In these days of fast-paced comms, it’s perfectly possible to have a protest song written about an event in real time. In theory, you could have a song and video ready to go as soon as the demo or whatever it is finishes. We see this time and time again coming through our social media feeds!
In the past, you’d maybe wait a while before a song about an event appeared on record or CD. And before recorded sound, it would have to be written down and published.
I know of some artists who can put out a finished tune and a slick video about some political event in a few hours. This is a very admirable skill. Sometimes, however, it is a good thing to wait and maybe reflect on what you experienced. This can give more poignance and depth to what you say and people may want to revisit it, rather than just sharing your immediate knee-jerk musical reaction to something. Other times events are so horrific the last thing you want to do is write a song about it straight away.
Why do people write protest songs? This depends on when you’re talking about. Back in the day, songs were a form of social media. They gave voice to events that those in charge didn’t want you to know about. They commemorated victories, or commiserated defeats, satirised our rulers and encouraged us to keep on keeping on.
Nowadays, a quick search online will give you an endless stream of hot takes about something, plus photos, videos, rants and all sorts. So why bother singing about tit as well?
There’s no real answer to that. People write songs because they can. It’s so much easier to get your point of view out there. And it’s another way of experiencing the whole gamut of emotions that we feel living in these times.
With all this is mind, this month I have revisited the recent toppling of notorious slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol. It was a ray of sunshine in an ocean of shyte. VIDEO COMING SOON! AND BIG NEWS ABOUT THE NEW BAND!