The scarcity of songs about the economic disaster stands in contrast to the flurry of pop songs in the mid-2000s blaming President George W. Bush’s foreign policy for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Antiwar songs came not only from stalwarts like R.E.M. and Neil Young but also from younger performers like Green Day, Bright Eyes and Pink.
“What I have noticed is that the financial crisis has been a far more difficult topic for songwriters to wrestle with,” said Dorian Lynskey, the British critic and the author of “33 Revolutions Per Minute” (Ecco/HarperCollins), a recently published history of protest music. “What do you say about a financial crisis where the villains are obscure and the solutions are obscure. That’s a challenge.”
Mr. Lynskey and other experts said that leftist protest music tended to die down when a Democrat was in the White House.
“A Darth Vader-like president makes a great target,” Mr. Morello said. “One of the reasons the air has gone out of the balloon of protest songwriting is people hung their hopes on the Obama administration.”