Top 10 Most Overused Campaign Songs

political rally

political rallyBarely Awake In Frog Pajamas inspired this post after I wrote about the music played during the Democratic convention this year. You see, there are certain songs that are played over and over at campaign events. As a former political operative, I actually made a playlist of songs once to keep the crowd exuberant.

But there are some songs that are played just way too much. It’s almost like a drinking game – it just ain’t a political rally without hearing them:

  1. “Celebration” – Kool & the Gang. Yay! Our campaign is fun! There’s a party going on right here! It’s also the whitest song ever written by an African American artist! (Also qualifies as the most overused sports song, party song, and well, most overused song in general)
  2. “Don’t Stop” – Fleetwood Mac. Bill Clinton took a bland yet pleasant 70s song and turned it into his own haunting anthem. As a result, I get hives whenever I hear it.
  3. “September” – Earth, Wind & Fire. I’m not sure why campaigns use this song, since the elections are in November, but nevertheless, I believe both parties used it at their conventions as filler music. Why? Again with the white people. We can’t name a single Curtis Mayfield or Nina Simone song, but we know all the words to “September.”
  4. “Taking Care of Business” – Bachman Turner Overdrive. Oh, you crazy politicians! You’re gonna go to Washington, bust into the Capitol and “take care of business.” There’s even a song about it! Get it? I think old pasty politicians use this song because they think it makes them seem hip with that young rock ‘n’ roll crowd, but God, it’s so dated, so middle of the road, it makes them seem even older.
  5. “Born in the USA” – Bruce Springsteen. To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, “You keep playing that song. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
  6. “Beautiful Day” – U2. Obama recently branched out a little and played another U2 song from the same album, which is a step in the right direction. Maybe politicians should be playing something from ‘War” or “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” instead.
  7. “God Bless the U.S.A.” – Lee Greenwood. I must confess that I’ve never heard this at a rally or convention, but I’m sure it’s been done. So for all of you politicians who are thinking of using it…don’t. Please don’t.
  8. “This is Our Country” – John Mellencamp. The first time I heard this, I expected it to be in a campaign event very soon. Come to think of it, the first time I heard it, it was on a Chevy commercial. He was already marketing it!, You can’t get more American than Chevrolet, apple pie and kissin’ babies.
  9. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge. Another song that seems to say it all in the title (Yes! We’re a happy family! One big melting pot!), which is good, because most people know only the chorus.
  10. “Independence Day” – Martina McBride. The Republicans love this one, cuz it’s country, and the lyrics are about letting “freedom ring.” I’m getting a lump in my throat just hearing it in my head. No, wait, that’s bile.

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  1. jb

    Your crack about white people knowing all the words to “September” by nothing by Curtis Mayfield or Nina Simone is the Quote of the Day, and it’s not 7AM yet where I am.

  2. jb

    That should be “but nothing by Curtis Mayfield or Nina Simone,” not “by nothing by,” but it isn’t because it’s not yet 7AM where I am.

  3. Barely Awake In Frog Pajamas

    Glad I could be an inspiration. For once, I feel as though I am using my powers for good as opposed to evil (or actually apathy).

    As I have recently gained a more in-depth familiarity with the music of Alice Cooper, I want someone to use “Elected” at their rally. Hell, maybe I’ll run for office for no other reason than to see this happen.

  4. AMD

    If Obama asked me for DJ advice, I’d tell him to adopt (and possibly adapt) Matt Monro’s “We’re Gonna Change The World” as his campaign anthem.

  5. Mike

    Actually, the song that Obama used (City of Blinding Lights) was from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which is not the same album as Beautiful Day.

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