10 Great Songs Calling for Social Change!

Posted 5 months ago

Here are our top 10 songs (in no particular order) to inspire you to change the world for the better.

Here are our top 10 songs (in no particular order) to inspire you to change the world for the better.


1. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan



Released: August 1963

Record label: Columbia

Most poignant lyric: The answer my friend is blowin’ in wind

Interesting fact: Dylan claims he wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 10 minutes


2. Fight The Power - Public Enemy 



Released: June 1989

Record label: Motown Records

Most poignant lyric: Our freedom of speech is freedom or death

Interesting fact: “Fight the Power” was used in another film, 2005’s US military movie Jarhead


3. Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday



Released: 1939

Record label: Commodore

Most poignant lyric: Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze | Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Interesting fact: The song was originally written as a poem by American writer and teacher Abel Meeropol after he saw a photograph of a lynching in a civil rights magazine


4. From Little Things Big Things Grow – Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody



Released: 1991

Record label: EMI, Festival

Most poignant lyric: Eight years went by, eight long years of waiting | Till one day a tall stranger appeared in the land | And he came with lawyers and he came with great ceremony | And through Vincent’s fingers poured a handful of sand

Interesting fact: Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody sang the song at Gough Whitlam’s memorial service in November 2014


5. A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke



Released: December 1964

Record label: RCA Victor

Most poignant lyric: It’s been a long, a long time coming | But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Interesting fact: The song was released on 22 December 1964, two weeks after Cooke was shot dead by motel employee in Los Angeles. He was 33 years old.


6. Imagine – John Lennon



Released: October 1971

Record label: Apple

Most poignant lyric: You may say I’m a dreamer | But I’m not the only one | I hope someday you’ll join us | And the world will be as one

Interesting fact: Oasis used the piano intro on their 1996 song “Don’t Look Back In Anger”


7. Redemption Song – Bob Marley



Released: October 1980

Record label: Island/Tuff Gong

Most poignant lyric: Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery | None but ourselves can free our minds

Interesting fact: This was the last song Marley performed, singing at a show in Pittsburgh on 23 September 1980


8. Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson



Released: January 1988

Record label: Epic

Most poignant lyric: I’m Gonna Make A Change | For Once In My Life | It’s Gonna Feel Real Good | Gonna Make A Difference | Gonna Make It Right

Interesting fact: Following Jackson’s death in 2009 the song became the number one single on iTunes in both the US and the UK


9. One – U2



Released: March 1992

Record label: Island

Most poignant lyric: We’re one, but we’re not the same | We get to Carry each other

Interesting fact: The song was written in Berlin because the band was hoping to find inspiration from the changes happening to the region


10. We Shall Overcome – Joan Baez



Released: 1962

Record label: Vanguard

Most poignant lyric: Oh, deep in my heart | I do believe | We shall live in peace someday

Interesting fact: Peter Seeger performed the song for Martin Luther King in 1957 at the 25th anniversary of the Highlander Center in Tennessee. Rosa Parks was also in attendance