Monday, November 21, 2011

Songs of the Supreme Court

This is Thanksgiving Week and there are no classes at UConn. I thought it would be a good week to make a fun post and leave it up until classes resume next week.

This post is made up of songs realted to U.S. Supreme Court cases. I found songs on a few cases, but I am sure that there are more out there that readers will be able to share.  Please us the comment section at the end of the post to add your favorites and suggestions.

1. Brown v. Board of Education
The song Black and White written by David Arkin (Alan Arkin's father) and Earl Robinson.was inspired by the Brown case. The most famous recording of the song was by Three Dog Night in the 1970's.  However, that version inexplicably removed all the poignant references to the court. The version below is from Pete Seeger.

2. Loving v. Virginia
Singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith wrote and recorded this song to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this landmark decision.

3. United States v. US District Court
The song John Sinclair was written by John Lennon prior to this Supreme Court decision. Sinclair was one of the defendants whose case made up the subject of  the Supreme Court case.  Lennon famously performed the song at the "John Sinclair Freedom Rally" in Ann Arbor, MI in 1971.

4. Snyder v. Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church)
There are a large number of songs available on-line in response to the Westboro Baptist Church protests that were upheld by this decision. Many of them cannot be shared in polite company. I chose the one embedded below because I thought it best exemplified Justice Holmes' "marketplace of ideas" (although the phrase was coined by Justice Brennan).

If you have a song related to a Supreme Court case that you would like to share, please feel free to send it to me for a future post at  I look forward you  to your comments and suggestions.

1 comment: