By Laura Ferreiro
While protest songs are often associated with the 1960s and musicians such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon who wrote poignant lyrics protesting war, Bono is embarking on a project to bring protest songs into the mainstream again and use them as a weapon of change with his Agit8 campaign.
The U2 frontman recruited an impressive array of top-notch artists including Mumford & Sons, Elvis Costello, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Tom Morello to participate in the campaign by covering legendary protest songs in an effort to raise awareness of poverty issues and encourage world leaders to agree to end extreme poverty by 2013 when they meet at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland next week.
The campaign also features artists' original versions of protest songs, including the Beatles' "Revolution" and Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up," accompanied by the song lyrics and background about their history.
Highlights include videos of Ed Sheeran covering Dylan's "Masters of War" and Mumford & Sons joined by Costello covering Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad."
Even One Direction got in on the act, encouraging people to take action in a promo video about the campaign, which is organized by One, the non-profit advocacy organization co-founded by Bono to help end extreme poverty and preventable disease. Rather than seeking donations, the campaign urges young people participate by uploading photos and videos, singing along to the songs and sharing about it on social media.