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Need help for a project


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I am a teacher and I want to make up a project for my students. The idea for the project is taking a song that has a social/political/protest statement and research the meaning of the lyrics (what they really mean), when it was written, why it was written, what was going on at the time etc. I need a list of a bunch of songs and some resources ie/ websites that I can have my students go to to find the true meaning. It's for a civics class and I think it would be fun. I do know of some songs like many Rage against the machine songs, U2 but I was hoping to get more. Any help anyone can give me would be very much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to view my posting. :help:

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Bob Dylan is a great social/protest songwriter:

- "Blowin' in the Wind"

- "The Times They Are A Changin'"

- "Masters of War"

- "With God on Our Side"


- "Rockin? in the Free World" ? Neil Young

- "Get Up, Stand Up" - Bob Marley

- "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" ? Kingston Trio

- "I Ain?t Marching Anymore" ? Phil Ochs

- "Born in the USA" ? Bruce Springsteen

R.E.M., I think, did quite a few protests songs as well.

One good song interpretation site is allmusic.com.

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I understand "American Pie" has a lot of historical references, even though Don McLean has never actually sat down and clarified what exactly he's singing about. It's a wonderful song, that's been open to interpretation for probably 30 years.

I have my own ideas, though. For instance:

And there we were all in one place,

A generation lost in space.

I take this to mean the entire world watching as Apollo XIII

was trying to get back home after their disaster. I vaguely remember this as a child. Anyway, that's how I interpret those particular lyrics. That's what's so enticing about the song. It's open for discussion. Plus, for young ones, it may get them into history through music.

'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' by Gordon Lightfoot is also a great song, about factual events. it's all right there in the song. the people, the peril, the geography, etc. A beautifully haunting ballad.

Sorry, I just realized you were looking for something else.....sorry. But they're good songs, anyway.

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The Manic Street Preachers- If you tolarate this, your children will be next.

*From manics NL site*

**During the spanish civil war (1936-1939) people from countries all over the world came to spain to fight against franco's fascist forces. they were called to their 'moral duty' to fight against franco's armiES by several pamPHlets. The slogan 'If you tolerate this your children will be next' was printed on a REPUBLICAN pamphlet to call english men to join the war. On this pamflet a picture WAS printed of a child ill-cheated by the fascists.

the song if you tolerate this your children will be next is about the spanish civil war and the positive ethos of principles people had in that time.**

-If America told the truth for one day, its world would fall apart- the manic street preachers

*From manics nl site*

**"If America told the truth for one day, its world would fall apart" --lenny bruce was one of America's most visible victims of censorship. He spent much of his professional career fighting criminal charges of indecency and obscenity and trying to find work when he had been blacklisted. But hardly a mere loudmouth, bruce turned comedy and indecency into a philosophy, a way of living and a symbol of the dangers of censorship. he died August 3, 1966 of a morphine overdose.**

Manics NL

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In one of my sociology classes at university, my professor did a lecture on "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield. I don't remember all the details but I do remember it being one of his most interesting lectures - he even sang the song! But no matter what songs you decide on, you should let them have a choice. I always enjoyed having some option when I was a student.

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