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Great songs can draw inspiration from anywhere—love, heartbreak, politics, war and peace, to name just a few. At The Borgen Project, we are inspired to fight global poverty. If you are looking for a playlist while you fight with us, we recommend these 10 songs about poverty.

 

1. Angels With Dirty Faces

Performed By Los Lobos

Broken window smile
Weeds for hair
Strolling ’round the corner
Like a millionaire;
And the angels with dirty faces
Go it alone.

 

2. Another Day In Paradise

Performed by Phil Collins

She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’
He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her;
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there.

 

3. Blackbird

Performed by The Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

 

4. Do They Know It’s Christmas

Performed by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure

There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear;
Where the only water flowing
Is a bitter sting of tears.
And the Christmas bells that ring
They are clanging chimes of doom.

 

5. Ghost of Tom Joad

Performed by Bruce Springsteen

Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge;
Shelter line stretchin’ ’round the corner
Welcome to the new world order.
Families sleepin’ in their cars in the Southwest
No home no job no peace no rest.

 

6. Hole in the Bucket

Performed by Spearhead

Walk right past and think about it more
Back at the crib I’m opening up the door,
A pocket full of change, it don’t mean nothin’ to me.
My cup is half full, but his is empty.

 

7. If There’s A God in Heaven

Performed by Elton John

Torn from their families
Mothers go hungry
To feed their children
But children go hungry
There’s so many big men
They’re out making millions
When poverty’s profits
Just blame the children.

 

8. Mr. Wendal

Performed by Arrested Development

Uncivilized we call him,
but I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no?
Who are we to judge?
When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
and killed over a racist grudge.

 

9. Mr. Banker

Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Mister Banker
Mister please, how much does money mean?
Won’t you reconsider mister
Won’t you do this thing for me?
Ain’t got no house
Ain’t got no car
All I got, Lord, is my guitar.
But you can have that mister banker
Won’t you bury my papa for me?
Oh mister banker please.

 

10. Seek Up

Performed by Dave Matthews Band

Sit a while with TV’s hungry child,
big belly swelled
Oh, for the price of a coke or a smoke
keep alive those hungry eyes.
Take a look at me, what you see in me,
mirror look at me
Face it all, face it all again.

– Katrina Beedy

Sources: EdChange, Lyric Interpretations,
Photo: Artists Direct

 

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