These nine songs are merely a glacier’s-neck peeping out of a sea of thought-provoking and strangely relevant stand-to-action lyrics of punk rock. The ones we should have been listening to all along.

Adults really are just grown children: We bicker, we pout, we get mad when others don’t share and we expect the world to exist solely by our demands and how dare anyone think any different. It’s no wonder then when artists showcase the world’s dilemmas, so few of us listen — and worse — there are fewer who actually care.

Ironically enough it’s always been the social misfits of punk rock who have been the most accepting of others and provoke the least amount of judgment of the musical brood. Iconic members in bands such as Bad Religion, Sex Pistols, Pennywise and others have been speaking to the public about disastrous shit the whole time, which is only now making national headlines and garnering public outcry en masse.

The world in the past chose not to pay attention to its decree of unity for decades, but now it seems we have no other choice.

The following nine songs are merely a glacier’s-neck peeping out of a sea of thought-provoking and strangely relevant stand-to-action lyrics of punk rock. The ones we should have been listening to all along:

Social Distortion, “Don’t Drag Me Down” (1993)

Ignorance is like a gun in hand, reach out to the promised land
Your history books
Are full of lies, media-blitz gonna dry your eyes
You're eighteen
Wanna be a man
Your granddaddy's in
The Klu Klux Klan
Taking two steps forward
And four steps back
Gonna go to the White House
And paint it black

Lead singer Mike Ness has said about the song: "This is a song about ignorance and racism and the astounding fact that it still exists. This song is also about the government cover-ups and lies. When I hear the truth about our forefathers, I'm ashamed. They don't mention in school that our forefathers exterminated a whole Native American race. I experience discrimination all the time. I know what it's like to be discriminated against – being seated in the back of a restaurant because of my tattoos. It's cruel but people still judge you by the way that you look and I am reminded daily that commercial and mainstream ideals are quite different from my own."

Anti-Flag, “Mumia’s Song” (2002)

Crooked cops plus crooked judges, don't equal justice
Free all political prisoners
Racist cops plus racist judges, don't equal justice
Free all political prisoners

Brick by brick – wall by wall
Wont sit back – let our brothers and sisters fall
The unjust justice system
Our voice will overthrow

The case and subsequent conviction of alleged cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal has been an ongoing story since officer Daniel Faulkner was gunned down during a routine traffic stop in 1981. The story remains in the forefront of cultural significance because popular recordings from artist such as KRS-One, Rage Against The Machine and even Chumbawamba, often speak to the supposedly unfair trial he is believed to have received. Regardless, Anti-Flag’s powerful prose highlights some our current dilemmas now more than ever.

Sex Pistols, “Anarchy In The UK” (1976)

Anarchy for the UK
It's coming sometime and maybe
I give a wrong time stop at traffic line
Your future dream is a sharpie's scheme

'Cause I wanna be Anarchy
In the city

Lead vocalist and era-defining punker John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon once told Mojo magazine in 2008 about writing this song: "It flowed quite naturally to me. These are just long, long-term motivations that are there and you can't, can't, can't ever underestimate the sheer driving energy poverty will bring you. Being denied everything and access to everything. Government, schools, the lot, tell you that you don't count. You are scum. Go with flow or else. That's an incredible driving energy, to be better than their estimation of you.”

Bad Religion, “Politics” (1981)

Economy, technology, does it really work?
The guy running the government's another jerk
Try to teach some values and they all erode away
You're lucky if they listen to a single word you say.

What is right and what is wrong, government decides
You don't have to like the laws as long as you abide
We're all being oppressed by the upper-middle class
The government you vote for is the one that you possess.

I'm so tired and now I'm through, I'm through and so are you
Oppressive fear from presidents, it's us, not the government
We control the masses of the whole entire race
Soon our streets will all get filled without a happy face.

Since starting the iconic band in 1979, lead-singer Greg Graffin has gone on to obtain his Ph.D from Cornell University and continues to lecture courses in life sciences and paleontology at the University of California. Pretty much every song created by the act is riddled with political fare, yet “Politics” is perhaps his most succinct and to the point singles with an easy, no-bullshit approach.

The Clash, “Clampdown” (1979)

The judge said five to ten, but I say double that again
I'm not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

“The Clash: The Only Band That Mattered” author Sean Egan describes the politically charged act as a "group whose music was, and is, special to their audience because that music insisted on addressing the conditions of poverty, petty injustice, and mundane life experienced by the people who bought their records. Moreover, although their rebel stances were often no more than posturing, from The Clash’s stubborn principles came a fundamental change in the perception of what is possible in the music industry, from subject matter to authenticity to quality control to price ceilings.”

Subhumans, “Dehumanization” (1986)

Personality fix
Conformed to the eyeballs
With state politics

And they tell you you're brilliant to keep you quiet
'Only the idiots know how to riot'
Make sure it's not safe to walk the streets
You wanna stay alive you better join the police

We ain't got a name
But we still got emotions
Now the city's in flames

Police brutality isn’t anything new, and contrary to popular belief, isn't being spotlighted in the media only because it’s a buzzworthy and clickable ruse. While the current trend is to jump on the wagon and follow along with the herd-like protests, punk has been touting the atrocities of forceful injustices for decades. Glad to see you wanting to finally ride the train, America. Punk saved a seat!

Suicide Machines, “Black & White World” (1998)

Some walk around, never knowing
They only listen to what they've been told
They walk around blind for years
'Cause they're only seeing
What they've been shown, yeah

Sometimes it's hard, yeah
'Cause there's so much trouble
In the world today
We stereotype the masses
And everybody's saying
You've got to do it my way

Though the album “Battle Hymns” was one the Suicide Machines has often said was rushed because of label pressure, the lyrical content was no less enticing and true to the social ills the world was drenched in. Speak to anyone who lived through them and they’ll probably tell you the ‘90s were the shit. Unless of course you were poor, black and being ignored by the system. It was as much of an issue back then as it is now, and punk had its claws dug in deep to try and wake the country up out of its apathy.

Propagandhi, “Fuck Machine” (1993)

It's something physical, conditioned reaction.
It's something physical, conditioned attraction.
But have I finally escaped?
Will my eyes no longer rape the innocent women, children, human beings?
Seeing the pain that it brings.
Shallow, superficial decision.
Real beauty obscured by my television.
But this just in! Bikini film at ten.
The female anchor smiles and shrugs it off,
"Boys will be boys!"
Do you really wanna be our fucking toys?
And in again, condone it with a grin.
Sit back, idly chat, smile, prove you're just a fuck machine.
Is that what you really wanna fucking be?

It’s no secret a lot of men have been treating women like personal buckets of trash for years, and music has often not been a place of refuge for female artists wanting to create or fans hoping to get lost in a non-misogynistic atmosphere. Punk rock was always an ally, however, and proved it with lyrics like these. Hip-hop has since caught on, sort of, but there will always be its tarnished gangster era, whereas punk has little, if any scars of refuse.

Pennywise, “Fuck Authority” (2001)

Someday you gotta find another way, you better right your mind
And live by what you say
Today is just another day unless you set your sights and try to find a way
I say fuck authority
Silent majority
Raised by the system
Now it's time to rise against them
We're sick of your treason
Sick of your lies
Fuck no, we won't listen
We're gonna open your eyes
Frustration, domination, feel the rage of a new generation,
We're livin', we're dyin' and we're never gonna stop, stop tryin'

Imagine what the world’s dynamics would be like now if Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg had his way in 2001 and everyone stood against the Bush administration to demand a fair share of the country. There would have already been 13 years of a new system without crippling war-induced debt and the US could have at least tried to find a way to shorten the wage gap enough for it to be fair and equal to everyone. Maybe?

Nah, changing anything right now seems a bit utopic, after all.