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TOPIC 3

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NICKELBACK LYRICS
"Edge Of A Revolution"
Head high, protest line
"Freedom" scribbled on your sign
Headline, New York Times
Standing on the edge of a revolution
Hey, hey, just obey.
Your secret's safe with the NSA
In God we trust or the CIA?
Standing on the edge of a revolution
Yeah, we're standing on the edge of a revolution
Revolution, revolution, revolution
No, we won't give up, we won't go away
'Cause we're not about to live in this mass delusion
No, we don't wanna hear another word you say
'Cause we know they're all depending on mass confusion
No, we can't turn back, we can't turn away
'Cause it's time we all relied on the last solution
No, we won't lay down and accept this fate
'Cause we're standing on the edge of a revolution
Wall Street, common thief
When they get caught they all go free
A brand new yacht and a finders fee
Standing on the edge of a revolution
Same shit, different day
Can't keep fed if I can't get paid
We'll all be dead if the shit don't change
Standing on the edge of a revolution
Yeah, we're standing on the edge of a revolution
Revolution, revolution, revolution
No, we won't give up, we won't go away
'Cause we're not about to live in this mass delusion
No, we don't wanna hear another word you say
'Cause we know they're all depending on mass confusion
No, we can't turn back, we can't turn away
'Cause it's time we all relied on the last solution
No, we won't lay down and accept this fate
'Cause we're standing on the edge of a revolution

We'll all be dead if this shit don't change


Hey hey hey hey
What do we want? We want the change
And how're we gonna get there? Revolution
What do we want? We want the change
Standing on the edge of a revolution
What do we want? We want the change
And how're we gonna get there? Revolution
What do we want? We want the change
Standing on the edge of a revolution
No, we won't give up, we won't go away
'Cause we're not about to live in this mass delusion
No, we don't wanna hear another word you say
'Cause we know they're all depending on mass confusion
No, we can't turn back, we can't turn away
'Cause it's time we all relied on the last solution
No, we won't lay down and accept this fate
'Cause we're standing on the edge of a revolution
What do we want? We want the change
And how're we gonna get there? Revolution
What do we want? We want the change
Standing on the edge of a revolution
What do we want? We want the change
And how're we gonna get there? Revolution
What do we want? We want the change
Standing on the edge of a revolution

Critical theory can be defined as an individuals ability to free


themselves from unpleasant situations and it is a systematic
critique or analysis of social experiences and systems of human
beings to determine the visible and invisible forces or structures
which constrain, inhibit, encourage or enhance personal freedom.

According to Ritzer, Smart (2001), the term critical theory is


generally associated with the group of German social theorists
affiliated with the Institute for Social Research founded in
Frankfurt in 1923, the Institute sought to conduct social research
that would examine the contradictions of modernity, interrogate
the limits of the present order and overcome the limitations of
modern social and philosophical thought.
Critical theory was established as a school of thought
primarily by the Frankfurt School theorists: Herbert Marcuse,
Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin and Erich
Formm. Modern critical theory has additionally been influenced by
Gyorgy Lukas and Antonio Gramsci as well as Jurgen Habermas a
second generation Frankfurt School scholar.
The evaluation of critical theory can be divided into three
eras, which are; the first generation of Frankfurt philosophers who
maintained a commitment to Marxist ideology, the second
generation who are those who reconstructed Marxist ideology. The
third era consisted of contemporary critical theorists who mainly

have turned their attention to media and other forms of


entertainment in their examination of modern culture.
The purpose of this essay is to present an analysis of how
musicians use their songs to express and challenge the prevailing
structure and order of society which if viewed along the lines of
Marxist ideology can be seen as oppressive to the majority and
supportive of the elites. For this analysis the protest song Edge
of a Revolution by the band Nickleback is used. The premise of
the song is that it is highlighting all the ways in which members of
American society are being taken advantage of. Thus due to all
these injustices being doled out by those in power the singer
encourages persons to make a stand in the form of a revolution.
Protest songs in general has an impact on society in one of
two ways. Firstly the song can make the masses aware of the fact
that they are being exploited or oppressed and they can take the
steps necessary to overthrow their oppressors to gain their
freedom. Thus the veil is removed and they can see society how it
truly is.

However these protest songs can paradoxically reinforce the


very social structure they aim to criticize. This is where the term
culture industry becomes relevant to this analysis. The term
culture industry was coined by critical theorist Adorno and
Horkheimer (John,2003). Their proposition was that culture is
similar to a factory producing standardized cultural goods such as
films, radio programmes and music. These cultural goods are then
used to manipulate mass society into passivity.
This essentially means that although Edge of a Revolution
is a protest song it will in fact not have the impact that one would
expect. Although a small number of the masses might become
more aware of inequalities and injustices in society there would
be no revolution. This is due to the fact that the song will be
looked upon as an instance of individuality and free speech but
the attention of the masses will be quickly diverted since it is as
Adorno and Horkheimer said culture is a factory. Thus those in
power allow protest songs such as the aforementioned example to
be made in order to lull the masses in to a false sense of freedom
and free speech.

Therefore as long as the majority of the masses believe


that they have power, freedom to make a change as exemplified
in Edge of a revolution there is no need to actually carry out the
revolution that they speak of.

Bibliography
Ritzer, George; Smart, Barry Handbook or Social Theory , SAGE
Publications, 2001
Durham Peters, John. The Subtlety of Horkheimer and Adorno.
Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003
Scannell, Paddy (2007). Media and Communication. London: SAGE