As the election season is upon us, whoever party you vote has one thing in common: music. During rallies and events held by the presidential candidates, they are always some patriotic tunes that play in the background. With that said, here are the top ten songs used during election season.
Black Flag – Rise Above
As the opening track of Black Flag’s debut, Damaged in 1981, it might be one of the most common songs for kids to play at their birthday party. The chorus is striking as the heavy rhythm is focused with aggression. Written by Greg Ginn, it is a politically motivated song used in many presidential rallies.
The Rolling Stones – I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Since its first debut on the 1965 diamond of The Rolling Stones, this historical rock ’n’ roll hit has continued to remain a favorable tune during elections, even if it’s barely political. Everyone recognizes the signature song of the bouncy bass, guitar riff, the shuffling drums and the hook of the singer, Mick Jagger.
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
Whether you love them or hate them, U2 created one of the three greatest albums of the decade – the ‘83s WAR, 87’s The Joshua Tree, and 91’s Achtung Baby. While “Sunday Bloody Sunday” doesn’t exactly play a role in American politics, the violence and oppression of war is a human problem that must be raised into question.
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?
In 1985, celebrities united, including Marvin Gaye himself, to create the song “We Are the World” and sell it to millions all over the globe. With the story “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye is proof that he couldn’t do it all on his own. This ballad has continued its movement through years, facing the demographics that remain in need of equality and unity.
Public Enemy – Fight the Power
Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” took Black America one giant step forwards in awareness of the crack epidemic that nearly wiped out citizens. The group’s revolutionary message of “Fight the Power” delayed its release until the following year with an official release on Fear of a Black Planet. If you ever wanted to learn more about black history, this song is it.
Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
The song “Strange Fruit” was originally titled “Bitter Fruit.” The protest song sung by Billie Holiday depicts a terrifying portrait of the many terrors that were going on in America in the early 20th century. Since the debut of Strange Fruit, Holiday’s protesting ballad has played a role of influence in the likes of Kanye West and Bob Dylan as it leads its way into pop culture – ranging from comic books to film and television.
Aretha Franklin – Respect
Aretha Franklin, the iconic singer, is known for many songs that have become staple tunes to karaoke machines. The song “Respect” is one of those tunes that will forever be a favorite song for the years to come. While it was originally written and released by Otis Redding, Franklin made the song her own in 1965, turning the feminist statement that has gained the attention of American politics for decades. Aretha Franklin taps into something that every human being must give and receive – respect.
John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth
The English-born singer talks of the false claims from “uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites.” The song came from the ‘71’s Imagine album that speaks volumes about the government, politics, and corruption we face today.
M.I.A. – Paper Planes
One of the youngest songs on the list is M.I.A.’s Paper Planes. As one of the most poignant and top-hit anthems, Paper Planes gave the 2007 elections a bit of an emotional punch. However, the tune hasn’t been played much since. Nevertheless, the hit protest song gave elections a bit of a modern twist for the 21st century, giving attention to the violence and immigration awareness with an upbeat tune.
Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
What political event in the United States didn’t play the unofficial song Born in the USA? Bruce Springsteen was written one of the most politically charged anthems to show his patriotism and pride in his juggernaut album in 1984. The song is arguably one of the political parties’ top favorites and has gotten high mileage.
Have you heard any of these songs during the election?