A Note About Controversy And Popular Music

Believe or not, I don’t always listen to the radio. In fact a lot of my favourite music apparently doesn’t have space on the ever shrinking radio playlists, but that’s a topic for a different time. Any who, one of those artists who I like to listen to is Bob Dylan.

It’s funny because the song “Masters of War” came across my playlist and I couldn’t help but think that even 50 years late, that song is still shocking, even by today’s standards.

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-Bob Dylan

Quite honestly I can’t think of any artists who sing such pointed lyrics, let alone sing that about the powerful war machine that seems to run America. That is dangerous and shocking stuff, and the delivery makes it even more so.

So I thought about it, is there any artists who stir up such emotions of love and hate like Bob Dylan? Sure tonnes of new artists evoke that sort of love and hate, Bieber, Gaga, Cyrus..but it seems like something has changed.

While Bob Dylan’s lyrics used to paint a picture of a society that was broken, the new pop stars evoke emotion by dressing a certain way or acting a certain way, without really making any big statements. In fact the biggest statement that they are making is, my music isn’t enough to stay relevant, and that’s pretty damn sad. While song used to be a way to challenged the people in charge, it is now just a hollow money making machine. We are being distracted away from the mediocre non-offensive music by sexed-up doll-humans promoted by the record labels , who tell us everything is all right, when they couldn’t be more wrong. Looking around, I’d say we need a Bob Dylan more than ever. So bring back the controversy.

Music is so much more than a money maker for suits, here’s to bringing back music to challenge the system (like good old Mr. Strummer, below).

-The Copy Writer-



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