Friday, September 07, 2007

Music and Social Change

Right here by Swarthmore, there is I-476, commonly called the Blue Route. It was a planned (and then new) route when my friend Becky was a student here, and she reports that there was discontent about its development. I'm sure it destroyed homes and businesses and beautiful land. "We sang folk songs against the Blue Route," she reports. Well, THAT helped -insert eyeroll here! So, okay, we probably suspected that in social change, music is neither necessary nor sufficient.

But, it can surely make a difference. It can be empowering, even if it's just my (already plenty powerful) mother barreling down the freeway, listening to Helen Reddy singing "I Am Woman". (Mom's tastes got kind of frozen in the 70s. Give her a break.) Or there's the equally ridiculous fact that I would sing my baby son to sleep with "We Shall Overcome". Or, for some slightly less silly examples, there's Farm Aid and Live Earth and Negro spirituals....

So, bearing in mind the twin truths that we have to do a lot more than sing, and that singing can inform a culture, here are some songs for peace:

  • Those Three Are On My Mind; Kim Harris and the Magpies
  • Well May the World Go; Pete Seeger
  • He Was My Brother; Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • Flags of Freedom; Neil Young
  • Direct Action; Ani DiFranco and Utah Phillips
  • What Did You Learn in School Today?; Peter Seeger
  • What Made America Famous?;Harry Chapin
  • My Name is Lisa Kalvelage; Ani DiFranco
  • The Torn Flag; John Trudell
  • Lord Help the Poor and Needy; Kate Campbell

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

Hi, Andrea! I just noticed I had lost you... How observant I am!

So, I got to thinking, what's going on with Andrea these days? and I realized I hadn't read anything of yours for quite awhile. You fell off my bloglines list somehow. Months ago, apparently. Duh!

Now I have to go back and read your last couple of months of posts... But I'm too bushed at the moment. Anyhow, I'll get notice of any new posts outta ya...

Lisa :-]