There are a couple of presidential primaries coming up here in South Carolina the next two Saturdays, and me being the music wonk that I am instead of the policy wonk that I would be if this was a political blog, my thoughts today turned to what songs the candidates should use for their theme music–the stuff you hear at rallies and events as they enter and exit. Even after searching online for an hour, I still haven’t found all the actual songs being used, so I decided to suggest a few they should be using.
Hillary Clinton — Celine Dion’s “You and I” was an early choice in the campaign, as was Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.,” and lately, “Taking Care Of Business.” While the latter is better than the former, neither captures the mood like hubby Bill’s use of Fleetwood Mac’s, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” way back when. I hear thatBig Head Todd & The Monsters wrote a song for her, too, but they should have just let her use, “Brokenhearted Savior.”
With Hil’s love of entitlements like universal health care, I’d suggest the classic, “Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers or the 80′s remake by Club Nouveau.
Barack Obama – “City Of Blinding Lights,” by U2, is his usual song, and it’s hard to argue with that one just because it sounds cool. After the week or so he’s had in the campaign, however, I’d love to hear James Brown’s, “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” instead.
John Edwards – He’s using U2, too, but an unintentionally awful choice, “Pride (In the Name of Love).” How a song about Jesus Christ and the assasination of MLK can be chosen as a rich white guy’s theme song is beyond me. He used, “Small Town” by John Mellencamp in 2004, if he wants to sound a populist note this time around he ought to be cranking up some Hootie & the Blowfish, since they’re from his native South Carolina and they’ve supported him publicly in the past. “Hold My Hand,” would work, though the tempo is probably too slow to get the blood pumping at a rally.
John McCain–Another one where I’m unsure of the real song being used. His war stories give lots of fodder for interesting choices, but I like the one suggested on another blog’s comments I read tonight–the classic Naked Raygun song, “Soldier’s Requiem.” Now that’s a song to get some blood flow going.
Mike Huckabee–He plays bass, he’s a minister, I can’t believe he’s not using a gospel song for a theme. “I Still Believe,” by the Call, would be an excellent choice, both for the bass line and the spiritual content. (Long gone candidate Tom Vilsack actually used another Call song, “Let The Day Begin,” for his song during his brief candidacy.)
Fred Thompson–The last conservative standing, he’s like an Andy Griffith candidate, and not just because he’s been on TV a long time. Hey, maybe he could just borrow the whistling end theme from the “Andy Griffith Show.”
Rudy Giuliani–Given the former NYC mayor’s constant use of his 9/11 experience as a reason to vote for him, I can think of no other more proper choice for Rudy than Bruce Springsteen’s, “The Rising,” but I doubt Bruce would allow its use, given how much Ronald Reagan screwed up with “Born in the U.S.A.” way back in the 80s.
Ron Paul–The only candidate with his own original songs from the start, all I can say is that Paul needs better songwriters. With the dirigible he’s been flying around, a Led Zeppelin song would be an appropriate choice, right? How about, “Achilles Last Stand” for his dwindling chances of actually getting enough votes for people to take him seriously?
Anybody else out there have any additional suggestions?
<<Super Tuesday Update: check out this video posted on Youtube featuring Will.I.Am from Blackeyed Peas, John Legend, and more, in a song that ingeniously and movingly puts Barack Obama’s words to music.