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"Get Up, Stand Up:": Bob Marley, Victor Jara, Fela Kuti, and Political Popular Music

Craig A. Lockard


Figure 1

Get up, stand up, fight now for your rights/ Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight/ Now we've seen the light/ We gonna stand up for our rights."—Song by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh1

     Music had long been a key part of my life before it became a teaching tool and then a scholarly interest.2 Popular and folk music was the soundtrack to my youth in the 1950s and my college and graduate school days in the 1960s but I also became deeply interested in various musics from around the world. Since beginning my teaching career in 1969 I have used music in all of my courses on world, Asian, and African history, to set the mood for each class, convey the flavor of a particular society or time, and illustrate some of the key points for the session. For thirty years I have also taught a general education course on Music, Politics, and Social Change, which uses popular and folk musics to understand the modern history of the United States as well as of Ireland, Jamaica, Trinidad, Chile, Brazil, Nigeria, and South Africa. My interest in musics of various kinds produced two books and several articles on popular music in Southeast Asia as well as various essays on rock, pop, folk, country, and world music; my world history textbook also includes considerable material on music.3

     While anthropologists have long addressed issues of popular and mass culture, historians, including world historians, have often neglected popular musics and other mass-mediated cultural developments. This paper arises from material in my Music, Politics, and Social Change course, as well as a longterm writing project on popular music and politics in the modern world that examines the relationship between popular music and politics generally, the role of musicians as political actors and observers, and the way some of these performers used music as a weapon or tool to change, challenge, or overthrow governments or socioeconomic systems they considered unjust. In this essay I look at three key musicians with a political focus and international audience who made a great impact on their societies: Bob Marley in Jamaica, Victor Jara in Chile, and Fela Kuti in Nigeria. Since many North American students have little knowledge of other cultures, these are examples that can also be used in high school and college classroom teaching, perhaps alongside Anglo-American figures such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen. Furthermore, examining music and musicians can also facilitate an understanding of the connections between cultures in a globalizing world.

Music and Politics in the Modern World

     Music as a voice of protest and social commentary goes far back into history. In the early eighteenth century Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun wrote: "Give me the making of the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws."4 You can write the history of Ireland or Brazil or the United States through folk songs about work, social change, and politics.5 U.S. history is replete with the use of music for social and political organizing. The antislavery movement sponsored many touring groups and also utilized the black spirituals that had their roots in protest. The union movement always involved the heavy use of songs, most famously with labor minstrels like Joe Hill at the turn of the century and Aunt Molly Jackson in the 1930s. Woody Guthrie and his Dust Bowl ballads were influential during the Depression era and long after. The civil rights, antiwar, women's, and environmental movements from the 1950s-1970s utilized musicians and songs on a substantial scale.6 Hence, during the 1960s in the U.S. folk and rock musicians took part in the national dialogue over the Vietnam War, civil rights, the youth movement, and the role of women. Songs like "We Shall Overcome," "Blowing in the Wind," "The Times They Are A' Changing," "For What It's Worth," "Give Peace A Chance," and "San Francisco" got people thinking and talking. The study of political music and musicians is a particularly useful way to get at the history of common people, "history from the bottom up."

     One of the major forces bubbling out of the cauldron of change and tension in the modern world has been popular music, an omnipresent, almost atmospheric, property of public space around the world, in cafes, nightclubs, shops, buses, taxis, homes, providing a continual counterpoint to the rhythms of everyday life. Popular music can be distinguished from other types of music by two essential features: it is disseminated largely by the mass media, and it is the byproduct of the mass basis for marketing commodities.7 I will skip the passionate scholarly debates on the political role of music and assume that popular music does interact with, and often reflects, the values, aspirations, and attitudes of many people and can contribute to both social and political changes.8

     Like all art forms, music is a method of communication and education as well as of creativity and pleasure. In many societies around the globe music, including rock and rap, has been increasingly used as a vehicle for social and political comment. Governments strongly hostile to Western rock music, such as the Soviet Union in the pre-Glasnost era, have tended to fear rock as something a little out of control, on the edge, and hence a likely subversive force in a closed political system. To be sure, much of popular music is escapist in orientation, characteristically dwelling on romantic feelings or relationships. As one well-known record producer in Malaysia told me: "no love, no sales; no romance, no chance."9 Most songs on the American or Kenyan or Filipino hit parade deal with romantic themes. Often political interference or control prohibits or inhibits more political or challenging music.

     In many parts of the Third World (or Global South), popular music has clearly carved out a sustained niche.10 Popular musics in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean reflected these countries' modern history, society, and political economy, all shaped by colonialism, neocolonialism, nationalism, capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, underdevelopment, cultural imperialism, transnationalism, the mixing of ethnic groups and cultural traditions, and the interplay between the local, national, and global. The spread of new media technologies like radio, films, television, recordings, and now iPods and multipurpose cell phones reconfigured and spread widely urban and foreign cultural products. Popular musics could divert people from their problems but also reflect political instability, social change, economic hardship, and feelings of powerlessness in a world dominated by a few powerful industrialized nations and corporations.

     The local popular music industries often provided one of the few accessible venues to present criticism and protest. Where governments have made that difficult through banning, censorship, or arrests, musicians can often spread their music underground, even at times in highly repressive countries like Burma and North Korea.11 Like Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia banned jazz. A Soviet propaganda poster from the 1920s warned citizens: "From the saxophone to the knife is just one step. Today he'll play jazz, and tomorrow he'll betray his country."12 Yet, some observers credit the underground rock musicians in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe with helping undermine the communist system.13 Rock also played a pivotal role in China where rock musicians were in the forefront of movements to liberalize cultural expression. Rockers like Cui Jian became symbols of conscience and freedom for disaffected youth. Indeed, one scholar asserts that "Chinese popular music is less a mere adjunct to leisure than a battlefield on which ideological struggle is waged."14 Communist countries were not the only ones where popular music can challenge power structures. In politically or religiously dogmatic states popular music can generate great controversy. Hence, while female musicians in Iran, such as the once immensely popular Googoosh, are restricted by the Islamic government, in Algeria pop singers face more danger from fundamentalist Islamic movements who consider pop music satanic, especially rai music, a mix of Arab and Western sounds, which is widely popular. Since several leading rai musicians have been assassinated, and some women performers are harassed, many rai musicians moved to France for their safety.15

     Then there is the issue of cultural imperialism, or what the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o terms a "cultural bomb"16, the process by which the more developed countries dominate the cultures of the underdeveloped by exporting artifacts reflecting their own values and experiences, in the process revising or suffocating the indigenous cultural forms. To succeed in the global marketplace, many observers argue, Third World musicians need to conform to the predominant international sound.17 American popular culture has been especially appealing and powerful, becoming a global culture. And yet, local musicians can achieve great popularity and influence by developing their own distinctive sound, as we shall see in Jamaica, Chile, and Nigeria.

Reggae in Jamaica and Bob Marley

     The relationship between reggae music and political radicalism has long been apparent in both Jamaica and abroad. Reggae is the only Third World musical form to become widely accepted in the West, especially in Britain. Reggae originated in Jamaica, a longtime British colony that became independent in 1962 and provides a microcosm of the Third World and its problems.18 Today people of African descent constitute over 90 percent of the population, but are still largely dominated by a small mulatto and European elite of politicians and businessmen. In an economy based chiefly on mineral exports and tourism, most Jamaicans remained poor. In Rex Nettleford"s telling phrase, the mixed Jamaican identity resulting from slavery and colonialism came to reflect "the melody of Europe, the rhythm of Africa."19

     By the 1920s new cultural stirrings emerged that addressed problems of poverty and oppression as well as a growing African consciousness uncomfortable with imposed European models. Jamaica-born Marcus Garvey, who lived many years in the U.S. and developed a following there as well as in the West Indies, launched a "Back to Africa" movement. Garvey appealed to the powerless, alienated, and dispossessed, and criticized the dominant white culture.20 In 1930 a new offshoot of Garveyism, the Rastafarians, sprang up in Jamaica. This religious sect with distinctive customs found their greatest appeal among economically-deprived urban slum-dwellers, especially in the capital city, Kingston. Like Garvey, considered a prophet, the Rastas preached a return to Africa (chiefly to Ethiopia, the only truly independent African country in 1930). Rastas adopted a distinctive lifestyle that included ganja-smoking and dreadlock hair; hence Rastas have had few sympathizers among Jamaica's socioeconomic elite. Since the Rastas were overwhelmingly a movement of the black poor and of black nationalism they perhaps inevitably became identified in Jamaica with radical groups seeking to redistribute wealth and redress socioeconomic ills.21

     Jamaicans developed a variety of folk and popular musics, some influenced by music from the U.S. such as rhythm and blues. In the early 1960s reggae (from "raggedy" or "everyday" in local slang) emerged out of local styles.22 Reggae is now a broad term enhancing several styles, a musical umbrella. But the most distinctive quality is a consistent beat maintained by the bass guitar. Reggae became very closely identified with the Rastas and liberally employs Rasta symbols, and the songs often espoused social justice, personal freedom, and anti-imperialism, a situation that prompted some censorship by conservative governments in the 1960s. In the mid-1970s the film "The Harder They Come" brought reggae music to world attention and propelled singer Jimmy Cliff, the film's star, to international stardom. The film portrayed slum life and a musician's struggle to overcome the forces of "Babylon" (the white controlled record industry). Most early reggae musicians came out of Trenchtown, the notorious, overcrowded and violent Kingston slum. As Jimmy Cliff once put it, "reggae is the cry of the people."23

     The international popularity of reggae can be attributed particularly to Bob Marley, a passionate Rasta.24 By the time Marley died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36 he had been elevated almost to the role of a mystical cult hero, the first Third World superstar. The son of an English army captain and Jamaican mother, Marley's career commenced in the early 1960s. In 1963 he formed his group, the Wailers, with Peter Tosh (originally Winston McIntosh) and Bunny Wailer (originally Neville Livingstone). By the early 1970s they were international stars, traveling the globe, with Marley's songs recorded by many Western singers. The Wailers wrote and recorded many reggae classics including "Catch A Fire," "Get Up, Stand Up," "One Love," "Stir it Up," and "I Shot the Sheriff." Consider the provocative message of "Catch A Fire," one of many Marley songs with historical references: "Slave Driver, the table is turned/ Catch a fire, you gonna get burned."25 Marley evolved into a religious and political visionary espousing Rasta ideas while promoting human rights, personal freedom, fighting poverty, and African liberation.

     The impact of Marley and the Wailers increased in 1972 when socialist Michael Manley used reggae music and openly appealed to Rasta voters by championing social justice issues in his successful campaign to become Prime Minister of Jamaica against a well-entrenched conservative political establishment. Manley's victory with Rasta support gave the Rastas and reggae music much greater influence and status. Marley openly supported Manley and his Peoples National Party (PNP) against the conservative, pro-United States Jamaican Labor Party (JLP). But political violence and accelerating tensions between the factions leading up to the 1976 elections led Manley's government to impose temporary censorship on inflammatory music, with several Marley songs banned from the airwaves. One of these was "Rat Race": "When the cat's away/ The mice will play/ Political violence fill ya city./ Rat race, rat race/ When you think is peace and safety/ A sudden destruction/ Collective security for surety."26 Because Manley's leftist policies angered Jamaica's powerful socioeconomic elite and prompted crippling economic sanctions by the United States, they could not substantially improve life for most of the poor, deepening popular disenchantment and frustration.

     By 1977 Marley's influence in Jamaican politics was great enough that gunmen hired by conservatives shot him in an attempted assassination plot just prior to a public concert he helped organize to promote peace between the warring political factions. His survival enhanced his charisma for his mass audience. These events all culminated in his most stridently revolutionary album, Survival (1979), which fused rebellious instincts with Rastafari righteousness and summarized the degrading conditions of the nonwhite poor in Jamaica and the world. In the song "Survival," Marley sang:

     How can you be sitting there/ Telling me that you care/ That you care/ When every time I look around/ The people suffer . . . everywhere. I tell you what/ Some people got everything/ Some people got nothing/ Some people got hopes and dreams/ Some people got no aim it seems. We're the survivors; yes, the black survivors.27

     Reggae was already a major force among young blacks and whites in Britain and was gaining adherents in Africa. But Marley also tried, with limited success, to spread both his music and the Rasta faith to blacks in the United States, where he lived for several years. Marley's musical genius; his sharp critique of poverty, war, racism, and official intolerance of Rasta drug use; his exaltation of Africa and of Rasta spirituality; his extraordinary charisma and social activism—all of this earned Marley many fans and many enemies. Marley's compelling songs expressed both righteous defiance and spiritual affirmation. His last album before his death, Uprising, contained the prophetic "Redemption Song." With its compelling rhythm, melody, and words, "Redemption Song" almost seemed to be a request to carry on the struggle: "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery/ None but ourselves can free our minds/ Have no fear of atomic energy/ 'Cause none of them can stop the time/ Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom."28 Marley died an international hero, mourned around the world, and was given a state funeral.

     While many other reggae musicians and groups with a political orientation also flourished, such as Peter Tosh, Burning Spear (Winston Rodney), Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, and Black Uhuru, none had Marley's global status and charisma. Politicized reggae as represented by Marley and others seems to have flourished especially in the more cordial, idealistic years when Manley led a PNP government dedicated to populist mobilization (1972-1980). Since the early 1980s, many reggae musicians, particularly those seeking international (especially American) audiences, watered down their message into an escapist, danceable, hazy plea for peace and understanding, without the passionate bite and hard edge of the more politicized performers like Marley. They also had to compete in Jamaica with both increasing U.S. influence and a raunchy, apolitical, rap-oriented party music known as dancehall.

     While reggae developed out of the political, socioeconomic, and spiritual turmoil of Jamaica, the music has a universal appeal and became a major component of popular music around the world. From Malaysia to Papua-New Guinea, Ivory Coast to South Africa, Australia to Nigeria, Tahiti to Japan, local reggae musicians have huge followings.29 Reggae is also the favored music on some Native American reservations in the U.S.. Hence, reggae and Marley's legacy are alive and well, albeit often in new surroundings. As Marley argued: "I love the development of our music... It grows. That's why every day people come forward with new songs. Music goes on forever."30 Furthermore, Time magazine chose Marley's Exodus as the twentieth century's greatest album while the BBC named "One Love" the song of the millennium. A 2001 BBC survey named Marley one of the three most outstanding lyricists of all time, along with Bob Dylan and John Lennon.31 However subjective and biased toward recent and English-language music, these awards confirmed Marley's stature in modern world history.

Chile, New Song, and Victor Jara

     Chile provides a very different musical model than Jamaica, for the roots of culture are Native American and Hispanic rather than African and English.32 Nonetheless, popular music, especially the New Song movement, also came to play an important role in the political dialogue and movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Until 1973 Chileans could claim a long tradition of elected democratic governments, including strong leftist, centrist, and rightwing parties. But while Chile, unlike Jamaica, had a relatively large middle class, high rates of literacy and urbanization, and mass-based political parties, like many less stable Latin American nations Chile suffered from an economic monoculture, heavily dependent on the export of minerals (copper, nitrates) mostly controlled by powerful U.S. corporations. Furthermore, the economy was stagnant by the 1960s, accentuating the wide gap between rich and poor. Elements of cultural imperialism could also be identified with U.S. recordings, films, news services and magazines highly influential in the popular culture and mass media.33

     By the 1970 election Chile suffered from increasing political polarization and mounting socioeconomic difficulties. The various liberal and leftist parties united in a fractious coalition known as Popular Unity that promised dramatic change and nominated Dr. Salvador Allende, a member of the Socialist Party, as their presidential candidate. Allende won in a three candidate race. Chile now had a radical new government committed to socioeconomic change. Allende promised "Socialism a la Chilena," with red wine and meat pies, and reaffirmed his commitment to continued parliamentary democracy. Allende launched major structural reforms, nationalizing banks and some foreign-owned industries with compensation, including a copper industry dominated by U.S. corporations. The Popular Unity government inaugurated a land reform to break up underutilized ranches and divide the land among the peasant residents, supported the demands of labor unions, and built health clinics and better schools in the shantytowns around Santiago. The urban and rural underclass now had hope for a better life.

     The Popular Unity government also fostered a Chilean cultural renaissance. Allende's administration was closely tied, and his victory owed much to, a new movement known as nueva cancion ("New Song"), which originated in part as a reaction to cultural domination emanating from the U.S. As one pro-Allende cultural organization noted: "Our folklore, our history, our customs, our way of living and thinking are being strangled before the uncontrolled invasion [by the U.S.]. They impose on us banal lyrics, irrelevant to the concerns and needs of an underdeveloped country."34 In some respects Chilean New Song was a counterpart to the 1960s folk music revival in the United States, which played a key role in progressive politics and anti-Vietnam War activity. To find their inspiration they looked back to the Indian folk traditions of the Andes and the folk music of Chilean peasants, music disdained as backward by the socioeconomic elites. Although the movement developed many local variations throughout Latin America, in general New Song reflected a fusion of traditional folkloric musical forms with a concern for sociopolitical protest and commentary. In a sense New Song became a history book, travel guide, and source of information to the audience. While it would be an oversimplification to view New Song as wholly a political genre, the overall context was political.

     Violeta Parra, born in 1918 the daughter of a schoolteacher, was the key figure in the early development of Chilean New Song.35 She began collecting, writing, and singing folk music, some of her songs expressing concern with Chile's social, economic and political problems. Like Woody Guthrie in the U.S., Parra was a great influence on younger musicians who began learning traditional instruments and collecting or writing their own songs. She also strongly influenced other musicians throughout Latin America. As Cuban New Song pioneer Silvio Rodriguez claimed: "Violeta is fundamental. Nothing would have been as it is had it not been for Violeta."36 Her best known song, "Gracia a la Vida" ("Thanks for Life"), became a classic throughout Latin America, and has been recorded by artists around the world. A cafe operated by Parra in Santiago became a meeting place for performers and other Chileans interested in New Song and leftist politics. Parra died in 1967 but her career had built a bridge between an older folklore tradition and the developing interest of younger musicians. During the 1960s a number of musicians and groups became identified with the New Song movement, including Violeta's children, Angel and Isabel, who took over operation of the café. Folkish groups like Inti-Illimani and Quilapayun specialized on indigenous Andean instruments.

     But the best known, and arguably the most influential, of the New Song musicians was Victor Jara, who achieved considerable fame in other Latin American countries.37 Born into a peasant family, Jara developed an international reputation as a theater director in the 1960s after completing his university studies. But he was increasingly drawn to New Song and learned to play the guitar, working first with Quilapayun and later with Inti-Illimani. Jara wrote and recorded many songs about the concerns of average people, the struggle for social justice, and the inadequacies of the centrist government of the late 1960s. Jara stressed political themes in songs like "Vientos del Pueblo" ("Winds of the People"), "Canto Libra" ("Song of Freedom"), "Quien Mato a Carmencita?" (Who killed Carmencita?"), and "Ni Chicha Ni Limona" ("Neither Chicha Nor Lemonade," an attack on the fence-sitting middle class). Jara claimed in song that "I don't sing for the love of singing/ Or to show off my voice/ But for the statements/ Made by my honest guitar... / So that the future may flower."38 Jara's music went directly to the heart of the matter. His song "La Plegaria a un Labrador" ("Prayer of a Laborer") electrified his audience by calling on workers to unite and seize control of their lives: "Stand up/ Look at your hands/ Take your brother's hand/ So you can grow/ We'll go together, united by blood/ The future can begin today/ Deliver us from the master who keeps us in misery/ The kingdom of justice and equality come."39 Perhaps Jara's most bitter, militant, and controversial song in the 1960s, "Perguntas Por Puerto Montt" ("Questions About Puerto Montt"), lambasted a government official who had ordered the massacre of striking mineworkers: "It has to be a "bastard" who ordered [the soldiers] to shoot."40

     In the late 1960s and early 1970s Chilean New Song flourished, and became increasingly identified with leftwing politics. Before 1970 the mass media largely ignored New Song, and many artists were blacklisted, but the movement came to dominate the universities and labor organizations. With Allende's election in 1970 New Song gained mass media exposure and gradually became the popular art-form par excellence, wielding great influence among the general public. The new administration mandated that 40 percent of the music played on Chilean radio must be Chilean, used New Song musicians and songs to promote their policies, and appointed groups such as Inti-Illimani and Quilapayun as international ambassadors. Calling his guitar an "instrument of struggle," Jara joined the Communist Party (a member of the Popular Unity) and, despite his rebellious nature, became a cultural worker in Allende's movement. Speaking to the concerns of the working class and the poor, New Song now dominated the Chilean hit parade, challenging the influence of U.S. "top 40" music. However, the Popular Unity government imposed no rigid censorship or conformity on the media, much of it remaining in private hands.

     New Song became a regional movement as well, spreading to, and incorporating musicians from, countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, Cuba, and later Nicaragua. Later some folksingers in the United States wrote about, or performed songs by, Jara and Violeta Parra. Just as Bob Marley and other reggae musicians used historical and international themes, Chilean musicians stressed the international context, offering songs on such topics as the Vietnam War, the Cuban Revolution, or the nineteenth century Venezuelan liberator Simon Bolivar.

     But the Popular Unity government faced many problems. The conservative opposition, which dominated congress and controlled the private media, resisted the radical changes demanded by the poor and leftist movements. Not wanting to alienate the middle class or split his coalition, Allende moved cautiously. Meanwhile, the Nixon administration in the United States and Latin America's military governments had little sympathy for Allende, a friend of Cuba's Fidel Castro, or the Chilean experiment in democratic reform. Nixon feared that a peaceful transition to socialism could become a dangerous model for Latin America, threatening U.S. hegemony and economic interests. Hence, the U.S. worked clandestinely with right wing Chilean leaders and military officers to undermine Allende, mounted an international economic embargo of Chilean exports, discouraged international loans to the country, and fomented social unrest. The U.S. policy of ignoring Chilean election results was well articulated by Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger: "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people."41

     Soon the economy was in disarray, in part because of U.S. pressure, and shortages of consumer goods combined with labor unrest produced middle class resentment of Allende. Yet Chilean democracy flourished and, despite the severe economic problems, the Popular Unity increased its parliamentary strength in midterm elections in 1973. As the troubles of, and threats to, the Allende government mounted, Jara seems to have developed a sense that the noble experiment all might end in tragedy. As he sang in his song "Manifesto:" "For a song has meaning when it beats in the veins of a man who will die singing, truthfully singing his song."42 For Jara song was chiefly a weapon in political struggle.

     On September 11, 1973, a military coup supported by the U.S. overthrew the Chilean government. Allende died or committed suicide while helping defend the presidential palace. The military junta then launched a reign of terror, in which tens of thousands of Allende supporters were rounded up. At least 6,000 Popular Unity sympathizers, and perhaps many more, were murdered or disappeared, and many thousands more fled the country. Hundreds of Chileans remained political prisoners for many years. The new military regime engaged in public burnings of books and records deemed "subversive." Between 1973 and 1989, when democracy was restored, Chileans endured a brutal military dictatorship supported by the United States.

     The New Song movement and its followers were particular targets. Only those musicians touring abroad, such as Inti-Illimani and Quilapayun, were able to escape, and Quilapayun's song "El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido" ("The People United Shall Never Be Defeated") became the exile resistance anthem as well as an anthem for activist groups all over Latin America. Jara was publicly executed before thousands of other detainees held in a Santiago sports stadium, his fingers cut off as a symbol. Before dying Jara managed to sing a song written a few hours earlier: "We are but five thousand here in one corner of the city/ How hard it is to sing, when I must sing of horror/ Silence and screams are the end of my song."43 New Song recordings and folk instruments were banned, with severe penalties for those even caught humming or singing a Jara song.44

     The imported, elite-oriented culture of the pre-Allende years became dominant once again. The exiled New Song musicians continued their careers abroad, mostly in Mexico or Western Europe, until the return of Chilean democracy. New Song became an underground movement in the land of its birth. Yet, New Song remained a popular music form in many parts of Latin America, appealing especially to politically progressive educated urban middle class youth, rather than to the peasants and workers for whom it was intended. In 2009 the center-left coalition government that has dominated Chilean politics since democracy was restored held a public reburial of Jara in order to honor his memory; many thousands attended including President Michelle Bachelet, who had been tortured and her father executed by the junta. Officials also opened a probe into Jara's murder that has led to at least one arrest of an army colonel; others may follow. Ultimately the junta could kill Jara but not his songs and legacy. Insight into how as well as why his music lives on can be found in a moving tribute to Jara's life and bravery in death that was then offered by one of the leading singers of songs of political protest of that day, Arlo Guthrie, in a performance which has found an audience of 868, 343 on YouTube.45

Nigerian Society, Popular Music, and Fela

     Nigeria, a former British colony, is a land of extremes that mirrors the hopes and frustrations of contemporary Africa.46 Nigeria suffers from regional and ethnic tensions that complicates national unity, a huge and growing rich-poor gap, massive corruption, sectarian and political violence, a monoculture economy based on oil exports, and a political system alternating corrupt civilian governments and often brutal military regimes who often executed dissidents and hounded leading cultural figures into exile or silence. Politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, and military officers skim off the oil profits while millions live in dire poverty. Critics refer to a republic of the privileged and rich.

     During the twentieth century a variety of popular music styles developed in the multiethnic cities, including highlife and juju.47 Juju, a guitar-based fusion, gained a particular following among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria. The Yoruba describe their dynamic culture as "a river that is never at rest."48 The creative synthesis in the Yoruba cities also resulted in a new highly politicized musical style integrating African and Western influences. Afro-Beat is an intoxicating jazzy fusion of African folk music and highlife with American soul, funk, and rock music, employing a heavy use of horns and chant-like choruses. The pioneer and leading practitioner of afro-beat, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, an idiosyncratic, controversial, and flamboyant Yoruba, was Nigeria's leading political and protest musician for three decades, and hence presents many parallels with Bob Marley.49

     Fela, whose name translates as "he who emanates greatness," was born into a Christian family, his father a prominent minister and his mother a leading feminist. Fela grew up in an intensely political environment. When Fela returned to Nigeria in the early 1960s from classical music studies in London, proficient on both saxophone and keyboards, he headed a highlife band. In 1969 Fela sojourned in Los Angeles, where he was exposed to the Black Power Movement, adopted radical Pan-Africanist ideals, and embraced the music of jazz pioneers Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and soul king James Brown, especially Brown's promotion of being both "black and proud". Fela attributed his rapid politicization to his California sojourn. Before that experience, he said, "I wasn't politically minded at all. I was just another musician singing love songs."50

     Returning to Nigeria and the increasingly chaotic and congested city of Lagos, he formed a new group, Africa 70, to play the new afrobeat music he was writing as part of his search for a distinctive Nigerian pop sound. Fela called his band "Africa" rather than "Nigeria" to symbolize his rejection of the country's artificial borders as a colonial legacy. He developed an extravagant live nightclub and concert performance that featured stupendous visual and aural extravaganzas. His increasingly militant and black nationalist songs performed in his popular nightclub or distributed through top-selling records soon brought him into confrontation with Nigeria's authoritarian government, which he considered a colonial creation and hence illegitimate.

     Fela was arrested for the first time in 1974. On his release he established a commune in Lagos called the Kalakuta (Rascal) Republic and declared it an independent state, styling himself the "Black President" and cultivating a highly ostentatious lifestyle. Many young people and musicians flocked to the commune, whose members, like the Jamaican Rastas, flouted Nigerian law by openly smoking marijuana. The charismatic Fela rejected the puritanical standards and Christianity of his father, surrounding himself with women and formulating a distinctive variant of Yoruba animistic religion emphasizing his own "special power" of strength and personal magnetism. Among the gods installed in his pantheon were Bob Marley and the Pan-Africanist leader and former Ghana president Kwame Nkrumah. Later Fela would marry 27 of his women dancers and followers, some of whom abandoned him as his political troubles intensified. In his music and life Fela seemed to be promoting a Nigerian society that would be authentic, rooted in African traditions, and freed from emulation or slavish imitation of Western models. In this endeavor he tapped a public mood of anxiety all over Africa related to the contradictions and traumas of decolonization and the failures of most African governments to improve people's lives.

     Beginning in 1974 Fela suffered relentless persecution, including frequent arrests and occasional beatings, ostensibly for his marijuana use but primarily for his political criticism and influence. Fela's frontal assaults on the succession of Nigerian governments required considerable courage. As Billy Bergman noted: "Fela is the only African musician who dares to continuously denounce the corruption of his own government and yet insists on living in his country."51 Fela chronicled one of his arrests on drug charges and the consequent drug testing in his song, "Expensive Shit." In 1977 1000 soldiers stormed Fela's fortified commune, looted, raped many women, fatally injured his aged mother, and burned the commune to the ground. Fela and his followers were temporarily exiled to Ghana. Fela responded with a hugely popular song, "Zombies," which described the soldiers who attacked him as mindless creatures of neocolonialism.

     Nonetheless, Fela's career soared in the 1970s with songs attacking government corruption, military brutality, and neocolonialism, and extolling Pan-Africanism and the ideas of his hero, Kwame Nkrumah. As Fela himself boasted: "My music is not for entertainment. I'm here to give information about my country."52 Among Fela's best-known recordings were "Colonial Mentality," "Sorrow, Tears and Blood," "ITT (International Thief Thief)," "COP (Country of Pain)," "VIP (Vagabonds in Power)," and "Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense." Fela described music as the weapon of the future. One university student union statement supporting Fela declared that "his voice has served as a bayonet against the 'animals in human skin' who have turned Nigeria and Africa into a plunderer's land."53 His protest music effectively expressed the views of the non-elite, which helps account for his massive popularity and government harassment. Fela's songs mixed English, Yoruba, and the pidgin (broken) English that has spread widely in Nigeria across ethnic and regional lines as colonial influences fade. For example, the 1986 song, "Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense," criticized the poor role model of Nigeria's leaders and their European mentors, especially their failure to foster democracy: "Who teach us democracy/ Poor man dey cry/ Rich man dey mess".54 Fela's 1984 song, "Original Sufferhead," took up the themes of Western imperialism, subservient neocolonialism, and the unequal distribution of resources and wealth in Africa.

     Although he claimed to speak for the poor, Fela did not fit easily into the role of Marxist critic. He practiced conspicuous, even ostentatious, consumption, believed women must remain subordinate to men, and emphasized personal freedom from government constraints. Fela was in many ways a radical traditionalist. His musical career was practically destroyed after his arrest and conviction on alleged currency violations in 1984 on the eve of a world tour. Released after 18 months, Fela regained some of his popularity, no doubt in part due to his martyr status, and also announced he wanted to be Nigeria's president, an unlikely prospect for a highly controversial musician whose fame and impact was concentrated in southwestern Nigerian cities rather than in the country as a whole. Fela has had considerable influence in West Africa and internationally, compared by some to Bob Marley, Trinidad's great calypsonian Mighty Sparrow, James Brown, and the Beatles as creative giants of a musical genre. It is hard to disagree with Carlos Moore's contention that Fela "triggers off totally contradictory feelings in some people: from violent hostility to unswerving loyalty. Fela disturbs. Upsets. He personifies controversy."55 There can be little doubt that in the process Fela became the most highly politicized, politically influential, and relentlessly persecuted musician on the African continent before he died of AIDs in 1998. But he has never been forgotten in Africa and elsewhere; in 2009 a highly successful Broadway stage musical of Fela's life captivated New York.56


     Music and musicians clearly have had a complex and in many respects ambiguous position in many societies during the late twentieth century, some of them achieving international popularity. Patricio Manns, one of the Chilean New Song musicians who survived the military coup and repression in exile, summarized the political role of musicians: "This damned role of the minstrel, that so irritates tyrants and traitors, is an ancient, secret art, a prestigious, demanding and dangerous art. In our age liberators and minstrels are the first to be assassinated. But above all and in spite of everything let us take an immense measure of pride from our wounds, and sing."57

     Guerrilla minstrels perceive art, music, and image as political weapons to further their causes. Writing of the United States, historian Jerome Rodnitzky noted that "our best protest songs have indeed been a cleansing force . . . they supply examples of conscience and principle to a society which has increasingly been unable to provide its youth with credible examples of either."58 The music of Marley, Jara, Fela, and their colleagues reflected the views of many, especially the poor and powerless, while providing an oppositional discourse. Despite cultural imperialism and a music industry tied to international capital, musicians can use their art to resist external power. While Marley and Jara were linked, loosely at least, to organized political parties and campaigns, Fela served as a leading political dissident outside of organized movements. All of these musicians were historically-minded internationalists, offering pan-Caribbean, pan-Latin American, or pan-African themes. This may be a necessary perspective in a world where the sun never sets on McDonald's. Their songs address similar issues, including the repressive state, inept governments, cultural imperialism, working class exploitation, socioeconomic inequality, religious persecution, and human rights abuses. All espoused nationalism—Afro-Caribbean, Latin American, or African–- in a Western-dominated world. Gatekeepers tried to limit the oppositional force of their music through censorship, harassment, or violence; Fela was persecuted, Marley assaulted, and Jara executed by power-holders who feared their message and influence. Unlike many musicians, commercialization and commodification failed to water down their messages. The musicians participated in the political dialogue, fostering public disenchantment and political mobilization while appealing to populist anger.

     The political power of music is subject to debate. Certainly music functions as entertainment, fun, relief of boredom. Music can numb pain. Bob Marley emphasized this point in his song, "Trenchtown Rock": "One good thing about music when it hits you/ You feel all right/ Hit me with music."59 Yet, the music of Marley, Jara, and Fela means something, representing people's aspirations, liberating their spirit, contemplating life, and encouraging people to improve their societies and struggle for their causes. Using these or countless other examples—performances of all of the singers discussed here are available via YouTube—students can be asked to consider the relationship between music and political protests, commentary, and movements, as well as how music is shaped by historical, political, and social forces. As Bob Marley put it in "Redemption Song": "Won't you help me sing these songs of freedom?"

Craig A. Lockard is the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Among his major books are Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History (Wadsworth, 2010); Southeast Asia in World History (Oxford University Press, 2009); and Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia (University of Hawai'I Press, 1998). He can be contacted at


1 From the Marley and the Wailers' album, Live (Island Records 89-729, 1975).

2 This is a revised version of a paper presented at the Northwest World History Association annual conference held in Seattle, October, 2009. Various conference participants made helpful comments on the paper. I offer this essay in memory of three brave and inspiring women who passed away in 2009 after decades of using their music to fight political tyranny and support peace and social justice: Mercedes Sosa in Argentina, the South African Miriam Makeba, and Mary Travers of the American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary.

3 See, eg., 'Dance of Life': Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998); Reflections of Change: Sociopolitical Commentary and Criticism in Malaysian Popular Music Since 1950 (special monographic issue of Crossroads, 6, no. 1, 1991); "Popular Music and Politics in Modern Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis," Asian Music, 27, no. 2 (Spring-Summer, 1996), pp. 149-199; "From Folk to Computer Songs: The Evolution of Malaysian Popular Music, 1930-1990," Journal of Popular Culture, 30, no. 3 (Winter, 1996), pp. 1-26; "Woody Guthrie," in Mary Jo Buhle, et al., eds., The American Radical (New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 237-243; "Miriam Makeba" and "Theodore Bikel," New Grove Encyclopedia of Music in the United States (New York: Grove, 1987); "Calypso" and "Pete Seeger," in Ray Browne, ed., The Guide to U.S. Popular Culture (Bowling Green: Popular Press, 2001); "Rock'n'Roll," International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan, 2007); "Rock and Pop Music" and "Globalization," in Sam Riley, ed., Star Struck: An Encyclopedia of Celebrity Culture (Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2010); Societies, Networks, and Transitions: A Global History, (Boston: Wadsworth, 22nd ed. 010).

4 Quoted in R. Serge Denisoff, Sing Me a Song of Social Significance (Bowling Green: Popular Press, 1972), p. 133.

5 On examining U.S. history through folk music see, eg., Samuel L. Forcucci, A Folk Song History of America (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice -Hall, 1984); John Greenway, American Folksongs of Protest (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1953); David M. Rosen, Protest Songs in America: More Than a History- An Involvement with Freedom (Westlake Village, CA.: Aware Press, 1972); Robert V. Wells, Life Flows On in Endless Song: Folk Songs and American History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009).

6 See, eg., Rosen, Protest; Greenway, American Folksongs; Denisoff, Sing; Robbie Lieberman, "My Song is My Weapon": People's Songs, American Communism, and the Politics of Culture, 1930-1950 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989); Jerome Rodnitzky, Minstrels of the Dawn: The Folk-Protest Singer as a Cultural Hero (Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1976); Wayne Hampton, Guerrilla Minstrels: John Lennon, Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986); Ronald D. Lankford, Folk Music U.S.A.: The Changing Voice of Protest (New York: Schirmer, 2005); Marianne Philbin, ed., Give Peace a Chance: Music and the Struggle for Peace (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1983); Ray Pratt, Rhythm and Resistance: The Political Uses of American Popular Music (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1990); Dick Weissman, Which Side Are You On? An Inside History of the Folk Music Revival in America (New York: Continuum, 2005); Robert Cantwell, When We Were Good: The Folk Revival (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996); Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison, Music and Social Movements: Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

7 See, eg., Peter Manuel, Popular Musics of the Non-Western World: An Introductory Survey (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); Simon Frith, et al., eds., The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Simon Frith, Sound Effects: Youth, Leisure and the Politics of Rock and Roll (New York: Pantheon, 1981); Peter Wicke, Rock Music: Culture, Aesthetics and Sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Robin Denselow, When the Music's Over: The Story of Political Pop (London: Faber and Faber, 1989); Jeremy Marre and Hannah Charlton, Beats of the Heart: Popular Music of the World (New York: Pantheon, 1985).

8 On this debate, see, eg., Denselow, When the Music's Over; Tony Bennett, et al, eds., Rock and Popular Music: Politics, Policies, Institutions (London: Routledge, 1993); Reebee Garafalo, ed., Rockin' the Boat: Mass Music and Mass Movements (Boston: South End, 1992); John Orman, The Politics of Rock Music (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1986); John Street, Rebel Rock: The Politics of Rock Music (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986); Mark Mattern, Acting in Concert: Music, Community, and Political Action (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1998); Pratt, , Rhythm and Resistance; George Lipsitz, Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism and the Poetics of Place (New York: Verso, 1994).

9 Author interview with Fauzi Marzuki of EMI in Kuala Lumpur, 1985, quoted in Lockard, "Reflections," p. 6.

10 The list of valuable books on the world as a whole or on national traditions is long. Some of the most useful for a general overview include: Manuel, Non-Western; Marre and Charlton, Beats; Francis Hanley and Tim May, eds., Rhythms of the World (London: BBC Books, 1989); Timothy D. Taylor, Global Pop: World Music, World Markets (New York: Routledge, 1997); Deanna Campbell Robinson, et al., Music at the Margins: Popular Music and Global Cultural Diversity (Newbury Park: Sage, 1991); Tom Schnabel, Rhythm Planet: The Great World Music Makers (New York: Universe, 1998); Elijah Wald, Global Minstrels: Voices of World Music (New York: Routledge, 2007); and Simon Broughton, et al., eds., World Music: The Rough Guide, 2 vols. (London: Rough Guide, 1999-2000). For the Caribbean region see, eg., Peter Manuel, Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rhumba to Reggae (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995); Billy Bergman, Hot Sauces: Latin and Caribbean Pop (New York: Quill, 1995); Gage Averill, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997); Brenda F. Berrien, Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000); Jocelyn Guilbault, Zouk: World Music in the West Indies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993); Guilbault, Governing Sound: The Cultural Politics of Trinidad's Carnival Musics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007); Keith Q. Warner, Kaiso! The Trinidad Calypso: A Study of the Calypso as Oral Literature (Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1982); Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Bachata': A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995); and Robin D. Moore, Music and Revolution: Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). On Latin America see, eg., Ed Morales, The Latin Beat: The Rhythms and Roots of Latin Music from Bossa Nova to Salsa and Beyond (New York: Da Capo, 2003); Claes af Geijerstam, Popular Music in Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1976); Claus Schreiner, Musica Braileira: A History of Popular Music and the People of Brazil (New York: Marion Boyers, 1993); Bryan McCann, Hello, Hello Brazil: Popular Music in the Making of Modern Brazil (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004); Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha, The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998); Charles Perrone, Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song: MPB 1965-1985 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989); Charles A. Perrone and Christopher Dunn, eds., Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization (New York: Routledge, 2002); Christopher Dunn, Brutality Garden: Tropicalia and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). On Africa see, eg., Ronnie Graham, The Da Capo Guide to Contemporary African Music (New York: Da Capo Press, 1988); Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre, Afropop!: An Illustrated Guide to Contemporary African Music (Edison, N.J.: Chartwell, 1995); Wolfgang Bender, Sweet Mother: Modern African Music (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); Billy Bergman, Goodtime Kings: Emerging African Pop (New York: Quill, 1985); John Collins, West African Pop Roots (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992); Graeme Ewens, Africa O-ye: A Celebration of African Music (New York: Da Capo, 1991); Chris Stapleton and Chris May, African Rock: The Pop Music of a Continent (New York: Dutton, 1990); Frank Tenaille, Music is the Weapon of the Future: Fifty Years of African Popular Music (Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2000); Muff Anderson, Music in the Mix: The Story of South African Popular Music (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1981); Charles Hamm, Afro-American Music, South Africa and Apartheid (New York: Institute for Studies in American Music, 1988); Louise Meintjes, Sound of Africa: Making Zulu Music in a South African Studio (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003); Gwen Ansell, Soweto Blues: Jazz, Popular Music and Politics in South Africa (New York: Continuum, 2004); Gary Stewart, Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos (New York: Verso, 2000); Graeme Ewens, Congo Colossus: The Life and Legacy of Franco and OK Jazz (London: BUKU Press, 1994).

11 On suppressing music see, eg., Martin Cloonan and Reebee Garofalo, eds., Policing Pop (Philadelphia: Temple University, 2003); Marie Korpe, ed., Shoot the Singer: Music Censorship Today (London: Zed Books, 2004); "Smashed Hits: The Book of Banned Music," Index on Censorship, Issue no. 185 (Nov.-Dec. 1998).

12 Quoted in Alan Bookbinder, et. al., Comrades: Portraits of Soviet Life (New York: New American Library, 1985), p. 158.

13 See, eg., Timoth Ryback, Rock Around the Bloc: A History of Rock Music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Thomas Cushman, Notes from the Underground: Rock Music and Counterculture in Russia (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995); Sabrina Petra Ramet, ed., Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia (Boulder: Westview, 1994).

14 Andrew Jones, Like a Knife: Ideology and Genre in Contemporary Chinese Popular Music (Ithaca: East Asia Program, Cornell University, 1992), p. 3. See also Gregory B. Lee, Troubadours, Trumpeteers, Trouble Makers: Lyricism, Nationalism, and Hybridity in China and its Others (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996).

15 On Iran and Algeria see Broughton, World Music, vol. 1; Philip Sweeny, "Algerian Rai- The French Connection," in Hanly and May, Rhythms, pp. 48-57.

16 Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (London: James Currey, 1986), p. 3.

17 On cultural imperialism see, eg., John Tomlinson, Cultural Imperialism: A Critical Introduction (Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University, 1991); Herbert Schiller, Communications and Cultural Domination (White Plains: International Arts and Sciences, 1976); Cees Hamelink, Cultural Autonomy in Global Communications: Planning National Information Policy (New York: Longman, 1983); Mike Featherstone, ed., Global Culture, Nationalism, Globalization and Modernity (Newbury Park: Sage, 1990); Paul Hopper, Understanding Cultural Globalization (London: Polity, 2007); Humphrey A. Regis, "Calypso, Reggae and Cultural Imperialism by Reexportation," Popular Music and Society, 12/1 (Spring, 1988), 63-74.

18 Some of the main sources on Jamaican history, society, and politics from the 1960s to the 1980s include Mervyn Alleyne, The Roots of Jamaican Culture (London: Pluto Press, 1988); Aggrey Brown, Color, Class, and Politics in Jamaica (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1980); Michael Kaufman, Jamaica Under Manley: Dilemmas of Socialism and Democracy (London: Zed, 1985); Obika Gray, Radicalism and Social Change in Jamaica, 1960-1972 (Knoxville; University of Tennessee Press, 1991); Nelson W. Keith and Novella Z. Keith, The Social Origins of Democratic Socialism in Jamaica (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992); Rex M. Nettleford, Identity, Race and Protest in Jamaica (New York: William Morrow, 1972); Anthony J. Payne, Politics in Jamaica (New York: St. Martin's, 1995); Evelyne Huber Stephens and John D. Stephens, Democratic Socialism in Jamaica: The Political Movement and Social Transformation in Democratic Capitalism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986); Carl Stone, Class, Race, and Democracy in Jamaica (New York: Praeger, 1986); Deborah A. Thomas, Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and the Politics of Culture in Jamaica (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004); Anita M. Waters, Race, Class, and Political Symbols: Rastafari And Reggae in Jamaican Politics (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1985); Werner Zips, Black Rebels: African American Freedom Fighters in Jamaica (Princeton: Markus Wiener, 1999).

19 Nettleford, Identity, Race and Protest, p. 171.

20 On Garvey and his movement see, eg., E. David Cronon, Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association, 2nd ed. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969); Colin Grant, Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).

21 In addition to the general works on Jamaica, on the Rastas see, eg., Leonard E. Barrett, The Rastafarians: Sounds of Cultural Dissonance (Boston: Beacon, 1977); Horace Campbell, Rasta and Resistance from Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1987); Sebastian Clarke, Jah Music: The Evolution of the Popular Jamaican Song (London: Heinemann, 1980); Stephen Davis, Reggae Bloodlines: In Search of the Music and Culture of Jamaica (Garden City: Doubleday, 1977); Stephen Foehr, Jamaican Warriors: Reggae, Roots, and Culture (London: Sanctuary, 2000); William F. Lewis, Soul Rebels: The Rastafari (Prospect Heights, Il: Waveland, 1993).

22 In addition to some of the sources in endnotes 9 and 20, on reggae see, eg., Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, The Rough Guide to Reggae, (London: Rough Guide, 3rd ed. expanded and revised, 2004); Bergman, Hot Sauces; Lloyd Bradley, This Is Reggae Music: The Story of Jamaica's Music (New York: Grove, 2001); Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen, Reggae Roots: The Story of Jamaican Music (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998); Clarke, Jah Music; Davis, Reggae Bloodlines; Davis and Peter Simon, Reggae International (New York: R&B, 1982); Mary Ellison, Lyrical Protest: Black Music's Struggle Against Discrimination (New York: Praeger, 1989); Foehr, Jamaican Warriors; Lou Gooden, Reggae Heritage: Jamaica's Music History, Culture, and Politics (New York: First Book Library, 2003); Dick Hebdige, Cut'n' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (London: Comedia, 1987); Brian Jahn, Reggae Island: Jamaican Music in the Digital Age (Kingston: Kingston Publishers, 1992); Howard Johnson and Jim Pines, Reggae: Deep Roots Music (London: Proteus, 1982); Lipsitz, Dangerous; Manuel, Caribbean; Marre and Charlton, Beats; Chris Potash, Reggae, Rasta, Revolution: Jamaican Music from Ska to Dub (New York: Schirmer, 1997); Regis, "Calypso, Reggae"; Norman C. Stolzoff, Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000).

23 Quoted in Marre and Charlton, Beats, p. 156.

24 In addition to the works on reggae, on Marley see, eg., Adrian Boot and Chris Salewicz, Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom (London: Bloomsbury, 1995); Stephen Davis, Bob Marley (Garden City: Doubleday, 1985); Sean Dolan, Bob Marley (Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997); Bruce Talamon, et al., Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer (New York: W.W. Norton, 1994); Malika Lee Whitney and Dermotte Hussey, Bob Marley: Reggae King of the World (Kingston: Kingston Publishers, 1984); Timothy White, Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley,. (New York: Henry Holt, revised ed., 2006.

25 See Marley's album,, Catch a Fire (Island 9241, 1973).

26 See the album,, Babylon by Bus (Island Records 1298, 1978); Whitney and Hussey, Bob Marley, p. 79.

27 See the album, Survival (Island Records 9942, 1979).

28 See Marley's album, Uprising (Island Records 9596, 1980). See also Sing Out, 28, no. 5 (September-October, 1980), pp. 32-33.

29 See, eg., Bergman, Hot Sauces, p. 18; Manuel, Caribbean, p. 144; Andy Bennett, Cultures of Popular Music (Philadelphia: Open University Press, 2001), pp. 74-87.

30 Quoted in the liner notes to the CD Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers (Island Records 90169, 1984).

31 See, BBC report, May 23, 2001 at,

32 On Chilean history, society and politics from the 1960s to the 1980s, see, eg., Kenneth Aman and Christian Parker, eds., Popular Culture in Chile: Resistance and Survival (Boulder: Westview, 1991); Angell and Benny Pollack, eds., The Legacy of Dictatorship: Political, Economic, and Social Change in Pinochet's Chile (Liverpool: Institute of Latin America Studies, University of Liverpool, 1993); James D. Cockcroft, Neighbors in Turmoil: Latin America (New York: Harper and Row, 1989); Simon Collier and William F. Sater, A History of Chile, 1808-2002, 2nd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Pamela Constable, A Nation of Enemies: Chile Under Pinochet (New York: Norton, 1993); Federico G. Gil, et al., eds., Chile at the Turning Point: Lessons of the Socialist Years, 1970-1973 (Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Issues, 1979); Lois Hecht Oppenheim, Politics in Chile: Socialism, Authoritarianism, and Market Democracy, 3rd ed.(Boulder: Westview, 2007); Dale J. Johnson, ed., The Chilean Road to Socialism (Garden City: Anchor, 1973); David J. Morris, We Shall Make Haste- Slowly: The Process of Revolution in Chile (New York: Praeger, 1976); James Petras and Fernando Ignacio Leiva, Democracy and Poverty in Chile: The Limits of Electoral Politics (Boulder: Westview, 1994); Ian Roxborough, et al., Chile: The State and Revolution (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1977); Barbara Stallings, Class Conflict and Economic Development in Chile, 1958-1973 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1978); Steve J. Stern, Remembering Pinochet's Chile: On the Eve of London 1998 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004); J. Samuel Valenzuela and Arturo Valenzuela, eds., Chile: Politics and Society (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1976); J. Samuel Valenzuela and Valenzuela, eds., Military Rule in Chile: Dictatorships and Oppositions (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1986).

33 On cultural imperialism in Chile see, eg., Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, How to Read Donald Duck (New York: International General, 1975); Ariel Dirfman, The Emperor's Old Clothes: What the Lone Ranger, Babar, and Other Innocent Heroes Do to Our Minds (New York: Pantheon, 1983); Armand Mattelart, Transnationals and the Third World: The Struggle for Culture (South Hadley: Bergin and Garvey, 1983).

34 Quoted in Morris, We Shall Make Haste, pp. 270-271. In addition to sources listed in endnote 9, on New Song see Eduardo Carrasco, "The Nueva Cancion in Latin America," International Social Science Journal, 34, no. 4 (1982), pp. 599-623; Jan Fairly, " La Nueva Cancion Latinoamericana," Bulletin of Latin American Research, 3, no. 2 (1984), pp. 107-115; Fairly, "New Song: Music and Politics in Latin America," in Hanly and May, Rhythms, pp. 88-97; Juan-Pablo Gonzalez, "Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony of Music in Latin America: The Chilean Pop," Popular Music and Society, 15/2 (Summer, 1991), 63-75; Joan Jara, An Unfinished Song: The Life of Victor Jara (New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1984); Joan Jara, Victor: The Life and Music of Victor Jara (New York: Bloomsbury, 1998); Karen Linn, "Chilean Nueva Cancion: A Political Popular Music Genre," Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology, 1 (1984), pp. 57-62; Albrecht Moreno, "Violeta Parra and La Nueva Cancion Chilena," Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 5 (1986), pp. 108-126; Nancy E. Morris, Canto Porque es necesario Cantar: The New Song Movement in Chile, 1973-1983 (Albuquerque: Latin American Institute, University of New Mexico, 1984); Robert Neustadt, "Music as Memory and Torture: Sounds of Repression and Protest in Chile and Argentina," Chasqui, 33, no. 1 (2004); Robert Pring-Mill, 'Gracias a la Vida': The Power and Poetry of Song (London: Department of Hispanic Studies, University of London, 1990); Jane Tumas-Serna, "The 'Nueva Cancion' Movement and its Mass Mediated Peformance Context," Latin American Music Review, 13, no. 2 (Fall/Winter, 1992), pp. 139-157.

35 On Violeta Parra see especially Jara, Unfinished Song, pp. 45, 47, 49, 103-105; Moreno, "Violeta Parra and La Nueva Cancion Chilena," pp. 108-126; Pring-Mill, Gracias a la Vida': The Power and Poetry of Song, Pring-Mill, pp. 6, 20-49. See also the profile in Lockard, Societies, Networks, and Transitions, p. 860.

36 Quoted in Morris, Canto Porque, p. 6.

37 In addition to the studies on New Song, on Jara see especially Jara, Unfinished Song; Pring-Mill, Gracias a la Vida': The Power and Poetry of Song ; Patrick White, Homage to Victor Jara (Ottawa: Steel Rail, 1985).

38 From Jara's song "Manifiesto" ("Manifesto"), from Jara's album, Manifiesto: Chile September 1973 (XTRA 1143, 1974). See also "Manifiesto," Sing Out, 39, no. 3 (Nov., 1994-January, 1995), pp. 60-61.

39 From Jara's album, Vientos Del Pueblo (Monitor, CD 61778).

40 See "La Nueva Cancion Chilena," pamphlet accompanying the album, Chile Vencera (Rounder Records 4009, n.d.).

41 Quoted in Cockcroft, Neighbors, p. 456. On the covert U.S. activity and resulting military coup see, eg., Cockcroft, Neighbors, pp. 468-485; Lawrence Birns, ed., The End of Chilean Democracy: An IDOC Dossier on the Coup and its Aftermath (New York: Seabury, 1974); James Petras and Morris Morley, The United States and Chile: Imperialism and the Overthrow of the Allende Government (New York: Monthly Review, 1975); Robinson Rojas Sandford, The Murder of Allende and the End of the Chilean Way to Socialism (New York: Harper and Row, 1976); Paul Sigmund, The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile, 1964-1976 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 1980); Sigmund, The United States and Democracy in Chile (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993); Arturo Valenzuela, The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Chile (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978); Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2006).

42 From the album, Manifiesto.

43 Quoted in Jara, Unfinished Song, pp. 250-251.

44 In the late 1970s and early 1980s I had several students from Chile in my classes at UWGB. A few of them asked if they could tape copies of some of the New Song records in my collection, especially those by Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and smuggle them back to Chile when they returned. As far as I know they were able to get them home and distribute them to friends and family. Whether this led to any undermining of the junta cannot be ascertained.

45 See

46 On Nigerian history, society, and politics from the 1960s until the 1990s see, eg., Oladimeji Aborisade and Robert Mundt, Politics in Nigeria (New York: , 2nd ed., Longman, 2001); Henry Bienen, Political Conflict and Economic Change in Nigeria (London: Frank Cass, 1985); Toyin Falola, Culture and Customs of Nigeria (New York: Greenwood, 2008); Julius O. Ibonvbere, Nigeria: The Politics of Adjustment and Democracy (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1984); Martin Meredith, The First Dance of Freedom: Black Africa in the Post-War Era (New York: Harper and Row, 1984); Timothy Shaw and Julius Ibonubere, Nigeria: The Illusion of Power (Boulder: Westview, 1989); Max Siollan, Oil, Politics, and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture, 1966-1976 (London: Algora, 2009); Sanford Unger, Africa: The People and Politics of an Emerging Continent (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985); Irving Zartman, ed., The Political Economy of Nigeria (New York: Praeger, 1983).

47 In addition to the sources in endnote 9, on Nigerian popular music see, eg., Afolabi Alaja-Browne, "Juju Music: A Study of its Social History and Style" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1985); T. Ajayi Thomas, History of Juju Music: A History of African Popular Music from Nigeria (Jamaica, N.Y.: The Thomas Organization, 1992); Christopher Waterman, Juju: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990).

48 Quoted in "For the Yoruba, Continuous Change Over 9 Centuries," Chronicle of Higher Education (September 19, 1990), p. B56.

49 On Fela see especially Carlos Moore, Fela Fela: This Bitch of a Life (London: Allison and Busby, 1982); Tejumola Olaniyan, Arrest the Music: Fela and his Rebel Art and Politics (Bloomington: Indian University Press, 2004); Trevor Schoonmaker, ed., Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway (New York: Palgrave, 2003); Michael E. Veal, Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical (Icon (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000).

50 Quoted in Moore, Fela Fela, p. 77.

51 Quoted in Bergman, Goodtime Kings, p. 60.

52 Quoted in "The Amazing and Perilous Odyssey of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti," a pamphlet issued by the Revolutionary Worker (1985), p. 18.

53 Quoted in James Brooke, "The Army's No Fan, But Nigeria's Fela Has an Army of Fans," New York Times (November 18, 1988).

54 From Fela's album,, Teacher Don't Teach me Nonsense (Mercury Records, 422-833-525-1, 1986).

55 Moore, Fela Fela, p. 12.

56 On the musical see, eg., Ben Brantley, "Making Music Mightier Than a Sword," New York Times (November 24, 2009), pp. C1, C5; Felicia Lee, "Finding Nuance in Fela's Women," New York Times (December 17, 2009), pp. C1, C8; Jon Pareles, "'Fela!' Broadway? Dance!: Inspired by Afrobeat, a Musical Revolution Is Adapted for the Stage," New York Times (November 22, 2009), Arts and Leisure 1, p. 20.

57 Patricio Manns, "The Problem of the Text in Nueva Cancion," Popular Music, 6, no. 2 (May, 1987), p. 195.

58 "Popular Music as a Radical Influence, 1945-1970," in Rodnitzky, ed., Essays on Radicalism in Contemporary America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1972), p. 31.

59 From Marley's album, Live (Island Records 0407, 1975).


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