Protest Songs Collection with lyrics and chords for ukulele, guitar, banjo etc - Titles index page

380+ Protest Songs about war, racism, sexism, injustice, social exclusion, prejudice, civil rights, corruption, politics, discrimination, abuse and other aspects of the often lamentable human condition. Also with PDF for printing.

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Protest Songs, 380 lyrics and chords
THIS SONG COLLECTION probably includes all the best know protest songs ever, most of these songs include lyrics with chords marked, some also include tab and a few have lyrics only. Some writers have been very prolific with this type of song, and Bob Dylan, Pete Seegar and Phil Ochs stand out as the masters of the genre but you will also find many others, some surprising, as authors and performers of the protest song. Note that some of the songs have more that one version reflecting variations in arrangement lyrics or key.


Essentially a protest song is one that expresses disapproval or complaint, commonly about a perceived injustice, immorality or bad circumstance. The term "protest song" first gained wide usage in the 1960s as a description of popular anti-war songs by artists such Bob Dylan and Joan Baez who may have been influenced by earlier civil rights songs particularly those of Pete Seegar.
The subjects addressed by the protest song often come into the category of current affairs and so tend to have relevance limited in time and place. They often relate to political and social issues and may be associated with a movement for social change. During the Industrial Revolution, dehumanising working conditions and low wages were a common theme, the 1920s and 30s union songs championing workers’ rights were popular, the 60s hilighted the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, and environmental awareness.
It is supposed that the protest song has the purpose to inspire its audience to pay attention to the situation outlined in the song, perhaps with a call for direct action or support "the cause". The song content will often align and empathise with the position of the "underdog" and may denigrate groups or persons seen as contributing causally to the "bad situation". The devices of pathos, irony, parody and black humour may also be found in protest songs. Protest songs may be of any musical style or genre but often are "sing along" songs undemanding on singing and musical ability, thus simple pop and folk arrangements tend to be the most commonly used. Typical causes using the protest song include: anti-war, anti-racism, the labour movement, environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, animal rights, social exclusion, poverty and many more.

Rod Smith July 2013


Although many of the songs mention artist or author names, this may not be accurate and these songs should not be considered as definitive versions representative of any particular performance or artist. Also the keys and chord sequences chosen may also vary considerably between versions by different artists. Some of these songs may be in the public domain or traditional categories, however most are not, and should you wish to use them as a basis of a performance or for any non-personal study purpose you are advised to contact the copyright holders (where available, copyright info has been included with the song). These transcriptions are made by many different individuals from all over the world for their own research and instruction, and as such are liable to great variation in interpretation and opinion. They are being shared on this site for educational purposes only, please see our copyright page for more info.

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Should you need version of the song, for printing (without banners or adverts) an PDF file is available for downloading by the link at the bottom of the song pages..

For Protest Songs books and Sheet Music to buy check the Protest Songs Collection at Sheet Music Plus

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1913 Massacre- Woody Guthrie
19th Nervous Breakdown- Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
99 Red Balloons- Nena
Across The Lines- Tracy Chapman
A Day In The Life- John Lennon
A Day In The Life- The Beatles
Advertising Space- Robbie Williams
Africa Unite- Bob Marley
After The Gold Rush- Neil Young
A Hard Rain's A- Gonna Fall- Bob Dylan
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall- Bob Dylan
Alabama- Neil Young
All I Want- Jim Garland
All My Trials- Joan Baez
All The Fine Young Men- Eric Bogle
Ambush In The Night- Bob Marley
American Skin 41 Shots- Bruce Springsteen
And The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda- Eric Bogle
Angry American- Toby Keith
Another Brick In The Wall- Pink Floyd
Any King's Shilling- Elvis Costello
Aquarius- James Rado (hair)
A Reason For It All- Eric Bogle
A Soldier's Dream- Donovan P Leitch
A Toast To Those Who Are Gone- Phil Ochs
At The Zoo- Paul Simon
Authority Song- John Mellencamp
Average Person- Paul Mccartney
A Well- Respected Man- Ray Davies
Baby, You're A Rich Man- John Lennon & Paul Mccartney
Bad Moon Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad Moon Rising- John Fogerty
Ballad Of Donald White- Bob Dylan
Ballad Of Hollis Brown- Bob Dylan
Ballad Of Penny Evans- Steve Goodman 1971
Ballad Of The Skeletons- Paul Mccartney
Ballad Of William Worthy- Phil Ochs
Banks Of Marble- Lee Rice 1950
Barrel Of Pain Half Life- Graham Nash
Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw- E Dodd
Beds Are Burning- Midnight Oil
Big Yellow Taxi- Joni Mitchell
Biko- Peter Gabriel
Birmingham Sunday Ukulele- Joan Baez
Bitch- Meredith Brooks
Black & White- Three Dog Night
Black Rain- Aa Bondy
Blood Brothers- Bruce Springsteen
Blood Poppy Red- Nick Shovlin
Bloody Well Right- Supertramp
Blowing In The Wind- Bob Dylan
Blowing In The Wind- Joan Baez
Blowin' In The Wind- Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan's Dream- Bob Dylan
Books Are Burning- Andy Partridge(xtc)
Born In The Usa- Bruce Springsteen
Born On The Fourth Of July- Tom Paxton
Bright Suburban Mr Mrs Clean Machine- Joe Mcdonald
Bring 'em Home- Bruce Springsteen
Bringing Buddy Home- John Mcdermott
Buffalo Soldier- Bob Marley
But I Might Die Tonight- Cat Stevens
Cakewalk To Baghdad Lyrics And Music By Bruce Barthol © 2003
Cat's In The Cradle- Harry Chapin
Charlie & The M.t.a.- Traditional
Chimes Of Freedom- Bob Dylan
Chimes Of Freedom- Bruce Springsteen
Christmas In The Trenches- John Mccutcheon
Conquistador- Gary Brooker & Keith Reid(procol Harem)
Cookie Jar- Jack Johnson
Cops Of The World- Phil Ochs
Critic's Choice- Robert Lamm
Crucifixion- Phil Ochs
Crystal Blue Persuasion- Tommy James
Cuban Missile Crisis- Bob Dylan
Daniel- Bernie Taupin
Dark As A Dungeon- Merle Travis
Day Is Done- Peter, Paul & Mary
Dear God- Xtc
Dear Mrs Roosevelt- Woody Guthrie
Deportee- Woody Guthrie
Desolation Row- Bob Dylan
Dialogue- Robert Lamm(chicago)
Disease Of Conceit- Bob Dylan
does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?- Robert Lamm(chicago)
Donna Donna- Donovan
Donots And Anti- Flag Anti- War Song - Justin Sane- Ly
Don't Ever Take Away Our Freedom- Peter Paul And Mary
Do Re Mi- Woody Guthrie
Draft Dodger Rag- Phil Ochs
Dust Bowl Blues- Woody Guthrie
Ebony And Ivory- Paul Mccartney
Eleanor Rigby- John Lennon
Eleanor Rigby- Paul Mccartney
Eve Of Destruction- Barry Mcguire
Everyday People- Sly & The Family Stone(1969)
Everything Is Broken- Bob Dylan
Excitable Boy- Warren Zevon
Excuse Me, Mr- Ben Harper
Family Affair- Sly & The Family Stone
Father And Son- Cat Stevens
Father Christmas- Ray Davies
Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag- Country Joe Macdonald
Filled With Love- Joyce Andersen- Ly
Final Straw- Michael Stipe- Ly
Final Straw—rem
Find The Cost Of Freedom- Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Flowers- The Talking Heads
For My Lover- Tracy Chapman
Fortunate Son- Creedence Clearwater Revival
Fortunate Son- John Fogerty
For What It's Worth- Stephen Stills
Fragile- Sting
Free At Last Chords- Joan Baez
Freedom- Paul Mccartney
Free Tibet- Vino Rosso
Gallipoli- The Fureys
Games Without Frontiers- Peter Gabriel
Get Together- Chet Powers
Get Up Stand Up- Bob Marley
Give Ireland Back To The Irish- Paul Mccartney
Give Peace A Chance- John Lennon
God Save The People- Stephen Schwartz
God's Comic- Declan Patrick Aloysius Macmanus
Gods Counting On Me Gods Counting On You- Pete Seeger
Goldwatch Blues- Donovan
Good Company- Brian May(queen)
Goodnight, Saigon- Billy Joel
Hair- James Rado(hair)
Happy Christmas(war Is Over)- John Lennon
Hard Times- Stephen C Foster
Hard Times In New York Town- Bob Dylan
Hard Travelin- Woody Guthrie
Harry Truman- Robert Lamm
Heavy Horses- Ian Anderson
Here's To The State Of Mississippi- Phil Ochs
Here's To The State Of Richard Nixon- Phil Ochs
Hero Nam Vet- Ron Rackley
Hey, Nellie, Nellie- Sam Brown
Higher Ground- Stevie Wonder
Highway 61 Revisited- Bob Dylan
Hiram Hubbard- Trad
Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette- Jim Page
Hobos Lullaby- Woody Guthrie
Hobos Lullaby- Woody Guthrie 1
Holiday- Greenday
Hurricane- Bob Dylan
I Ain't Got No Home- Woody Guthrie
I Ain't Marchin' Anymore- Phil Ochs
I Aint Marching Anymore- Phil Ochs 1
I Am Not At War With Anyone- Luka Bloom- Ly
Ideology- Billy Bragg
I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing- The New Seekers
I'd Love To Change The World- Alvin Lee
I Don't Like Mondays- Bob Geldof(the Boomtown Rats)
I Feel Like Im Fixing To Die Rag Chords- Country Joe Mcdonald
I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag- Joe Mcdonald 1965
If I Had A Hammer- Lee Hays
If I Had A Hammer- Peter Paul And Mary
If I Had A Rocket Launcher- Bruce Cockburn
If I Were Free- Jesse Winchester
I Gonna Say It Now- Phil Ochs
Imagine- John Lennon
I'm Gonna Be An Engineer- Peggy Seeger
In A World Gone Mad- Beastie Boys
Innocent Child- Mick Jones
Instant Karma- John Lennon
In Your Name- Graham Nash
It Better End Soon- Robert Lamm
Its Good News Week- Hedgehoppers Anonymous
It's The End Of The World As We Know It- R.E.M.
It Takes A Married Man To Sing A Worried Song- Woody Guthrie
Jack And Diane- John Cougar Mellencamp
Janie's Got A Gun- Steven Tyler
Jefferson And Liberty- Traditional
Jesus Christ- Woody Guthrie
Joe Hill- Phil Ochs
Joe Hill Ukulele- Joan Baez
Johnny, I Hardly Knew You- Trad
Just A Girl- Gwen Stefani
Lady Madonna- Paul Mccartney
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream- Ed Mccurdy
Lather- Jefferson Airplane
Lay Down- Melanie Safka
Let Him Dangle- Declan Patrick Aloysius Macmanus
Let The People Sing- Brian Warfield
Let There Be Peace On Earth- Jill Jackson
License To Kill- Bob Dylan
Life During Wartime- Green Day- Ly

Like A Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan
Little Boxes- Malvina Reynolds
Little Boxes- Pete Seeger
Living In The Future In A Plastic Dome- Joe Mcdonald
Living On A Thin Line- Ray Davies
Look What They've Done To My Song- Melanie Safka
Love Me Im A Liberal- Phil Ochs
Lowdown- Peter Cetera
Lucky Man- Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Ludlow Massacre- Woody Guthrie
Luka- Suzanne Vega
Mad Johns Escape- Donovan
Masters Of War- Bob Dylan
Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard- Paul Simon
Men Behind The Guns- Phil Ochs
Mercedes Benz- Janis Joplin
Midnight Special- Huddie Ledbetter
My Revolutionary Mind- Woody Guthrie
My Youngest Son Came Home- Eric Bogle
Nebraska- Bruce Springsteen
Nikita- Elton John
No Easy Walk To Freedom- Peter Paul And Mary
North Country Blues- Bob Dylan
Not An Addict- K's Choice
No Use For Him- Eric Bogle
Oh, Freedom- Traditional American
Oh Camil The Winter Soldier - Graham Nash 1973
Ohio- Neil Young
Ohio- Neil Young 1970
Old- Time Religion
Old Man- Neil Young
Old Time Religion Parody- Pete Seeger
One- U2
One Love- Bob Marley
One Of Us- Eric Bazilian
One Tin Soldier- Dennis Lambertt
One Way Or Another- Debbie Harry
Only A Hobo- Bob Dylan
Only A Pawn In Their Game- Bob Dylan
Orange Crush- R E M- Ly
Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends- Phil Ochs
Oxford Town- Bob Dylan
Paradise- Traditional
Pastures Of Plenty- Woody Guthrie
Peace, Love & Understanding- Nick Lowe
Peace Frog- Jim Morrison & Robby Krieger
Peace Train- Cat Stevens
People Get Ready- Curtis Mayfield
Pink Houses- John Mellencamp
Political Science- Randy Newman
Political World- Bob Dylan
Portland Town- Woody Guthrie
Power To The People- John Lennon
Pride- U2
Prison Trilogy Billy Rose- Joan Baez
Psycho Killer- Talking Heads
Radio, Radio- Declan Patrick Aloysius Macmanus
Radio Ga- Ga- Roger Taylor
Real Good For Free- Joni Mitchell
Rejoyce- Grace Slick 1967
Repossession Blues- Bob Dylan
Revolution- John Lennon & Paul Mccartney
Rich Man Poor Man- Peter Paul And Mary
Right Here, Right Now- Jesus Jones
Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner- Warren Zevon
Russians- Sting
Salvation- The Cranberries
Samson & Delilah- Reverend Gary Davis
Save The People- Stephen Schwarz
Scarborough Fair- Canticle- Traditional
School- Supertramp
Searching For A Soldier's Grave- Jim Anglin
Shaking The Tree- Peter Gabriel
Shambala- Three Dog Night
Shipbuilding- Elvis Costello
Short People- Randy Newman
Signs- L. Emmerson
Sing A Mean Tune, Kid- Robert Lamm
Singing The Spirit Home- Eric Bogle
Smells Like Teen Spirit- Kurt Cobain
Soldiers Of Peace- Graham Nash
Song Of A Soldier- Phil Ochs
Song Of Bangladesh- Joan Baez
Sound Of Silence- Paul Simon
Southern Man- Neil Young
Springhill Mine Disaster- Luke Kelly
Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan
Success Has Made A Failure Of Our Home- Sinzad O'connor
Sunday, Bloody Sunday- U2
Sunny Came Home- Shawn Colvin
Superbird- Joe Mcdonald
Sweet Home Alabama- Ronnie Van Zant
Sympathy For The Devil- Mick Jagger
Synchronicity I- Sting
Talkin' About A Revolution- Tracy Chapman
Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues- Bob Dylan
Talkin' World War Iii Blues- Bob Dylan
Teach Your Children- Graham Nash
Ten Forgotten Men- The Irish Brigade
That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be- Carly Simon
That Was The President- Phil Ochs
The Ballad Of Ira Hayes- Bob Dylan
The Battle Of Evermore- Led Zeppelin
The Bomb Song Joe Mcdonald
The Boxer- Paul Simon
The Boys That Wore The Green- Unknown
The Cannons Of Christianity- Phil Ochs
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill- John Lennon
The Cruel War- Traditional
The Cruel War Chords- Peter Paul And Mary
The Dangling Conversation- Paul Simon
The Downeaster Alexa - Billy Joel
The Fields Of Athenry- Pete St John
The Fool On The Hill- John Lennon
The General- Dispatch
The Ghost Of Tom Joad- Bruce Springsteen
The Great Mandella- Peter Yarrow
The Green Fields Of France- Eric Bogle
The King's Shilling- Ian Sinclair
The Klan- Traditional
The Logical Song- Supertramp
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll- Bob Dylan
The Moneygoround- Ray Davies
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down- Joan Baez
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down- Robbie Robertson
The Passing Of My Life- Phil Ochs
The Pound Is Sinking- Paul Mccartney
The Power And The Glory- Phil Ochs
There But For Fortune- Phil Ochs
There's A War Outside- Ian Mccalman
The Riflemen's Song At Bennington- Traditional
The Shipyard Slips- David Wilde
The Sins Of A Family- Barry Mcguire
The Thresher- Phil Ochs
The Times They Are A- Changin- Bob Dylan 1
The Times They Are A- Changin- Bob Dylan
The Times They Are A Changing- Peter Paul And Mary
The War Drags On- Donovan
The Wearing Of The Green- Traditional Irish
The Work Of The Weavers- David Shaw
They Killed Him- Kris Kristofferson
This Land Is Your Land- Woody Guthrie
This World Can't Stand Long- Jim Anglin
Too Many Martyrs- Phil Ochs
Tramp The Dirt Down- Declan Patrick Aloysius Macmanus
Tricky Dicky- Joe Mcdonald
Turn! Turn! Turn!- Pete Seeger
Turn The Page- Bob Seger
Turn Turn Turn- Pete Seeger
Two Hangmen- Terry Talbot 1969
Union Maid- Woody Guthrie
Universal Soldier- Buffy St Marie
Universal Soldier- Donovan
veronica- Declan Patrick Aloysius Macmanus (Elvis Costello)
Victoria- Ray Davies
Vigilante Man- Woody Guthrie
Walking In Your Footsteps- Sting
War- Jonatha Brooke- Ly
War Child- Dolores O'riordan
War Pigs - Black Sabbath
We Don't Want Your War- Jynkz- Ly
Welcome To The Black Parade- My Chemical Romance
We Shall Overcome- Bruce Springsteen
We Shall Overcome- Pete Seeger
We Shall Overcome- Zilpha Hort
We Want Peace- Lennie Kravitz
What About Me- Dino Valente 1970
What Are Their Names- Neil Young
What Are You Fighting For- Phil Ochs
What Did You Learn In School Today- Pete Seeger
What Have They Done To The Rain- Joan Baez
What Have They Done To The Rain- Malvina Reynolds
What I Am- Edie Brickell
Whats Going On- Marvin Gaye
What's Happening Brother- Marvin Gaye
What's That I Hear- Phil Ochs
What's Up- Linda Perry
When I'm Gone- Phil Ochs
When Margret Was Eleven- Pete St John
When The Ship Comes - Bob Dylan
When The Ship Comes In- Peter, Paul And Mary
Where Have All The Flowers Gone- Pete Seeger
Which Side- Arlo Guthrie
White Rabbit- Grace Slick
With God On Our Side- Bob Dylan
Wooden Ships- David Crosby
Woodstock- Joni Mitchell
World Turned Upside Down- Bragg Billy
Wounded Knee- Johnny Cash
Yes, We Can, Can- Allen Toussaint
You Can't Always Get What You Want- Mick Jagger
Zak And Sara- Ben Folds
Zombie- The Cranberries

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