All this talk about campaign slogan songs got me thinking. How ’bout the other guys? Who’s had the best and worst?
Well, someone beat me to it. And it’s a good list. Check out #1….
But does it matter?
The idea of campaign songs is nothing new, with the practice dating back at least as far as George Washington (“Follow Washington”) and Thomas Jefferson (“For Jefferson and Liberty”). Since then, there have been some good and bad songs blaring on the campaign trail, so we’ve decided to take a look at a few of them with our new list:
Top 10 Presidential Campaign Theme Songs
10. Frank Sinatra—“High Hopes”
Sinatra’s hit song “High Hopes” was fitted with new Kennedy-themed lyrics to provide the optimistic theme song for John F. Kennedy’s presidential bid in 1960.
9. Simon and Garfunkel—“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
McGovern lost to Nixon in the election 1972. The pretty but depressing song probably didn’t cheer him up after the loss.
8. Bruce Springsteen—“Born in the U.S.A.”
“California Here We Come” provided the upbeat soundtrack for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, and while he won again in 1984 with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A”as his anthem, Springsteen, a democrat, requested that Reagan stop using the song.
7. Woody Guthrie—“This Land is Your Land”
George H.W. Bush made it to the Oval Office in 1988 with this classic. Although it’s difficult to believe that Guthrie would’ve endorsed Bush, the President won the vote.
6. Neil Diamond—“Coming to America”
Michael Dukakis had a glitzy anthem, but that didn’t keep him from losing to the first President Bush in 1988.
5. Fleetwood Mac—“Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”
In addition to appearing on television playing his saxophone and having fun, President Clinton tore up the campaign trail with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.”
4. Patsy Cline—“Crazy”
In 1992 wealthy Texas businessman Ross Perot was an entertaining entry in the presidential race, but his theme song’s title may have described him a little too well.
3. Bruce Springsteen VS Brooks and Dunn
John Kerry campaigned to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender,” but even the Boss couldn’t save him from George W. Bush and Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America.”
2. Sam & Dave—“Soul Man”
A Bob Dole-themed take-off on Sam & Dave’s Stax Records classic, “Soul Man,” the reworked “Dole Man”is embarrassing for everyone involved, both politically and musically.
1. Tom Petty—“I Won’t Back Down”
George W. Bush was using Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down,” but Petty—a supporter of Bush’s opponent Al Gore— threatened to sue him if he didn’t stop using it.