Will the presidency of Donald J. Trump usher in a new era of protest music? If so, will we be able to hear it amid the showers of nuclear ash and torrents of melted glacial water?
Answers to at least none of those questions were revealed when Billy Bragg released "The Times They Are A-Changing Back," his fiercely barbed re-imagining of Bob Dylan's 1964 protest-folk classic "The Times They Are A-Changin.'"
"I wrote these lyrics within half an hour of seeing Donald Trump's inaugural speech last Friday evening and played it in Salisbury that night," Bragg wrote of the song on Monday, adding, "With apologies to Bob Dylan."
The track itself is unapologetic. On it, Bragg -- always the consummate U.K. folk/punk shit-stirrer -- envisions a harrowing Trumpian America that has regressed back to the 1950s, at least with regard to equality and civil rights.
“In the land of the free and the home of the brave / Martin Luther King is spinning in his grave to see a bigoted bully taking the stage / And he calls upon us to be faithful to the ideas he died for in another age / For the times they are a changing ... back.”