In today’s world in which globalization has blurred the lines between many countries and has made it easier for people to travel to a different part of the world for a better life.
Many families decide to immigrate and find their home in another country, particularly in the US. There may be many reasons for such a decision. At times it has to do with financial opportunities or for a better quality of life. It is often because such families have no other option and are escaping from various threats in their own countries.
No matter the case, the process of immigration is not easy for anyone. It sometimes ends up traumatizing people for a very long time. Not only is the actual process very difficult but also are the challenges that have to be faced by immigrant families after they have successfully entered their new home. To highlight such issues and also to show support for such people, many songs have been written over the years about the process of immigration. These songs are sung to provide some hope to the newcomers and make them feel like they are being seen and heard.
Before we list some of the best songs about immigration, let’s take a look at some common challenges that people immigrating to a new country usually have to face.
One of the most difficult things to do, especially for people immigrating as refugees who have no prior plans to move to an English-speaking country, is to learn the language. This is one of the first difficulties you’ll find mentioned in researches done on the matter and even in students’ papers on immigration that have been published online. Being able to communicate with the local people is one of the easiest ways to settle into a new country and feel like it’s your home. So, when people coming to a country like the US or the UK cannot speak English, life becomes very hard for them.
Bringing Up Children
Children of immigrants are often bullied in their schools and end up feeling unwanted and distant. They have to work harder than other children in their grade simply because they don’t know the language as well, or at all. Another challenge that parents face is that their children quickly become familiar with the new culture, which may be very different from the family’s own cultures and traditions. Balancing the old with the new, therefore, becomes very difficult for many parents.
Other than these, some of the issues faced by immigrants include accessing services, finding a job and housing, and getting used to a completely different culture. Through these troubling times, getting some support by the locals often makes all the difference in someone’s everyday life, which is why knowing about a song or two that shows support and talks about hope is so important.
How Can Music Help
Music is definitely one of the universal forms of art that can speak to anyone, anywhere. With a good song, it often doesn’t matter whether you understand the language or not because the emotion comes through anyway. But if you do understand the lyrics, then you will feel more connected to the people around you as an immigrant. Songs about immigration focus largely on positive messaging that can help you shake off feelings of being unwanted. Such songs sometimes become anthems for people and give them the courage and motivation to keep going even when things get tough.
Songs also have the power to unite people. While on the one hand, they can make you hopeful for a better tomorrow then on the other, they can also change the perspective of those people who oppose immigrants. A great song, therefore, can bridge the gap between people who leave their homes to find a better life and those who are not very open to having culturally different people living among them.
The Best Songs About Immigration
Below is a list of some of the most famous songs about immigration. These top songs may not all have direct lyrics associated with immigration in them, but that’s not necessarily what a song needs to talk about the process or the experience.
● ‘Paper Planes’ by M.I.A.
● ‘Immigrant Song’ by Led Zeppelin
● ‘America’ by Neil Diamond
● ‘The Refugee’ by U2
● ‘American Land’ by Bruce Springsteen
● ‘Wonderful Everyday’ by Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment
● ‘Blended Family’ by Alicia Keys
● ‘American Oxygen’ by Rihanna
● ‘Prayer of the Refugee’ by Rise Against
● ‘Americano’ by Lady Gaga
Other than writing some songs about these issues, many of these singers also stood up during the recent immigration ban in the US. Some of the songs on this list were released or re-released at that time to show solidarity with the refugees and those people coming to the US for better lives. This shows how a song can be used as a tool for support and hope by people around the world and why songs about such topics are so important to make in the first place.