The Eye of The Populist
There has been much speculation between whether or not thethe Wizard of Oz was a parable with the 1900's populist movement. I believe that this parable might indeed have been intended by the author Baum maybe not consciously but the connection was still there.
Key Lyrics- Hold on to the dream, hold on
Hold on now, now
Hold on and believe
Oh we already one, we still hold on
Hold on, hold on now, now
We still hold on
Hold on, hold on now, now
Hold on to the dream
This song relates to Farmers Alliance. Farmers alliance was an organized economic movement among american farmers. The farmers wanted help. They all had agricultural and rural issues which triggered their need for money to solve their financial problems. In this song, the artist is saying that they should not give up and fight for their dreams, the farmers didn’t give up. Their prayers were answered because they kept fighting and fighting. This song relates to the Wizard of Oz in which the scarecrow is linked to farmers at that time who were unintelligent. So the scarecrow joined with the group of Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the lion to march to Oz hoping that he would fix their problems.
This song relates to The Granger Movement. The Granger Movement was a 19th-century political movement by farmers. It began on December 4, 1867, in Washington, D.C., with the formation of a secret fraternal society for farmers called the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. The farmers wanted to do this to make the world a better place. In the song;The End Of The World, the author Lupe Fiasco talks about changing the world by saying, “This is revolution in the making A ragtag movement set to takeover the nation” This movement he is talking about, refers to making the nation a better place.
y (“In God we trusted, in Kansas we busted”): The song Wide Awake relates to populism and The Wizard of Oz in a variety of ways. For example, in the beginning of the song Katy Perry sings about waking up on the floor which resembles Dorothy who fell on the floor of the yellow brick road. Also Katy Perry sings “I’ve been dreaming for so long” which once again connects back to Dorothy who at the end of the story realizes she had been dreaming the whole time. Katy in the song sings “God knows I tried” which relates to the quote “In God we trusted, in Kansas we busted” which is where the farmers trusted God in the Midwest regions like Kansas and Nebraska but due to droughts and natural disasters the farmers lost everything.
Not Afraid- Eminem (Coxey’s Army): The song Not Afraid relates to Coxey’s army which is when Jacob Coxey led a protest march of unemployed workers to Washington D.C or in the Wizard of Oz the Emerald City. In the song Eminem sings “I’m not afraid to take a stand. Everybody come take my hand. We’ll walk this road together”, “I’m” can be linked to Jacob who leads the protest, “Everybody” relates to the workers and the “road” can be connected to the march to D.C. The song relates to the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly march on the yellow brick road to the Emerald City (Washington D.C). Where instead of the “I’m” being to Jacob Coxey it can be linked to Dorothy and the rest of the gang can be the “everybody”.
Eye of the Tiger -Survivor ( William Jennings Bryan): The song Eye of the tiger relates to William Jennings Bryan because in the song the lyrics go “ took my time, took my chances” which connects to Jennings and how he kept trying to become president trying three times for the populists wing of the Democratic party. Bryan served two terms as a member of the U.S House of Representatives, a supporter of popular democracy, and an enemy of the gold standard. William Jennings Bryan is portrayed as a cowardly lion in the movie. At the end the lion realizes that he had courage all along as is awarded with a medal for “extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against wicked witches”. William Bryan also had “extraordinary valor” for running as president even after a few failed attempts.
Power - Kanye West (Election of 1896 candidates/issues): The song Power relates to the Election of 1896 because it was an intensely heated contest in which Republican candidate William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan. McKinley forged a conservative coalition in which businessmen, professionals, skilled factory workers, and prosperous farmers were heavily represented. In the song Power Kanye raps “no one man should have all that power, the clocks ticking I’m just counting the hour”. This relates to what the populists thought and William Bryan of how the corporations had too much power and control over things. The “clocks ticking” can relate to how the big corporations felt about their workers of how the time is ticking but they don’t care for the people just the money that is getting brought in through the products like steel and oil. All this can be represented in the Wizard of Oz the great Oz has a lot of power and can solve all the groups’ problems (so they thought)
This song Friend or Foe, relates to the MiddleMen. The Middlemen were dealers that were enrolled in human trafficking. In trading systems, those dealers who operate between the original buyers and the retail merchants who sell to consumers. "Muslim middlemen exacted a heavy toll en route." Aftert he eleventh century, European exploration was driven in large part by a desire to acquire alluring Asian goods without paying heavy tolls to Muslim middlemen. In the song Friend or Foe, lupe fiasco talks about life as a drug dealer. He explains and expresses how it’s not easy and you could possibly end up dead.
Living On A Prayer - Bon Jovi (“In God We Trusted, in Kansas We Busted”): The song “Living On A Prayer” relates to the quote “In God We Trusted, in Kansas We Busted”), because farmers in the mid west trusted God with the good outcome of their agriculture but in the end lost everything to natural disasters, forcing them to leave. The farmers prayed and prayed for rain but to no avail. This connects to the lyrics “living on a prayer”. The song relates to the Wizard of Oz because Dorothy and her group visioned the Wizard as a God, who could solve all their conflicts. So they went along the Yellow brick road hoping that the great Oz would give them a heart, courage, a brain, and a ticket home, so one could say they were “living on a prayer”.
Kanye West- Heard Them Say
The song "Herd Em Say", relates to the term Income Inequality, which is the state of an economy in which the shares of total income earned by the rich and poor are highly unequal. Wages had risen relatively little compared to the large increases in productivity and corporate profits. Economic success was not shared by all, as the top 5 percent of the richest Americans received over 33 percent of all income. This also associates with the quote"Hard Money" which was extremely important during the late 1860's and early 1870's, especially during the Panic of 1873. It was in opposition with "greenbacks" or "folding money." The issuing of the "greenbacks" was overdone and the value depreciated causing inflation and the Panic of 1873. "Hard-money" advocates looked for the complete disappearance of the "folding money." This song it means although we can be promised through our lives by politicians and what not that things will get better, whether it be through policies, *Minimum Wages*, or government *Aid*, it isn't a true promise. We can't just say we're going to change the future today and expect it to happen. . It also touches on discrimination when he talks about "Where I'm from the dope boys is the rock stars, but they can't cop cars without seein' cop cars, I guess they want us all behind bars".
"Paradise” by Coldplay (Populist Party Platform): The song paradise relates to the Populist Party because up until the beginning of the populist movement the farmers and the industrial workers believed that they had not received what they deserved. They believed that the rich owners were getting all of the wealth and happiness so they looked towards this new party as a way for them to get more equalities that would benefit them at least a small way. This relates to the wizard of Oz because in this children’s story the scarecrow, lion and tin man looked towards reaching the great Emerald city “paradise” as a way for them to get what they were after. The tin man looked for a heart because he didn't have one and the Populist Party was backed by the industry workers and laborers who were tired of having to be treated like machines in the factories.These aspects were the platform on which populism stood on and its goals it tried to achieve for a better place “paradise” the same way the characters from the wizard of Oz looked at the Emerald “paradise” city as the answer to their problems just like people and such as in Coxey’s army marched to Washington D.C to try to solve their problems.