From songs that soundtracked the civil-rights demonstrations in North America throughout the 60s the 1975’s decision to open their 2020 album, Notes On A Conditional Form, with a Greta Thunberg collaboration, music and politics have always gone hand in hand. As the best protest songs show, all it takes for a political movement to explode into the mainstream is one well-crafted tune.
Serving as a record of the fight against greedy or ineffective systems and corrupt policy-makers, these 20 best protest songs will get you in the mood to rage against the machine in no time.
20: YUNGBLUD: Parents (2019)
Mancunian punk upstart YUNGBLUD has stormed the global stage, with the anti-establishment message of songs such as Parents taking aim at almost everybody as the singer demands attention be paid to an array of social ills, among them homophobia, racism and a lack of support for mental-health issues. On top of all that, the song is built on a catchy tune that can stay in the head for days.
Released in 2019 following a collaboration with Halsey and Travis Barker (11 Minutes), Parents provoked reactions that ranged from shock to glowing delight – which is exactly what the best protest songs should do.