- "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds: If you're familiar with Jenji Kohan's "Weeds", you're gonna know this one. It was written in the early 1960s by social activist/folk singer Malvina Reynolds, and the ultimate (and very straightforward) message of the song is the conformity of middle-class suburban American life, and how everything is "made out of ticky-tacky and all looks just the same." Had I known about this song earlier, this would have probably been my song choice for my American History project last year.
- "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones: I freaking love this song, but I'm not super-duper proud of how I got into it, to be honest. I saw that the guy I like was once wearing a Rolling Stones shirt one day, and therefore started listening to the Stones more often because the music began to remind me of him (still does) and I was hoping to have another interest in common with him. Yeah. But this song is nevertheless awesome, and this was my chosen song for the project. My teacher even complimented my choice when he handed back my project, which I had done super well on (not to brag, or anything...). According to my analysis of the song, "Gimme Shelter" is a reaction to the social unrest of the 1960s (Vietnam, JFK getting shot, Stonewall Riots, etc.), and a desire for peace.
- "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore: Such a kickass feminist song. I found this song when I came across a public service announcement in favor of women's issues from the 2012 election, which features women (including Lena Dunham, Tavi Gevinson, and many others) lip-syncing the song. This was also a strong candidate for my project, since we lacked the time to cover 1960s feminism, which upset me quite a bit, but I felt the message of the song itself was too obvious and I wanted to do something with metaphors to decode and such (hence, my decision to go with the Rolling Stones).
I know there a lot more awesome songs out there, and so my honorable mentions include the following: I Am Woman (Helen Reddy), Signs (Five Man Electrical Band), Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival), For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield), Imagine (John Lennon), and so many more!