Jeb Lund

Contributor

Dead Kennedys

Protest Songs in Popular Culture: From Preaching to the Choir to Making a Real Impact

On his 1989 Spike LP, Elvis Costello released arguably the most lyrically beautiful and savage pop song about a politician. Describing Margaret Thatcher on the campaign trail, he concludes his chorus with the wish, "There's one thing I know I'd like to live long enough to savor / That's when they finally put you in the ground / I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down."