Music has been an integral part of American history. From really old songs like “The Boston Tea Tax”, which chronicled early revolutionaries first steps towards freedom to “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young which openly criticizes the government and the army for the 4 killed at Kent State. Here is a list of folk and rock songs that can loosely be tied to libertarianism.
10) Here’s To The State Of Mississippi (Richard Nixon)- Phil Ochs.
Phil Ochs was a folk singer during the 1960’s and one of the best protest song writers out there. This song first written about the state of Mississippi and how the cops and politicians covered up racial hate crimes. The imagery is shocking and it is disturbing to think that this stuff happening in our country. The lyrics and song were later changed to “Here’s To The State of Richard Nixon”, mocking his administration. https://youtu.be/K7fgB0m_y2I
9) Self Ownership- Backwordz
No list of Libertarian tunes is complete without Eric July and Backwordz. You can put any of their songs on this list, but this one is my favorite, it also happens to deal with one of the fundamental principles of Liberty. https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=BFBjY_Kj2ko
8) This Land is Your Land- Woody Guthrie
In all honesty Woody would have to take a Pinochet helicopter ride due to his love of Communism and hatred of private property. Nonetheless this is about a country that belongs to her people. It says nothing about the government or eminent domain. https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=1my1jn6QHzE
7) Find The Cost of Freedom- CSNY
A song that challenges listeners to think about the human cost of freedom. This tune is undoubtedly about the soldiers who died in the unjust Vietnam War. The neocons and President at the time said it was necessary to protect the Vietnamese people and the world from the spread of Communism. These four and most of the country saw the B.S. for what it was. https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=GMfvYxK9Zoo
6) Revolution 1- The Beatles
Another anti War, but pro peace tune. “You say you want to change the constitution, well we all want to change your mind.” No doubt many in Washington want to change the constitution for worse. Thankfully we have some pro peace and pro liberty minded people in the government to stop them.https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=BGLGzRXY5Bw
5) Turning The Tide- Zach Hval
Shameless self promotion yes, but of course my libertarian values sneak into my art, and I want you guys to buy my music. This tune touches on peace and equality and how these can turn the tide.https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=ThVxB8kWoto
4) Chimes of Freedom- Bob Dylan
This one is for the objectivists. Most of Dylan’s work is up to interpretation. To me it is about the narrator (not explicitly Dylan) taking shelter from some sort of storm watching thunder and lightning strike when they hear the toiling of a distant bell tolling for the luckless, the abandoned, the forsaked, the refugee on the on armed road of flight for the soldier whose strength is not to fight. To the narrator this seems to represent the chimes of freedom flashing. https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=LVIWA9VTiN8
3) Talking Cancer- Dave Van Ronk
If you think about it if there wasn’t government regulations on tobacco companies this poor saps troubles could have been avoided, and don’t even get me started on that drug war. https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=1mAMwsN0_dU
2) Hey Big Brother- Rare Earth
Many groups of the tend to focus on spreading peace and tolerance. Rare Earth decided go against the grain to remind us of one future that we were on the path and still on the path to; the Orwellian future depicted in the book 1984.https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2jh9jl5nx#/watch?v=hpSNWkYTYNI
1) The Star Spangled Banner- Francis Scott Key
We sing it at ball games and in high school assemblies, but this song reminds us of the men who fought against tyranny and earned dependence and crafted a nation based on the classical liberal philosophy and penned a document which recognizes the freedoms God or nature gives us.