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Julia Ward Howe was an American poet and abolitionist who has inspired many protest songs. Learn more about her in this short ...
Tags:julia ward howe,protest songs
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I think the first people who are really ever writing protest songs are people who I like to call 20th century pioneers for a change. A great example of this would be a women who a lot of us potentially don't know these days, but her name is Julia Ward Howe. And basically, what these people did, they don't seem to have written a lot of their own music. They tended to take songs that were kind of like the great American standards that everyone knew, that everyone can sing along to and they change the words.
Now, a great example of this is the suffrage song which is sung to the tune of America and that's a house own song. And why I find this so interesting is that these songs were used to motivate and rally people from many diverse background and culture, all experiencing different type of oppressions. And I really feel that they were precursor too. For example, a George Harrison or Neil Young who have their format and their live aid and their concert for Bangladesh which are really just all about raising awareness and saying "Hey, you see what's going on in the world? This isn't right". And without these early 20th century kind of pioneers were changing and without this early movement, these later people wouldn't have been possible which is why I really wanted to single out a personal like Julia Ward Howe.