story of someone who stood up for something that she believed in, and still does, without caring about the consequences. This message is especially expressed in lines like, “I’ve paid a price, and I’ll keep paying”and “It’s too late to make it right, I probably wouldn’t if I could”. The subject of the song has faced hardships because she spoke out, but she feels that her actions are justified and right. Although she caused controversy, she expresses no remorse and has no regrets. The song closes with the lyrics “I’m still waiting” insinuating the progress that she hopes to make in getting over the controversy that sparked her combative words.




I Want to Break Free” – Queen

The melody was stuck in my head all day. It clear why this song was a hit, because both the lyrics and the music really resonated with me. It begins with a super dramatic introduction created with a synthesizer. The bouncy background of the song then starts leading into the first lyrics,“I Want to Break Free”. The lyrics have a simple message that can be applied to countless situations. They are relatable and extremely repetitive. The line, “I want to break free” is repeated so many times that there is no question as to the theme of the song is. The repetition suggests how important it is for the singer to leave his current situation and also how difficult it can be to get out of tough times.

Freddie Mercury has an iconic voice that I would characterize as powerful and unparalleled. His unique voice goes right along with the tone of the song about breaking free, as he breaks apart from the pack with his voice alone, before even analyzing his individuality in personality, fashion, etc

The clear overarching message is that of “breaking free”, being held down in a relationship and wanting to escape. In the second verse it focuses specifically on a romantic relationship, referencing falling in love, but the general message can be applied to the feeling of wanting to leave any toxic relationship, as the lyrics mention breaking free of lies and saying “I don’t need you” to this person. Context plays a huge role in this song contributing to the protest aspect of the message, which I would really like to delve into later.