Category: Ry Cooder

Marking Supreme Court's Arizona ruling with songs about immigrants

Woody Guthrie
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of  Arizona's strict law targeting illegal immigrants. When Arizona's SB 1070 passed in 2010, many Latino songwriters in particular used their music to rail against it. But musicians have been singing about the struggles of immigrants ever since the first troubadour packed up his lyre and wandered to the next town over. In light of this latest ruling, here are five great songs about immigration that are worth revisiting. 

Ry Cooder, "Quicksand"

For decades, Cooder has written blues-rock at the junction of L.A.'s Anglo and Latino cultures. "Quicksand" is one of his most vivid character sketches about a harrowing border crossing.

Rage Against the Machine: " Without a Face"

The Angeleno icons have long worked radical politics into their searing noise-funk. This song is one of the band's most affecting, with a spare breakbeat giving way to pure fury that evokes the loneliness and de-humanization depicted in Zack de la Rocha's rhymes. 

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