I Write Music For People

Protest songs: an update

Hello world!

Over on the Howes & Slatter site a few months back I was lamenting the decline of the protest song, and finished by asking if anyone knew of any modern protest singers and songs.  Well you’ve gotta love how odd the modern world is, because I’d forgotten all about it, and then just last week the following popped up in my inbox:

I read your musings and then suddenly I went, “Hey!–I write protest songs!”
In the isolation of my garret.  Age 60. But anyhow I write ’em.

I say odd, because this was a stranger from a different timezone who felt compelled to email me, and they weren’t a deposed Nigerian prince or convinced that I have either had an accident or been missold PPI.

One of the great paradoxes of this plugged-in-linked-up world is that there has probably never been a time in history when people have felt less connected to the world around them.  Which may well be one reason why there aren’t many protest singers anymore – nobody wants to listen because we’re all too busy shouting to be heard.

But in order to know what to shout about, you have to be able to listen.

Listen.  Shout, and then listen again.  Listen, and then if you like what you hear, shout about it.  I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve felt like I was just shouting into the void.  But occasionally, just occasionally, someone listens and shouts back.  Even more occasionally someone shouts something back that isn’t an insult or just noise.  When that happens, listen back.  And repeat until death.

So who is this person on the other side of the world who has who has taken the time not only to read my missive, but felt compelled to write to me, thus compelling me to write this latest rant into the void?  Dear reader, this person was one Ted Silar, and he does indeed write protest songs like the one below.  I don’t know if anyone else will like it, but I like it so I don’t really care.  Of course I do care, I want you to like it to and validate my own feelings and beliefs, but if you don’t I can probably live with that.  No biggie.

matt at howesandslatter dot com