Dublin Arts & Human Rights Festival 2022

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Protest Song

Songs and music have played a powerful role in human rights movements, giving a universal voice, crossing barriers and promoting unity and equality.

As part of the Dublin Arts & Human Rights Festival 2022 a group of teenagers attended a songwriting workshop at Fighting Words, Dublin and looked at the history of the protest song, and then drew on their own themes to create songs relevant to today's (their) generation. 

Here the lyrics to the songs they created.

Won’t Die Today

By Síbha Bhoja, Sebastian Murray & Dara McLoughlin

Verse One

A little boy sits confused, as his family is taken away,

Distant gunshots linger as the night-time breeze it sways,

People killed with guns and bombs,

Children dead, houses destroyed.

The screams and shouts of innocent people,

Prayin’ that they won’t die today

Chorus

That they won’t die toda-ay

That they won’t die today.

Verse Two

He looks at the explosion in the sky from yesterday,

The smoke has cleared but the sky still looks the same,

There are still guns and bombs,

Still children dead, houses destroyed.

Those innocent people still prayin’ that they won’t die today,

Chorus

That they won’t die toda-ay

That they won’t die today.

Lioness

By Maya England-Smyth, Ava Boyle & Poppy O’Loughlan

Verse One

She’s afraid to walk alone at night,

Is a man following her?

She has to wear a certain skirt,

Or she’ll be afraid of what they say

Chorus

But she is the lioness, The heart of the pride,

She withstands the quietness keeping everything inside

Verse Two

In her work, In her life,

She doesn’t get to keep what’s hers

Or she’s forced to keep what she doesn’t want,

Forced upon a motherhood,

Expected to do what a Mother could,

Through the blood, abuse and fear,

Still she’s overlooked

Chorus

But she is the lioness, The heart of the pride,

She withstands the quietness keeping everything inside.