Friday thread: Embeddable anxiety

Friday again. Time to lighten up and start chilling out in advance of the weekend? In anxious days like these?

Maybe the soundtrack is less Van-the-man and more Dead Kennedys?  Well, every cloud has a silvery lining. For the past 20-30 years or so, politics seems to have developed a safer veneer, and this has been reflected in a more anodyne mainstream music scene. Elections don’t seem to have been about quite as much once The End of History had been declared and agit-pop has been fairly quiet accordingly.

If ‘may you live in interesting times’ is a curse, personally, I’d at least be happy about the soundtrack.

Here’s the best embeddable political angst I’ve been able to find with a quick scan around YouTube – all originating from the 1970s and early 1980s – let me know if there are any other suitable videos that fit the bill and I’ll add them.

In a bizarre recent twist, the riff from The Gang of Four‘s anti-consumerist classic Natural’s Not In It has been used by Microsoft X-Box for their ads. Probably fair game after it was used for the Marie Antoinette soundtrack?

Here’s Jello Biafra et al:

And lastly, a bit of authentic anti-Nixon rage from earlier in that decade from Gil Scott-Heron. It starts off with a bit of political personality baiting, but give it time – the final two or three minutes are furious:

(Little known fact: His dad was the first black Celtic player!)

Any more suggestions to add here?

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  • pippakin

    The late sixties and seventies were the heyday of the protest songs. I’m surprised you didn’t look at Bob Dylan, Joan Baez etc.

    Three wheels on my wagon springs to mind. If I remember correctly its by Barry McGuire. A bit ‘pop’ but no one can say we are currently driving on all four wheels…

  • Bob Dylan? Joan Baez?

    Protest songs my arse. More like a fairly persuasive argument for the re-introduction of conscription….

  • RepublicanStones

    This more recent angry effort, the ridiculous chorus aside….

    CCR’s ‘Fortunate Son’, whilst at the tail end of the 60’s captured a generations angst.

  • pippakin

    Paul Evans

    Really! and how old are you? The sixties and seventies saw real protests not the namby pamby well organised scuffles they have today. Dylan and Baez led the field in anti Vietnam, anti establishment songs.

    Not saying they were all good but they made and left a mark unequalled since.

    Find ‘With God on my Side’! Do you not know that the sixties and seventies are when folk music became ‘contemporary’.

    Conscription? they had that in the US!!!

  • Mayoman

    Surely Woody Guthrie is the ‘King’. Can you beat this verse for the present times?

    Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

    Pretty Boy Floyd

  • pippakin

    Yes! Woodie Guthrie was one of the greats!

  • oneill

    Wasted Life SLF- dedicated to anyone who’s grown up on any of the the E Belfast Sinks:

    The Clash.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    It all depends on the age of the person.
    We all think we invented music…….and protest.
    There was actually no music after 1969. For those of you who like History (ok ….none of you) the Norn Iron Troubles broke out on the same day that our American contemporaries were heading to Woodstock.
    No music……well except for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt (sigh) and Emmylou Harris (bigger sigh)……and eventually Steve Earle.

    But if its really about annoying parents as good songs should be then “The Times They Are A Changin'” (Dylan) gave my late father the vapours.
    “Eve of Destruction” (Barry McGuire) remains the classic.
    Incidently “Three Wheels on My Wagon” was nota McGuire solo……he was the lead singer in the New Christy Minstrels version.
    Various NCM singers went on to fame with The Byrds, Mamas and Papas, the Association and Kenny Rogers.
    Their repetoire included several songs related to the Slave “underground railway” prior to the american Civil War……I suppose if youre gonna have a protest song it might as well be about something more significant than teenage angst in the western world.
    And while we are at it Joe Hills anniversary was last week…thats a good song.
    But basically in the FJH household it is always the summer of 1967…….and some day I will get away to San Francisco and introduce myself to several hippy ladies……oops Ive said too much.
    (on the other hand they are as old as I am)

  • pippakin


    Thanks for the Barry McGuire info I had forgotten. How the years roll by!

    1967? If you’re going to San Francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair? Haight Ashbury I think.

  • wee buns

    Bring on the weekend.

    1950 Ozie Waters: Old Man Atom:

    Peter, Paul & Mary: If I had a hammer:

  • Mayoman

    Forgot a massive one from the late 18th century. Rabbie Burns A Man’s A Man for A’ That

    Paolo Nuitini gives it a modern twist here:

    Is there for honest Poverty
    That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
    The coward slave-we pass him by,
    We dare be poor for a’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
    Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
    The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
    The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
    A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
    For a’ that, and a’ that,
    Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
    The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
    Is king o’ men for a’ that.

    Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
    Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
    Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
    He’s but a coof for a’ that:
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
    The man o’ independent mind
    He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

    A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
    But an honest man’s abon his might,
    Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their dignities an’ a’ that;
    The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
    Are higher rank than a’ that.

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    (As come it will for a’ that,)
    That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
    Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    It’s coming yet for a’ that,
    That Man to Man, the world o’er,
    Shall brothers be for a’ that.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Yes Scott McKenzie. I was slightly too young. Well thats my excuse.
    The “protest era” I suppose pre-dated the 1967 Summer of Love as the Dylan/Baez era kinda linked Greenwich Village beatnik folk type thing to the Hippy generation.
    I suppose all the Hippy thing was …….Greenwich Village moving to the West Coast.

  • What about one of your own in lead meme …..