Stephen Walt wonders “where have all the political songs gone?” Since he seems to have stopped listening to popular music around the time The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory was published, Professor Walt asks the rest of us to weigh in.
Here’s my stab at a few:
1) Arcade Fire, “Intervention” (Neon Bible, 2007)
No place to hide/You were fighting as a soldier on their side/You’re still a soldier in your mind/ Though nothing’s on the line
2) Mos Def, “New World Water” (Black on Both Sides, 1999)
Fluorocarbons and monoxide/ Push the water table lopside…
There are places where TB is common as TV/Cause foreign-based companies go and get greedy/The type of cats who pollute the whole shore line/Have it purified, sell it for a dollar twenty-five.
3) Rilo Kiley “It’s a Hit” (More Adventurous, 2004)
Any chimp can play human for a day/ Use his opposable thumbs to iron his uniform/And run for office on election day/Fancy himself a real decision maker/ And deploy more troops than salt shakers.
Readers, other ideas? How about songs with a more globalist view of world affairs?