Question of the Week: What Place Does Politics Have In Music?


January 8, 2008 by A.C. Rhodes

Paul Westerberg once said that rock & roll has nothing to do with politics. Perhaps another Minnesota native may think differently, or not. Has music with a political bent been more inspiring, or more boring?

5 thoughts on “Question of the Week: What Place Does Politics Have In Music?

  1. […] dnAR wrote an interesting post today here’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. As far as the question “What place does politics have in Music?” Answer: ALOT… Politics gives music writers plenty to write about – therefore lyrics to sing to. The ups & downs that politicians create in their lifetime give any musician a reason to wake up and go to work. Music, lyrics, creativity are all a part of a musicians world. When a politician promises peace, jobs, equality, health reform, social security … and nothing actually happens in the four years or 8 years as in the case of 2008 – Music can become an outlet for musicians to voice what the majority of the country feels. So, I wish you the reader peace – I am a music lover, writer, singer and watercolor artist and I love my freedom of speech.

  3. harold x says:

    All are and politics can be pretty well intertwined; to various degrees, of course, and depending on one’s definition of “art” and “politics.”

    Doesn’t mean that a musician, piece or music, play, painting or whatever had to — say — endorse a candidate or try to start (or end) the Revolution; simply giving us another opinion or widened point of view can help galvanize or change opinion.

    Hell, Beatles vs. Stones is a political argument as much as it musical.

  4. theresa k. says:

    This Machine Kills Fascists – with that taped on his guitar, Woody Guthrie opened a tap out of which Bob Dylan, The Clash and Billy Bragg would directly drink… music as agitprop… old as the hills…. troubadours, bards… The Bard (Shakespeare) and the Shakespeare, who’s in the alley (Dylan)… what place does politics have in music? its a topic – one so hot that it cannot be denied… a topic so polarizing that it MUST be dealt with in the vulgate… popular music.

    With all due respect to Paul Westerberg… he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  5. […] brings up the age old question do politics belong in music? […]

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