Choosing just one song to award the title of most powerful message is no easy task. Millions of songs have been written with overt and cryptic messages intended to convey emotion to a particular audience. On top of that, anyone can find personal meaning behind the lyrics of a song.
So, what song has the most powerful message?
“Give Peace A Chance” by John Lennon. That is pretty much the song; powerful and to the point. There are a ton of songs I could have chosen, but in the end I belted out ‘All we are saying, is give peace a chance.” This was Lennon’s first hit away from The Beatles and was credited to The Plastic Ono Band. Another powerful messages from this song: you don’t need to leave bed to make a hit song, literally.
John Lennon’s “Imagine” is the song with the most powerful message. It’s a song about breaking down the barriers that exist among people, which keep us from coming together to work for a common goal. Lyrically, it tackles religion, politics, war, poverty and world peace. Musically, it is both beautiful and sad. It is a song that moves people to deep emotion and feeling. It also stands the test of time by being relevant in any era.
I’m going to go with Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings, Op. 11,” written in 1936 and first performed in ‘38. Whatever it meant to people back then, since Oliver Stone’s homage to America’s Vietnam war, Platoon, in ’86, it’s represented the suckiness of war and unnecessary death. There’s a Charlie Sheen PTSD joke in here somewhere.
The most powerful song I can think of right now is “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa. Love her or hate her, “Born This Way” is simply about loving the life you’re living regardless of what labels people apply to you. Love who you love, be who you are. It’s a simple message, and it’s an awesome, high energy song.
I’m particularly fond of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero.” The lyrics appeal to me and it doesn’t hurt that Green Day covered it. Being a twenty something American kid who happened to hit maturity right as we went to war and recession, when the video came out, despite it being for Darfur, it rang out in my brain and stuck close to home. There are tons of songs that bear powerful messages for myself and society at large, (“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is a good one too) but “Working Class Hero” has a bit of a defining quality for me.
In a bit of an effort to be bold, I’m going to go with “Prison Sex” by TOOL. “Do onto others, what has been done to you. Do unto me now, what has been done. You’re breathing so I guess you’re still alive, even though signs seem to tell me otherwise.” There’s a lot to think about there, the psychology of abuse and perpetuating a cycle of continued abuse. On top of that, the song actually rocks so hard, that most people often miss the lyrics or any discernible meaning behind them entirely.