Example Of Essay On Struggle For Economic Rights: Music Review
Music plays a significant role in the human lives. It indicates our emotions and it can influence them. Music can be inspiring, disturbing, calming, scaring, sad and full of joy. It accompanies people from the beginning of civilization when rhythmic sounds were the part of shaman’s performance. Besides, music can be also a powerful instrument in the fight for freedom or gaining rights. For instance, workers and slaves’ song described their conditions and inspire them to change them. Music was often forbidden to perform because officials understood how dangerous it can be. The power of music is unarguable. The well-known example from the Classical Music proves this fact. Haydn was concerned about the well-being of his orchestra and wanted to deliver this message to his employer. As he was talented musician he used the music as a tool. The world famous “Farewell Symphony” shows the possible final of the situation in case the employer would not change anything.
The 20th century revealed many social and economic problems as well proved the political crisis. Music reacted acutely on every change in the political, economic or social situation. It kept its positions as a powerful instrument for attention drawing, criticizing and indicating nation’s attitude. When it comes to the period of 1970s and 1980s, punk rock was on the stage and was the most powerful and active musical movement. Punks’ culture is undeniably related to the political and economic situation of that time because it was, to some extent, generated by the crisis and dissatisfaction with it.
Originally, punk appeared in the New York East Side but gained its popularity and international acknowledgement due to the British musicians. Perhaps their songs were more acute and critical. In their lyrics, UK performers mocked the disintergation of the British society (Peddie 28). It means that the notions of human rights and economic injustice were relatively close to the punks’ culture. However, there was no particular vision on how these rights should be implemented. It was rather the community provision with necessary musical resources. It was up to the society to decide whether to fight for rights or not. Punks’ mission was to point out on the fact of violation.
One of the bands deeply concerned with the economic problems was called The Clash. In their song titled Career Opportunities, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones describe the situation on the labor market. “Career opportunities are the ones that never knock” (OxBlood66), informs The Clash. It was sad but true as the United Kingdom faced the high level of unemployment. The band opposes the current situation and draws attention to the public to show the desperation of the job search. Besides, the available jobs are of low quality and salary and there is no way for a young ambitious person. The song was written by the members of the band and performed by them. The monotonous guitar rhythm makes the audience pay attention to the text not to the performance or melody. The song was written for the debut album of The Clash. It was popular and was acknowledged by the youth.
The culture of punks irritated the government. They tried to deprive them of their civil rules (Leblanc 176). Yet, the popularity of punks only grew. The bands were welcome to point out on the governmental mistakes and make people think on how the situation could be change. The Clash did not succeed in changing the economic situation for the better. Yet it inspired others to do so.
Ian Peddie. "Know your rights". Popular Music and Human Rights. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011. 27–39.
Leblanc, Lauraine. Pretty in Punk. : Illustrated ed. N.p.: Rutgers UP, 1999. Print.
OxBlood66. "The Clash - Career Opportunities." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 29 May. 2009. Web. 13 March 2015.