The enduring culture and limits of political song

Cross, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2301-7318, 2017. The enduring culture and limits of political song. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 4: 1371102. ISSN 2331-1983

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The connection between song and politics is well documented, but in recent years is said to be severed. This is not the case. The relationship between politics and song endures, reflecting and revivifying a culture of political struggle. In this essay, I survey political song, outlining how it is approached, before arguing for a tighter definition after working through the claim that all song is political. In doing so, I build a platform for discussion of songs by English singer-songwriter Leon Rosselson. For over 50 years, Rosselson’s songwriting has illuminated historical and topical events from a left-wing perspective, but he is also clear a song converts noone and changes nothing. To think otherwise misunderstands that songs are neither mobilisers or opiates, but an idiom for people to express their everyday lives and struggles. The essay concludes by assessing Rosselson’s insights on the power and limits of song.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Cogent Arts & Humanities
Creators: Cross, S.
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 20 September 2017
Volume: 4
ISSN: 2331-1983
Rights: © 2017 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 18 Jun 2018 15:38
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2018 15:38

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