The election of Donald Trump has willed more out-and-out protest songs into being than any other event in recent memory. None have lived up to the beautiful and blunt “FDT” unleashed by early adapter YG. Still, it’s been interesting to see others adopt his tactics and come out from behind their metaphors to allusions to say in no uncertain terms that they think POTUS is a monster. The latest musician to drop a Don diss track is Billy Bragg, who built his protest song inside one of the most famous protest anthems of all time: Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
Bragg’s take — dubbed “The Times They Are A-Changin’ Back” — addresses a laundry list of Trump’s regressive policies over the instantly recognizable melody. Bragg moves from climate change denialism to the issues that spurred the worldwide Women’s March into action. Bragg explained how the song came about in a statement to Brooklyn Vegan.
“At 5 PM on Friday, at the moment Donald Trump became President of the United States, Joe Henry and I were beginning our sound check in Salisbury,” he said. “Joe began mournfully strumming Dylan’s classic ‘The Times They Are A-Changin” and, listening to him from the wings, I ruefully thought that it seems more like the times are changing back to how they were in the 1950s.”
Bragg said that he caught the highlights of Trump’s inauguration while checking into his hotel and crafted the new lyrics while in the shower. Check it out up top.