Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

So you say you want a revolution

Some music wants to change the world for other reasons, 33 Revolutions per minute by Lynskey explores those. People have sung to protest many things through the ages. Lynskey points out in the beginning groups tended to set words to existing tunes and they sang them primarily at their own events. He is interested in when protest songs were words and lyrics were specifically written for that song and the song crossed over into popular culture.

He starts his work with Strange Fruit , the haunting song about lynchings, made famous by Billie Holliday. Lynskey’s 33 songs continue on to Green Day’s “American Idiot.” With each song he talks about the song and the context of its time.

Must admit that I was suprised there were no songs by Phil Ochs even in the list of 100 songs; although Lynskey does talk about him in a number of the essays. However no list of anything can ever be agreed on. A fascinating read.


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