Poetry of Song
April 1, 2009
Anti-Flag is an American punk band that has produced many controversial songs with even more controversial lyrics. They have never been a very famous band but are known to those who follow punk music. Their pure punk sound makes them unique in the punk scene now. They are one of the only bands that still have the original punk sound and attitude. Their theories on revolution and disagreement with society are other reason they are distinctive from other bands. In 2003, Anti-Flag teamed up with German punk band the Donots to make “Protest Song.” “Protest Song” is a powerful song that brings states the immoral ways of people today.
Anti-Flag’s “Protest Song” is a song that encourages fan to rise up and protest against the corrupt events and ideas of people in the world. By reading the lyrics the reader would think Anti-Flag is angry at America as a whole and wants people to rise up against it, but they really are only upset with the way America is being run and wants the people to protest against certain thoughts and theories of the others. Anti-Flag shows that they are troubled with the government by saying, “We must confront is WASHINGTON, DC!” This illustrates that in order for America to change for the better the leaders must change their ways first.
“Protest Song” was written while George W. Bush was in office and many people were angered because of the actions he took toward stopping terrorism. Anti-Flag is one band that has shown much dislike on the way America has reacted to the war on terror. They have many songs aimed at the government, and mostly toward Bush. In “Protest Song,” Anti-Flag says, “The Bush ‘War on Terror’, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, UNCONSCIENABLE, we refuse to let him kill, in our name for oil.” These lines are very controversial at the time because many Americans thought that Bush sent troops into the Middle-East only for control of oil, not to fight for freedom of those in grasps of terrorists. These rebellious lines struck a sensitive nerve for those in favor of the war. Anti-Flag made it clear that they were not pleased with America and the people in charge. “Protest Song” was a way they could show their thoughts and express them to all.
“Protest Song” is a well written song with many poetic devices. Anti-Flag uses two poetic devices in the same line. They use anaphora and epistrophe by saying, “You’ve been to our shows, you’ve sung our songs.” This is used to emphasize that they need people to stand with them now at a time of protest. Also Anti-Flag uses metaphors to help enhance the meaning to the listener. One metaphor used is “and that blood which flows from their pen.” This metaphor compares ink to blood and allows the listener to believe that their pen is a knife that cuts deeper into the ground work of society with every letter they write. The poetic devices improve to simplify the meaning of the song and Anti-Flag does a fantastic job in using the poetic devices to get their point across to the listener.
Anti-Flag’s rebellious “Protest Song” is a well written song that clearly shows the message it intended to show. Anti-Flag wanted to open the eyes of their listeners and the affectively did so. “Protest Song” brings out the wrong in the world and asks people to stand up for what they believe in and to fight for what is worth fighting for. Anti-Flag has many more controversial songs, but “Protest Song” is one that stresses the importance of change. The meaning of “Protest Song” is one that everyone needs to think about and try their best to make the world a better place. Anti-Flag’s thoughts on society is a reason why they are one of the most influential and rebellious punk bands for the past two decades and “Protest Song” only solidifies that fact.
And so the time has finally come!The bourgeoisie has signed the war decree with proletariat blood!And that blood which flows from their penIs the closest that they've ever been to the people!You've been to our shows!You've sung our songs!Now we're asking you to add to each chorus you've sung and...Protest!... Against!... Injustice!... State terror!...On the streets of the world for the disempowered!You've sung at our shows,Cheered right over wrong.Now it's time to hit the streets,Back up those words you've sung!Because our voices alone this time will not get it done...Looking to stop a rogue regime?Well the first one that we must confront is Washington, D.C.!The Bush "terror war:" unconstitutional, unconscionable!We refuse to let him kill, in our name, for oil!We know their game,Know they're corrupt!It's up to us to hit the streets -- time to take our rights back!Protest!... Against!... Injustice!... State terror!...On the streets of the world for the disempowered!You've sung at our shows,Cheered right over wrong!Now it's time to hit the streets,Back up those words you've sung!Because our voices alone this time will not get it done...Because the people, united will get it done!Protest!... Against!... Injustice!... State terror!...On the streets of the world for the disempowered!