20th Century, Songs and Poems

Resource Type:

Reading Level:

    • Bread and Roses

    • Song. Reprinted from Labor Notes 2007.
      Links issues of economic security and quality of life, also addresses the role of women in the struggle for justice.

    • Resource Types: Songs and Poems | Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919, 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Women's History | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, High School
    • Chávez Ravine: A Record by Ry Cooder

    • Songs. By Ry Cooder. 2005. 70 min.
      The story of the Chicano community bulldozed to pave the way for the Dodger Stadium in Santa Monica, told through bilingual songs.

    • Resource Types: Songs and Poems, Spanish/Bilingual | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Latino, Organizing, Social Class, Sports | Reading Levels: High School
    • E.Y. "Yip" Harburg: "Brother Can You Spare a Dime"

    • Film clip. Voices of a People’s History.
      E.Y. “Yip” Harburg’s “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” (1932) is performed by Allison Moorer.

    • Resource Types: Films, Songs and Poems | Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Economics | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Elegy for Peter Norman

    • Poem. By Josh Healey. From Hammertime. 2008.
      Poem in text and audio about Peter Norman, the white athlete in the iconic photo of the ’68 Olympics.

    • Resource Types: Songs and Poems | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: Organizing, Sports | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Langston Hughes: "Montage of a Dream Deferred"

    • Film clip. Voices of a People’s History.
      Dramatic reading of Langston Hughes’ “Montage of a Dream Deferred” (1951) by Danny Glover.

    • Resource Types: Films, Songs and Poems | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 20th Century | Themes: African American | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Song for Hugh Thompson

    • Song. By David Rovics.
      Ballad about Hugh Thompson who tried to defend the people of My Lai, Vietnam.

    • Resource Types: Songs and Poems | Time Periods: 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: High School
    • Which Side Are You On - Book Cover
    • Which Side Are You On?: The Story of A Song

    • Book – Non-fiction. By George Ella Lyon. Artwork by Christopher Cardinale. 2011. 40 pages.
      This children’s book tells the story of a classic union song written in 1931 and the harsh conditions under which it was written.

    • Resource Types: Books: Non-Fiction, Picture Books, Songs and Poems | Time Periods: 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing, Social Class | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades Pre-K-2
    • "Workers of the World, Awaken!" by Joe Hill

    • Song. By Joe Hill. 1910.
      A classic labor song, reaching out to workers to around the world.

    • Resource Types: Songs and Poems | Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919, 20th Century | Themes: Labor, Organizing |