Weekly playlist: Election Day

Posted on Nov 5 2018 - 5:50am by Adam Dunnells

With the midterm elections happening this week, it seems like a good time to listen to music that has been inspired by politics or just some good old patriotic songs. Music has played an important role in presidential campaigns in the form of campaign songs, but it also has played a big part in protesting a candidate or showing one’s love for his or her country.

  1. “Hail to the Chief” – James Sanderson, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Richard P. Condie
  2. “Hello, Lyndon” – Oscar Brand
  3. “High Hopes (Kennedy)” – Peter Janovsky
  4. “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” – Toby Keith

This song was inspired by the patriotism shown after the 9/11 attacks. It caused a huge controversy upon its release, exposing a political rift in the world of country music and famously fueling a feud between Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks.

  1. “Make America Great Again” – Pussy Riot
  2. “This Land is Your Land” – Woody Guthrie
  3. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” – Stevie Wonder
  4. “Born in the U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen

Everything about The Boss screams patriotism, and this song is the epitome of that. Many presidential candidates have used the song in their campaigns, including Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. But when Reagan used the song at a rally in 1984 without Springsteen’s permission, it sparked a controversy and negative response from The Boss himself.

  1. “Black President” – Nas
  2. “Make America Great Again” – Frank Turner
  3. “James K. Polk” – They Might Be Giants
  4. “Make America Great Again” – Mike Curb Congregation
  5. “Ronnie, Talk to Russia” – Prince
  6. “The Presidents” – Jonathan Coulton

This is a fun song that lists the presidents in order and gives a tidbit of information about each one. Some of the observations are factual, some are more opinion-based and some are used for comedic effect. This song was written in 2006 so there aren’t any lyrics about Trump, but an updated version recorded in 2008 includes lyrics about Obama.

  1. “God Bless the U.S.A.” – Lee Greenwood, The Fisk Jubilee Singers
  2. “Star-Spangled Banner” – Boyce Avenue