BitchTapes: American Protest Music

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This week, I wrote about a new album from North Carolina musicians making songs inspired by that state's Moral Monday protests. Listening to their album made me hungry for a whole playlist of American protest music.  

So, I spent way too long putting together this mixtape of great American protest songs. It's an eclectic mix of hip-hop, rap, dance, and folk—it includes no punk, because that's just my taste. My desire was to make a mix that's enjoyable to listen to, in addition to being all about politics. The songs address a wide range of issues in American history, including racism, sexism, police brutality, inequality, and war. I put some serious classics on there (like "Talkin' Bout a Revolution") and some songs that make me laugh (like Peggy Seeger's "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer.") I put Nina Simone on there twice because she's Nina Simone.  

Ironically, when I bought Barbara Dane's song "I Hate Capitalism" on iTunes, there was a glitch and iTunes wouldn't let me listen to it. I had to buy the song off Amazon. What can I say? Capitalism is one tough glitch. 

Please let me know your other favorite protest songs in the comments—there are so many more great ones that I didn't include here. 


Songs of Protest from BitchTapes on 8tracks Radio.

Listen to over 200 Bitch-made feminist mixtapes on


This Land is Your Land (Woody Guthrie cover) - Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings 

My Favorite Mutiny - The Coup 

Fight the Power - Public Enemy

The Message - Grandmaster Flash 

Mississippi Goddamn - Nina Simone 

Here's to the State of Mississippi - Phil Ochs

Waves - Portugal. the Man 

I Shot Mr. Lee - The Bobbettes

Lucky Girl - Tetes Noires 

50 Thousand Deep - Blue Scholars 

Party at the NSA - YACHT

Get Off the Internet - Le Tigre 

Combat Rock - Sleater-Kinney

My Body Politic - Caitlin Cary and shirlette ammons

Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire 

Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell 

Let Me Die in My Footsteps - Bob Dylan 

I Hate the Capitalist System - Barbara Dane 

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore - John Prine

I'm Gonna Be an Engineer - Peggy Seeger

The Most Dangerous Woman - Utah Phillips/Ani DiFranco

Talkin' Bout a Revolution - Tracy Chapman 

Four Women - Nina Simone

Thanks to my friends for their over 100 recommendations for this mix. Special thanks to Beth Wooten, Alex Schechter, Cyrus Smith, and Alex Mahan, whose recommendations I used the most. 


4 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Wow! I love this post, and

Wow! I love this post, and loved the mixtape.


Brother Sun, "Fox News"

Political folk

Aterciopelados, "Bandera":

Jennifer Berezan, "Oil Sands On My Mind Forever":

Eliza Gilkyson, "The Party's Over":

James Keelaghan, "House of Cards":

Judy Small, "No Tears for the Widow": and "Montreal, December '89":

sweet list!

Thanks for sharing, I'll look these up.

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