Every protest movement has its soundtrack
March 3, NY: “One good song with a message can bring a point more deeply to more people than a thousand rallies.”
This quote is attributed to musician Philip Ochs, an American protest singer who performed at many political events during the 1960s, including anti-Vietnam war and civil rights rallies.
His words ring truer than ever in today's digital world. Songs of protest are heard not just at demonstrations but inside the homes of people far removed from the struggle, garnering millions of clicks online and eliciting emotional reactions from around the world. One of the most dramatic effects of music is its power to transport us to a specific time, place, and feeling. Protest music has the ability to embody the passion, the anger, and the powerful sense of unity felt by those who come together to fight for change.
In 2015, for Music Freedom Day, we were motivated to share songs that became unofficial anthems of some of the biggest protests in the preceding five years. Some were inspired by mass demonstrations and others have helped inspire them. This year, we've updated our list of protest songs to include mass demonstrations from the last two years as well.
Romania – Balada lui Dragnea (Dragnea’s Ballad)
During the first week of February 2017, Romania witnessed the largest mass demonstrations since the collapse of communism in 1989. What started out on 18 January with only a couple thousand demonstrators protesting the newly elected Social Democratic Party's (PSD) blatant attempts at getting away with corruption in office, turned into a headline-grabbing, half a million strong protest demanding the government's resignation.
In the early days of the protest movement, young psychology graduate Marilena Mihailescu wrote a satirical song dedicated to Liviu Dragnea, the head of the PSD, who is currently facing corruption charges. The song went viral a few hours after being posted on Facebook, and Mihailescu went on to perform it at many of the protests that followed.
The Oslo Times International News Network