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Songs of Resistance By Lauren Oliver
The conclusion to the Delirium trilogy, Requiem, focuses a lot on Lena’s role in the resistance. It got me thinking
about some of my all-time favorite bring-the-fight songs. Here’s a playlist to get you pumped for your own particular
1. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Reviva: This song, in particular its chorus, transforms anger over the
Vietnam War into a defiant battle cry. When John Fogerty wails out “It ain’t me,” you can feel the pain of a generation
of people forced into fighting a war they didn’t believe in.
2. “Rise Above” by Black Flag: Weirdly, this punk song is surprisingly positive! A positive punk song! “We are born
with a chance/Rise above/We’re gonna rise above.”
3. “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill: The best thing about this song is that the rebel girl isn’t the outcast or the weirdo,
she’s the “queen of the neighborhood”! Isn’t that how it should be?
4. “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield: More than anything, this song is a call to reflection, attention, and
thought. The nature of the conflict is intentionally vague (which makes it timeless).
5. “Doin’ Time for Bein’ Young” by James Intveld: From the Cry-Baby soundtrack (a great movie about teen rebellion). I
think most teenagers feel like they’re being punished for being themselves at some point or another. This song takes
that feeling and puts it into a very literal context!
6. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron: In short . . . keep your eyes open because real
rebellion has to happen organically.
7. “Search and Destroy” by Iggy and the Stooges: I don’t really know what this song is about, but it is angry and it
8. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley and the Wailers: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery/None but ourselves can
free our minds.” Nuff said!
9. “Not Ready to Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks: I’m not going to lie—I love the Dixie Chicks! I especially like that they
are unapologetic in their opinions and are always willing to take a stand.
10. “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé: Queen B!! Again, nuff said.
11. “99 Luftballons” by Nena: Did you know this song is actually a short piece of dystopian fiction? Much like the
Delirium trilogy, it’s a story about what can happen when a government decides that something joyful and human is a
dangerous threat. In this case, floating balloons are mistaken for enemy weapons.
12. “The Promised Land” by Bruce Springsteen: The Boss says it all when he says “I feel so weak, I just want to
13. “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy: It’s all in the title. :)
14. “Elsewhere” by Sarah McLachlan: Sometimes fighting for the small things that are meaningful to you as an
individual can be as important as the big social battles. Even though the singer knows that “this is heaven to no one
else but me,” she is still willing to “defend it as long as I can breathe.”
15. “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals: This might be the most optimistic and downright cheery song about
trying to change the status quo. It joyfully asks people to give back to the world a little . . . and to maybe make a
little mayhem along the way.
16. “Tombstone Blues” by Bob Dylan: Leave it to Dylan to write an epic of societal discontent!