Politics and Music

The Trumpets of Jericho

Beethoven and Napoleon 

Wagner and the Nazis

"Ohio" and the Vietnam War

"Imagine" and consumerism 

The Dixie Chicks 

Countless examples illustrate the intersection of Music and Politics. Jerry Garcia referenced his group as "just a dance band." Always pondered how we react to our choices of music. Divorce it entirely from the controversies of the day and merely enjoy the artistry or allow it to change the way in which we view the world. Transformative, escapism, nostalgia, intellectual profundity, cultural discovery. Large questions. Your thoughts?


Laughable, insightful or just plain entertaining, I get a kick out of musicians who put their political views front and center in their music. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Just remind yourself that you don't have to sniff them too closely...

@moonwatcher - I was born in 1951 - how about you?

And no, you understand nothing about FZ. 'Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar' is what people like you would yell at him when he was trying to talk to the audience. This is called 'irony' or 'sarcasm' - look those words up. FZ was all about both.

I will take anybody's opinion over your's. The rest of your foolish post speaks for itself. 

There is so much easily verified political misinformation being spewed here that it is actually funny. And, appalling. 

I try not to let politics influence my musical choices. I cannot say the same thing about ignorant, demeaning music that has become the background for a lifestyle of fatherless children, no personal accountability, homicide, and poor education. 

Music drives an emotional message.  That message can be positive or negative.  I try not to support the negative.



Mixing politics and music can make music seems relevant and important for the period in which it was written. In that respect, it can support social change and and give voice to things people feel but can’t put into words.

But generally that also makes them irrelevant a few years later. "Ohio" by CSN crystallized a moment, but it doesn’t even get played on the radio anymore and people under the age of 60 have never and will never listen to it..

Contrasted to musicians who are vocal about their politics outside of their work; it doesn’t make sense, musicians have no insight greater than any other people about politics, and you just alienate half your audience.

Consider the reason people still listen to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and a small set of musicians hundreds of years after they’re dead. People still listen because the music is good. Whatever politics they had or their works represent is largely irrelevant to why we still listen to them.

My 27 year old loves "Ohio". Though I get your point as to a hundred years from now. Beethoven changed his mind about Napoleon,  but the inspiration cannot be overlooked.  Idealism has its place. Our founders were looked upon as radical idealists with no hope of success. A printer, a silversmith, a brewer all "communists" in their day.. And thanks for keeping this thread mostly between the rails.