Soundtrack of a revolution [Top 10]

     The word revolution today implies many different things for different people. While most are just numb to the idea of having a heart that shouts with a voice just as loud, there are people who for whatever reason seek change. Security agencies which gained an almost unprecedented degree of power in democratic societies know all about it. Why rebel and against what? Most countries on the map today are the product of rebellions and revolutions.

     The songs I am presenting now to you are not arranged in a strict value hierarchy, it would be a difficult job to do such a thing objectively. I instead took a series of factors into consideration like the attitude, the depth of the lyrics, the history of the band/artist regarding such themes, success to the public and overall artistic impression.

     Regarding the attitude we will find songs that are either active or passive. We will also hear songs that try to show us hidden truths by addressing our intellect or songs that try to reach our emotional segment and so to get an emotional response. As themes we will discover the "mechanization of man" which I coincidently also addressed in some of my poems, greed and money, abuse of power, control and surveillance.

#10 - Pink Floyd - Welcome to the machine

     Released in 1975 on the album entitled "Wish you were here", Pink Floyd created one of the songs conspiracy theorists listen to the most. The machine is the system for which we are ultimately destined for in this world.
     The song has a few themes, even if the lyrics are little and simple, rendered in the form of an initiation by the father to his son and so representing the perpetuation of a state of things. "We know where you've been" and "we told you what to dream" signify that nothing is hidden and nothing is your own.

"Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream? It's alright we told you what to dream."

#9 - System of a Down - Prison song

     In 2001 System of a Down released "Toxicity", an album that received almost unanimous positive reviews. The "Prison song" doesn't have many lyrics but the way in which they are delivered makes it go into our top. It's a song against drugs and their use in financing wars and sponsoring dictators around the globe and it may even hold the idea that the planet is being transformed into a prison planet for "you and me".

Utilising drugs to pay for secret wars around the world 
Drugs are now your global policy, now you police the globe

#8 - Laibach - The Whistleblowers

     Laibach, the Slovenian avant-garde music group, always a pleasure to hear new material from them and with their 2014 Spectre they definitely did not disappoint. Starting with something that made me think of how music from the American war for independence might have sounded like, the song continues by presenting the whistleblowers as our new heroes, the ones who rise up in a time of change to either lead or to be mentors.

We rise, we grow
We walk and we stand tall
We never fall
We love, our mission is blessed,
We fight for you
for freedom and for sin

#7 - Graveyard - The Suits, the Law and the Uniform

     I have already presented Graveyard in a Duo some time ago but now I came back to the same album for something totally different. The suits, the law and the uniforms, the wealthy making coercive laws enforced by those in uniforms. The beginning throws us right in the center of the storm with: "Standing at the base of the pyramid, but it's never gonna meet the eye / You're not supposed to know that it exists". The band opposes this view upon life and rejects it, "no I won't live a lie". It's a song of revolt and rebellion but a somewhat strange solution is envisaged: "if we can make it through their new deal, the world will come a crumbling down"

#6 - Nickelback - Edge of a revolution

    I find it strange for Nickelback to sing about such things as revolutions but nonetheless they did it on "No Fixed Address" from 2014. The song is very upbeat and manages to catch your attention through the verse "We're standing on the edge of a revolution" making you feel part of an important moment in time. We see the common themes of surveillance and manipulation right from the start: "Hey, hey, just obey. / Your secret's safe with the NSA / In God we trust or the CIA?". As a song coming after the economic crisis the common thief is easily seen hanging out in Wall Street: "Wall street, common thief / When they get caught, they all go free".

#5 - Muse - Uprising

     Right from the start drugs are mentioned as a way of control, to keep the truth away from us: "They'll try to push drugs / Keep us all dumbed down and hope that / We will never see the truth around". Greed is yet again mentioned like in some other songs in this article but it's a result of actions taken by "them" against us: "Another package lie to keep us trapped in greed".
     It's interesting that the 3rd eye is mentioned and somehow linked to not being affrayed to die, I however do not see how this fear is manifested in the individual and in society. The solution Muse finds is to rise up and take the power back, without a doubt the most direct of imperatives so far.

Rise up and take the power back, it's time that
The fat cats had a heart attack, you know that
Their time is coming to an end
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

#4 - Megadeth - New World Order

     Megadeth is a band with a long history of songs against the system. "New World Order", although released on the album "Th1rt3en" from 2011 was actually first made public as a demo track on the remastered release of Youthanasia from 2004. The song makes use of imagery inspired by Christian eschatology and "conspiracy theories". No more currency and rights ("All rights will be denied /
Without the mark you shall die
") and complete control are combined with ideas taken from the apocalypse, the end result is one of the more cohesive portrayals of a subject that for long was believed to be a fantasy.

Where hath the Apostles gone?
Joining hands with wicked ones
Revelation has come to pass
New World Order, will hold the mass

#3 - Motorhead - Just 'cos you got the power

     Lemmy is a true rebel, a honest one and to the point in every song with no room for unneeded complications. "You might be a financial wizard, / With a sack of loot, / All I see is a slimy lizard, / With an expensive suit". Motorhead's stand against the system is summed up in the following two verses: "Just 'Cos You Got The Power, / That don't mean you got the right". The song continues in presenting the anger of the ordinary citizen who even after acknowledging the divide between the two classes, finds the power to oppose and to condemn. 

#2 - Michael Jackson - They don't care about us

     We will go now to a less likely area of mainstream music, pop music. The actual king of pop was one of the strongest rebels, both in popularity and in the courage (and extent) with which he presented his vision.
     His strongest merit is that throughout his career and especially towards the end of it, he raised public awareness towards the injustice in the world and in many ways we have him to thank for at least part of our conscious awakening.

Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I'm tired of bein' the victim of shame
They're throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can't believe this is the land from which I came
You know I really do hate to say it
The government don't wanna see
But if Roosevelt was livin'
He wouldn't let this be, no, no

#1 - Josh Garrels - Resistance

     Josh Garrels's "Resistance" is a poetic approach towards understanding the world and especially the part of the world that needs fixing. But "How do good men become part of the regime?" the answer is simple: "they don't believe in resistance". This resistance is passive but its passiveness is power itself: "Hold fast like an anchor in the storm / We will not be moved". Strength comes from God, from the divine element that permits us to rise above sin.

Hold fast my people and sing
Through peace and through suffering
All for the joy that it brings, to be free
It's gonna cost us everything
To follow one Lord and King
True love endure everything
To be free

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