Campaign songs aren't anything new. In 1960, JFK used Frank Sinatra's optimistic "High Hopes" during the elections. In 2000, George W. Bush attempted to use Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" (that is, before Petty wouldn't back down on not letting him use the song), Survivor's suing Gingrich for using "Eye of the Tiger," and David Byrne sued Charlie Crist for using "Road to Nowhere." And those last ones are just a few of the many Republicans who've been rejected by the music community.
We decided to shine some light on a few noteworthy campaign tunes, good and bad, left and right. And we're not only talking about Gingrinch's Abba's "Dancing Queen" ringtone here; we're thinking about it. The following list honors today's GOP primary elections in Florida. To whoever wins, may you still ultimately be a loser.
Brooks and Dunn's "Only in America" used by Newt Gingrich
...And pretty much everyone else. The country duo's ditty is superbipartisan. Their song "Only in America" has been used by candidates across the board. The song played at rallies for W., Obama, and Romney. GOP candidate Newt Gingrich even used it during his victory speech in South Carolina last weekend -- possibly his solo victory speech.
Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" used by Bill Clinton
Let's jump back to 1993, when Bill Clinton's campaign song caused the legendary Fleetwood Mac to reunite after being split for 16 years. Clinton made this his unofficial campaign song, and the band -- torn by inner turmoil, relationship drama, and addiction issues -- performed the hopeful tune at Clinton's first inaugural gala.
Train's "Hey Soul Sister" used by Michelle Bachmann
The song is replete with sexual innuendos, and there's really nothing inspirational (at least not in any remotely political way) about it. Oh, and the Village Voice considered it one of the 20 worst songs of 2010, for reasons relating to fellatio references, to name one. Lead singer Pat Monahan imagined "a group of beautiful women at Burning Man dancing around the fire" when writing the song. But Michelle Bachmann used Train's "Hey Soul Sister" at the end of her 2012 presidential campaign. (Yeah, we're still trying to make sense of this song choice too.)
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" used by Ronald Reagan
Sure, on the surface, "Born in the USA" seems nothing short of a perfect fit for a campaign theme song. But if you look past the mere title of Springsteen's most recognizable song, you'd join the millions of others left wondering why Ronald Reagan would choose it for his campaign. Oh, and beyond that, the Boss loves the Dems. "Born in the USA" tells the tragic story of a Vietnam War veteran. Talk about taking the glamour out of the American Dream.