The Power of Protest Contest: Find Out Who Won

We have a winner, folks. Or make that two: a winning song and the Truthdig reader who named the tune. It wasn’t easy to settle on just one out of all the possibilities — and we’ll give nods to some of those — but it was fun.

First comes the protest song that topped our list, playing on local and international themes and featuring the lyrical stylings of celebrated troubadour Leonard Cohen, set against a pleasing ’80s synth-pop backdrop: “First We Take Manhattan.” Need a refresher? We’ve posted the video below.

Next comes the announcement of our lucky winner of The Power of Protest contest, Jenna Ware, who threw her hat into the ring with a flourish, posting this entry on Facebook:

Logline = the killer line in the song: “Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win” Cohen knew. We knew. They knew. They knew we knew. We knew they knew we knew. We know. They know. We know they know. They know we know. We all know. We are all us — the arc of the character “America.”

Jenna will receive a copy of Ry Cooder’s new album, “Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down,” plus his new book, “Los Angeles Stories” (click here to read an excerpt), both signed by the artist. For these prizes we have Nonesuch Records, City Lights Publishers and Ry Cooder himself to thank.

And thanks to all the readers — many of whom are also musicians and lyricists in their own right — for chiming in. Some other song nominations included: “Yell Fire” by Michael Franti and Spearhead, submitted through Twitter by #heysyd; Thievery Corporation’s “Numbers Game,” suggested by #stormpilot; “The Payback” by James Brown, which was #brotheryoni’s pick; and Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall” from #bourbonsweet. From our Facebook friends we got: Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land Is Your Land,” submitted by Mark Ross; Billy Bragg’s “I Don’t Need This Pressure Ron,” chosen by Shauna Osborn; and another classic, Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” which David Collz posted.

Finally, we were especially lucky to hear from several musicians who sent in lyrics and/or recordings of their own original songs, several of which took the Occupy Wall Street movement as their inspiration. Keep on singing, and keep on digging.


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