Last week we published a list of what we considered to be some of the worst political songs ever — the trite, the mawkish, the hopelessly naïve. Predictably enough, the feature generated plenty of comment section debate, including one call for a corresponding list of good political songs. We actually ran a feature a while back about good 21st-century political anthems, but still, your wish is our command — so without doubling up any, here’s a selection of songs we consider to be as moving and effective as those other songs are banal and ineffective. Your comments are, as ever, welcome.
Marvin Gaye — “What’s Goin’ On”
Clearly annoyed by our comments on “Give Peace a Chance,” a commenter on this article’s predecessor accused us of not being able to see the value of a simple statement. For the record, we refute this allegation, for the reason that “Give Peace a Chance” is less simple than it is disingenuous. Compare and contrast to this song, for instance, which makes gentle but powerful observations on the civil rights struggle, and isn’t trite in the least.