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September 7th, 2011 CASEY JARMAN | Top 5
 

Top Five Great Songs of Dissent Written Since 9/11

musiclistings_top5_3744STEVE EARLE - IMAGE: Ted Barron
The Thermals, “Power Doesn’t Run on Nothing”
I wish Hutch Harris had been my American history teacher. “Our power doesn’t run on nothing,” he sings. “It runs on blood/ And blood is easy to obtain/  When you have no shame.”

Nas, “Rule”
A touch hammy, maybe, but Nas’ wartime state-of-the-union tune is still pretty radical, especially its spoken-word outro, where the MC explains what he’s learned from the war on terror: “Whatever you want out of life...go out and take it, even if it means blood and death.”

Le Tigre, “New Kicks”
A rah-rah protest tune built with samples from peace rallies and protests, this is one unabashedly overt anti-war party jam. It works.

Steve Earle, “John Walker’s Blues”
Earle paints John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” captured by U.S. troops, as a likeable guy. In 2002, when that seemed dangerous.

Randy Newman, “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country”
Newman attempts to explain why the Bush administration isn’t so bad by comparing it to the worst dictators in history. Then he gives up.
 
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