20 Best Songs About Rebellion

Chelsea Cooke

Rebellion is a strong and powerful emotion that can be expressed in many different ways. From protesting to fighting for what’s right, here are 20 of the best songs about rebellion and uprising. Each of these songs tells a story about standing up against an unjust system, or fighting for what’s right, no matter the cost. They are anthems for the underdog and a call to action for those who want to make a difference.

By the way, if you’re searching for songs about rebellion, you may also like some of our other playlists, like songs about community, songs about drowning, songs about fighting, songs about freedom, and songs about getting in trouble.

Fuck Tha Police – N.W.A.

N.W.A. - Fuk Da Police

Fuck the Police is a song by the hip hop group N.W.A. that protested police brutality and racism. The song caused controversy when it was released in 1988, but it has since been widely praised for its raw and honest depiction of life in urban communities of color. The song opens with the sound of police sirens, setting the stage for an encounter between the police and a young black man. The man is arrested for no reason, and the police rough him up before throwing him in the back of their car. The song then turns to a message of rebellion, with N.W.A. encouraging listeners to stand up against injustice.

Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine - Killing In the Name (Official HD Video)

“Killing in the Name” is a song by American rap metal band Rage Against the Machine, released as their debut single in November 1992. The song starts with guitarist Tom Morello playing a two-note riff over and over for 16 measures with bassist Tim Commerford holding a note for an additional 12 measures. The guitars are heavily distorted and down-tuned to give them a “buzzsaw” sound.

Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2

Sunday Bloody Sunday (Remastered 2008)

Sunday Bloody Sunday is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1983 album, War. The song is about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and it protests the violence that was occurring at the time. The lyrics are explicit in their condemnation of the violence, and the song has been interpreted as a call to rebel against injustice. The song was a commercial success, reaching number one in Ireland and the UK. It has since been included on several greatest hits albums, and it remains one of the band’s most iconic songs.

Standing In The Way Of Control – Gossip

Gossip - Standing In the Way of Control (Short Version Official Video)

Standing In The Way Of Control is a song by Gossip which was released in 2006. The song is about Rebellion, specifically against the control that others try to exert over us. The lyrics talk about how we should be free to express ourselves and not let anyone stop us from doing so. The song has an uptempo, danceable beat which makes it perfect for dancing along to while rebellious thoughts are going through your head. It’s the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling fed up with the world and ready to stand up for yourself.

Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley And The Wailers

Bob Marley - Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, 1980)

“Get Up, Stand Up” is a song by Bob Marley and the Wailers that calls for rebellion against oppression. The lyrics are inspired by a speech given by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political leader who advocated for the rights of black people. In the song, Marley urges his listeners to “stand up for your rights” and fight back against those who would seek to oppress them. He also encourages them to stay united and support each other in their struggle. “Get Up, Stand Up” remains an anthem for justice and equality, and its message is as relevant today as it was when it was first released.

What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (Official Video 2019)

Marvin Gaye’s 1971 hit “What’s Going On” is a song about rebellion. The lyrics tell the story of a soldier who has returned home from war to find his country in chaos. The soldier is disillusioned by the violence and injustice he sees around him, and he calls for a change. The song was released at a time of great social unrest in the United States, and it resonated with many people who were struggling to make sense of the world around them. The song has since been hailed as a classic of protest music, and its message is as relevant today as it was when it was first released.

Imagine – John Lennon

IMAGINE. (Ultimate Mix, 2020) - John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band (with the Flux Fiddlers) HD

Imagine by John Lennon is a song about rebellion against society’s limitations. The lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world where there are no rules or boundaries and urge them to think for themselves. The song has been interpreted in many different ways, but the overall message is one of hope and possibility. The rebel spirit of the song has resonated with people from all walks of life, and it continues to inspire listeners to imagine a better future.

Fight The Power – Public Enemy

Public Enemy - Fight The Power (Official Music Video)

Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” is a song about rebellion. The lyrics call for African Americans to stand up against oppression and fight for their rights. The song was released in 1989, at a time when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. “Fight the Power” quickly became an anthem for the black community, and it remains one of the most popular and influential hip-hop songs of all time. The song has been covered by many artists, including Bruce Springsteen and Rage Against the Machine. It has also been featured in a number of films, such as Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. “Fight the Power” is a powerful call to action that continues to inspire people to fight for what is right.

God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen

Written and performed by the Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen” is a song that encapsulates the spirit of rebellion. The lyrics are scathing in their criticism of the British monarchy, and the music is raw and aggressive. The song was released during a time of great social upheaval in Britain, and it quickly became an anthem for those who were upset with the status quo. While the Sex Pistols may have been seen as troublemakers at the time, “God Save the Queen” is now considered to be one of the most important songs in British history.

Alright – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - Alright (Official Music Video)

Kendrick Lamar’s song “Alright” is a powerful anthem about rebellion and hope. The song begins with a call to action, as Kendrick urges his listeners to “wake up” and fight for what they believe in. He then goes on to describe the struggles that black Americans face on a daily basis, from police brutality to poverty. However, despite all of the trials and tribulations, Kendrick ultimately remains optimistic and declares that “we gon’ be alright.” The track is both uplifting and inspirational, and it serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope can always be found. “Alright” is an important song for our current political climate, and it is sure to inspire many people to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son (Official Music Video)

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” is a song about rebellion. The lyrics tell the story of a young man who is born into a life of privilege and doesn’t have to work for anything. He is given everything he wants, and he doesn’t have to fight for anything. The song is an anthem for those who feel like they are being held back by the establishment. It is a call to arms for those who want to break free from the constraints of society. The song has been used in many movies and TV shows, and it has been covered by many different artists. It is a timeless classic that speaks to the human need for freedom.

The Message – Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message (Official Video)

The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is a song about rebellion against societal norms. The lyrics tell the story of a young man who is tired of living life within the constraints of what is considered “normal.” He longs for something more, and so he turns to a life of crime. The song speaks to the frustration that many people feel when they are told that they have to conform to certain standards. It is an anthem for those who want to break free from the mold and forge their own path. The Message is a powerful song that encourages listeners to question authority and follow their own hearts.

Nelson Mandela – The Specials

The Specials - Nelson Mandela (Official Music Video)

The Specials’ song “Nelson Mandela” is a tribute to the South African political leader of the same name. The song was released in 1984, during the height of the apartheid era in South Africa. “Nelson Mandela” is an uplifting and defiant song that calls for rebellion against the unjust system of apartheid. The lyrics describe Mandela as a symbol of hope and resistance, and they express the desire for freedom and equality. 

For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield

For What It's Worth

“For What It’s Worth” is a song by the American folk rock band Buffalo Springfield. The song was written by Stephen Stills and released as a single in 1967. The song is about the anti-war and counterculture protests that were taking place at the time. The lyrics were inspired by an incident in which the police shut down a club that was frequented by hippies and beat up several of the patrons. The song became an anthem for the protests and went on to become one of the most iconic songs of the 1960s. It has been covered by many artists, including Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam, and has been used in numerous films and TV shows.

Prison Song – System Of A Down

System of a Down is an American heavy metal band from Glendale, California. The band was formed in 1994 by vocalist Serj Tankian, guitarist Daron Malakian, and bassist Shavo Odadjian. The group has released five studio albums, three of which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. “Prison Song” is a song by System of a Down, released as the fourth single from their second album Toxicity on December 17, 2001. The song deals with the topic of prison overpopulation and how profit is prioritized over inmate rehabilitation.

Anarchy In The U.K. – Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The U.K (official video)

The song Anarchy in the U.K. by the Sex Pistols is a call to rebellion. The lyrics address the problems with the British government and society, and calls on the people to overthrow them. The song was released at a time when the British government was facing significant turmoil, and it resonated with many people who were fed up with the status quo. The Sex Pistols were one of the first punk rock bands, and their music was a major influence on the punk movement. Punk rock was a reaction against the mainstream music of the time, and it espoused a DIY ethic and anti-establishment attitude.

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next – Manic Street Preachers

Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

The song “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” by Manic Street Preachers is a song about rebellion. The lyrics talk about how the children of the world will inherit the problems of their parents if they don’t stand up and fight against them. The song specifically references the Spanish Civil War, but the message is universally applicable. The song is a call to action, urging people to fight for their beliefs and to never give up. It’s a powerful song that has inspired many people to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

Living For The City – Stevie Wonder

Living For The City

The song “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder is a song about rebellion. In the lyrics, Wonder talks about how he was born in a small town and how he dreams of one day moving to the city. He talks about how he wants to experience all that the city has to offer, and how he wants to make a name for himself. He also talks about how he is willing to stand up for what he believes in, even if it means getting into trouble. Overall, the song is about standing up for what you believe in and fighting for what you want. It is an anthem for anyone who has ever felt like they were born in the wrong place or who has ever dreamed of something more.

Rebellion – Linkin Park

Rebellion (Official Lyric Video) - Linkin Park (feat. Daron Malakian)

“Rebellion” is a song by American rock band Linkin Park. It was released as the fifth and final single from their sixth studio album, The Hunting Party (2014).

The song was written by lead vocalist Mike Shinoda and guitarist Brad Delson. The song’s title and lyrics address the control that society has over people’s lives. In an interview, Shinoda said that the song is about “the idea of rebelling against what controls you”.

He further stated that “there are things in our society that tell us what we should look like, what we should be doing”. The song received positive reviews from music critics, with many praising its melody and lyrical themes.

“Rebellion” peaked at number 18 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

If you like Linkin Park, we have a list of bands that sound like Linkin Park you might like!

We Shall Overcome – Pete Seeger

We Shall Overcome (Live)

“We Shall Overcome” is a song that has been associated with the civil rights movement in the United States. The song was written by Pete Seeger, and it was first recorded by Guy Carawan in 1961. The song became popular during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and it has been used as an anthem of protest ever since. “We Shall Overcome” is a simple song, with a powerful message. The lyrics call for unity in the face of adversity, and they express the determination of those who are fighting for justice. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, and it continues to inspire people who are fighting for their rights. “We Shall Overcome” is a reminder that, through struggle and determination, we can overcome any obstacle.