It’s been a banner year for protest songs, and now Jill Sobule, the original “I Kissed a Girl” singer, has tried her hand at a ballad for unemployed protesters living under a bridge. “Under a Bridge,” which she has dedicated “to all the good folks pitching tents at OWS,” imagines a town of people who have lost everything but band together to pool their money, help one another and keep warm.
Listen to Sobule’s song after the jump.
Sobule, best known for her 1990s hits like “Supermodel” and “I Kissed a Girl” — a different song than the Katy Perry hit — said she imagined a “hobo town filled with destitute artists, students and working-class stiffs banding together.” She wrote the song with her songwriting partner, Robin Eaton.
Music has become a bigger part of Occupy in recent weeks, with musicians such as David Crosby and Graham Nash, Jeff Magnum (of Neutral Milk Hotel), and Gogol Bordello performing at Occupy encampments. David Montgomery wrote about Occupy protest songs last month:
The first singles on the soundtrack of the revolution are being written on the fly and downloaded as we speak. Every songwriter secretly hopes to compose an anthem worthy of Dylan, Odetta, Chuck D, the Clash — pick your idol — but fans and critics will be the judge of that.
For now, what’s interesting about this new movement music is the role it’s playing in the organizing and how it identifies deeper streams that seem to link disparate cultures of rebellion in the United States and other parts of the world.
Protest songs have changed since their heyday in the ’60s, Post music critic Chris Richards says. They’re not as mainstream and don’t often receive radio play. “If tomorrow’s protest music becomes more direct, it will still have to overcome colossal odds. In a digital era, instead of rallying around music, a new generation is rallying around social media,” he wrote.