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Songs of Peace and Protest   Tags: 1960s, 60s, folk, music, protest, sixties, songs  

People associate the music of the 1960s with youthful uprisings and civil rights, but the folk song addressing social issues dates back much farther than Pete Seeger and continues to today, not only in the United States but in many parts of the world.
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Labor Songs

  • Union Maid (Woody Guthrie)
    Video of Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger singing Woody Guthrie's song, with footage of strikes.
  • Union Maid
    Performance by Billy Bragg, Dar Williams, Mike & Ruthy Merenda, and the New York City Labor Chorus on the occasion of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday.
  • The Worker's Anvil (Lyrical Legacy/Library of Congress)
    "In the 1870s and 1880s, hundreds of thousands of American workers joined unions or other labor organizations to bargain for better pay and greater workplace safety, sometimes striking—refusing to work to convince employers to agree to their demands." Click to read more.

Anti-War Songs

Environmental Songs

  • The Last Leviathan / Last of the Great Whales (Andy Barnes)
    Many people have performed Andy Barnes' protest of whale hunting, including Angels in Daring and Celtic Crossroads; this recording by The Dubliners is accompanied by some graphic images of whales and whale hunting.
  • Metal Drums (Patty Larkin)
    This song illustrates the devastating effects of toxic waste dumping, with descriptions of children unknowingly playing in contaminated fields, and the spread of cancer throughout the community.

We Shall Overcome

Social Justic Songs

Nueva Cancion

  • Preguntas por Puerto Montt (Victor Jara, Chile)
    Preguntas por Puerto Montt (Questions about the massacre of Puerto Montt) is a song protesting the massacre of a community of squatters in a stretch of wasteland in Chile. After being told they could stay undisturbed, 91 families were attacked by 250 armed police. 11 died, including a 9-month-old baby, and many more were injured.
  • Solo le pido a Dios (León Gieco)
    Classic live version by renowned Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa. Recently, Bruce Springsteen has sung this song and Victor Jara's Manifiesto in bilingual versions.
  • Venceremos ("We Shall Triumph")
    The campaign anthem for Salvador Allende, leading up to the Chilean coup in 1973. This song was also recorded by Inti Illimani, which remained in exile in Italy for over a decade following the coup.

Lists of Songs


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