Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pop Music On the Campaign Trail

It probably goes back to Bill Clinton's effective use of "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," but it seems me as though there's been an increased scrutiny with regards to the musical taste of politicians - their campaign songs in particular. An article in this weekend's Wall Street Journal breaks down the formula of a good campaign theme - "Strike a visceral chord with listeners, piggyback on the literal message in the title or chorus - and hope people don't analyze the lyrics too closely." Case in point - the Junkie XL remix of Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" that has made its way into gatherings for Republican candidate Mitt Romney:
...Presley urges a lover to stop talking and just "satisfy me baby." Mr. Romney's camp doesn't see the song as racy. "The theme it conveys is that Washington needs a little less talk and a lot more action," says spokesman Kevin Madden.
Among the largely un-hip numbers making rounds on the campaign trail include John Mellencamp's "Our Country" (John Edwards), Rascal Flatts's "Life is a Highway" (Rudy Giuliani), and Celine Dion's "You and I" (Hillary Clinton). Barack O'Bama and Fred Thompson are showing off a bit better taste, with songs from Stevie Wonder and Johnny Cash, respectively. Why no one has chosen UGK's "Int'l Player's Anthe," is beyond me - maybe because it has the word "international" in its title.

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