A Brief History of Hilariously Inappropriate Campaign Songs

It’s Election Day, and really there’s not a great deal more we can say here beyond that we hope you all get out and exercise your right to vote. (And, y’know, don’t fuck it up.) God only knows what sort of a world we’ll be waking up in once all the counting is done, but if nothing else, it means the election hoopla will be over for another four years. As ever, we’ve endured rather than enjoyed the endless campaigning that election year brings, but if nothing else, the music chosen by this year’s candidates has provided its usual comedy value. So to soundtrack your voting efforts, here’s a selection of hilariously inappropriate campaign songs from over the years — honestly, when will politicians learn to start listening to the lyrics? (We also hope that everyone reading this in NYC stops by Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker St. for our Lunch Break party today, at which LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney will be spinning precisely none of these songs.)

George H.W. Bush (1998): Woody Guthrie — “This Land Is Your Land”

The Republican Party has a long and ignominious history of appropriating amusingly inappropriate songs on the basis of their title and hoping that no one would listen to the words — cf. “Born in the USA,” in particular — but this takes the proverbial biscuit. Poor Woody Guthrie was probably spinning in his grave like a turbocharged dynamo at the thought of his socialist anthem being used to promote the GOP, and we can’t imagine the party faithful would take kindly to lines like, “There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me/ Sign was painted, it said ‘private property’/ But on the back side it didn’t say nothing/ This land was made for you and me!”

“This Land Is My Land” image credit: Shepard Fairey