The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Activism anthems playlist

GRAPHIC: GABRIELLA GUZZARDO ’23
gabriellaguzzardo4
GRAPHIC: GABRIELLA GUZZARDO ’23

In the current social climate, we must remind ourselves that we have a voice, and we must use it. By remaining neutral, you are allowing for more injustice to occur. Your voice is heard, so sing it loud. Blast these beats to become inspired to make a difference in your community.

“Only the Young” – Taylor Swift

In this political song, Swift references the 2018 midterm elections, Donald Trump and gun violence in the United States. One of the most powerful lines, “You brace for the sound you’ve only heard on TV, you go to class scared, wondering where the best hiding spot would be,” describes the experience of young people’s fear of gun violence. Prior to the 2020 election, Swift collaborated with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, using this song for a Biden-Harris campaign ad.

“I Can’t Breathe” – H.E.R.

H.E.R. wrote this social justice song about the incident of police brutality that resulted in the murder of George Floyd. H.E.R. uses Floyd’s last words as a metaphor in the song to describe the Black experience under systemic racism, “I can’t breathe, you’re taking my life from me, I can’t breathe. Will anyone fight for me?” The song won MTV’s Video Music Award for Best Video for Good, with its formidable imagery of activism shown through protests and news segments.

“The Kids are All Dying” – FINNEAS

In the height of FINNEAS’ fame, he released this song pleading for his audience to educate and inform themselves on social injustices, while also calling out artists who do not use their massive platforms to speak out about social issues. He asks in the lyrics, “How can you sing about love when the kids are all dying? How can you sing about drugs? Politicians are lying. How can you sing about sex when the school is on lockdown?” This powerful, catchy hit ensures that listeners remain conscious of our nation’s problems.

“21 Guns” – Green Day

Green Day’s powerful 2009 hit serves as an anti-war ballad. The title of this song is a reference to the customary 21-gun salute, which is performed in honor of a soldier who has fallen in war. The lyrics read as a first-person narrator describes self-conflict with the idea of war, asking, “Do you know what’s worth fighting for if it’s not worth dying for?” The song calls for peace and reconciliation through the lines, “Lay down your arms, give up the fight.”

“Chained to the Rhythm” – Katy Perry and Skip Marley

This bop comes with an underlying message — Perry crafted this song to sound like her typical carefree fun hits, but calls herself and all of us out in the lyrics. Through her lyrics, “Are we crazy? Living our lives through a lens, trapped in our white-picket fence,” Perry asks herself and the rest of the nation how we can be so complacent and ignore all the horrors happening around us. The white picket fence line, a strong illusion to the American Dream, is meant to be perceived as a negative and exclusive idea. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *