In case you have not have had enough of politics yet, unlike little-girl-gone-viral, here’s a collection of Right-Wing Pop. There is plenty of left-leaning pop, and some of it is even good. The more right-wing you get, the worse the music gets. This lot proves it.
To be clear, I do not endorse any of these songs, except perhaps the two closing tracks. Since tomorrow is US election day, I’ve limited non-US content to one track, sung by a Mancunian who now lives in sunny California.
This mix may serve as a companion piece to a fantastic Right-Wing Rock mix posted on the Internet a few years ago by the fine British music journalist Taylor Parkes.
So, here are some songs which might or might not feature on the mix I’m talking about.
The Pretenders – My City Was Gone
This isn’t a right-wing song. On the contrary. But its bassline has been adopted by the primate of the Loony Right, Rush Limbaugh, as his show’s theme. Initially he took it without asking, but eventually Chrissie Hynde allowed its use because, in a flash of sanity, Rush had backed an animal rights cause. Still, Limbaugh has bragged about subverting the liberal Pretenders song, much like a misogynist who brags about having had sex with a woman he despises with the sole objective of defiling her.
Charlie Daniels Band – Simple Man
Self-proclaimed redneck Charlie is going all Howard Beale on us. In this 1989 anthem he opens the imaginary window as he declares: “I’m madder’n hell and I ain’t gonna take it no more”. His beef is not with assaults on the English language, but with the bad guys who are getting away with all their criminality. Bashing his Bible (which, incidentally, he doesn’t really understand), Charlie proposes an alternative to traditional methods of incarceration, presumably because life in US jails offers too much by way of comfort. “Just take them rascals out in the swamp, put ’em on their knees and tie ’em to a stump. Let the rattlers and the bugs and the alligators do the rest.” Yes, the Jesus whom Daniels professes to follow must have happy memories of grotesque forms of execution.
Cheap Trick – Taxman, Mr Thief
Inspiring a generation of Bonos, Cheap Trick drew their inspiration from George Harrison’s bitter Taxman (Mr Heath and Mr Thief almost rhyme). The difference is that The Beatles’ tax rates were in fact ridiculously high; Cheap Trick’s patently were not. So, aside from being possessed of greed, Cheap Trick were railing against the notion of collective responsibility and solidarity. Fuck the poor and fuck public education — but don’t let Cheap Trick drive over a pothole without them complaining about the guvvinmint!
Beach Boys – Look To Tomorrow
The narrator of this song from 1971’s Surf’s Up album is not one of the 47%. He might be unemployed, but he won’t take any welfare. Surprisingly it was written not by the loathsome Mike Love, nor by his right-wing sidekick Brian Johnstone, but by Al Jardine, who seems to have future-vision: One verse accurately forecasts the entire policy manifesto of Mittens Romney’s 2012 campaign: “Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. Bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip.” Which, it must be said, is a step up from McCain’s ”Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran.”
The Spokesmen – The Dawn Of Correction
In 1965, Barry McGuire issued his anti-war anthem Eve Of Destruction. In response, the self-proclaimed Spokesmen resorted to punnery, which is great when you say “Romnesia”, but not so much when words are just lazily transposed. The antecedents of Coulter and Hannity they are not, nor are they redneck racists (they do welcome racial integration and even dig the Peace Corps, man). But they do hate the Reds who presumably must be contained by the simultaneous means of napalm bombing civilians and nuclear deterrence. “I don’t understand the cause of your aggravation,” they challenge McGuire. “You mean to tell me, boy, it’s not a better situation?” Where to start, The Spokesmen, where to start?
Jan Berry – The Universal Coward
Also on the answer record vibe was Jan Berry, of surfer duo Jan & Dean, who took issue with the Donovan hit Universal Soldier, written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Jan is mighty angry that the responsibility for war is being shifted on to the runts in the trenches, who in Donovan and Buffy’s vision should refuse to fight. With soldiers in Vietnam serving what Berry evidently thought was a just cause, the peacenik “just can’t get it through his thick skull why the mighty USA has got to be a watchdog of the world” — an opinion perpetuated by any Dick, Don and Dubya three and a half decades later.
Berry defines the peacenik: “He’s a pacifist, an extremist, a communist or just a Yank; a demonstrator, an agitator, or just a knave. A conscientious objector, a fanatic, a defector — and he doesn’t know he’s digging his own grave.” And then, by way of lazy rhyme, he gives it a snap of the wet towel before arriving at a nonsensical conclusion: “He’s the universal coward, and he runs from anything: from a giant, from a human, from an elf. He runs from Uncle Sam, and he runs from Vietnam. But most of all he’s running from himself.” Give that man some tea!
Autry Inman – Ballad Of Two Brothers|
This a Vietnam war ballad. Its inclusion here prepares you for its ideological position, but nothing will prepare you for just how bad it is. Of the two eponymous brothers, one is a hero, killing Charlie and his families so that the Greatest Nation On Earth may be free; the other brother is a yella pinko who hates freedom so much that he protests against the war. The funny thing is that the liberal politician descendants of the yella pinko brother treat US war veterans much better than the flag-waving and drum-beating counterparts on the right who vote against bills that would actually help such veterans reintegrate into society.
Granpa Jones – I’m No Communist
In case you thought a country singer called Granpa Jones was a “low down red”, Granpa endorses Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt, wherein the USA raped the ideals of freedom and principles of democracy, all in defence of freedom and democracy. And while Granpa rails against the reds, he also takes a libertarian pop at “Big Government”. Singing in 1953, he sounds like Mittens and his cousins in the Tea Party: “The taxes keep on going up… Our national debt is monster size and growin’ every day… Our dollar used be the soundest money on this earth but now…” et cetera. And then the warning, which includes Mitten’s latest take on foreign policy: “Unless we stop inflation and take care of what we’ve got, the Communists may win the fight and never fire a shot…”
Lester Flatt – I Can’t Tell The Boys From The Girls
We know that Lester was the conservative half of bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs, so there probably is no irony intended in this mildly amusing song. So Lester sings about having been a bachelor all his life, so he moved into the city “to find myself a maid”, but he couldn’t find one because — and you’ve guessed it — he can’t tell the boys from the girls. Now, why do you think he was a bachelor all his life?
The Sensational Little Shana Lynette – Mister Russian, Please Don’t Shoot Down Santa’s Sleigh
Sting lied! The Russians don’t love their children, because they might shoot at Santa’s sleigh! We know this from the Sensational Little Shana Lynette who issued her earnest appeal to “Mister Russian” some time in the 1950s by way of assuring the Soviets that twinkly-eyed Santa is no spy but actually digs the peace vibes.
Chuck Aherns and The Cannonballs – Wallace Cannonball
It is quite alarming to think that the party of Barack Obama was once the party of redneck racists and of their white supremacist presidential hopeful, George Wallace, governor of a place apparently called Alabamm. The racists — and, Chuck and the Cannonballs shall be advised, a white supremacist is a racist — have long since decamped to the GOP, a party which lacks the mitigating presence of decent people like Wallace’s contemporaries Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern.
Senator Roscoe Dean – A Ballad to George Wallace
Monotone-voiced Chuck Aherns was just your garden variety racist numbskull, but Georgia State Senator Roscoe Dean might well have served as a model for the character of Chicago mayor Tom Kane in the TV series Boss, played by crazy right-winger Kelsey Grammer. Good ole Roscoe reportedly plotted to murder Georgia’s Governor George Busbee and colluded with the Columbian drug cartel to flood the US with drugs.
Trouble was that the Colombians were actually undercover Feds. The good senator was convicted in 1980 and sentenced to five years jail, which he apparently didn’t serve (or maybe he did; somebody else might will know better). Charlie Daniels, an expert on the presence of evil entities in Georgia, wrote no songs about a suitable forms of judicial punishment for scumbags like the good senator.
Donnie & Marie Osmond – Ronnie B Goode
This is a recording of the übertoothy Mormon siblings performing at Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981. If anyone needed any more reasons to object to a Mittens victory, it would be the idea that these two idiots would reprise this freak show at his inauguration, with the reworked title Romney B Goode. Ugh!
Herman Silvers & Cornell Tanassy – Hello Ronnie, Good-Bye Jimmy
Hello Ronnie. Good-Bye Jimmy. Piss off Herman, and take Cornell with you.
Mike Curb Congregation – More Than Ever (Nixon Theme Song)
Mike Curb is the ultra-conservative producer and record company executive on the MGM label who once fired a roster of artists who he believed to be drug users, including Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground. A friend of Ronald Reagan’s, he was elected lieutenant governor of California in 1978, filling in for Govenor Jerry Brown when he was away chasing the Democratic presidential nomination. But Curb is a very naughty Republican: having worked with Harvey Milk, he has agitated for gay rights. Mittens would not like that. Or maybe he would. Or not.
Lionel Hampton & The Inner Circle – We Need Nixon
Et tu, Lionel Hampton? Did we really need Nixon “for a better world for all of us”? For “peace in the world”? At this point: R.I.P. George McGovern, war hero and man of peace and integrity.
Gene Marshall – Hail The Chief
Forget Watergate and draft Nixon for a third term in 1976? This song, apparently from 1973, might be satire, but the logic contained in its lyrics would not be out of place on Bullshit Mountain. I fear that Gene was being sincere.
Ersle Standridge – Satan’s Call To Khruschev
More monotone country music that assures us that the US will blow Russia into hell before the Russians might do the same to the US, foreshadowing the dick-waving contest that was the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Lee Greenwood – God Bless The U.S.A.
This deplorable pile of nationalistic crap was released in 1984 and played at the Republican convention that year. It was dug out again for both Bush wears on Iraq. Crossing party boundaries, Obama fan Beyoncé has recorded a cover of it, which I shall sample for laughs on a sad day. It’s not really right-wing in lyrics, but in tone, that’s where it belongs.
Darryl Worley – Have You Forgotten?
Here is a fool who links 9/11 to Saddam Hussein by way of justifying the US invasion of Iraq, which almost the whole world knew would be a disaster built on lies, greed and more lies. There would be no monstrous debt mountain which Fox News could blame Obama for without Bush’s Iraq war and that in Afghanistan. Today finding a Republican who admits to unconditionally having backed the Iraq war is like finding a Nazi in post-war Germany who didn’t claim to have been duped by Hitler. Well, Darryl Worrell, I hope you haven’t forgotten who actually got Osama bin Laden.
Morrissey – Bengali In Platforms
Just because you righteously despise the monarchy doesn’t mean you are not an utter idiot. For many years Smiths fans have tried to whitewash Morrissey’s anti-immigration rant from his 1988 Viva Hate album, hoping he was being ironic and engaging in the clever wordplay that produced such doggerel as “Frankly Mr Shankly”. Alas, Stephen Morrissey has since repeatedly made statements which could be understood to be xenophobic in nature. So when he sang “Bengali, bengali! Oh, shelve your western plans, and understand that life is hard enough when you belong here”, he meant it, man.
Dionne Warwick – Wives And Lovers
Dionne is not a right-winger, of course, and I hope Hal David wasn’t one either. Still, the sentiments of Wives And Lovers should make the traditional conservative’s heart beat faster. Hal has Dionne dictating to the sisterhood: “Comb your hair, fix your make-up. Soon he will open the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger, you needn’t try anymore.” In the next verse it gets sinister: “For wives should always be lovers, too. Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you. I’m warning you,” and then spread your legs, regardless of your mood. Happily, the warning does not suggest that a wife’s non-made up face be smashed, but, hey, if Don Draper cheats with girls from the office, the responsibility for that resides solely with miserable Betty!
Wendy O’ Williams & Lemmy – Stand By Your Man
Lemmy collects Nazi memorabilia, and Stand By Your Man is a song of misogyny which only a dark right-wing heart could identify with. So this belongs here, even if Wendy and Lemmy do not.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-SuperPACed covers. Password in the Comments section.