Top 10 Rock and Metal Protest Songs

Protest songs are associated with a movement for social change: anti-war movement, human rights movement, civil rights, animal rights, environmentalism, to name a few.

In some sense rock and metal music were made for protest songs - rock music frequently addresses social or political topics as well as metal because metal is an extreme and more challenging subgenre of rock.

The Top Ten

1 Child In Time - Deep Purple

Deep Purple's classic of 1970 is an anti-war song. An epic and intense song. Unforgettable vocals and guitar solo. - Metal_Treasure

2 Peace Sells - Megadeth

You will understand better this song if you find the version with the video clip. One of my favorite songs by Megadeth: great lyrics and yeah - that remarkable bassline.
"What do you mean,
"I couldn't be the president of the United States of America"?
Tell me something, it's still "We the people", right?

If there's a new way
I'll be the first in line,
But, it better work this time.

Can you put a price on peace?
Peace sells..., but who's buying? " - Metal_Treasure

3 You're the Voice - John Farnham

Incredible song overall. The guy is one of the best singers I've ever heard who was nicknamed "The Voice" for 2 reasons - his awesome voice and the title of this song that is his most popular song.
"We have the chance to turn the pages over
We can write what we want to write
We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older

We're all someone's daughter
We're all someone's son
How long can we look at each other
Down the barrel of a gun?

You're the voice, try and understand it
Make a noise and make it clear
We're not gonna sit in silence
We're not gonna live with fear

This time, we know we all can stand together
With the power to be powerful
Believing we can make it better" - Metal_Treasure

4 Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
5 Out In the Fields - Gary Moore & Phil Lynott

One of my favorite songs of all time - for both music and lyrics. It's about the Troubles in Northern Ireland but lyrics may be interpreted in a broader sense because you see they are kinda universal and can be suitable in many situations:
"It doesn't matter if you're wrong or if you're right
It makes no difference if you're black or if you're white

All men are equal till the victory is won
No colour or religion ever stopped the bullet from a gun

Out in the fields the fighting has begun
Out on the streets they're falling one by one
Out from the skies a thousand more will die each day
Death is just a heartbeat away" - Metal_Treasure

6 God Save the Queen - The Sex Pistols
7 Uprising - Muse
8 Holiday - Green Day
9 Imagine - John Lennon

No one wants to acknowledge that Lennon disavowed this infantile communist anthem in the years before his death.

10 Schrei Nach Liebe - Die Ärzte

An anti-neonazism and anti-right wing protest song. The most famous and acclaimed German protest song and not unlikely the most loved German song of all time by one of the most essential German bands. Even 22 years after its initial release it topped the charts in 2015 because people bought it as a protest against racism increasing in the European migrant crisis.
Lyrically, the extremely powerful rock song (the audio sample is a live version, the studio version is more anthemic) tells how a skinhead's violence and hate is the result of the lack of love in his own life, but with a very aggressive and occasionally insulting tone. - Martin_Canine

The Contenders

11 Balls to the Wall - Accept

This is the signature song by the German metal band Accept.
"One day the tortured stand up
And revolt against the evil
They make you drink your blood
And tear yourself to pieces

You better watch the damned (God bless ya)
They're gonna break their chains (Hey)
No, you can't stop them (God bless ya)
They're coming to get you
And then you'll get your
Balls to the wall, man, balls to the wall" - Metal_Treasure

12 Beds are Burning - Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil are a rock band from Australia and aren't well known In America, and maybe Europe, but check out this song - it's very good. - Metal_Treasure

13 Full Spectrum Dominance - Sons of Liberty

Believe it or not, guitarist Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth is on lead vocals. Sons of Liberty is his solo project. - Metal_Treasure

Now the trap is set
Global order
Death and torture
Slavery and debt

Why have you let them steal your liberty?
You’re just a slave to a criminal elite. - Metal_Treasure

14 Goodbye Blue Sky - Pink Floyd
15 Military Man - Gary Moore

Papa take a look at your boy
He's a military man
Mama take a look at your boy
He's dying
Mama take a look at your boy
He's fighting
Mama take a look at your boy
He's frightened
They have trained your boy to kill
And kill someday he will
They have trained your boy to die
And ask no questions why - Metal_Treasure

16 Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine
17 Deer Dance - System of a Down
18 Civil War - Guns N' Roses
19 Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
20 Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon
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