The Power of Song to Unite People in Conflict in the Appalachian Mountains
Keywords:protest songs, Appalachian folk music
AbstractFolk songs of the people of Appalachia reflect how the people who settled in that region experienced life. This large body of musical literature provides a cultural history from which there is a considerable store of songs about conflict. This paper will focus on some of the most influential songs of the coal miners’ rebellion and labor movements of the early twentieth century, and will provide an analysis of the origins of the tunes, as well as discuss the continuing influence of songwriters and singers of the twenty-first century to continue to rouse the people of Appalachia to action to protect themselves from unwanted influence and coercion.