In no particular order, these are 5 unforgettable protest songs that have a timeless message.

1) IMAGINE – John Lennon

This was released in 1971 and was a call for peace during the Vietnam War. Along with his wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon urges people around the world to live in unity.

2) GET UP STAND UP – Bob Marley

With co-writer Peter Tosh, this song was written as an anthem about taking action to avoid oppression. It was also the last song Bob Marley ever performed before he succumbed to his cancer.

3) WAR- Edwin Starr

First performed by The Temptations, “War” was later re-released as a single with Edwin Starr leading the vocals. Originally written under the Motown label, Starr’s version amplifies the raw power that this song’s message carries.


This song highlights the horrors of war. Bono’s intent was to contrast the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre with Easter Sunday, a peaceful day Protestants and Catholics both celebrate.

5) TESTIFY- Rage Against The Machine

This song highlights how we digest media from around the globe and how it can be catered to a specific point of view- a misrepresentation of information. It uses the Oceania government slogan from the dystopian novel 1984 to hammer this point home: “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.”

It is always the time to #SpeakUp against racism, #SpeakUp against discrimination, and #SpeakUp against systemic inequality. Please stand with the peaceful protesters who are advocating for positive change.