"If I Had a Rocket Launcher" by Bruce Cockburn
The thing about protest songs is, regardless of how ephemeral their specific details may become with the passage of time, their general point stays applicable to future situations.
We must fight the same battles over and over, or as a popular sign at demonstrations puts it, “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit.” Systemic pressures favoring the interests of the rich and powerful inevitably push back against every gain made by progressives, and sadly familiar situations repeat themselves due to geopolitical forces.
Bruce Cockburn’s 1984 LP Stealing Fire, his 13th album (on Cockburn’s longtime label True North in his native Canada, it was released on A&M in the U.S.), was largely inspired by a trip to Central America the previous year under the auspices of international relief organization OXFAM. He kept a detailed notebook of his observations while there, and was able to quickly write the album from his notes. But one song came out of an experience so shocking that he wrote about it almost immediately – and it turned out to be a career-boosting hit.
📄 Steve Holtje/Rock & Roll Globe
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