Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Authority Songs

Popular music has always been a tool for people to vent their anti-authoritarian feelings. Not all popular music, of course, but from traditional folk songs to today’s hip-hop, punk, and metal scenes, The Man is often at the center of a lyrical beatdown.

That’s what’s made rock and roll so appealing since the beginning. Whether we were rocking around the clock or something was happening here (what it was ain’t exactly clear), we weren’t going to get fooled again. That’s also probably what anchors us to those songs for life. We eventually outgrow our teen angst (well, most of us do), but put on Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In the Name” and it all comes rushing back. Next thing you know we’re driving the speed limit–hands at 10 and 2–on the way to our office jobs shouting “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!” out the windows of the minivan, and for that moment at least we mean it.

Anyway, authority songs:

“Authority,” Goldfinger.

“Authority,” Void.

“Points of Authority,” Linkin Park.

“Say No! To Authority,” Screeching Weasel.

“Police On My Back,” the Clash.

“Big Boss Man,” Jimmy Reed.

“Boss Hoss,” The Sonics.

“When I’m President,” Ian Hunter & the Rant Band.

 

There you have it: Eight songs to fight authority, even if authority always wins. What did I miss? I’m listening.

 

 

2 replies »

  1. “Taxman” – The Beatles
    “Working Class Hero” – John Lennon
    “We’re Not Gonna Take it” – Twisted Sister
    “The Harder They Come” – Jimmy Cliff
    “I Fought the Law” – The Bobby Fuller Four
    “Get Up, Stand Up” – The Wailers
    “Guns of Brixton” – The Clash
    “I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty
    “Not Gonna Give It Up” – Peter Tosh
    “Authority Song” – John Cougar Mellencamp

    Liked by 1 person

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