How Far Will You Go to Fight For Your Rights?
For centuries, musicians have used the power of song to buck the system and thumb their nose at the establishment.
During the medieval and Renaissance eras, jesters and minstrels employed by monarchs would entertain at court with music, jokes and storytelling; often mocking the king.
In the 1960’s counterculture, opinionated troubadours such as Bob Dylan warned “The Times They Are a-Changin”, while Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young condemned Vietnam and the Kent State killings with “Ohio”. Music as a form of protest was common back then from The Beatles with “Revolution” to the Stones with “Street Fighting Man”.
From U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” to John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance”, the world has been blessed by courageous musicians who dare to hold those in charge to account, challenge values and beliefs and stick it to the man through a song.
For years, Dave was a career musician based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia who never imagined that he would be so upset as to compose a protest song. But, that’s what went down after a year of getting the customer service runaround from a major corporation.
When the issue reached a breaking point in 2009, Dave decided to lampoon the injustice in a music video and upload it to a relatively new platform called YouTube. Little did he know how many viewers would identify with what he saw as United Airlines utter disregard for their own customers.
In many respects, this Canadian songwriter personifies the spirit of Big Little Legends; otherwise ordinary people and organizations that pack an extraordinary punch; making a dent in the market that is far above their weight class. This month marks the 10th anniversary of a tune that tackled a universal issue and still resonates to this day as we go backstage with Dave Carroll who composed the ultimate customer service complaint with “United Breaks Guitars” on Leaders & Legends.
“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight”.
In our current politically-correct culture, protest songs might become an endangered species since it’s become socially unacceptable to be critical of anyone these days. The magic of a great protest song, is that the lyrics are so pointed and specific that you can’t confuse it with spin or bullshit.
The earliest protest song I can remember was “War Pigs” from Ozzy Osbourne and early 70’s Black Sabbath. What are some of your favorite stand up-and-fight protest songs?
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