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Bruce Springsteen: Hypocritical Rich Celeb Or Sincere Protest Singer?

  • Written by  Nigel Salazar
Bruce Springsteen brings fiery protest songs back to the music arena… Bruce Springsteen brings fiery protest songs back to the music arena…

Bruce Springsteen can’t catch a break. His just-released Wrecking Ball album brings protest songs back to the concert hall, but his critics say Springsteen is a rich man, so that somehow makes him incapable of being genuinely angry about American decline and the selling out of America to multinational corporations.

When you listen to the best songs from Wrecking Ball, Springsteen sounds like he really means it. Not only that--Springsteen is keeping alive a long tradition of using music to help society.

God knows we need somebody to rally folks to take the country back. People ought to thank Springsteen, not diss him.

And while we’re at it, let’s take a listen to some protest song classics that the Boss would be proud of…

What do Bruce Springsteen, Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Marley, and Pink have in common?

Bob Marley is best known as an Irie One Love reggae martyr, but the roots of his Rastafari religion are thick with rebellion. You hear that in "Get Up, Stand Up"...

Pink wrote "Dear Mr. President" to invite George W. Bush to consider the effects of America’s actions on individuals and other countries, but it could just as well have been written to any politician who doesn’t care enough about the plight of his country’s citizens…

You don’t hear as much about Green Day anymore, but in their day, they were seeing red about war…

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard fired at unarmed Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four of them.

None of those soldiers were ever penalized for what they did. Folk-rock legends Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young immortalized the dead protesters in their song “Four Dead in Ohio.”

Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn visited a war zone, saw innocent civilians killed, and wrote this controversial song that almost got him banned from the United States…

Long before Ozzy Osbourne was a befuddled reality show star, he and Black Sabbath made a classic album that included songs protesting environmental destruction and war. "War Pigs"—what a great name for a song…

If you think Bruce Springsteen is advocating armed rebellion in his 2012 Wrecking Ball hit "Death to My Hometown", the gunshot sound probably proves you right…

Back when they were young, the Rolling Stones made music that fueled the street rebellions of the '60s and '70s, as in this exciting Amsterdam concert version of "Street Fighting Man"…

Surprised that the NFL let The Who play this radical song during their Super Bowl halftime show-- it’s one of the most political songs ever done by a rock band, and one of the most cynical too. Very appropriate for the 2012 election year: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

I’m sure you’ve got some favorite protest songs of your own. Share them with us in our comments section and catch Springsteen in concert if you can. People who’ve seen the Wrecking Ball show say it’s like an uprising!

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Last modified on Tuesday, 03 July 2012 17:56

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