The Greatest Political Pop Song of All Time?

 

In the Tuesday podcast I invited John Ellis from PJMedia to talk about a series of articles he’s been writing about the best albums of each of the recent presidencies. His latest article is about the Clinton era, and his list is, well, awful. 

And I mean that in a nice way.

It’s awful because it’s full of pretentious music that people who like having cool opinions about music more than they actually like listening to music like: Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead…

It’s also awful because it leaves out perhaps the greatest political pop song of all time. And of course I’m talking about “Leave Bill Clinton Alone” by Larry Shannon Hargrove, aka “The Texas Songbird.”

Can you name another bit of pop music that is a purely partisan appeal on behalf of a politician? And not just some generic “I like Democrats” dirge. The Texas Songbird knows his stuff:

Kenneth Starr, pull up on my president
cuz you don’t have nothing to show for all the money you spent.
All this investigating….
ain’t nothin but playa hatin’

Hargrove–whose other hits include “I’m Just Trying To Hold Onto My Women”–also talks about the economy (“He showed us how to turn a dime into  a dollar, you see…”) and the fact that “everybody’s done something wrong.” Hint, hint, Newt?

Folks, we didn’t get spin this good on Crossfire back in the day.

I am hard-pressed to think of a song that did more to make its political point on behalf of a candidate or cause. It’s certainly better than that creepy “North Korean Children Sing To The Dear Leader” song Team Obama released in 2008.

Or Donald Trump’s “Patriotic Dancing Girls” show.

What songs am I missing? There are plenty of pop songs with references to presidents (You would fill a 10-album set with JFK references alone), and plenty of songs about politics. But for my money, nobody does it like The Texas Songbird.

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  1. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Everybody’s done something wrong?  Undoubtedly true.

    But not everybody has defiled the Oval Office, has committed perjury (while serving as the top law enforcement official of the U.S.), has been found in contempt of court and fined $90,000, or has had to pay $850,000 to settle a claim of harassment.

    • #1
  2. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Jimmy Carter Says Yes

    • #2
  3. Michael Graham Contributor
    Michael Graham
    @MichaelGraham

    Hank Rhody (View Comment):
    Jimmy Carter Says Yes

    Holy Crap! I didn’t know about this! Thanks for posting!

     

    • #3
  4. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    Michael Graham (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody (View Comment):
    Jimmy Carter Says Yes

    Holy Crap! I didn’t know about this! Thanks for posting!

    It’s one of those gems that shouldn’t be lost to time. When I polled people at work nobody at all had heard of the Jimmy Carter rabbit attack. Nobody!

    • #4
  5. Michael Graham Contributor
    Michael Graham
    @MichaelGraham

    Hank Rhody (View Comment):

    Michael Graham (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody (View Comment):
    Jimmy Carter Says Yes

    Holy Crap! I didn’t know about this! Thanks for posting!

    It’s one of those gems that shouldn’t be lost to time. When I polled people at work nobody at all had heard of the Jimmy Carter rabbit attack. Nobody!

    America’s educational system is clearly a dismal failure.

    • #5
  6. Archie Campbell Member
    Archie Campbell
    @ArchieCampbell

    Michael Graham: It’s awful because it’s full of pretentious music that people who like having cool opinions about music more than they actually like listening to music like: Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead…

    Have you ever listened to the songs listed and the records they’re from? You might find you like them.  I don’t think I’m particularly pretentious, but I really like The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips, as well as Kid A, OK Computer, and Amnesiac by Radiohead, and almost everything done by PJ Harvey. In Utero is overrated, though, I’ll give you that. 

    Also, it’s OK to like music that pretentious goobers also like. It doesn’t make you one by association.

    • #6
  7. Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke
    @HankRhody

    Archie Campbell (View Comment):
    Also, it’s OK to like music that pretentious goobers also like. It doesn’t make you one by association.

    Yeah, that’s hardly what makes me a pretentious goober.

    • #7
  8. Archie Campbell Member
    Archie Campbell
    @ArchieCampbell

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke (View Comment):

    Archie Campbell (View Comment):
    Also, it’s OK to like music that pretentious goobers also like. It doesn’t make you one by association.

    Yeah, that’s hardly what makes me a pretentious goober.

    Well then, dang it, what does?

    • #8
  9. Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke
    @HankRhody

    Archie Campbell (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Meddling Cowpoke (View Comment):

    Archie Campbell (View Comment):
    Also, it’s OK to like music that pretentious goobers also like. It doesn’t make you one by association.

    Yeah, that’s hardly what makes me a pretentious goober.

    Well then, dang it, what does?

    Can’t help ya. One of those fish doesn’t realize he’s wet things.

    • #9
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