What does that song mean?

Songs about Social Change

The only constant, they say, is change, and most especially so in Western civilizations. The Western first world is an open society, free to mix and trade ideas that excite the next generation, without as much conservatism as the Eastern world. However, in recent times, Internet communications has seen an opening of ideals all over the world - how ya gonna keep 'em in the mosque after they've seen the mall? All over the world, protests and calls for reform in some of the most remote countries have created social awareness, and sometimes bloody social unrest.

Which makes these songs more relevant every day. From Arlo Guthrie to Green Day, from folk to punk, these songs track the winds of change and they way they are a'blowin'. These songs usually sound wistful, perhaps a little sad for the old ways, perhaps a little reluctant that so much blood had been shed to bring the changes about.

Before you progressives in America get too smug about your progress, remember that the Civil Rights Act was only enacted in 1964, the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote was only passed in 1920, and the 13th amendment, abolishing slavery, only passed in 1865. In terms of social change, you've barely waded in.


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