Six Anti-Establishment Songs That Aren't by Rage Against the Machine
2. Gil Scott Heron - "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
Gil Scott Heron calls out all of society in one fell swoop. Full lyrics available here.
1. "Strange Fruit" - Billie Holiday
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Yep, that was in 1939 -- can you imagine the risk that was being taken by singing this song? One of the saddest, most upsetting, and most necessary songs ever sung, "Strange Fruit" was originally a poem written by a Jewish communist schoolteacher named Abel Meeropol from New York. While the song was already put to music, it was further adapted by Billie Holiday and integrated into her live set.