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Quiz about Songs of Protest Top Ten from Rolling Stone
Quiz about Songs of Protest Top Ten from Rolling Stone

Songs of Protest: Top Ten from 'Rolling Stone' Quiz


In 2014, 'Rolling Stone' conducted a poll to select the top ten protest songs of all time, as judged by its readers. Not surprisingly, many of them came from the 1960s and 1970s.

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
374,586
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
582
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
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Question 1 of 10
1. You may not have been at Woodstock, but if you saw the movie of that event, you will probably recall the song that came in at Number Ten in the poll of protest songs. Who recorded the anti-Vietnam protest song 'I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag'? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Bob Dylan's first appearance in the list of the top ten protest songs, but not his last, was the 1975 song 'Hurricane', written to protest the unjust imprisonment of what man? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The 1969 album 'Willie and the Poor Boys' included the song that came in at Number Eight in the poll. Which group are responsible for this version of John Fogerty's song 'Fortunate Son'? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. At Number Seven in the 2014 poll on protest songs conducted by 'Rolling Stone' was a much-covered classic protest song written and originally performed by Bob Dylan. Which of his songs opens with the line, "How many roads must a man walk down"? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Only one song in 'Rolling Stone' magazine's list of the top ten protest songs was not a product of the 1960s or 1970s. Who released 'Killing in the Name' in 1992 as their debut single? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. 'Rolling Stone' magazine's poll of protest songs produced a cover of P. F. Sloane's song 'Eve of Destruction' in fifth place. Which former member of the New Christy Minstrels had a hit with this song in 1965? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What song placed Number Four in the 'Rolling Stone' survey of protest songs? Perhaps these lyrics will jog your memory: "Come gather 'round people / Wherever you roam / And admit that the waters / Around you have grown." Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The Number Three song in the 'Rolling Stone' poll of protest songs was 'For What It's Worth', written by Stephen Stills in response to the first of the 'Sunset Strip riots', confrontations between hippies and police in Los Angeles that began in 1966 and continued for several years. Which band released the song in 1967? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Neil Young wrote 'Ohio', which ranked Number Two in the 2014 list of all-time protest songs from 'Rolling Stone', in response to what tragic event in 1970? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The song that topped the 2014 poll by 'Rolling Stone' of protest songs was 'Masters of War'. Who wrote and performed this song? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. You may not have been at Woodstock, but if you saw the movie of that event, you will probably recall the song that came in at Number Ten in the poll of protest songs. Who recorded the anti-Vietnam protest song 'I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag'?

Answer: Country Joe and the Fish

All of these acts, and many more, performed at the 1969 music festival known as Woodstock, despite the fact that it was actually held on a farm in Bethel, NY, nearly 70 km (43 miles) away from the town of Woodstock, where the festival was originally planned to be located. Country Joe McDonald performed early in the festival as a solo artist, and again later with his band, as Country Joe and the Fish. This song was the closing number of each performance. 'I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag' was the title track of the band's 1967 album. In most concert performances, the band preceded it with 'The Fish Cheer', the track that preceded it on the album. At Woodstock, F-I-S-H was changed into another F-word, unsuitable for use here, but happily accepted by the crowd there.

Do you remember the iconic chorus?

"And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopie! We're all gonna die!"
2. Bob Dylan's first appearance in the list of the top ten protest songs, but not his last, was the 1975 song 'Hurricane', written to protest the unjust imprisonment of what man?

Answer: Rubin Carter

After nearly ten years of writing in genres other than protest music, Dylan returned to one of his strengths, the impassioned description of injustice. He co-wrote this song with Jacques Levy, to raise public awareness of the plight of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a professional boxer who had been imprisoned for a murder he claimed he had not committed. The single was released in 1975, and the track was included on the 1976 album 'Desire'. Carter was granted a retrial, but was convicted again in February of 1976. His conviction was eventually overturned in 1985, and all charges were dropped in 1988.

The detailed accuracy of Dylan's lyrics has been challenged, but their power is undeniable:

"Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world."
3. The 1969 album 'Willie and the Poor Boys' included the song that came in at Number Eight in the poll. Which group are responsible for this version of John Fogerty's song 'Fortunate Son'?

Answer: Creedence Clearwater Revival

'Fortunate Son' was written to criticize the fact that the elite of society, who are often vocal in their declarations of patriotism, are not the ones who bear the actual costs of war, either by way of actually fighting or in financial terms. Some have seen it as being anti-military, but Fogerty did not intend it that way. He has said in interviews that, as a former member of the Army Reserve, he wanted to see more support of the needs of the individual soldiers who are engaged in active combat (or in peacekeeping missions). 'Fortunate Son' has been covered many times, and is also frequently performed in concert. A notable instance of this was the 2014 Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C., where it was performed by Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and Zac Brown, drawing criticism from those who saw it as being an anti-military statement.

"Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
Ooo, they're red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief"
Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no."
4. At Number Seven in the 2014 poll on protest songs conducted by 'Rolling Stone' was a much-covered classic protest song written and originally performed by Bob Dylan. Which of his songs opens with the line, "How many roads must a man walk down"?

Answer: Blowin' in the Wind

All four of these songs appeared on Dylan's 1963 album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'. Personally, I expected to see 'Blowin' in the Wind' listed nearer the top of the list, but the poll said differently. Dylan's version did not enjoy chart success, but it inspired hundreds of cover versions, including the internationally-successful one by Peter, Paul and Mary released in 1963. In 1994, 'Blowin' in the Wind' was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and a 2004 list from 'Rolling Stone' included it as Number 14 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time (a list which is notable short on Gregorian chants).

As is typical for a Dylan song, the lyrics contain a degree of ambiguity, as the questions it poses are never directly answered. The final line of the chorus may well have been inspired by a passage in Woody Guthrie's book 'Bound for Glory', in which Woody compares his sense of political imperative to newspapers blowing around the streets of New York City.

For this one, you get the entire song. Come on, sing along - you know you want to!

"How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind."
5. Only one song in 'Rolling Stone' magazine's list of the top ten protest songs was not a product of the 1960s or 1970s. Who released 'Killing in the Name' in 1992 as their debut single?

Answer: Rage Against the Machine

'Killing in the Name' appeared on the band's debut album, 'Rage Against the Machine', and quickly became the band's signature song. Its full lyrics contain multiple uses of the F-word, and when on occasion those lyrics have been accidentally played on radio or performed on television, there has been controversy. The song attacks institutionalised racism and police brutality against minorities. In 2009, there was a campaign on Facebook to have people in the UK download 'Killing in the Name' in the week before Christmas, to keep the Christmas Number One song from being a song by the winner of the TV show 'The X Factor' for the fifth year in a row. It was successful, albeit for a single week, and earned the group an entry in the 'Guinness Book of Records' for the volume of downloads.

Lyrics from this song have to be chosen carefully. This is a sample.

"Killing in the name of!
Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses (x4)
Huh!

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of!

And now you do what they told ya (x 11)
But now you do what they told ya
Well now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites

Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses (x4)
Uggh!
...
___ ___, I won't do what you tell me (x 16; crescendo)
(expletive)
Uggh!"
6. 'Rolling Stone' magazine's poll of protest songs produced a cover of P. F. Sloane's song 'Eve of Destruction' in fifth place. Which former member of the New Christy Minstrels had a hit with this song in 1965?

Answer: Barry McGuire

All of these singers were part of the New Christy Minstrels at some time (along with many others - the group had a lot of turnover). P. F. Sloane originally thought his song would be suitable for the Byrds, but they decided against it; it was then offered to the Turtles, who recorded it on their 1965 debut album 'It Ain't Me Babe', released just before Barry McGuire's version. McGuire had originally intended to replace the vocal track he recorded with a more polished version, but the rough first take was leaked; it got airplay and a very positive audience response, so they decided to leave well enough alone. The song hit Number One on the Billboard chart in the last week of September. With the Cuban Missile Crisis still vivid in the minds of Americans, the lyrics resonated strongly.

Here are some of the lyrics. You will have to imagine McGuire's gravelly voice for yourself.

"The eastern world it is explodin', violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin'

But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
Can't you see the fear that I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away
There'll be none to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy

But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction."
7. What song placed Number Four in the 'Rolling Stone' survey of protest songs? Perhaps these lyrics will jog your memory: "Come gather 'round people / Wherever you roam / And admit that the waters / Around you have grown."

Answer: The Times They Are A-Changin'

The title track of Bob Dylan's third studio album became an icon of the Sixties. It was released a few weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy (although it had been recorded prior to that event), and captured the prevalent sense that social changes were about to happen, and at an accelerating pace. When he performed the song in the 21st century, it seemed to be more universal in its appeal - it is not just a message from youth demanding that the adults in society accept the need for change, it is also a message to adults to accept that their children will be different from themselves. If you don't enjoy the quality of Dylan's voice, you might find it easier to listen to one of the many other versions; the Byrds, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen are only some of them.

Ready? Let's sing!

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'"
8. The Number Three song in the 'Rolling Stone' poll of protest songs was 'For What It's Worth', written by Stephen Stills in response to the first of the 'Sunset Strip riots', confrontations between hippies and police in Los Angeles that began in 1966 and continued for several years. Which band released the song in 1967?

Answer: Buffalo Springfield

Stephen Stills was a member of all of these bands, but it was the earliest one, Buffalo Springfield, which recorded this enigmatic song (which is much less enigmatic if you know what it is about). Many have thought it was a protest about the Vietnam War, but it was actually about the hippie riots. In an interview, Stills said that the song's title came when he offered it to a record company executive for consideration, saying, "I have this song, for what it's worth, if you want it." There was little connection between the title and the lyrics, so its usual subtitle ('Stop, Hey, What's That Sound') was added to help people recognise it. The band's members at the time when 'For What It's Worth' was recorded were Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin.

"There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
...
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down."
9. Neil Young wrote 'Ohio', which ranked Number Two in the 2014 list of all-time protest songs from 'Rolling Stone', in response to what tragic event in 1970?

Answer: Kent State shootings

On 4 May 1970, National Guard troops opened fire on students protesting against the war in Vietnam, killing four students and wounding nine others, a number of whom were merely moving around the campus, and had not been involved in the demonstration. Many around the country were appalled by the incident. When Neil Young saw John Filo's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller, he turned his angry response into a song, which was recorded within days by his band of the time, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The song was sung at many rallies around the country in the ensuing weeks.

"Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?"
10. The song that topped the 2014 poll by 'Rolling Stone' of protest songs was 'Masters of War'. Who wrote and performed this song?

Answer: Bob Dylan

It didn't surprise me to find that four of the top ten protest songs in the poll were by Bob Dylan, and that he occupied top spot (although I might have chosen a different order). He used a traditional English folk tune, 'Nottamun Town' for this condemnation of what outgoing President Eisenhower had referred to as the military-industrial complex. Like 'Blowin' in the Wind', this song appeared on Dylan's second album, 'The Freewheeling Bob Dylan' in 1963, well before the public was aware of any US involvement in Vietnam. It has been covered many times, although some other performers leave off the last verse as being unnecessarily violent for an anti-war song. What do you think?

"Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
...
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead."
Source: Author looney_tunes

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