Definitely. Remember the great protest songs of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez and Buffy St. Marie? Nowadays, pop artists are getting into politics – Pussy Riot, Dixie Chicks, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, and Kanye West to mention a few.
Should they mix?
Ozzy Osbourne says no. “I think entertainers should stay entertainers and politicians should stay liars.”
The personal is political, and music is definitely personal. All songs with lyrics are about something, even if it’s a deliberately inoffensive song trying to make a buck. What is inoffensive? What does it take to make a buck?
George Orwell observed, “The very notion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political position.”
The Winsome Hags recently performed at our local Democratic rally. What a wonderful occasion! – teams of people worked hard and contributed much in order to make an optimal environment for candidates Paul Clements, Bette Pierman and Mike Moroz to speak passionately. Wow! Talk about inspiring, dedicated and appreciative.
The Winsome Hags had fun putting together our play list! Let me share just one line from each song:
I am a captive to policies put in place by greed. – 99 Rise
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law! – America the Beautiful
As I went walking, I saw a sign there; on the sign it said NO TRESPASSING, – This Land
So keep an eye out for the little man, Give him some bread, if you can. – One Meatball
Time for bed, just one more page. – Way Up in Michiana
Lord, you know I’m sanctified, sanctified in the blood. – The Preacher and the Flood
We’ve got legal wine, whiskey, beer and gin. – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Back Again
This train don’t carry no con men. – This Train is Bound for Glory
Keel lads a’coaly Tyne. – Weel Mae the Keel Row
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene. – Democracy
What do you think? Do music and politics mix?