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Protest Songs 1955-2005

Home | 1955-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2005



Civil Rights Era

The protest music of the late 1950s was provided mainly to support the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was beginning to lead black southerners in a push for equal rights and facilities.

The Civil Rights Movement in America kicked off with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and lasted into the mid-1960s. Many songs were used as anthems for the people in the movement, including "We Shall Overcome," "Blowin' in the Wind," and "Only a Pawn in Their Game."

Famous artists during this time included the group Peter, Paul and Mary and the singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. They performed at many Civil Rights protests, including the March on Washington in 1963.

Bob Dylan

"Blowin' In The Wind" Lyrics (excerpt)
Written by Bob Dylan
Recorded by Bob Dylan
Record by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963
How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


Jessi Rawlings :: Michelle Nickolaisen :: Jessica Harrison
Carrie Castor :: Alicia Bradley

Jordan/5th Hour Language Arts

9 Mar. 2005