Music and Politics
How Popular Music Expresses Political Messages
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Music is around people every day. Whether it’s coming through an iPod, or on a television commercial, or even a musician in the subway, it is a relevant part of our lives. As artists gain a fan base, and develop their craft, more meaning comes through their product, influencing their culture. Once artists have a following, they can certainly relay any message to their audience. Through artist’s lyrics, power and their personal believes, popular music can express political messages, whether it’s rebelling politics, protesting war, or helping a worldly cause. Artists with a large following can express their politics through their lyrics and the message is heard loud and clear. It wasn’t, and still isn’t, uncommon for artists to oppose the government in their music. Once The Beatles rose to the top, their fans worshiped each song they produced. In their 1966 song ‘Taxman,’ George Harrison wrote, “There’s one for you, nineteen for me. ‘Cause I’m the taxman,” (The Beatles) negatively speaking of the way British government gets money. This is a song that was not only relevant in 1966, but still today, taxes are too high, and there’s not much to show where common people’s money are going. As an upbeat and catchy song, people could sing and relate to it, and also be angry at the tax system. Billy Bragg’s, in his song ‘It Says Here,’ expresses his idea of the British government being unfair, and failing to be the democracy it promised to be. He points out the issue of how the press at that time wasn’t as informative as he wished; only printing articles of the prince and other unimportant information concerning the common people’s lives. People got his message, because of his lyrics. Artists all over gained inspiration from their dislike of the government, and their fans would sing along agreeing with them. Another common message songs sent were...
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