My most formative years were spent growing up in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Those years, of course, were the height of the Vietnam War, and singers and songwriters were at the forefront with their protest songs.
My favorite protest song came in 1975, written and performed by Bob Dylan, arguably the great composer of protest songs. The song is “Hurricane” and is about the imprisonment of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, alleged acts of racism, and racial profiling against Carter, all of which Dylan describes as leading to a false trial and conviction. Official biographies indicate that Rubin Carter was, indeed, wrongly convicted, and spent twenty years in prison as a result. Carter died last week at the age of 76; read more about him at Wikipedia. All of the YouTube videos featuring the original long version of “Hurricane” have been muted, probably alleging copyright infringements. Sad.
Since I couldn’t bring you my favorite Bob Dylan protest song, you’ll have to settle for seven of my other favorites:
“Eve of Destruction,” Barry McGuire, 1965
“Universal Soldier,” Donovan, 1965
“Who Will Answer?”, Ed Ames, 1967
“Revolution,” The Beatles, 1968
“Lucky Man,” Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1970
“Imagine,” John Lennon, 1971
“The Killing of Georgie,” Rod Stewart, 1976
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