Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Music and Politics

One of my favorite News blogs (at least the is what I consider them) fivethirtyeight.com. I mention that because they are a Stats based site that writes about politics, sports, science & health, economics and pop culture.  They lend the power of statistics to stuff that we often think about.

A July 14 article, titled Hip Hop is Turning on Trump examined hip hop lyrics and how Trump and Clinton are referenced in rap music.

I thought this article was interesting because I was surprised by the response of many of the comments.  I left a comment;

I'm not a fan of most rap (surprise I'm sure to some people who think that Black people are a monilith) but I would also like to know if other music geners make political references, I know that early blues and folk music were often political, and I would guess that a lot of country and western music also have political messages. It would be cool to see you all do some stats on other music genres. Good article, keep up the good work.
Which brings me to a few blues / folk songs that have politics as their theme.

Woody Guthrie -- I Ain't Got No Home/Old Man Trump by the Missin' Cousins - This song is very interesting, From the YouTube notes, "Woody Guthrie wrote these lyrics in 1951, and 65 years later, the Missin' Cousins, a County-Western music group from Oakland California, present a recording of these new lyrics to I Ain't Got No Home in this World Anymore."

Mr. Hitler - Leadbelly - (notes from YouTube) "Huddie William Ledbetter(Lead Belly or Leadbelly, January 1888 December 6, 1949) was an American folk and blues musician. This song was recorded in 1942.

Big Bill Broonzy - I Wonder When I Will be Called a Man - Includes the lyrics.

John Lee Hooker - Welfare Blues 

Jimmy Dawkins - Walfare Blues  

BB King - Why I Sing the Blues

Some lite reading on the subject;

wikipedia Music and politics Nice overview.

5 best blues songs with political slants Songs by Woodie Guthrie

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