Songs Speaks About US – Post Fourth Reflection

July 5th, 2012


My brief 236th anniversary reflection incorporates – what else – music.

I caught a great set of questions from Dorian Lynskey in her book – on our summer reading list33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day (caught this on page 5 of my e-book):

Does a protest song enliven the politics and the music both, or merely cheapen them? Can its musical merits be separated from its social significance, or does the latter always obscure and distort the former? Does it really have the power to change minds, let alone policies? Does it convey a vital issue to a whole new audience or travesty it by reducing it to a few lines, setting it to a tune, and performing it to people who may or may not give a damn?  Is it, fundamentally, a gripping and necessary art form or just bad art and lousy entertainment?

I only ask if the people who put these songs together are the true and tough patriots? And, are these really their love songs?

And – of course – the 236 Anniversary Playlist.


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