Back when I was in the Peace Corps, a few of my colleagues were upset about a local kiosk owner ripping us off. A friend of mine said, “C’mon Jenny, fight the “green shack” power!
Lately, I’ve been feeling like protesting. Ever since our move in late July, I have had to deal with several companies that seem ill inclined to either do what they are being paid to do or correct their mistakes. I don’t want to get too much into my personal issues because if I start writing about them here, I will likely get carried away and never get around to writing about music. But I will say that these recent issues, which seriously, in the grand scheme of things are probably pretty minor, have made me feel kind of feisty. No one likes to feel like they’re being ripped off or cheated. No one likes to feel oppressed by “the man”. No one likes to pay for services not received. Those feelings have led to some great songs.
Fight The Power by The Isley Brothers
I was first introduced to this song by my friend, Weird Wilbur, who had used it as background music for one of his videos on YouTube. There’s something about this funky groove that makes me want to fight the power.
Fight The Power by Public Enemy
Years later, Public Enemy had their own hit called “Fight The Power”. It was used as the theme for Spike Lee’s film, Do The Right Thing, and includes samples from James Brown’s “Hot Pants”. Granted, both “Fight The Powers” are about racial oppression, but in the end, we all hate being screwed.
Cash In Your Face by Stevie Wonder
“Cash In Your Face” is a great song by Stevie Wonder addressing racial discrimination. The lyrics are heartbreaking; Stevie adopts a flat voice as he plays the man in charge denying housing or employment to people of color.
Backstabbers by The O’Jays
“What they doin’?” Smiling in your face, right? While they smile at you, they screw you over. This song is about dishonest “friends” trying to steal the singer’s woman. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible for people to steal other peoples’ significant others. However, the “smiling in your face” motif definitely comes into play when you’re dealing with politicians and customer service people. They bullshit you into thinking they’re helping you, when in fact you’re about to get it.
Fucked Up, Fucked Over, and Hungry by Weird Wilbur
Here’s a song by Weird Wilbur about a guy who gets screwed over when trying to launch a record deal because he fell for bullshit promises.
If I Had The Copyright (The F Word Song) by Carla Ulbrich
This song isn’t so much about being screwed by the man. It’s more about someone imagining being one of the wealthy making money off others. For some reason, this song skips at the end. Other versions are on YouTube, but they’re bleeped and I’m in the mood for profanity. I must warn you that the above song is not work or kid friendly.
Anyway, I know I should write letters, make phone calls, and complain a lot. But despite appearances, I don’t enjoy complaining and I hate being on the phone with people who are both unsympathetic and uninformed. Anyway, I hope to be in a better mood by Friday.