Echo-pella: Songs to start a revolution to

Welcome to our brand new installation―Echo-pella, a special segment specially dedicated to songs. Listening to music is almost intrinsic and has become an essential characteristic to humans. In honour of our theme of the month, music is not only a form of artistic, creative and aesthetic expression, but it also has an immense revolutionary quality. Throughout history, this has been expressed in songs which represent a desire for change. From protesting and condemning unjust situations in our socio-political reality, to capturing revolutionary movements and raising hope for a better future. This expands music into a canvas encompassing the expression of our human experience and journey. Music is an entire language on its own which has had a significant cultural and political impact on real-life events all around the world; bringing positive change at historic moments. It also has the ability to unite and connect people from different walks of life and may even have the power to change the world.

Moving on, songs can also be used to invoke a plethora of emotions. In certain instances, songs are also used as a vessel for messages. Messages that stir up big movements and promote valuable ideologies. This can evoke emotions in the listener and they are able to absorb the piece as their own. In most cases, listeners are able to link personal experiences to messages embedded in a song which allows them to relate. It also provides the listener with a voice and empowers them to be seen. This is what makes music all the more powerful. For this month’s rendition of Echo-pella, we sent out a survey to all members of the Echo Media’s Creative Writing Department to give us recommendations for  songs to start a revolution to. We received a fair few responses and have created a ‘Top 5 of our favourite songs’ to take down the patriarchy with or various other societal problems that will take forever to list down! Without further adieu, here is our list: 

5. What’s Up Danger – Blackway, Black Caviar

What’s Up Danger is one of the songs from the soundtrack album for the animated superhero film ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and it serves as a character theme for the protagonist, Miles Morales (Spider-Man). The title of the song comes from the context of the final act from the film, where it is played during the scene where (spoiler alert) Miles has to decide whether to risk his life for his friends and the Spider-Verse, or to sit back and watch from the sidelines. While he contemplates this dangerous decision, he decides to take that risk despite his fears and jumps off a building in a leap of faith. The song perfectly pairs with this scene from the film, because up until before this point, he was scared of the dangers that came with being Spider-Man in his universe. But at that moment, he becomes who he needs to be and faces the danger of what’s coming to him, metaphorically asking danger ‘What’s up?’ as if he is not scared of it anymore.

This song helps listeners form an emotional connection to Miles and recreates that same feeling he is experiencing (watch the scene from the film for a cinematic masterpiece experience, it will definitely give you chills and goosebumps every single time!) asking us to stop being a stranger to danger, and to be brave enough to overcome those stakes. All it takes for us is that one leap of faith to start a revolutionary change.

4. Stand Up (from Harriet) – Cynthia Erivo

This song was written by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo for the movie ‘Harriet’, which is a biographical film in honour of Harriet Tubman, which tells the inspirational tale of her escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, where her courage, ingenuity, compassion and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves from captivity and changed the course of history. The lyrics depict the perils and hardships she encountered while she fought for the enslaved to help them reach the promised land of liberation. It’s no wonder that Stand Up emanates the spirit of hope, persistence and fighting for rightful justice. 

In the outro of the song, the lyrics “I go to prepare a place for you” were actually Harriet Tubman’s last words to her friends and family before her death. This phrase truly resonates with her extraordinary life’s work which was to go North and prepare the way for those behind her, whether she rescued them herself or for the subsequent generations of African Americans. The song is not only a stirring anthem for the civil rights movement, but it also empowers everyone, regardless of who they are, to stand up for each other in the face of injustice.

3. Beggin (original version) – Madcon 

Beggin by Madcon expresses why a particular person or lover is not reciprocating their feelings. It came out in 2007 by the Norwegian hip-hop group and topped various European charts. In terms of starting a revolution, it would lyrically convey the message of the people’s want for change and rejuvenation in the system, or towards whatever it is that is oppressing them. In addition, this song perfectly articulates how difficult it is when something is not complying with a person’s needs and wants. This song encapsulates the act of never backing down until the people’s necessities, which have been deficient due to higher powers, have been met.

2. The Four Seasons (Winter in F Minor, RV. 297: I. Allegro non molto – Antonio Vivaldi, Adrian Chandler, La Serenissima

Winter in F minor is part of the program music: Four Seasons created by Antonio Vivaldi. Based on the composition, the song’s beginning arrangement resembles a person who is shivering in the cold. The middle movement then portrays the feeling of warming up near a fire. The final part of the piece suggests people walking outside in the blithering cold whereas the people inside slowly feel the plummeting temperatures creeping in. This song is perfect to start a revolution because it has various climaxes that shows the fiery outbursts that people with a goal in mind want to obtain. Especially during times where people are unjust towards them. If they continue fighting the message will reach those hiding inside- such as those who feel the cold edging it’s way in. 

1. Bella Ciao (Música Original de la Serie la Casa de Papel / Money Heist) – Manu Pilas

Coming in at number 1 is Bella Ciao by Manu Pilas! Originally an Italian folk song, the song carries a political meaning. It is a perfect song for revolution because it was a song used for an anti-facist resistance and takes the title as a ‘hymn for freedom’. During World War 2, the fascist regime was spreading throughout Europe and the lyrics were transformed to reflect the partisans rebelling against the fascists. This new and improved version was then used in the beloved Netflix show La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). After all, this song is worth listening to during the hiatus period and to reminisce on the show. Whilst we all wait just a little longer for season 5 to finally come out next month!

Lastly, we have also compiled these 5 songs into our Echo-pella playlist on Spotify, along with all the other suggested songs from our members which have been very worthy contenders. Even though they did not make it into our top 5 favourites, any one of these songs here may easily be your next new favourite song to start a revolution to!

Link to our Spotify playlist: Echo-pella: songs to start a revolution to

Have songs you would like featured in our next Echo-Pella playlist? Head on over to our Instagram to find out how!

By: Keerthi & Lynn Hor

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