With this post I am proposing a new series for the Corner Booth. And if you’re unsettled by my use of a somewhat obscure word in the title, don’t worry, I had to look it up on dictionary.com myself before using it, because I was going for alliteration. In recent months I have found myself using some of my spare moments to make fun new playlists on my iPhone. A theme will pop into my head from listening to one song, then I’ll go and find other songs that fit that theme.
So here is the first of what might be many themed playlists that I will share with you. I will provide the song title, artist, and album along with my favorite or most thematically relevant lyric, followed by a brief commentary. As with any post, discussion is strongly encouraged. What should be added? What doesn’t belong? This list is by no means intended to be THE exhaustive list of songs that fit this theme, merely my interpretation. This playlist is influenced by my own available pool of music and as you’ll see, I don’t typically have a wide variety of artists loaded on my phone. For some artists I add a secondary “Honorable Mention” song.
Playlist Palaver #1 is about the revolution, partially inspired by the hype around the theatrical release of The Hunger Games. These are songs that express the feeling of restlessness and discontent one gets when observing injustice in the world. These are songs that encourage or reflect upon our desires to challenge the status quo. Watch out “THE MAN”, here comes the Revolution Playlist!
1. “Sunday” Bloody Sunday, U2, War
Lyric: “And the battle’s just begun; There’s many lost, but tell me who has won?”
Commentary: Classic revolution material. This one is especially valid since it’s based on actual events in which unarmed civilians were killed. It describes the horror of violence but also offers hope.
2. “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine
Lyric: “What do I gotta, what do I gotta do to wake you up; To shake you up to break the structure up.”
Commentary: Is there anything about RATM’s music that isn’t confrontational? They seem to be rebelling against everything. This song in particular shows how they’re suspicious of everyone and dang it if they’re not gonna get mad and riot about it! This song was on The Matrix soundtrack which is a classic rebellion story.
(Honorable mention: any other song by Rage Against the Machine)
3. “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd, The Wall
Lyric: “We don’t need no education; We don’t need no thought control”
Commentary: This one is slightly less epic because it’s about boarding schools, but it’s still a potent anthem for those fed up with their superiors.
4. “A Rush of Blood to the Head” by Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head
Lyric: “So I’m gonna buy a gun and start a war; If you can tell me something worth fighting for”
Commentary: I’m not exactly sure what this guy is upset about, but he sure is ready to do something crazy. This may be more appropriate for a “Mercenary Playlist.”
5. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Lyric: “Revolutionaries wait; For my head on a silver plate; Just a puppet on a lonely string; Oh, who would ever want to be king?”
Commentary: I included this one because it’s from the loser’s perspective of a successful revolution. This guy got overthrown and he knows it. It’s a comforting reminder that revolutions can succeed.
6. “Politicians” by Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound
Lyric: “I pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians; Watching for my sky to get torn apart”
Commentary: This is particularly appropriate during an election year. It says “Hey, government, I’m sick of your nonsense!” I love the recognition that we Christians fall under a higher and more perfect authority than the one we have to deal with on this earth.
(Honorable Mention: “Rise Above It” from Vice Verses)
7. “All the World is Mad” by Thrice, Beggars
Lyric: “We can’t medicate man to perfection again; We can’t legislate peace in our hearts; We can’t educate sin from our souls; It’s been there from the start”
Commentary: Many of these songs defy the problems with the system. This song is all about how we are the problem and there needs to be a revolution against us and our corruption.
8. “The Fight” by The Classic Crime, Albatross
Lyric: “I’ll take my heart back; And set the people free; I’ll leave the dead to die; And take who’s coming with me”
Commentary: The Classic Crime is one of my favorite bands, but they’re also relatively unknown and obscure. Perhaps someday I will subject to a post about their awesome music! This is the opening track on their first album and it will definitely inspire you to go fight something. I like how this lyric hints at both a personal, internal revolution and one which will liberate others as well.
(Honorable Mention: “Bitter Uprising” from the same album)
9. “Revolution” by P.O.D., Payable on Death
Lyric: “A word louder than a gunshot; And softer that a baby’s laugh; It will pass, just like it always has; Until it spits off the lips of the next man who’s had it up to here”
Commentary: The lyrics of this song are an artful collection of phrases describing a variety of feelings and images associated with any revolution. This is the song that plays during the montage leading up to the big revolution scene where people are getting increasingly fed up and making plans in secret meetings.
(Honorable Mention: “Rise Against” from When Angels & Serpents Dance)
10. “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
Lyric: “No one’s gonna take me alive; The time has come to make things right; You and I must fight for our rights; You and I must fight to survive”
Commentary: This song is the centerpiece of this playlist, and it’s hard to convey why without listening to it. The song builds with a sound much like galloping horses and leads up the bold declaration of the chorus. The whole song is rife with guitar solos that can only be described as nothing less than epic. In the music video that plays in my head when I listen to this song, I have a giant deadly battle axe with which I brutally slay dozens of invading creatures. I then use the very same axe to play air guitar during the guitar solos. If you listen to this song, you will likely have a hard time not punching someone in the face or impulsively starting a revolt.
What’s on your Revolution playlist?