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General Multicultural Themed Songs

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Alors Regarde (in French)
performed by Patrick Bruel
from the album Alors Regarde (Purchase from
about a disagreement between two people: one who does not want to get involved (act out) because it's too disturbing, the other who thinks that's it's his responsability to speak out and act out against injustices:

"Tu dis qu'c'est pas mon rôle de parler de tout ca
Qu'avant d'prendre la parole il faut aller là-bas
Tu dis qu'c'est trop facile, tu dis qu'ça sert à rien
Mais c't'encore plus facile de ne parler de rien"
Bandera del Sol
performed by Tish Hinojosha
from the album Culture Swing (Purchase from
about the one "flag" that connects us all, even in a time of extreme nationalism:
"Here's to you here's to me while we stand on our feet,
As flags wave above our desires
We are me, we are you with the power of two
A banner to set hope on fire.
Here's to earth and to peace, faith in humanity
'Neath the light of the flag of the sun."
Big Italian Rose
performed by Fred Small
from the album No Limit (Purchase from
about a woman who is upset about the models who are so skinny in all the ads and that she doesn't see anyone in any of the ads that looks like her:
"I'm a big Italian woman and I want the world to see
All the big Italian women who look just like me
You take your fancy models and your 5th Avenue clothes
But you'll never find a beauty like a Big Italian Rose."
Carefully Taught
performed by Rogers and Hammerstein
from the album South Pacific Soundtrack (Purchase from
about unlearning oppressive attitudes we've been taught:
"You've got to be taught, before it's too late
Before you are six, or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught,
You've got to be carefully taught."
Different People
performed by No Doubt
from the album Tragic Kingdom (Purchase from
about the positivity of diversity:
"He and she two different people
With two seperate lives
Then you put the two together
And get a spectacular surprise
'Cause one can teach the other one
What she doesn't know
While still the other fills a place inside
He never knew had room to grow"
Don't Laugh at Me
performed by Mark Wills
from the album Greatest Hits (Purchase from
about empathy:
"Don't laugh at me.
I am short.
I am tall.
Aren't we all..."
Egg on Drugs
performed by Brenda Kahn
from the album Goldfish Don't Talk Back (Purchase from
about the focus on the war on drugs when other issues (freedom of choice, women's body image, NRA, pollution) are ignored:
"Isn't there something else
this country could discuss?
Like, what do you think of the NRA?
Or the price of medical care
in this country today?
Where is our cure for cancer and AIDS?
Girls try so hard to be fit in
that they make themselves puke to be thin
and then three years later,
they get false tits sewn on"
Every Kinda People
performed by Robert Palmer
from the album Addictions (Purchase from
about the value of diversity and different perspectives:
"It takes every kinda people
To make the world go round"
Everyday People
performed by Sly and the Family Stone
from the album Greatest Hits (Purchase from
about identity and acceptance:
"There is a blue one who can't accept the green one
For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo-bee
Oh sha sha - we got to live together
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do"
performed by Dionne Farris
from the album Wild Seed - Wild Flower (Purchase from
about respecting individual cultural traits in the context of shared humanity:
"Before I am black,
Before I am young,
Before I am short,
Before I am woman,
Before I am African,
I am human."
I'll Rise
performed by Ben Harper
from the album Welcome to the Cruel World (Purchase from
A musical interpretation of the empowering poem by Maya Angelou about rising up through the opression of prejudice:
"You may write me down in history
with your bitter twisted lies
you may trod me down in the very dirt
and still like the dust I'll rise"
Love Makes the World Go 'Round
performed by Madonna
from the album Imaculate Collection (Purchase from
"Its easy to forget
When you dont hear the sound
Of pain and prejudice
Love makes the world go'round"
Man in the Mirror
performed by Michael Jackson
from the album Number Ones (Purchase from
about changing ourselves to change the world:
"I'm looking at the man in the mirror,
I'm asking him to change his ways,
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
You've got to look at yourself and make the change."
Né en 17 à Leidenstadt
performed by Jean-Jacques Goldman
from the album Fredericks, Goldman, Jones (Purchase from
about social context and its relation to social conscience:
"On saura jamais c'qu'on a vraiment dans nos ventres
Caché derrière nos apparences
L'âme d'un brave ou d'un complice ou d'un bourreau?
Ou le pire ou plus beau?
Serions-nous de ceux qui résistent ou bien les moutons d'un troupeau
S'il fallait plus que des mots?"
O Siem
performed by Susan Igulukark
from the album This Child (Purchase from
about a call to help the walls of intolerance come down:
"All people rich and poor
Those who do and do not know
Take the hand of one close by
Of those who know because they try
And watch the walls come tumbling down"
People Are People
performed by Depesche Mode
from the album People Are People (Purchase from
about questioning prejudice and hatred:
"I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully"
Peurs (in French)
performed by Jean-Jacques Goldman
from the album Fredericks, Goldman, Jones (Purchase from
about unwarranted fears arising from intolerance of difference:
"Qu'est-ce que vous croyez
C'est partout pareil
Nos yeux, nos oreilles
Vaut mieux les fermer
Ici tout est dur
On aime les serrures
Pas les étrangers"
Pride (In the Name of Love)
performed by U2
from the album Rattle and Hum (Purchase from
about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"Early morning April 4
A shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last
They took your life
But they could not take your pride"
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
performed by Gil Scott Heron
from the album Pieces of a Man (Purchase from
about empowerment and calling for social action to challenge commercialism and passivity.:
"You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised."
Squeeze the Trigger
performed by Ice-T
from the album Rhyme Pays (Purchase from
about persecution and an attempt to silence "other" voices, racism, classism, and general oppression:
"Homeless sleep on city streets, waiting to die with nothing to eat
While rich politicians soak their feet in the pool at their ten million buck retreat
People hate people for color of face
Noone had a choice in the race we were placed
A brother in Queens was beaten and chased
Murdered cold in the street, a damn disgrace"
Streets of Philadelphia
performed by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Philadelphia Soundtrack (Purchase from
about the feeling of loneliness of a man with AIDS

There's Only One
performed by Graham Nash
from the album Songs for Beginners (Purchase from
about what all people have in common

We Shall Be Free
performed by Garth Brooks
from the album Chase (Purchase from
about the struggle against oppression of people of color and poor people as the struggle toward true freedom for everyone:

"When the last child cries for a crust of bread
When the last man dies for just words that he said
When there's shelter over the poorest head
We shall be free"
Where the Roads Come Together
performed by Up with People
from the album Live
about the value of diversity:
"None of us is born the same
We don't know why, it's the way we came
Ev'ry heart beats a little differently
Each soul is free to find its way
Like a river that winds its way to the sea."

an Equity Literacy Institute and EdChange project
© Paul C. Gorski, 1995-2020