Protest Songs Get Tuned Out

Downloading, disconnection leaving generation without a soundtrack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 12:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – So where are all the anti-war anthems? Opposition to the Vietnam War spawned a genre of classic counterculture songs, but not so the Iraqi war, despite widespread opposition. The main reason, Politico notes, is the narrowed scope of the music industry today. Singers still sing protests songs, but only their particular fans tend to hear them—alone with their iPods.

"Back in the pre-digital, network era, we all fed from the same culture trough," a music historian said. The makers of Body of War, a documentary about a disabled Iraq vet, have assembled a soundtrack showcasing today's protest songs from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, and Public Enemy. But the whole format is dormant, Politico writes, thanks to listeners who'd rather download individual songs.