music as social action ::
This week, you may have seen some marches and protests — during President Trump's latest visit to the UK, his events have been shadowed by large, loud gatherings of protestors. A few news accounts have mentioned some music components to these, like The Daily Beast reporting that "the anti-Trump marchers’ activity was largely limited to chants and songs, a lot of which were based on classic British music. For example, a somewhat predictable remix of Pink Floyd’s 'Another Brick in the Wall' that replaced the word 'brick' with something a little ruder." The visit was preceded by several pop stars and other celebrities speaking out against Trump.
On the other side of these events, Trump and other European state officials attended ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day battle during World War II. At one of those, actress Sheridan Smith sang a 1939 song, "We'll Meet Again," made popular by Vera Lynn. Watch a clip of that performance here — and watch it with our discussions of nationalism in music well in mind!
This post has been a long way ’round to lead you toward this newspaper article — a well-written feature story about the rise in both numbers and quality of the politically charged folk-music scene throughout the UK and Ireland. Several intriguing artists are spotlighted there, with song clips, and some of them may prove inspirational or as models for those writing songs for the final project.
p.s. In lecture today, I quote Chicago Tribune music columnist Greg Kot remarking about how Occupy Wall Street had, at the time, produced so little related protest music. Here he is today with a new column about an overall surge in protest music now!