Unit 9: Changing America, 1974-2000

United/Divided | War & Peace | Work | Home | Moving Along | Faith & Ideals


“A.I.M. Song”

Severt Young Bear, 1977

Lyric source

“Yellow Pearl”

Chris Kando Iijima, Nobuko JoAnne Miyamoto, and William "Charlie" Chin, 1973

Lyric source

“What's Going On”

Marvin Gaye, 1971

Lyric source

“Self Destruction”

KRS-One, 1989

Lyric source

“I Am Woman”

Helen Reddy, 1972
The song that became the Feminist movement’s anthem

Lyric source | Recording

“Chocolate City”

Parliament, 1975
A funk song describing Washington D.C.

Lyric source | Recording

“Born in the U.S.A.”

Bruce Springsteen, 1985
A hit rock song describing the non-heroic return of a Vietnam veteran

Lyric source | Recording | Lesson ideas

“Gangsta’s Paradise”

Coolio, 1995
A rewrite of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” about the gang environment

Lyric source | Recording


War and Peace



Edwin Starr, 1970

Lyric source


Neil Young, 1970

Lyric source

“If We Must Die”

Olly Wilson, 1991

Lyric source

“In America”

Charlie Daniels, 1980
A song of unification during the Iran Hostage Crisis

Lyric source | Recording


Sting, 1985
A peace song from the last decade of the Cold War

Lyric source | Recording




“El Corrido de Cesar Chavez”

Felipe Canu, 1966

Lyric source

“Contrabando y traicion”

Los Tigres del Norte, 1974

Lyric source

“El Picket Sign”

El Teatro Campesino, 1965

Lyric source

“9 to 5”

Dolly Parton, 1980
The trials of women in underpaid clerical jobs

Lyric source | Recording


Billy Joel, 1982
Coming of age in a rusting steel town

Lyric source | Recording




“At Seventeen”

Janis Ian, 1975

Lyric source

“Dear Mama”

Tupac Shakur, 1995

Lyric source

“Mother Earth”

Six Nations Women Singers, 1995

“Menominee Vietnam Veterans Song”

Myron Pyawasit, 1973

Lyric source | Recording


Ruben Blades, 1978

Lyric source

“Love Child”

The Supremes, 1968

Lyric source

“Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down”

The Temptation, 1969

Lyric source

“To Be Young, Gifted and Black”

Nina Simone, 1970

Lyric source

“Ladies First”

Queen Latifah, 1989

Lyric source

“I Was Born This Way”

Valentino, 1975

Lyric source

“Oye mi Canto"”

Gloria Estefan, 1989

Lyric source

“The Message”

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, 1982

Lyric source

“Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)”

Marvin Gaye, 1971

Lyric source

“Big Yellow Taxi”

Joni Mitchell, 1970
An environmental song protesting the blacktopping of America

Lyric source | Recording

“Living for the City”

Stevie Wonder, 1973
A contemporary look at the issue of rural to urban migration with a racial theme

Lyric source | Recording

“Small Town”

John Cougar Mellencamp, 1985
Rock looks at the virtues of living in a small town, rather than a big city

Lyric source | Recording

“Mountains O’ Things”

Tracy Chapman, 1988
Comment on the fruitlessness of Yuppie conspicuous consumption

Lyric source | Recording

“Information Undertow”

Dada, 1998
A look at how our lives are being ruled by technological advances

Lyric source | Recording


Moving Along



Manu Chao, 1998

Lyric source


C. W. McCall, B. Fries, C. Davis, 1976
Truckers protest against gas prices and speed limit changes caused by the oil embargo

Lyric source | Recording

“Traffic Jam”

James Taylor, 1973
Too many cars in this expression of frustration

Lyric source | Recording


Faith and Ideals



Prince, 1981

Lyric source

“We Are the World”

Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and Quincy Jones, 1985

Lyric source

“The Greatest Love of All”

Whitney Houston, 1986

Lyric source

“Man in the Mirror”

Michael Jackson, 1988

Lyric source

“Fight the Power”

Public Enemy, 1989

Lyric source


John Lennon, 1971
Written at the height of the Vietnam War, this song has remained a popular peace anthem

Lyric source | Recording

“God Bless the U.S.A.”

Lee Greenwood, 1983
Patriotic song from the Reagan and Bush, Sr. campaigns; revived in the 2001 terrorist attacks

Lyric source | Recording

“From a Distance”

Julie Gold, 1985
A song about a peaceful Earth as seen from space, that became popular during the Gulf War

Lyric source | Recording



More Units:

1. Worlds Meeting through 1760

2. New Nation, 1760-1820

3. Expansion & Reform, 1800-1860

4. Civil War & Reconstruction, 1860-1876

5. Development of Industrial

    U.S., 1870-1900

6. Emergence of Modern U.S., 1900-1929

7. Great Depression & WW II, 1930-1945

8. Post-War U.S, .1946-1973

9. Changing America, 1974 -2000

10. The New Millennium










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