Reggae message: We don’t need no more trouble. . . Bob Marley


Originally posted on JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba:

…Make love and not war!
‘Cause we don’t need no trouble.

What we need is love (love)
To guide and protect us on. (on)
Help the weak if you are strong now. (love)…
…we don’t need no more war, no more trouble
No more trouble – we don’t need no more – more trouble!

Bob Marley

No More Trouble

bob marley 30(We don’t need) No, we don’t need (no more trouble) no more trouble!
(We don’t need no more trouble)

Wo! Oh-oh-oh!
(We don’t need) We don’t need no (no more) trouble!
We don’t need no trouble!

(We don’t need no more trouble)
Make love and not war! ‘Cause we don’t need no trouble.
What we need is love (love)
To guide and protect us on. (on)
If you hope good down from above, (love)
Help the weak if you are strong now. (love)

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Black smoke in the Vatican, music video


This video, recorded today in Rome, is called No New Pope Elected yet – Black Smoke from Sistine Chapel.

So, time for this music video again: Bafflin’ Smoke Signals – Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Protest songs about police and dictators


Journalists of British daily The Guardian have made a list of protest songs. All of them in the English language.

I ‘ll reproduce some of that list on this blog. Not exactly in the same way as they did. Eg, they have options to listen to songs on Spotify, which is not available in all countries.

And I have added links. And grouped the songs according to themes. The theme of this entry is: protest songs against abuse of power by police, by military dictators, and by others.


Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard (A True Story) !!! 2003

Rudolph Giuliani’s tenure as mayor saw New York nightlife all but stamped out; his taskforce would close down venues without a dance licence if people so much as tapped their foot. When the bar Nic Offer was working at fell victim to Giuliani’s clampdown, the !!! frontman was driven to write this nine-minute punk-funk epic, which attempts to start a dancefloor insurrection. AN …


Fuck tha Police NWA 1988

More than three years before the LA riots – provoked by the LAPD’s filmed assault on Rodney King – this track from Niggaz With Attitude’s Straight Outta Compton album expressed the growing anger towards police brutality among black youth in Los Angeles. Presented as a furious, gangsta-funk court case that the one representative of the LAPD has no chance of winning, the prosecution testimonies of Ice Cube, MC Ren and Eazy-E were so violent that the FBI sent a protest letter to their label Ruthless. GM


Cop Killer Body Count 1992

Ice T’s in-character reaction to the 1991 police beating of Rodney King begins with the stated desire to shoot every corrupt cop in the face. That’s one way to get your audience’s attention. The pummelling, consciously over-the-top piece of speed-metal that ensues was a significant piece of steam-letting on behalf of a community teetering on the brink; following the 1992 LA riots, Cop Killer was removed from the first Body Count album and remains devilishly hard to find. GT


California Über Alles Dead Kennedys 1979

This jolting proto-hardcore debut rose out of DKs’ singer Jello Biafra’s fear of shonky new-age guruism spreading into politics, notably when California governor Jerry Brown stood for election on a platform of Buddhist economics and exploring the universe. Biafra imagined a hippie-fascist future under his presidency worse than Orwell’s 1984, complete with organic poison gas chambers and “suede/denim secret police”. All lurching riffs and twitchy stops, it’s a rabid, paranoid punk classic. TH …


Víctor Jara of Chile Dick Gaughan 1985

Anyone doubting the political power of song might ponder the brutal murder of the great Chilean activist Víctor Jara, whose music was considered sufficiently subversive to warrant his killing by General Pinochet’s junta during the bloody, US-backed military coup of 1973. Adrian Mitchell’s moving poem – which recounts the story of Jara’s life and death – was set to music by Arlo Guthrie, but Dick Gaughan’s cold fury best captures its angry despair. CI

I have been able to find Guthrie´s version with Google, not Gaughan´s. A version by Christy Moore is here.


Police and Thieves Junior Murvin 1976

In 1976, Junior Murvin pitched up at Lee Perry’s legendary Black Ark studio to audition for the maverick producer. The song he brought with him became the rude boy anthem of the year in Jamaica and a huge sound system hit in Britain. On Police and Thieves, Murvin’s extraordinary falsetto, modelled on Curtis Mayfield, floats on a shimmering, otherworldly Perry production that remains one of the high water marks of reggae music. Reworked by the Clash on their debut album, and its rhythm used for countless Jamaican DJ outings, the original remains untouchable. SOH


Days of Fire Nitin Sawhney 2008

How to respond to the events of 7/7 and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in London? Rather than serve up a slice of polemic, Sawhney set a simple acoustic melody against the narrative of a young MC called Natty, who’d followed de Menezes on the next train into Stockwell station. The refrain “it all went slow motion… now we’re all in slow motion” freezes the action but also captures the confusion that followed “the days of fire”. CLS


American Skin (41 Shots) Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 2000

Springsteen’s lament for Guinean immigrant Amadou Dialloshot 41 times by New York City police officers for reaching for his wallet in 1999 – led to the unthinkable: Bruce being booed at Madison Square Garden. The track, recorded for a live E Street reunion record, also marked the moment in which Springsteen was brought back from the critical and commercial wilds to become the documenting voice of modern America, something he confirmed with 2002’s majestic The Rising album. WD

Murder charge for US Klansman


This video from Britain says about itself:

This is a clip of Steel Pulse playing “Ku Klux Klan” live at the Rainbow Theatre London, England September 18th, 1980. This was also included in the film Urgh! A Music War.

From British daily The Guardian:

Murder charge after woman dies at Ku Klux Klan-style initiation

* Dan Glaister
* Thursday November 13 2008

A member of a group linked to the Ku Klux Klan has been charged with murder following the death of an Oklahoma woman who was recruited via the internet, but subsequently tried to leave an initiation ceremony.

Police in Louisiana arrested the man, Raymond “Chuck” Foster, 44, and charged him with second-degree murder after finding the unidentified woman’s body in a remote area 60 miles north of New Orleans. Seven accomplices were arrested, five of them on charges of obstruction of justice.

According to the St Tammany parish sheriff’s department, the woman was shot in the head after saying she wanted to leave the ceremony. She had responded to a website asking for new recruits to the Dixie Brotherhood, also known as the Sons of Dixie, a previously unknown group.

The woman travelled from Oklahoma to Louisiana to meet the group. Her aim was to return to Oklahoma to recruit new members, police said. After several rituals, including a head-shaving, the woman went with eight others to a remote sand-bar campsite.

The initiation ceremony, a police spokesman said, principally involved lighting torches and “running around in the woods”.

But at some point the woman decided she wanted to leave, leading to an argument with Foster, during which he pushed her down and shot her with a .40-caliber handgun, police said.

Members of the group set fire to the woman’s belongings before dumping her body under brush several miles away.

However, authorities were alerted after Foster’s son and another member of the group went to a supermarket in the town of Bogalusa and asked how they could remove bloodstains from their clothes. The shop assistant recognised them and called police, who went to the scene and found five members of the group in the woods.

“The IQ level of this group is not impressive, to be kind,” Sheriff Jack Strain told a news conference, adding, “I can’t imagine anyone feeling endangered or at risk by any one of these kooks.”

Weapons, Ku Klux Klan flags, five white Klan uniforms and a black “imperial wizard” uniform were found at the campsite.

Jimmy Cliff against British Conservatives using his song


This is a music video of “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff.

From British daily The Independent:

‘I always support the lower classes’: Jimmy Cliff‘s response to his adoption by Cameron

By Emily Dugan

Published: 06 October 2007

As David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, stepped off the conference podium at Blackpool on Wednesday to the strains of “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and the applause of the party faithful, their status as the first couple of the Conservative party was secure.

Even those who had doubted their leader now seem convinced that he is the man to lead them back to power. The Tories are so excited that they have even posted a film of the party leader’s moment of glory on their website, citing the song as part of the success of his closing speech.

But the reggae classic has roots that would drain the blue rinse from those who chanted along so chirpily; roots more associated with drugs and violence than the values that Conservatives hold so dear.

Jimmy Cliff‘s song was the main score of the soundtrack to his film The Harder They Come; a Jamaican exploration of marijuana, gun crime and gang violence. …

And no one is more bemused by Cameron’s song choice than Jimmy Cliff himself – or Dr Cliff, as he now likes to be known. “I’ve never voted in my life”, he said by telephone from the Jamaican capital, Kingston, yesterday. “But I’m from the lower class of society and I tend to support them rather than the upper class. It’s not that I don’t have friends or family in the upper classes – I do – but I always prefer to support the lower classes.”

The singer had just been told of his song’s political use, and made it clear he was no Cameronian. “One of my band mates called me this morning to tell me the news. I can’t stop them using the song, but I’m not a supporter of politics. I have heard of Cameron, but I’m not a supporter. …

But, when confronted with some of the Conservatives’ policies – in particular their hardline stance on drugs – the singer said: “I’m not for hard drugs, but I don’t think marijuana should be against the law.” …

But from across the Atlantic comes a warning that campaign songs can be as embarrassing as they are rousing.

In 1996 Bob Dole had to stop using his version of the Sam & Dave classic “Soul Man” (which he had adapted as “Dole Man”) after the copyright owner sent him a threatening letter.

Toots interview: here.