political songs

I loved teaching the 2cnd week in my course because it’s the class where we look at songs that resulted in the songwriter being jailed or the release of prisoners which leads to a discussion along these lines – can art make societal change? Yesterday was that class. We looked at Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder, Free Nelson Mandela by Special AKA, Virgin Mary Put Putin Away by Pussy Riot, Hurricane by Bob Dylan, Zombie by Fela Kuti and John Sinclair by John Lennon. Then they are assigned a choose your own adventure. They must pick between three things, i)write about an issue which might get them jailed or ii) write about someone in jail they believe should be released or iii) write a song about either scenario that is three verses, two choruses and one bridge.

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