June 10, 2024

A Good Protest Song Can Change The World

Rampant consumerism might kill Barry James Payne before a freight train does.

Heard any good protest songs lately? 

Or do musicians even stick their necks out any more and risk the swinging hatchets of cancel culture and censorship?

I wouldn't blame their hesitancy after what happened to Van Morrison and Eric Clapton when they expressed their anti-official narrative opinions during the crazy covid years.

“Where have all the rebels gone?

Hiding behind computer screens. 

Where’s the spirit? Where’s the soul?

Where have all the rebels gone?”


- Van Morrison

In response the media warned of "the alarming rise of the Covid conspiracy rock star", even though the artists that spoke out have since been proven to be right about their protestations.

But at the time the songs were considered "dangerous" ditties that "created problems".

No doubt the powers that shouldn't be thought that the protest songs were killing grandmas around the world.

Canadian singer-songwriter Barry James Payne, aka String Bone, is another artist not holding back despite the dangers of speaking out in the New Normal years. 

I just heard his song,"Wow! Oh Yeah!", and it not just caught my attention, but demanded it. That is because he is taking on the madness of the consumer caper.

Of his song, the artists says, 

"We’ve created a pretty fucked up society from the capitalist money construct keeping people slaves to corporate overlords to the useless leaders in government who are bought off by the corporate overlords. Something has to give, and it’ll take a miracle. This song offers up some thoughts on the subject.”

His protest tune starts out,

"I sometimes wonder what would happen if people didn't shop in malls anymore, and decided to support local merchants?

That will probably never happen.

But it could." 

Click on the image below to listen to this powerful song, and let us know in a comment if you agree it is a rockin' tune with an important message to convey, while also being humorous.

After I listened to it, I was inspired to write my own lyric:

"I sometimes wonder what would happen if people decided to leave the consumer industrial complex behind to live happier simple lives.

That will probably never happen.

But it could.

And it would change the world."

Take a listen to "Wow! Oh Yeah!" by String Bone below. 

It's my new favourite protest song since the capable and courageous works by Morrison and Clapton.

What is your favourite new protest song?


  1. Pop radio these days in my country is limited to commercial pop, that is if you don't have DAB and depend on the air reception. It's crap. Perhaps on the pc I can get better. But not into. Day time tuned in on classic radio that way. I find there's more meaning/commitment in both old and modern 'classic' music than in pop (of what I know) these days.
    PS: I used to be a punk rocker. Dead Kennedies fan. Those says seem to be gone.

    1. Anonymous6/16/2024

      Agree about pop these days. Still like the punk, tho.

      - Gregg

  2. Anonymous6/15/2024

    I think it all depends on what you mean by "protest" song - meaning what are they protesting. Taylor Swift has made songs addressing issues like gun violence and school or other mass shootings. Rap and hip hop singers have released songs protesting the instances of police brutality and the killing of black and brown men and women. Latin American artists create music protesting the unfair experiences of immigrants. So - protest music is alive and well. The topics are just different than perhaps what you were looking for.

    1. Anonymous6/16/2024

      I like your take on the state of protest music today. I fully support all of it.

      - Gregg

    2. Anonymous6/17/2024

      What I am looking for are controversial protest songs that point out the insane policies of Western governments, like trying to start WWIII with Russia, or attacking farmers.

      No one would argue that gun violence is a bad thing. But where are the anti-war protest songs on the eve of global nuclear destruction?

      In the West that would likely get you cancelled.

      - Gregg

    3. Anonymous6/18/2024

      A quick internet search found this website with a list of protest songs regarding climate change. https://therevelator.org/protest-songs-climate-emergency/ Another quick internet search found many hits for protest songs regarding nuclear war. But I understand - I am older and grew up singing "Where have all the flowers gone" and "If I had a hammer". I don't listen to the music of younger people so I'm not exposed to their protest songs. By the way, John Gorka sings many protest songs, including one called "Ignorance and Privilege" -- you'll find the powerful lyrics here: https://capacity-building.com/song-of-the-weekend-john-gorka-ignorance-and-privilege/


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