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World History in the Songs Essay


The readings overview the songs about some tragic events and periods in the world history, which specifically target the problem of slavery and colonization.

In his Ludlow Massacre, Woody Guthrie reflects on the dramatic labor conflict, which occurred in Colorado at the beginning of the 20th century. The author recounts his experience of watching the incidents of mass killing. He expresses his point of view as a miner, who belonged to the range of the laborers. The high emphatic accent is made by the author through the description of murdering children of the miners. The picture, which is depicted by the writer evokes grievance and terror since the author provides a detailed description of the act that deprived multiple peaceful workers of their innocent kids. Through this song, the author reveals the absence of legal rights of the employees at the time of American massacre (Zinn and Arnove 278).

The song Brother, Can You Spare a Dime recounts the incident of veterans’ repression, which occurred after the Second World War. At this time, the participants of the war were left without a promised sustention and job places. Therefore, they decided to go on a strike against the government. The movement was quickly suppressed by the authority, which directed the army against the veterans (Zinn and Arnove 314).

The extraordinary blues song Strange Fruit, which was performed by Billie Holiday, provides a reminiscence of the uprisings against theCommunist regime that inflicted multiple uprisings in the middle of the 20th century. Mainly, the song shows a dreary picture of the bloody conflict, which left some traces of fights on the nature (Zinn and Arnove 327).

The protests and rebellions have a long history and their specific topics. Therefore, with the course of time, the new pretexts for the uprisings evolved. In 1990, the issue of racism and inequality became especially important to the U.S. society. The popular music genre, which provided the ideas, was rap, which evolved as a meaning-directed type of song. For instance, the piece of music Fight the Power, which first appeared in the interpretation of a band Public Enemy, targets the strengths of an individual as well as the necessity to oppose the authorities, which preclude personal expression (Zinn and Arnove 541).

The issues of social injustice give birth to numerous contemporary song products in the current century as well. For example, the crisis of racism and multiple ethnicity suppressions is recounted in the song by Tupac Changes. In this work, the author muses on the cruelty of the global authorities, which split aggressions against minorities and margin communities. Mainly, the song targets the problems, which are faced by black community since its rights are regularly ignored and condemned by the government of the USA (Turner par. 5).

All the readings are united by the common motif of protest and uprising. In other words, the authors of the works reveal different stages of human rights suppression, which occurred in various parts of the world. One can deduce that a significant part of such songs are dedicated to the genocides, World Wars, the period of Great Depression and labor crises. The contemporary works about the opposition between various social groups mostly concern the issues of racial and ethnic inequalities, multiple discriminations, and underestimation of some fundamental human values. The texts of the songs may be linked to our daily lives, for every person experiences some tension and inferiority either at work or in standard communication.

Works Cited

Turner, Devarrick. 13 Songs about Social Injustice that May Offer You some Hope for the Future. 2015. Web.

Zinn, Howard and Anthony Arnove. Voices of a People’s History of the United States. 2nd ed. 2009. New York: Seven Stories Press. Print.

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IvyPanda. "World History in the Songs." June 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/world-history-in-the-songs/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "World History in the Songs." June 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/world-history-in-the-songs/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'World History in the Songs'. 30 June.

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