“R-E-S-P-E-C-T FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME.”
For most people, music is an international language to speak and understand. On June 4th, 2020, N.B.C. News published a video on YouTube about protestors in Washington, D.C., singing ‘Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers. People protest to make their opinions heard and to attempt to change. The following are ten songs to let your voices heard.
- Respect, by Aretha Franklin
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me,” these are the words of the Queen of Soul. Song Meanings and Facts said, “Respect is about a young, confident, independent woman telling her man that she does everything he wants from her and doesn’t see any why he disrespects her.” In 2020, we want equality for all sexes, so ladies and men scream “respect.”
- Alright, by Kendrick Lamar
This song has been sung in multiple Black Lives Matter protests. Even the whole album is a movement for people of color. Ethnomusicology Review by the University of California, Los Angeles said, “the album strives to combat issues plaguing the mental health of people of color, specifically Black men, regarding the cycle of gang violence and the power of self-actualization as exhibited in the rural and classic blues era.” With the uncertain times, it’s good to be reminded that “we gon’ be alright!”
- We Are The World, by the U.S.A. for Africa
In modern-day, there are many issues to protest, for example, Black Lives Matter and Women Equality. The song represents unity, “we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.”
- This Land is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie
The song says, “this land was made for you and me” very self-explanatory to no human being is illegal. According to Vox, “more than 2,000 children have been held in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol without their parents.”
- Born This Way, by Lady Gaga
NPR called this song “LGBT Anthem.” Lady Gaga: (singing)” No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgender life – I am on the right track, baby. I was born to survive.” This song is excellent not only to protest equal rights for the LGBTQ+ but also to jam at the PRIDE Parade.
- Run the World (Girls), by Beyoncé
Queen Bey said, “I’m repping for the girls who taking over the world have me raise a glass for the college grads.” This song celebrates women empowerment; after all, Beyoncé considers herself a feminist.
- Think, by Aretha Franklin
This song screams about freedom for all women; Aretha Franklin said, “You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me.” She warns her man that he better thinks and demands her freedom, “give me some freedom.”
- Say it Loud – I am black, and I am proud, by James Brown
The definition is in the name of the song itself “I am black, and I am proud,” so say it loud. This song is an anthem to boost every black person’s confidence. At any Black Lives Matter, rally reminds the world that you are proud.
- The Story of O.J., by Jay-Z
Jay Z once said, “he been there since the game is over,” but one thing he won’t be over is racism. Elite Daily published an article title, “The mean of Jay-Z’s “The Story Of O.J.” is all about racism in America.” This song message is about no matter what or who a black person is, they can’t escape their race.
- What about Us, by Pink
“What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers?” The song sends a message about broken promises. In a time when we can not count on the government, what we can do is remind them of us.
Open your Spotify or Apple Music create a protest song playlist and let the world have a taste of your music. We sing because it’s our everyday language, we protest because we won’t change, so let’s speak the language of change—#Singforchange.