Consider three popular music songs: Woody Guthrie’s Pretty Boy Floyd (Links to an external site.)(1941), Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff (Links to an external site.)(1973), and Body Count’s (Links to an external site.)Cop Killer (Links to an external site.) (1992). Listen to all three songs and read the lyrics carefully. Research the critical reaction to these songs and answer the following questions:
What are the important similarities and differences in these songs? Consider the perspective of the song. Is it told from the first-person perspective or third-person perspective? Are the law enforcement figures “good guys” or “bad guys?” What action precipitates the violence in each of these songs? What was the popular reaction to these songs? How would you account for any differences in the way mainstream culture reacted to these songs? Are songs like this a reaction to violent cultural conditions or do they create violent conditions (or both)?