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
- 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.
- The Fiddle and the Drum (Joni Mitchell)
With lyrics and a recording from the album on which it first appeared, Clouds.
- Where Have All the Flowers Gone (Pete Seeger)
This song was performed by many artists, including Peter, Paul and Mary, here, and the mainstream popular group the Kingston Trio.
- Draft Dodger Rag (Phil Ochs)
Phil Ochs wrote hundreds of "topical" songs in the 1960s and 1970s. He was active in the peace movement along with Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and others, and at one time was considered as important as Dylan.
- I Ain't Marching Anymore (Phil Ochs)
"It's always the old to lead us to the wars, it's always the young who fall... Call it peace or call it treason, call it love or call it reason, but I ain't marchin' anymore."
- 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.
These articles are available on campus and to KUA users off campus with a password.
- 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.