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Experience January/February 2024

Elections: A Playlist

Joan Myers Bondareff and Ashley Hallene

Elections: A Playlist

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Many artists have recorded inspirational ballads about hope for a better tomorrow. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • “Born in the USA,” Bruce Springsteen [], 1984—The Boss depicts small-town America in the midst of the Vietnam war and laments those going to war. Really, it’s a protest song, which is timely for those fighting for democracy everywhere in the world now.
  • “Revolution,” The Beatles [], 1968—The Beatles ask if you want to change the world and change the constitution (it’s in the lyrics), where’s the plan? It’s easy to call for change, harder to have a plan to do it.
  • “Philadelphia Freedom,” Elton John [], 1975—Philadelphia Freedom gives Elton John the peace of mind his daddy never had. May this be a peaceful election year. Of course, Philadelphia represents the birth of American freedom.
  • “Power to the People,” John Lennon [], 1971—Lennon urges a revolution against tyrants, autocrats, and murderers. We do the same as we head to the polls.
  • “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Bob Dylan [], 1963—Dylan asks how many years it will take a man to learn that a mountain can only exist so many years before it’s washed to the sea. It’s incumbent on all of us to ask these questions, this year especially.
  • “I Won’t Back Down,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers [], 1989—A powerful and inspiring song that encourages listeners to stay strong and unwavering in the face of adversity.
  • “Don’t Stop,” Fleetwood Mac [], 1977—An upbeat and catchy melody that carries a message of resilience and hope with universal themes of perseverance and unity to inspire and motivate voters.
  • “Fortunate Son,” Creedance Clearwater Revival [], 1969—An enduring anthem that encourages listeners to question the status quo, fight for justice, and strive for a world where everyone has equal opportunities and rights.
  • “A Change is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke [], 1964—A song that acknowledges the hardships and challenges that surround us but also expresses optimism for a future where equality and justice prevail.
  • “Rise Up,” Andra Day [], 2015—A testament to the indomitable human spirit that serves as a personal anthem and as a symbol of resilience in the face of social challenges and injustice.
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Jimi Hendrix [], 1969—This innovative and influential interpretation of our national anthem isn’t for everyone, but we like the sentiment so are including this classic.

Access the full playlist here:

Join the conversation. Email us ([email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]) by February 20 to tell us the songs about elections, politics, or justice that you’d add to our playlist and why they’re fitting contributions. Then watch the next issue of Voice of Experience for an updated list.