#MacroSW Chat for 11/9/2017: The MacroSW Protest Song Playlist

Flickr/grotos (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Check out the archive for this chat here: https://storify.com/OfficialMacroSW/macrosw-chat-11-9-2017-the-macrosw-protest-song-pl

In the spring of 2017, the #MacroSW Protest Song Playlist was born. Chat participants were asked to name their favorite protest songs. A short list was compiled based on the suggestions, and the original playlist was shared to the group, using the #MacroSW’s YouTube account as the platform.

Since that chat, suggestions on songs to add to the list have been solicited through Twitter. Since this spring, the list has grown to nearly 30 songs. The mix is eclectic, the songs ranging from the 1960s (Bob Dylan) through current day (Eminem).

Here’s the list as of this week (click the upper left corner of the YouTube window to reveal the playlist):

So, what constitutes a protest song? On the surface, this seems straightforward enough: A topical song with a focus on social justice and social change. However, a seemingly simple definition comes with some baggage, as the theme of the song can overshadow its quality. The best songs are propelled by their themes. As Dorian Lynskey, music writer for The Guardian, notes: “In songs such as Strange Fruit, Ohio, A Change Is Gonna Come or Ghost Town, the political content is not an obstacle to greatness, but the source of it. They open a door and the world outside rushes in.” (The Guardian)

For social workers, the protest song may also require a movement that targets the needs of community or group – those who may benefit from the momentum of the song.

For the #MacroSW chat on November 9th, we’ll discuss the role of the protest song in historical and current social justice movements.

#MacroSW Partner Stephen Cummings will host this week’s chat. Some questions that we may consider for this chat:

Q1:  Take a look at the #MacroSW Playlist. What songs should be included?

Q2: What protest song holds special meaning to you? Why is this?

Q3: What qualifies a song to be a “Protest Song”? That is, what elevates a song from being topical to being a part of a protest? What examples of this come to mind?

Q4: Does the concept of the “protest song” have meaning in today’s social justice movements? If so, what examples come to mind?

Q5: How does the internet and social media impact the protest song? Does the social media component enhance or diiminish the power of the song?

Q6: What resources for protest music would you like to share to our chat group?

Photo: Flickr/grotosCreative Commons License (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.


The #MacroSW Protest Song Playlist: https://youtu.be/ZwZsViROeLg

Lnyskey, D. (February 16, 2011). What makes a great protest song? Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/feb/16/what-makes-a-great-protest-song

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.