After a whole year away, Matthew Bolin and Lyana Fernandez are back with the seventh episode of Songs of Freedom, as they use protest music associated with events of the first half of 2014 (specifically the Sochi Olympics and the World Cup) as a jumping off point to discuss topics as varied as:

-What are the different results you get with an artist using music as the format to express protest, versus a musician who writes protest songs?

-Does lyric and/or music quality really allow a political song to outlive its historical context and social usefulness?

-Has the age of viral videos caused younger music audiences to lose the ability to pick up on more subtle or symbolic political messages in music?

-Does the method by which we receive music and art-or even the ways which we can “own” it-change the way we digest and interact with it not just emotionally, but neurologically?

-And, why is the biggest hit by the Pet Shop Boys (“West End Girls”) probably not a song about love or sex, but actually a call for anti-Thatcher, pro-Socialist class warfare?

Also, click the links below to read the two articles and listen to the embedded songs which are heavily referenced throughout this episode:

You can thank Putin for these 11 amazing new gay rights protest songs

Brazilians protest World Cup in song ‘I’m Sorry, Neymar’

Be sure to leave your comments or suggestions for future episode topics below.

Songs of Freedom — EPISODE SEVEN (59:22, 54.4 MB)

Matthew Bolin can be contacted on Twitter @HadriansDad. Lyana Fernandez can be contacted @lolitapop9.

About the Author

Matthew Bolin

Matthew Bolin discovered popular music could be a good thing at age 13. During a field trip to a local college library, he found Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums, 1967-1987" issue, and a great and glorious world opened up. In the years since, Rolling Stone has shrunk, but Matthew has moved up in the world, and will eventually claim his title as "America's Librarian" sometime in the next decade.

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