Punk continued on into the '80s, with hair bands and heavy metal becoming famous. Protest songs became more familiarized,
and were used to speak out against nuclear war the the U.S. involvement in Nicaragua, but also for everyday things. The Dead
Kennedys continued to be a leader in the movement for free speech, eventually breaking up because they went to court for an
issue dealing with material distributed in one of their albums. Bad Religion was another major band; but they started during
the late 80s and released many of their more important albums in the 1990s.
Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" was a major protest song, along with Nena's "Ninety-Nine Red Balloons." Originally done
in German, the song was protesting the Cold War, and was based on actual events, in which a flock of geese triggered alarms
and was shot down from the sky over the Berlin wall. Don Henley's "All She Wants to Do is Dance," surprisingly, was also a
Excerpt from "MTV Get Off the Air" by the Dead Kennedys
My job is to help destroy
What's left of your imagination
By feeding you endless doses
Of sugar-coated mindless garbage
So don't create
Be a vegetable at home
And thwack on that dial
If we have our way even you will believe
This is the future of rock and roll
How far will you go
How low will you stoop
To tranquilize our minds with your sugar-coated swill
You've turned rock and roll rebellion
Into Pat Boone sedation
Making sure nothing's left to the imagination
99 Red Balloons
99 Decision Street.
99 ministers meet.
To worry, worry, super-scurry.
Call the troops out in a hurry.
This is what we've waited for.
This is it boys, this is war.
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.
99 Knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a superhero.
Everyone's a Captain Kirk.
With orders to identify.
To clarify and classify.
Scramble in the summer sky.
As 99 red balloons go by.
99 dreams I have had.
In every one a red balloon.
It's all over and I'm standing pretty.
In this dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenier.
Just to prove the world was here.
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go.
* * *
Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said "Son, don't you understand"
I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go