A Playlist You Won’t Protest


The Music of Dissent

Dissent is such an intrinsic part of American culture. Our whole society is built around the idea of improving our values to better represent and protect our people. Books, speeches, articles, and essays have long represented dissenting opinions, but perhaps the most widely recognized and distributed form of dissent is music.


From political leaders, wars, and racism to gender rights and marriage equality, pop musicians through the ages have fought for a wide variety of social issues. So in honor of our recent title On Dissent, we’ve created a playlist for you featuring some of the greatest protest songs from the 1960s to today.

1) I Ain’t Marching Any More, Phil Ochs (1965)

2) Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud, James Brown (1968)

3) What’s going on, Marvin Gaye (1971)

4) Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen (1984)

5) Fight the Power, Public Enemy (1989)

6) Swimsuit Issue, Sonic Youth (1992)

7) The General, Dispatch (1998)

8) American Idiot, Green Day (2004)

9) Not Ready to Make Nice, Dixie Chicks (2006)

10) Same Love, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert (2012)

To find out more about the role of dissent in America, check out the Cambridge Book Club for On Dissent.

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