Message of four classic tunes remains relevant to current times

Music can be truly timeless, though most music inadvertently represents a time in which it was created or released. Arguably, “good music,” maintains its relevancy as time passes. Here are five songs that represent the political climate then, and in turn relate to current issues almost seamlessly. 

“Toxicity” – System of a Down (Columbia Records, 2001) 

Though this song was not traditionally or inherently political, it has been treated as such. The record that this song appears on can only be described as  a time capsule of the era it was conceived in, with the perceived synopsis of the time being the title track, “Toxicity.”  System of a Down somehow managed to peak on the Billboard charts within some of the most precarious days of American history, though the album by the Armenian-American band was dubbed questionable by Clear Channel Communications. Material off of the record was then placed on a list of banned songs, though the themes of censorship and disorder have no expiration date.

“Letter From Iraq” – The Bouncing Souls (Epitaph, 2006) 

As tensions begin to grow surrounding Trump’s controversial foreign policy, looking back a mere 11 years into American history provides a sick irony. We have not yet learned that both American citizens and our government’s perceived adversaries are all human, and that bloodless ideologies create a mortality rate for both parties. Regardless of personal positions on the matter, these actions inversely affect all of us.

“Zombie” – The Cranberries (1994, The Island Def Jam Music Group) 

America is certainly not the only nation in the world that has experienced such a divisive age or the long lasting socio-political effects of the previously mentioned. The Cranberries managed to compact a denouement of the Easter Rising of Ireland and Great Britain in 1916 into a five minute and 15 second account in two different narratives. From the vague perspective of a citizen, to the perspective of a mother who has lost her child to the violence created by disseverance, “Zombie,” is eerily cautionary.

“American Idiot”  – Green Day (Reprise Records, 2004) 

While this is the most predictable and mainstream work to make an appearance on this list, it is strange to think about how a song spawned out of the uncertainty of the early post 9/11 era is still relevant today, as if nothing has changed politically within the last 16 years. If you translate the blatant George W. Bush critique to a present day Trump administration, “American Idiot” maintains its relevant narrative practically intact. America is still most definitely “one nation controlled by the media,” propaganda wars have replaced warfare and this is one brand new “information age of hysteria.”

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