More songs to inspire and inform

I am a musician and I love listening to music as well as playing it.  Regular readers of my blog may remember that I like to mention songs that inspire or inform and support the human rights movement.

I have been at a music festival for the last few days. (That is one of my excuses for not adding to this blog for a while.)  I have been enjoying some of the music and songs that I already know and also things that are new to me.  Singing great songs in a big group can be very inspiring and empowering and in one song we had 100 or more voices in harmony.   

Folk music often reflects the experiences or the ideas of the masses.  Weary Cutters is an example, a traditional song from the north-east of England protesting about the press-gangs. 

There are also more recent songs that have the same kind of power. One that I heard at the festival was Blue Murder by Alistair Hulett.  Blue murder in the sense of the death and disease caused by asbestos in the mines in Australia. To quote from the lyrics:

"I feel my health is failing, I work all day in the killer dust"

The chorus goes: 

"Day in, day out, every day they drive us harder

Day in, day out, they're getting away with blue murder" 

See this on Alistair Hulett from the Living Tradition magazine.

Another performer at the festival was Rory McLeod and his website has a list of links for campaigners.

Share your discoveries: It would be great if people reading this could tell of other songs or songwriters that they find inspiring and that link with human rights issues.  Also here is a challenge to people in the broadcasting media – how about some programmes of this kind of music? If you are not in the media then maybe you can request such songs from shows on your local or national radio stations? 

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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