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 You are in: Front Page > Programmes > The World Today
What is your favourite political song?
Favourite political songs

From The Land Song to A Long Way to Freedom, when we asked eminent figures to name their favourite political song.

Some of the songs chosen are known across the world, others are so obscure they have never been commercially recorded.


The song Ai Timor ... Captured the imagination and broke the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people.
Jose Ramos Horta
Foreign Minister, East Timor

Former French Prime Minister Edith Cresson told us her choice of song, so did East Timor's new, Nobel laureate Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta.

We also discovered the choices of Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, and President Musharraf of Pakistan.

Some politicians made surprising selections. Kenneth Clarke, once finance minister in a Conservative government in Britain, chose a socialist song.

While Michael Foot, former leader of the British Labour Party, selected one more associated with the Liberal party.

Some of the songs you have suggested:

Who Are We?
(Shivan Perwer)
(A song about Kurdish identity and the right to independence).
Kavos Eiveri

War
(Edwin Star)
(In response to the Vietnam war - but never goes out of date)
Val Regan, UK

Ball of Confusion
(Temptations)
Cat W, USA

Do You Hear the People Sing?
(from Les Miserable)
Richard West, USA

For What it's Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
Nancy Fruhman, USA

Fortunate Son (Crosby, Stills, Nash)
Nancy Fruhman, USA

Ohio (Neil Young)
Nancy Fruhman, USA

Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)
Nancy Fruhman, USA

Joe Hill (Joan Baez)
Anita Freehauf, USA

Fall on Me
(REM)
Iain Clements, UK

Won't Get Fooled Again
(The Who)
(This song rings true in looking at the revolutions that seem to plague our society. Each makes promises but never seems to deliver. Alan Neff, USA).
Nancy Fruhman, USA

Between The Wars
(Billy Bragg)
(Extremely moving song about working-class pacifism as an alternative to gung-ho militarism as created by propaganda).
Mat McVeagh

Bonzo Goes to Bitburg
(The Ramones)
Matthew Pruter, USA

A Dream Like Mine
(Bruce Cockburn)
John Dickson, Mozambique

I'd Love to Change the World
(Ten Years After)
Matt Lusk, Canada

A Man's a Man for a' That
(Robbie Burns)
(Explains that each human being is of equal worth).
Norman MacLeod, France

Forgotten Years
(Midnight Oil)
Alistair Ben, Australia

Billy Bold
(Graham Brazier)
Syreeta Hewson, New Zealand

Billy Don't Be a Hero
(Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods)
Colin O'Brien, UK

Games Without Frontiers
(Peter Gabriel)
Mike Williams, UK

Girls on Cars
(Jimmy Cliff)
Cath Trimble, Liverpool

World Turned Upside Down
(Leon Rosselson)
Dave Dann, UK

Union Maid
(Judy Collin)
(Reminds me of the battles fought and won by the labour movement and gives me strength to fight the battles to come for social justice).
Darren Birch, Canada

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore (John Prine)
(Speaks to me of injustices commited in the name of the "greatest democracy in the world")
Darren Birch, Canada

Sign of the Time (Prince)
Farouk Azam, UK

God on Our Side
(Bob Dylan)
Barbara Underwood, UK

U.S. Forces (Midnight Oil)
Klik, USA

The Last Resort
(The Eagles)
Debra Tutt, Australia

This Land is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
Steve O'Neal, Belgium

El Necio (Silvio Rodriguez)
Marcela S, Argentina

9-11 for Peace (Anti-Flag)
(A song which calls out for an end to violence).
Sandy Hager, Canada

Hard Rain (Bob Dylan)
(It's about the onset of nuclear war).
Andrew Meredith, UK

I'm a Good Old Rebel
(Major Innes Randolph)
(The lost cause is never lost until you stop believing in it).
Richard R. Daly, USA

The Harder They Come
(Jimmy Cliff)
(A song of hope focused on a better tomorrow).
A Purzychki, USA

The Vicar of Bray
John McKenzie, Scotland

RU486 (Consolidated)
Sarah Dumoulin, Canada

Prothom Bangladesh , Amar Shesh Bangladesh, Jibon Bangladesh, Amar Moron Bangladesh
(First Bangladesh, My last Bangladesh , Life Bangladesh , My death Bangladesh)
Abdul Basit Choudhury, Sweden

Small Circle of Friends
(Phil Ochs)
Rachel Cartwright, USA

Finlandia
(Sibelius)
N. Jayaram, Hong Kong

The Imposter
(Elvis Costello)
Lynne, UK

War (Bob Marley)
(The lyrics could have been written with reference to the current global situation).
Kathy Addy, Ghana

The Green Fields of France
(This song expresses beautifully the futility of war).
Mona Rabbett, The Netherlands

U.S. Forces
(Midnight Oil)
Charles Wilson, USA

New Auld Lang Syne
(Composed in 1997 in honour of the new Scottish Parliament).
Philip Cowen, London

"Ein BisschenFrieden" (A Little Peace) (Nicole)
(Germany's 1982 Eurovision entry and winner. This was during the cold war and the song really seemed like a plea for sanity amidst the buildup of missiles and nuclear weapons in Europe at the time).
Barrie-John Murphy, USA

Prá Não Dizer que Não Falei das Flores
(Geraldo Vandre)
Charles E. Klimicek Jr, USA

The Star Spangled Banner
(Francis Scott Key)
(This is my country's national anthem, and I've always loved this song, even as a child. It was a protest song, of sorts, when it was written during the War of 1812).
Melissa Dryden, USA

The Marseillaise
David O'Connor, Mongolia

The Vicar of Bray
David O'Connor, Mongolia

The Big Ones Get Away
(Buffy Sainte-Marie)
Paul Cosgrave, Australia

B.O.N.N (Beast Of No Nation)
(Fela Anikulapo Kuti)
Dr. Babajide A. Agboola, Nigeria

The Headmaster Ritual (The Smiths)
(About the inadequacy of the UK education system).
Barry, UK

They Dance Alone (Sting)
(My first exposure to the atrocities in Central America & my life long involvement with Amnesty International).
Brigitte Charaus, USA

The Eyes of Texas
Doug Fairchild, USA

Joi Bangla Banglar Joi or Jai Bangla Banglar Jai
(This song was the inspiration of all Bangalees during the war of liberation in 1971).
Saber Chowdhury, Bangladesh
Dewan Shafiul Arefin Tutul, Bangladesh
Professor Shahadat Ali, Bangladesh
(So far a total of 123 emails for this song).

(Four Dead in) Ohio
(Crosby, (Stills, Nash and Young)
Joe Cheavens, USA

I Ain't Marching Anymore (Phil Ochs)
Lee Sawyer, USA

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
(The Pogues)
Lee Sawyer, USA
Anne Harvey, UK

(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love, and Understanding (Elvis Costello)
William Nedblake, UK

1945 (Social Distortion)
Marcia Medina, USA

The Jarrow Song (Alan Price)
Anne Harvey, UK




Browse the song title archive:



Browse the song title archive:
 
  A-EF-K
L-PQ-X
 
Hear my song:
 
Listen Edith Cresson
(former French Prime Minister)
"Le Temps des Cerises"
 
 
Listen Michael Foot
(former leader of the British Labour Party)
"The Land Song"
 
 
Listen Jose Ramos Horta
(Foreign Minister, East Timor)
"Ai Timor"
 
 
Listen Albert Mazibuko
(Ladysmith Black Mambazo, South Africa)
"A Long Way to Freedom"
 
 
Listen Bob Geldof
(Musician and debt relief campaigner) "Strange Fruit"
 
 
Listen Mikhail Gorbachev (former Soviet President)
" Dark Night"
 
 
Listen Pascoal Mocumbi (Prime Minister of Mozambique) "Kanimambo Frelimo"
 
 
Listen Colin Powell
(US Secretary of State)
" We Shall Overcome
"
 
 
 
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