With midterm elections pending in early November, 2006 was a year full of songs protesting the Iraq War, the Bush administration, and various other topics at hand. Following is a list of some of the best and most poignant American folk songs released in protest in 2006.
This was certainly the most controversial song of the year, and in fact was the one everyone quoted when they wanted to chastise Young for releasing a protest album (Living With War) in the first place. It's certainly no secret what this song is about, and Neil Young does a great job of making his point in the clearest, most concise possible way.
Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines made the joke heard 'round the world from the stage at a concert in Shepherd's Bush, England. Finally, in response to the equally-sized backlash and support for the nervy statement (and even more nervy no-apologies aftermath), the Chicks finally released their best record to date. "Not Ready to Make Nice" was not only a pointed protest song, it was also at least partially responsible for getting the trio some Grammy nominations.
Ani Difranco's CD Reprieve was mostly geared toward making some sort of response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While there were plenty of songs on the disc to choose from when compiling this list, "Millenium Theater" was decidedly the most comprehensive.
Bruce Springsteen record his first official folk record this year, it was also his first album of covers and the first time The Boss didn't slave for far too long over his work. In just two days, he whipped out a tribute to Pete Seeger and traditional Americana that would eventually land him a Grammy nod, among other things. The whole idea, however, started with this song.
Catie Curtis and Mark Erelli won the International Songwriting Competition with this number, which they co-penned in response to Hurricane Katrina. An undeniable call-to-attention, the tune's overall objective is peace.
Indigo Girls have long written tons of protest songs from feminist dirges to tunes about environmentalism, GLBT issues, and Native American rights. Their latest album, Despite Our Differences wasn't much of a departure for the beloved duo, but it all kicked off with this fist-pumping feminist statement.