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Rllink
01-20-2017, 06:38 AM
When they were giving away ukuleles at the festival in Minnesota in November my wife told me that if she won a ukulele that she would learn to play it. She did win a ukulele. I knew that it wouldn't take much for her to learn to play. By the time the evening was over she had a half dozen chords learned and was strumming away. I've had trouble getting her out on the street corner to play though. She just isn't into busking. But today, at exactly 10:30 EST, she took to the streets and we played and sang protest songs for forty five minutes during the San Sebastian festival here. It was fun, and we were well received by passer-bys. ;)

Cornfield
01-20-2017, 06:42 AM
I've had a similar experience. When I play in public, people protest.

Joyful Uke
01-20-2017, 07:20 AM
Motivation is a powerful thing.

From what I've read, funding for the arts may be slashed. Perhaps busking will help keep music in the public mind (and ears) and keep the arts alive and well.

3j0hn
01-20-2017, 08:02 AM
Coincidentally, (not really) I have been looking for a good collection of protest songs in uke friendly keys. Lots of good songs out there, but I haven't been able to find them conveniently collected.

JackLuis
01-20-2017, 08:59 AM
Coincidentally, (not really) I have been looking for a good collection of protest songs in uke friendly keys. Lots of good songs out there, but I haven't been able to find them conveniently collected.

Seasons of the Ukulele just had a Season of Protest a few weeks ago. And yesterday in #257 Hieno from Germany Did "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag." CCR's "Fortunate Son" is pretty easy and of course Woody Guthrie.

Check out #248. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124006-Season-248-Protest-Songs had 52 entries.
Play List https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKOGPU3X_TVMK8pwWAt1aQ9I8ENvZSokw

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124244-Seasonistas-Play-Songs-of-Peace-Protest-And-Redemption.

Google is your friend too.

UkieOkie
01-20-2017, 09:57 AM
I've had a similar experience. When I play in public, people protest.

Hahahahaha

zztush
01-20-2017, 10:48 AM
I am listening Lightnin' Hopkins now. Yes. protest song today and next 4 years, plz!

DownUpDave
01-20-2017, 11:54 AM
I've had a similar experience. When I play in public, people protest.

Good one John......I don't mind so much when they protest. It's when they chase me off with sticks that my feels get hurt.

PhilUSAFRet
01-20-2017, 12:54 PM
Hoping politics doesn't creep into this thread.

3j0hn
01-20-2017, 01:55 PM
Hoping politics doesn't creep into this thread.
If they do, feel free to protest.

Rllink
01-21-2017, 04:16 AM
If they do, feel free to protest.

Good one. :agree:

Booli
01-21-2017, 06:37 AM
Hoping politics doesn't creep into this thread.

Me too. So tired of all of that on TV. Let's keep this place focused on ukes and music...:)

Rllink
01-21-2017, 11:25 AM
Me too. So tired of all of that on TV. Let's keep this place focused on ukes and music...:)Well, I don't mean for this to turn political and offend anyone's sensitivities, but I spent much of the late sixties and early seventies otherwise occupied, so I missed out on the whole protest movement and the music that came out of it. I've been waiting a long time for the opportunity to sing protest songs. But seriously, politics aside, singing protest songs with nothing to protest is just sort of meaningless, isn't it?

JackLuis
01-21-2017, 01:17 PM
LOL at this thread, I love a good protest song that is clever. "Alice's Restaurant," "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag," and "Favorite Son" are among my fav's. They take me back to my past and remind me that protest has been a tradition in music stretching into my heritage many generations. I love Woody Guthrie's stuff, though he was pretty much before my time. Pete Seger, Burl Ives, and a host of others kept the tradition going. Musical Advocacy is a millennia old tradition, probably stretching back to the first harps.

I have a dream of 100,000 Ukulele players descending on Washington DC, demanding Congress do their jobs for the people and Senators running away from just the sound of a Ukulele playing "All We Need Is Love," in the the night around the Congressional Office building. LOL

JackLuis
01-21-2017, 01:18 PM
Double post, sorry.

We need a new generation of protest songs and song writers to stir the pot.

Joyful Uke
01-21-2017, 03:12 PM
A song like The Beatles' Blackbird is a lovely version of a protest song.

And Alice's Restaurant gets played every year on Thanksgiving on a local radio station. Even though I could go out to YT and listen any time, it's fun to make a point of catching it on the radio.

Some great music (IMO Blackbird is one) has come out of protests. In fact, I think I'll go play Blackbird now. (Thanks, Chief, for your tab for that.)

Joyful Uke
01-21-2017, 03:23 PM
Oops, somehow this got double posted. Sorry about that.

OhioBelle
01-21-2017, 03:30 PM
I just learned how to Travis pick! And have been playing "Blowin' in the Wind" all day.

No harmonica, though.

lakesideglenn
01-21-2017, 03:58 PM
Hoping politics doesn't creep into this thread.

Why on earth would you say that Phil???

Jim Yates
01-21-2017, 06:26 PM
The song book Rise Up Singing and its follow up book Rise Again, have plenty of great protest songs as well as love songs, kids' songs, old standards, traditional folk songs, singer/songwriter songs. . . Each book has lyrics and chords to 1200 songs. The melodies are not given, but many tunes are available on YouTube and many are familiar.

Jim Yates
01-21-2017, 06:59 PM
https://newsone.com/1460645/top-10-civil-rights-protest-songs-of-all-time/
Here are someone's idea of the top ten protest songs. See what you think.

Rllink
01-22-2017, 02:26 AM
Protesting is a political activity. So if you are talking about a serious protest, it may be in breach of the UU rules. However, singing protest songs and playing along with your ukulele is realistically a recreational activity, or like a fancy dress party with a 60s theme. Which is what UU is about.
If you watch footage of serious protests, there are no musical instruments, apart from one or two carried by organisers or by people who are very good at playing the instruments. If you go down to the corner and belt out some protest songs on your ukulele, it will be very cute, but I doubt it will be taken very seriously. Sadly, it has suddenly become fashionable to start protesting, like a fad. It is a pity because fads come and go and there are plenty of reasons to get out and seriously protest (on a another platform, not UU) at the moment.

So Bill, are you saying that music is not a valid form of protest? That's an interesting perspective. And that all those protest singers from the sixties and seventies had no influence on the issues. I would have to disagree, I think that music has been a form of social expression for as long as people have been singing. I might add that a good number of people stopped and joined in with us. And the next day a good number of those, commented in passing on how much they enjoyed the songs, and also they wanted to talk about things that we are not allowed to discuss here. And if we only got a few people to think about something that they would not have thought about otherwise, then our message was much more powerful than apathy.

But I'll admit that I wondered about whether I should make this thread because of the ban on politics, which I do agree with to some extent. I wondered if it is possible to separate the politics from the music, and I thought maybe not. But if not, then do we ban a whole genre of music from discussion here? It is a question that we will have to see where it goes. But before my first ukulele even showed up, I knew that I wanted to play those songs, and as I said above, protest songs without protest is pretty much meaningless. And at the risk of being censored, I find plenty of injustice to protest over four decades later.

kkimura
01-22-2017, 03:40 AM
Dunno much about protest songs but when Joan covers a song, it takes on a certain lean.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsOhTmCiwBs

JackLuis
01-22-2017, 03:50 AM
I came across a new protest song in the news this morning from the Women's March on Washington yesterday. Sung to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which is in itself a call to action from the Civil War. Very catchy lyrics. BHotR is a good base for marching lyrics.

Here is a YT of it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3XjPYnVk_I), as an example of the way to use BHotR as a base. Sorry if it offends anyone.

Yankey Doddle is a advocacy song, yet is couched in shrouded lyrics that make it seem innocuous, unless you understand the context.

Rllink
01-22-2017, 05:17 AM
Is music a valid form of protest? The eternal argument.I didn't know that it was and eternal argument. I had never heard it argued before now. Interesting, I'll have to check it out.

Cornfield
01-22-2017, 05:22 AM
Here is a great list: Golden Protest


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa-50ZYvHPw

Croaky Keith
01-22-2017, 05:27 AM
Dunno much about protest songs but when Joan covers a song, it takes on a certain lean.

I've always loved her voice, protest song or not. :)

plastuku
01-22-2017, 09:35 AM
I didn't know that it was and eternal argument. I had never heard it argued before now. Interesting, I'll have to check it out.
I suppose that in one sense, music transcends politics, as a 'universal language.' In this light, we should, I think, be free to offer protest songs simply as music, and help others learn them. We just have to play nice and keep our focus on the music, and refrain from commenting on the politics itself.

But of course, music has also always been used as a political tool.

Booli
01-22-2017, 10:44 AM
ok folks, it's been fun, and it's been real...hasta luego!

zztush
01-22-2017, 11:19 AM
Hi, Rllink! Add this song in your protest song list! This song is key of C original.

https://s29.postimg.org/wre7vtq9z/Untitled_Recovered.png (https://postimg.org/image/ck0s3issj/)photoupload (https://postimage.org/)

actadh
01-22-2017, 01:06 PM
The song list is probably dependent on whoever puts together the playlist, as well as the occasion.

I was at the Womens March on West Virginia yesterday. The recorded music started about 11 and went through about 3:30. Many of the songs were repeated.

What was interesting was that a few songs were spur of the moment, played off people's phones/ipads/tablets through the sound system, and then the participants sang along.

Bread and Roses was popular, was played often, and was sung as we started the march around the state capitol complex.

Lean on Me was played often as well. Bill Withers is from Slab Fork, WV so that was a big part of the popularity, and contributed to the sense of community.

And, it was rather stirring to be a part of a linked arm circle on the state capitol steps as we sang Country Roads.


https://youtu.be/4QYofn53hqI

zztush
01-22-2017, 02:40 PM
And, it was rather stirring to be a part of a linked arm circle on the state capitol steps as we sang Country Roads.

Very cool. Country roads unites the people together in West Virginia. I love Country roads.

Rllink
01-23-2017, 04:15 AM
The song list is probably dependent on whoever puts together the playlist, as well as the occasion.

I was at the Womens March on West Virginia yesterday. The recorded music started about 11 and went through about 3:30. Many of the songs were repeated.

What was interesting was that a few songs were spur of the moment, played off people's phones/ipads/tablets through the sound system, and then the participants sang along.

Bread and Roses was popular, was played often, and was sung as we started the march around the state capitol complex.

Lean on Me was played often as well. Bill Withers is from Slab Fork, WV so that was a big part of the popularity, and contributed to the sense of community.

And, it was rather stirring to be a part of a linked arm circle on the state capitol steps as we sang Country Roads.



I've never thought of Country Roads as a protest song, but it sure can be. I sing and play that song all the time, so I'll add it to my protest playlist.

Nickie
01-23-2017, 05:50 AM
Applause to you who attended a Woman's March! I wanted to go but have been experiencing so much foot pain, it hurts a lot to walk very far. Anyway, enough boo hooing.
I've always thought of Country Roads as a great Country Music song, one of the few I actually like. We've done it often in our jams.
My Daddy's fave was "Little Boxes on the Hillside". I don't recall who write/recorded it. I recall he and my uncle singing and playing it on guitar. As a little tyke, I was fascinated. My Daddy was very unconventional, sometimes not to our benefit.
My fave has long been John Lennon's Imagine. I don't give a rip what anybody says, I think we could all live like that, and be way better off.
A fellow church goer started an argument with me yesterday, he said that talk of peaceful protest didn't belong in church. I told him he was protesting by saying that.
I believe that music is a grand way to protest hate, greed, fear, and war. The songs we've mentioned here have been a big part in stirring people's hearts to action. The Yuval Ron Ensemble is just one group of many, touring the world and spreading a message of hope, love, and peace.
Yesterday we got to hear and meet Four Shillings Short, a fabulous duo that plays 30 instruments! Their finale was a song about spreading universal love, one I certainly intend to learn (we were so enamored we bought 4 of their CDs)

Jim Yates
01-24-2017, 08:14 AM
Bob Snider writes some great songs, but this is the first time I've heard him do a protest song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUH013avhjw

BluesPreacher
01-24-2017, 08:47 AM
Not to wax too esoteric, out there or weird, but in a way any song is a protest song, or can be. When a person opens his or her mouth and lets fly a song, it's a protest against evil, IMO.

That said, "No Woman No Cry" is a great protest song. As are many other Bob Marley songs, such as "Redemption Song".

Others that may not be in "Rise Up Singing"--EXCELLENT call, BTW:
"Peace Is Flowing Like a River"
"All You Need Is Love"
"With God on Our Side" (Dylan)
"Ohio" (CSNY)
"Paradise" (John Prine)
"O Mary, Don't You Weep"
"I Shall Not Be Moved"
"Go Down Moses"

That's all I can think of right now.

Rllink
01-24-2017, 09:02 AM
Bob Snider writes some great songs, but this is the first time I've heard him do a protest song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUH013avhjw

That was just great.

3j0hn
01-24-2017, 09:18 AM
My Daddy's fave was "Little Boxes on the Hillside". I don't recall who write/recorded it. I recall he and my uncle singing and playing it on guitar. As a little tyke, I was fascinated. My Daddy was very unconventional, sometimes not to our benefit.

That is a great song. It's written by Malvina Reynolds (sung here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUoXtddNPAM ), but maybe the Pete Seeger recording is the best known?

mds725
01-24-2017, 10:18 AM
When Leonard Cohen died and Donald trump was elected president of the United States on consecutive days, I wrote alternative lyrics to Cohen's Hallelujah as a way of honoring Cohen and reminding people to resist the politics of division. Here it is. (Sorry, I don't know how to upload documents or text. These are photos.)

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=97272&d=1485291839 http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=97273&d=1485292444

zztush
01-24-2017, 10:49 AM
Thank you very much mds725. Great lyrics, nice song and I really enjoyed it. :)

actadh
01-24-2017, 11:19 AM
Not to wax too esoteric, out there or weird, but in a way any song is a protest song, or can be. When a person opens his or her mouth and lets fly a song, it's a protest against evil, IMO.

That said, "No Woman No Cry" is a great protest song. As are many other Bob Marley songs, such as "Redemption Song".

Others that may not be in "Rise Up Singing"--EXCELLENT call, BTW:
"Peace Is Flowing Like a River"
"All You Need Is Love"
"With God on Our Side" (Dylan)
"Ohio" (CSNY)
"Paradise" (John Prine)
"O Mary, Don't You Weep"
"I Shall Not Be Moved"
"Go Down Moses"

That's all I can think of right now.

Very true. We started out the Women's March on West Virginia with the Star Spangled Banner. One of the earliest protest songs in America, when you get right down to it.

Rllink
01-25-2017, 02:18 AM
On Monday night in Perth, only 100km from where I was eating dinner, Bruce Springsteen started off his world resistance tour. Not only did he say the stuff in this link, he also has a new book and album to sell, but of course the protest aspect is not about sales and marketing. Sadly I did not realise that he was about to make history and I did not have a ticket or even know he was coming to Perth.
Looking at the "new" album, it does not seem to have anything new, but now the resistance has started, any Bruce song can and must be deemed a protest song. So all those tunes that are on ukulele sites which were penned by Bruce are now officially protest tunes. If you do yourself a favour and buy the new CD, I think there are 18(?) tunes, mostly old favourites, you can study and learn how to play to be part of the resistance. Why not buy his book as well, its only money?
https://thewest.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-gossip/newamericanresistance-fans-react-to-bruce-springsteen-in-perth-ng-b88363668zA lot of people believe that Springsteen's Rocking the Wall concert in East Berlin sparked the movement to bring down the Berlin wall. A lot of people are also surprised that he wasn't shut down in the middle of it. And while Ronald Reagan is oft credited with his "Bring down the Wall", speech outside Brandenburg gate on the West side of the wall in June of 1987, Springsteen brought his message to East Berlin in July of 1988.

Luke El U
01-25-2017, 03:39 AM
What a great thread! Thought provoking and timely. How fortunate those of us are in free and open societies to talk about and sing protest songs.

Here in China and Southeast Asia, where I've been living for the last 11+ years, protest is a rare and dangerous thing. It happens, but it is quickly snuffed out. Even in moderate Thailand you don't dare say anything questionable about the royal family unless you want to go to prison. In Burma, protest against the Buddhists can get you killed! Graffiti in Singapore will get you flogged.

People don't sing protest songs here in China. You have to be careful what you say in public. Lately, I played guitar in a Beatles tribute band in Guangzhou (Canton). We could rock the bars with "Revolution" but were careful to change the lyric "but if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow".

So, I look on with envy at my fellow Americans and others around the globe who were recently involved in the Women's March. If the ukulele can be put to good use in protest songs, by all means do it. Cherish and frequently exercise your right to protest!

BluesPreacher
01-25-2017, 04:14 AM
What a great thread!

Cherish and frequently exercise your right to protest!

Amen and Amen! Some have asked why people have taken to the streets to protest our new POTUS, like, "What good will it do?" At the very least, it will be just one more way in which our constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are upheld.

A few more songs I've thought of:
"Joe Hill"--pro-labor
"Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around"
"American Idiot" (Green Day)
"Whiskey Lullaby"

Rllink
01-25-2017, 04:25 AM
It makes me feel good that so many people have responded positively about this thread. I do not want this to go political. I feel like there is a fine line to tread here and I do not protest a person, or a party, or a government, I protest injustice, and injustice is not bound by politics, it is universal. But my wife and I had such a positive response on the streets, and it was just a random thing that we did, that we have been thinking about carrying our message farther. We have added a half dozen songs to our play list, and we are looking for a venue. Perhaps we can do more.

UkieOkie
01-25-2017, 01:55 PM
I haven't read the whol thread but "wind don't have to hurry" by John Hiatt is a good protest type song.

Rllink
01-26-2017, 03:21 AM
There is no way that Bruce Springsteen would be shout down for protesting at his concert in Perth.
If you want to protest well on the streets in a busking style solo protest, you need to do some homework so that if you cannot help people directly, you can tell them where to find help. Also you need to make sure you are doing the tunes justice and that your singing and playing are good. You do not want to be the player who is out of tune and out of touch in the viral video which undermines the whole movement.
Protesting is a serious political activity it is not an open mike on the street corner. Singing the protest tunes at the protest is a useful way to fill in time between the speeches and events, but often it wont be wise to take your ukulele or anything that can be used as a weapon with you to a mass rally.
As for the USA, don't be divided and conquered by foreign interests. Make sure the protest you want to be part of is not just a sales and marketing campaign for a different billionaire, like the one who owns Brice Springsteen's and Scarlet Johansons contracts. Find out who is organising big events and make sure you are not just being exploited because you are passionate about injustice, make sure the organisers are actually doing something about injustice and that they are not billionaires who are going to lose a lot of money when a new Govt cuts out all of the gravy train deals they set up with a previous Govt.. If you can't easily find out who the organisers are and what they are about, you have to question their motives.You certainly have some strong opinions about it, and I appreciate you sharing them. I think though that we are going to start small. Put together a playlist that reflects our beliefs and our concerns, find a venue, probably a coffee shop to start with, put out the word, and do our own thing to promote awareness. Then we will see where it goes from there, and if we end up with corporate sponsors we will be careful to investigate their motivations and not become a shill for their agenda. But I think that is down the road a little ways. As far as our talents, we do okay. We're not at the Springsteen level, but we can hold our own. Anyway, I think Bill, that if you do the same you can make a difference too. I encourage everyone to go out and let their voices be heard.

kkimura
01-26-2017, 05:56 AM
Not really a "protest" song but it does have the words, "sing a protest song if you're mad" in it. Bon appetite!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE_lXJyHlSI

Joyful Uke
01-29-2017, 09:48 AM
Some of the "rogue" Twitter accounts were tweeting song lyrics yesterday, ("This Land is Your Land", for one), which made me think of this thread. Protest songs can pop up anywhere, and I could even play my ukulele as they did it, without anyone protesting my playing ability. :-)

Griffis
01-30-2017, 04:46 AM
When Leonard Cohen died and Donald trump was elected president of the United States on consecutive days...

Great adaptation of a beautiful, timeless song.

I realize Cohen hailed from Canada, but it did strike me that maybe he gave up the ghost in fear and disgust over the election results of Nov. 8.

I wouldn't blame him.

Luke El U
01-30-2017, 05:00 PM
"Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake."

Great to hear his voice again!

97425

bunnyf
01-30-2017, 06:06 PM
Great adaptation of a beautiful, timeless song.

I realize Cohen hailed from Canada, but it did strike me that maybe he gave up the ghost in fear and disgust over the election results of Nov. 8.

I wouldn't blame him.
I should have bailed when Booli did. Is this a forum for ukuleles or left wing politics? Adios.

Griffis
02-01-2017, 04:49 AM
I must proffer a general, forum-wide apology. I know the UU terms and I overstepped, ruining what had been a cool thread.

I'm really apolitical. I try not to get involved with that stuff, following Voltaire's dictum to tend one's own garden and not let the circus wheel crush you.

Heck, I've signed off some forums just because I didn't want to argue politics or get immersed in ideological disputes which aren't productive and often result in bad feelings.

I've avoided Facebook for months just because of all the craziness.

UU is a sanctuary. I come here because the fourm members rise above the fray. This is a warm, wonderful place full of kind, fun, supportive folks and I am ashamed to have poisoned the well.

Not to sound like a drama queen, but I felt so terrible for having caused offense I very nearly signed off permanently from here and intended to take measures to delete my account altogether. That would have saddened me. I do not have any friends I get to see in the material world, and I do think of people here as friends.

Please do accept my apologies. No one need respond to this; I just want to thank you for having me and for all the enriching talks. It's my favorite home on the internet.