Propaganda as Musical Pop Culture

These songs scream propaganda to me and I have been fascinated by them for many years.  I am sure there are others.  If you encounter others, please send them my way. My friend, Ian Sklar, gave me something to ponder when he wrote, “Made me wonder whether the songs were meant to influence the listener or they were reflecting their audience. Or a combination of both.”

Maggie Walters:  Spin

(Used by permission from Maggie Walters and maggiewalters.com.  Do NOT copy without asking her first.  Thank you.)

What’s the latest- who’s the greatest
Fair and balanced, we got the bad guy, and this is what he looks like

Turn it off- flip the page
You can shut it down but it just don’t go away

I heard a rumor and it didn’t fit
With what you get at 5 and 6 and at the top of the hour

Take your places, put on your faces
Spin it up spin it up now the story’s breaking

Gonna tell you what it’s all about
Gonna tell you gonna freak you out
Gas is up again and stocks are down

I heard a rumor, the didn’t mention
the showdown lowdown thing is getting all of the attention

Speculation manipulation
Brought to you by a giant corporation

Gonna tell you what you wanna hear
Fill up your dirty little minds with fear
What did he say, it isn’t clear he said the spin stops hear
Gonna tell you about the politics
Gonna tell you like the Dixie Chicks
Nobody tells it like it really is

 

Buffalo Springfield:  For What It’s Worth

There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to bewareI think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behindIt’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you awayWe better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?We better stop
Now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?We better stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?

 

The Rolling Stones:  Satisfaction

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m drivin’ in my car
And that man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can’t get no, oh no, no, no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/r/rolling+stones/satisfaction_10243634.html ]
When I’m watchin’ my T.V.
And that man comes on to tell me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarrettes as me
I can’t get no, oh no, no, no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m ridin’ round the world
And I’m doin’ this and I’m signing that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back later next week
‘Cause you see I’m on a losing streak
I can’t get no, oh no, no, no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no, I can’t get no
I can’t get no satisfaction
No satisfaction, no satisfaction, no satisfaction

 

The Kinks:  Dedicated Follower Of Fashion

They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he’s got to buy the best,
Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

And when he does his little rounds,
Round the boutiques of london town,
Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
There’s one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
One week he’s in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
In regent street and leicester square.
Everywhere the carnabetian army marches on,
Each one an dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
His world is built round discoteques and parties.
This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
Hes a dedicated follower of fashion.
Hes a dedicated follower of fashion.