This playlist was a collaboration with my wife Betty. During the Woman's March in Denver during January of 2017, we started naming our favorite protest songs, and soon had gathered a fairly big list. Protest songs had their heyday in the mid-to-late '60s when the civil rights, anti-war, and free speech movements were all in full swing. But the tradition of protest music in the U.S. started long before. The oldest song in this playlist is from the '30s, "Which Side are You On?" which was written for striking coal miners. The newest are from the '70s, "Presidential Rag" and "You Haven't Done Nothin", relating to Watergate and the Nixon impeachment hearings.
As new mass protests grow, I hope this playlist provides some inspiration. There have been trying times in the past. And in response our parents', grandparents' and great-grandparents' generations all stood up for their beliefs, and made some great music in the process.