Protest Songs And Its Effect On Social Change

1075 Words5 Pages
For many centuries, music has been an unwavering force in society, offering entertainment for various ceremonies and events, while also providing an outlet for creative expression. Most people see the entertainment factor in music, but fail to realize the power music has to influence social change. One way that music inspires social change is through protest songs. Most songwriters agree that protest songs are written because circumstances demand engagement and things can no longer be left unsaid (Haslam). Protest songs have been prominent for centuries in the United States, but one decade that they are closely associated with is the 1960s. This was a time when America was faced with much controversy and division. The protest music performed by folk artist and social activist Peter Seeger empowered oppressed individuals during the 1960s to stand against social norms by acknowledging social issues in society, advocating his personal beliefs, and convincing his audience that it was acceptable to have varying opinions. The 1960s were a time in history in which the United States was filled with much disillusionment; however, the 1960s were a time of hope. It was a decade unlike any other, where everyday individuals thought they could change the world and were willing to put themselves in physical danger to see that change happen (Cassity 13). The 1960s offered disposition for multiple scenarios—Civil Rights, Vietnam War, Feminism, Pollution—which led to artists such as Pete
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