Monday, July 02, 2018

Great Protest Music Creates A Community Of The Future

The most consequential protest songs get referenced again and again for a reason: their power, both felt and understood, never dies. Music critic Greil Marcus heard an old song on the radio that he’d never heard before. Against doo-wop harmonies and wandering guitar arpeggios, a woman crooned, “It isn’t nice to block the doorway / It isn’t nice to go to jail / There are nicer ways to do it, but the nice ways always fail.” It was “It Isn’t Nice,” released by Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers in 1966.

According to Marcus the song “creates a community of the dead, but it also creates a community of the future.” If a protest song lasts, it’s because it wills such a community into existence.

Read more: The Atlantic

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