Music in the Vietnam War


Music can tell you a lot about social and political movements of a certain time period.  During the Vietnam War, there were many songs, now considered timeless classics, which were based on war protests of the 60s.  For example, “Fortunate Son” by CCR protested the draft and the preferential treatment of those in the upper class, who were “born with a silver spoon in hand.”

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Don’t Drink the Water


            The song I decided to write about for this week’s blog is “Don’t Drink the Water” by Dave Matthews Band.  Although the song does not specifically state this, it is widely considered to be about the European-American settlers taking over Native Americans’ land and the mass killings that resulted from it. Dave Matthews tells the story from the perspective of the European-American settler who certainly believes in Manifest Destiny. I’ve posted the lyrics and a link to the song below…

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BItch Bad – Lupe Fiasco


As I was trying to figure out what song I should choose for this week’s blogpost, Lupe Fiasco’s Bitch Bad played on my iTunes and I knew it was the perfect song. The song looks to address the negative stereotypes hip hop artist reinforce of black culture and women. Lupe attempts to show the negative affects the misogynistic messages that is passed on to young children.

Zapata’s Blood


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When it was mentioned in class that this week’s post would revolve around picking a song with meaningful lyrics, I immediately knew what I was doing. I thought back to the class taught by the greatest teacher I have ever had, and probably will ever have. His name is Jan Urban. During my semester abroad last spring in the Czech Republic, I took a class called “Modern Dissent in Central Europe.” Taught by this amazing man, it was unlike any class I have ever previously had. Jan grew up in Czechoslovakia during World War II, his father fought for the Soviet Army. Jan told us about how as a child he would be woken up in the middle of the night by his father’s screams, presumably from nightmares of experiences from World War II. Jan’s father never told him about what happened, but they mystery of what happened still played a huge part in his life. Continue reading

Tupac’s Keep Ya Head Up


tumblr_m8w7ypNdHr1r67ci9o1_500One can learn quite a bit about societal perceptions of gender roles through listening to music. What happens when you switch “he” and “she” pronouns in a song (this is called the Willis test)? Does it still send the same message? Usually it doesn’t due to gender differences that result from sexism and misogyny. For example, if we were to take David Guetta’s “Sexy Chick” (at least that’s the name of the edited version). After changing the gender pronouns, the song seems humorous and unrealistic.

I was drawn towards choosing a rap song for this week’s ethical analysis. Rap music provides many critiques of our world, especially as they relate to race, money, gender, and forms of criminal activity.  I chose Tupac Shakur’s “Keep Ya Head Up” because delivers a positive message to one of the most oppressed groups in the US: poor, black women. The song is dedicated to Latasha Harlins, a fifteen-year-old woman shot and killed by a shop owner in LA. Her death is cited as one of the causes of the LA riots in 1992. Continue reading

Who Runs the World?


I listen to a lot of music so I figured it would easy for me to find pick a song for this assignment…it took me a solid hour to find a song because a lot of the songs that I went through were about love and I wanted to find a song with a different meaning. After an hour I finally chose “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé.

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Attacking a Way of Life


After first hearing about this week’s blog assignment in class, my mind immediately jumped to thinking about a song that I had first heard in high school when studying the civil rights movement in the United States. The song, Only a Pawn in their Game by Bob Dylan, was written in the early 1960s shortly after the murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi. To give a bit of background, Evers is best known as a Mississippi-born African American who served in the US Army during World War II and was later denied entry in to the University of Mississippi law school. After being rejected, Evers decided to focus his efforts to working with the NAACP to desegregate schools and he quickly became a chief officer for the campaign in Mississippi. On June 12, 1963, Evers was shot in his own driveway and was soon buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Most notably, Evers’ found murderer, Byron De La Beckwith, was tried and found ‘not guilty’ by Mississippi’s all-white juries, sparking many such as Bob Dylan to react in anger. Continue reading

Because I am a Champion


katy-perry-600For this weeks music blog, I chose the over-played Katy Perry song Roar.  This song is more than just a song on the radio, a song you hear in the bar, or hear blasting among friends in rooms, this song has put smiles on peoples faces across the country and brought people together.  For me this song speaks to the chronic bullying that goes on today in our school systems: Continue reading

Love is Love


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The issue of legalizing gay marriage is one that is evolving into a growing social movement in the United States today. In recent years, numerous states have legalized gay marriage and it is likely that more and more states will follow in the near future. I chose to comment on the song Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert. First of all, this song has a very powerful social message. Continue reading

he said I wasn’t really black cause I had a dad…


“Hold You Down”

Childish Gambino

With dominant vocals and powerful lyrics Childish Gambino explains how the America in which we live is ridden with inequality. Racial differences perpetuated by vastly different socioeconomic status across American society create multiple worlds in which youths live and, in turn, are held down by social norms and societal structure. Gambino takes an aggressive lyrical stance against ways in which our culture portrays black youths and brings attention to this issue. Continue reading