Tag Archives: political songs

The Best Political Songs of All Time

The Political Studies Association is polling the greatest political songs of all times to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The list they’ve compiled is good. It includes the following:

Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin: “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves”
Anon: “Bella Ciao”
Barry McGuire: “Eve of Destruction”
Billie Holiday: “Strange Fruit”
Billy Bragg: “Which Side Are You On?”
Bob Dylan: “The Times They Are a-Changin'”
Bob Marley: “Redemption Song”
Bruce Springsteen: “Born in the USA”
Carl Bean: “I Was Born This Way”
Cecil A Spring-Rice: “I vow to thee my country”
Charles A Tindley: “We Shall Overcome”
Charly García: “Nos siguen pegando abajo”
Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle: “La Marseillaise”
Donovan: “Universal Soldier”
Edwin Starr: “War”
Elvis Costello: “Tramp the Dirt Down”
Enoch Sontonga: “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”
Eugène Pottier: “The Internationale”
Fela Kuti: “Zombie”
Gil Scott Heron: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
Horst Wessel: “Die Fahne hoch”
Jim Connell: “The Red Flag”
John Lennon: “Imagine”
Joni Mitchell: “Big Yellow Taxi”
Leonard Cohen: “The Partisan”
Li Youyuan: “The East is Red (???)”
Marvin Gaye: “What’s Going on?”
Midnight Oil: “Beds Are Burning”
Nena: “99 Luftballons”
Nina Simone: “Mississippi Goddam”
Pete Seeger: “Where have all the flowers gone?”
Peter Gabriel: “Biko”
Plastic Ono Band: “Give Peace a Chance”
Public Enemy: “Fight the Power”
Randy Newman: “Political Science”
Rage Against the Machine: “Killing in the Name”
Robert Wyatt: “Shipbuilding”
Rolling Stones: “Gimme Shelter”
Sex Pistols: “God Save the Queen”
The Beatles: “Revolution”
The Clash: “Know Your Rights”
The Cranberries: “Zombie”
The Jam: “Eton Rifles”
The Police: “Invisible Sun”
The Special AKA: “Free Nelson Mandela”
The Strawbs: “Part of the Union”
Tracy Chapman: “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution”
U2: “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
UB40: “1 in 10”
Verdi: “Chorus of Hebrew Slaves”
Victor Jara: “Te Recuerdo Amanda”
William Blake: “Jerusalem”
Woody Guthrie: “This Land Is Your Land”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the list is generally biased towards the United States and Western Europe, with few inclusions from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. There’s also not much on the list from the last decade or so.

It’s a pretty good start. But visit the blog’s site and let them know what you think is missing.