Hours after watching the horror movie that was Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony last week, Billy Bragg did what he always does in tumultuous social and political times like these: He picked up a guitar and penned a protest song.
For Bragg, an artist whose music has long served as an outlet for his activism, the songwriting session was a little bit different this time around, though. Rather than an original track, he looked to the classic Bob Dylan protest anthem “The Times They Are a Changin’” for inspiration. As Billboard points out, Bragg tweaked the lyrics here and there to turn the 1964 cut into a 2017 anti-Trump affair.
“Come Mexicans, Muslims, LGBT and Jews, keep your eyes wide for what’s on the news/ For president Trump is expressing his view,” he sings on his version, which he’s retitled “The Times They Are A-Changing Back”. “And I fear the mob that he’s inciting, will soon break your windows, burn down your schools/ For the times they are a changing back.”
Later, he references the iconic Civil Rights Movement leader, whose holiday just passed, singing: “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.”
Above, watch Bragg perform the song from his hotel bedroom.