5 Political Rock Songs You Need to Hear

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

If you’re looking for some new music to help get you through these troubled times, look no further than these five political rock songs. From anthems of hope to rage-filled protests, these tracks will give you the boost you need to keep on fighting.

“What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic, “What’s Going On,” is a song that still resonates today. With its chilling opening line of “Brother, brother, brother/ There’s far too many of you dying,” the song is as much a plea for peace as it is a political statement. The lyrics go on to touch on the Vietnam War, poverty, and racism, making it one of the most important protest songs of all time.

“The Times They Are A-Changin'” – Bob Dylan

“The Times They Are A-Changin'” is a 1964 song written by Bob Dylan and released as the title track of his album of the same name. Dylan wrote the song as an expression of his views on social issues of the time, particularly those concerning African-Americans and young people. The song was Dylan’s first political statement, and its success helped to establish him as a spokesman for the counterculture of the 1960s.

The song is one of Dylan’s most celebrated, with Rolling Stone ranking it as one of the top 500 songs of all time. In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked number 31 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

“Fortunate Son” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

This song is an anti-war anthem that was released in 1969, during the Vietnam War. The lyrics condemned the wealthy politicians who were able to send their children to college while the poorer children were drafted into the military. The song quickly became popular among Vietnam War protesters and is still considered one of the greatest political rock songs of all time.

“Ohio” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

“Ohio” is a protest song written by Neil Young in response to the 1970 Kent State shootings. The song was first performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at a concert in Chicago on May 15, 1970, and it quickly became an anthem for the anti-war movement. The lyrics reference the shootings, in which four students were killed by National Guardsmen during a protest against the Vietnam War, and express the frustration and anger felt by many Americans at the time.

“War” – Edwin Starr

Edwin Starr’s “War” is a song that became popular during the Vietnam War, but it is also applicable to more recent wars. The lyrics are simple but effective, and the music is catchy and memorable. This song is sure to get you thinking about the costs of war and the need for peace.

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