This study investigates three songs composed during the years of 1964 and 1965 that reflected the words and actions of activists in the Civil Rights Movement. The writers of "Birmingham Sunday," "Mississippi Goddam," and "People Get Ready" created their songs to provoke Americans to participate in civil rights protest actions. These three songs were at the forefront of changing musical perspectives about the Movement. The three compositions moved beyond standard civil rights themes of transcendence to comment on racial violence, reveal the divisiveness among Movement organizations, and contemplate the role of faith in the campaign for civil rights. This essay explores the messages of the three songs through analysis of four components: lyrics, music, vocals, and performance. Each of these components in the songs reveal evidence of how the songwriters and performers were able to connect to their audience and motivate those listeners to reflect and react to the events in the Movement and the actions of civil rights activists. Each song played a vital role in the Movement during the mid-1960s. All three compositions have established legacies that continue to inform and inspire listeners in the years since their recordings.