Alarming News

May 31, 2006

Music of the Right (by guest blogger Dorian Davis)

The Top 10 Conservative Songs of All Time

1) “Freedom (Live)” by Paul McCartney (2001) – While it was written, and originally performed, as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, “Freedom” is a timeless song; its lyrics (only 138 words!) may seem repetitive to the casual listener, but “Freedom” is a hymn to liberty that the youngest among us, and the oldest among us, are bound to remember.

2) “Taxman” by The Beatles (1966) – The Beatles park in second place with their 1966 smash, “Taxman.” Roasting income taxes (even death taxes!) as authentic conservatives would, the boys from Liverpool make a compelling case against over-taxation and, ultimately, against government waste.

3) “Oppression” by Ben Harper (1995) – Ben Harper, along with his band of Innocent Criminals, wrote a conservative classic with the folksy, unplugged, acoustic song, “Oppression.” Here, in a soft, understated voice, Harper rails against repressive government with courage, conviction, and hope.

4) “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” by Pink Floyd (1980) – More than twenty years before the left-wing bias of state schools was betrayed Ward Churchill, Pink Floyd wrote, with incredible foresight, about the misguided public education system in its monster-hit “Another Brick in the Wall.”

5) “Having My Baby” by Paul Anka (1974) – Crawling past more explicit songs by Madonna (”Papa Don’t Preach”) and the Sex Pistols (”Bodies”), “Having My Baby” is a mellow, anti-abortion tome to the euphoria of parenthood, and the sanctity of life.

6) “Soldier’s Heart” by R. Kelly (2003) – R. Kelly salutes the troops with “Soldier’s Heart,” his tome to the men and women of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Reminiscent of wartime classics, such as “Over There” and “Ballad of the Green Berets,” it – deservedly – parks at Number Six.

7) “Small Town” by John Mellencamp (1985) – He gets a cool reception from conservatives nowadays, but John Mellencamp was the poster boy for community spirit, and regional flare, when “Small Town,” his paean to the “fly-over” states, meandered up the Billboard charts in 1985.
8) “Have You Forgotten” by Darryl Worley (2002) – Country singer Darryl Worley wrote “Have You Forgotten” to honor Americans lost on September 11, 2001. Worley, in this song, is the epitome of the “angry white man” and, by the end, we share in his anger, his outrage, and his anguish at 9/11.

9) “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” by Paula Cole (1998) – Paula Cole arrives at ninth place with her anti-feminist anthem, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” Vowing to stay home, and raise her children, while her spouse pays the bills, Cole bucks feminist theory that women have to work professionally to have a purpose in life.

10) “If” by Janet Jackson (1993) – Though parents may reel at the strong sexual overtones, and hip-thrusting beats, they will appreciate the message: monogamy. Here, Jackson refuses to consummate her relationship until she and her partner are committed. “If” might be dripping with sexuality but it’s a repudiation of “hook-up” culture, and a lesson in self-respect.

Check out lists by John Miller and Bruce Bartlett.

UPDATE BY KAROL: Continuing with the political music debate, Robert George points us to a shortlist of conservative hip-hop songs. They include Slick Rick’s “A Children’s Story” one of my favorite songs. They also include Tupac’s “Dear Mama”, which, personally, I find less conservative than his “Papaz Song” which includes lines like “the things I would do to see a piece of family unity” and his pledge not to be a father until he’s got the time.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Bob sends in his choice of conservative song: Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel. I love that song. Bob describes it as “A vivid ode to the workingman who gets screwed by the ‘liberal elites’ in Blue State New York of all places.”

Posted by Dorian at 02:13 AM |
Technorati Tags:

I’ll give you #7, but the rest of your selections are horrible just on taste alone. I’m not even going to get into your hyper-skewed interpretations. Goony goo goo, Gus.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at May 31, 2006 at 9:43 am

Chris, you’re too generous. I wouldn’t give up #7. I mean, common, “little pink houses for you and me.” The only people I’ve ever known to have a pink house were 1) two very liberal fun partners in P-town and 2) two slightly radical liberal lesbians in Michigan. Ain’t that America?
One can only hope that the theme for 08′ is “all my ex’s live in texas,” and moreso dream the next line of the song rings true “that’s why I hang my hat in Tennesee” (i.e. Gore)

Posted by: toby at May 31, 2006 at 9:57 am

While I’m not a fan of R. Kelly or some of the others on the list, the Pink Floyd one is right on. They have a lot of anti-state messages in their songs. Good list, Dorian!

Posted by: Karol at May 31, 2006 at 10:34 am

Well, K, I’ll give you Pink Floyd’s “Momentary Lapse of Reason.” That’s a shoe in for the right.

Posted by: toby at May 31, 2006 at 10:42 am

Toby, I agree that the pink houses line was probably not written to be symbolic of anything politically conservative. Then again, it’s not from the song “Small Town” either, so the point is moot.
The simple reason I gave him that is because having grown up in a small town I can identify with it and the values it represents. Many, if not most, of which are values that conservatives use to define themselves.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at May 31, 2006 at 10:43 am

That’s a tough list to make because there just aren’t that many songs that fit your catergory without going into the skinhead and white supremisist genre.
I fail to see most of the songs on your list being “conservative songs” or being some kind of anthem for conservatives.
Maybe I give you #1 if you want to intepret ‘talkin about freedom’ as being freedom from big government and regulations. But I don’t think that is what the song is about…So I really don’t give you #1.
#2 I give you.
3. The song sounds like it could be an anthem for liberals as much as conservatives.
4. This song is railing against schools not particularily public schools. I always always imagined a private prep or Catholic school myself.
#5 I can give you but keep in mind not all anti-abortionist are conservatives and not all pro-abortionist are liberals.
6. This is a tribute to soldiers nothing more.
7. This is a tribute to small towns nothing more. Heard of Vermont? The whole state is small town and definately a blue state.
8. This is pro war against terrorist who attacked us on 911. This is definately not a view shared only by conservatives.
#9 I give you. But I think conservatives males are very metrosexual too.
#10 I think you are totally wrong about what’s going on in this song. She is begging to do the dirty with some dude that: A. Doesn’t care for her or B. Doesn’t realize she wants him so he hasn’t given her that kind of attention.
Toby, funny comment.

Posted by: PAUL at May 31, 2006 at 11:05 am

Momentary Lapse of Reason?
I don’t see it…
The one song that seems political leaning is On The Turning Away.
And that leans liberal!

Posted by: PAUL at May 31, 2006 at 11:13 am

Paul, I was just alluding to the name of the album as a sort of anthem rather than the lyrics of any of its song (i.e.: the concept of the values held closely to the right being a “momentary lapse of reason” to humanity). Certainly, the songs aren’t quite conservative as you allude to.

Posted by: Toby at May 31, 2006 at 11:22 am

I take that back about the songs not being quite conservative. I forgot “Dogs of War” was on Momentary Lapse of Reason, which certainly rings somewhat true for the current regime.
“With no cause, we don’t discriminate
Discovery is to be disowned
Our currency is flesh and bone
Hell opened up and put on sale
Gather ’round and haggle
For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
Even our masters don’t know the web we weave
One world, it’s a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world … One world”

Posted by: toby at May 31, 2006 at 11:24 am

I’d nominate Monica’s “(I Wanna Get Down, But Not) The First Night”.
She’s a good girl.

Posted by: Yaron at May 31, 2006 at 11:28 am

After reading John J. Miller’s article for the National Review and your top 10 picks as well, I am inspired to go through my rather large eclectic collection of CD’s (app. 3000-4000 at best “guess-timate” and see if I can come up with a top 10 or 20 list of conservative songs to put on my humble blog.

Posted by: Carl at May 31, 2006 at 1:00 pm

Either you missed the irony in Paula Cole’s song, or I’m missing your own irony in citing it. She was MOCKING the fantasy of having a cowboy sweep a woman off her feet:
“And you joined them at the bar
Almost every single day of the week
I will wash the dishes while you go have a beer”

Posted by: Thaale at May 31, 2006 at 1:44 pm

The phrase “little pink houses” is from another song, “Ain’t That America.”
If you eliminate any song that can, in some way, be interpreted for both liberals and conservatives, you will eliminate nearly every song. “Small Town” is a conservative song because the conservative movement is irrevocably tied to local communities, not to the federal government. “Soldier’s Heart” is a conservative song because conservatives are irrevocably associated with the military, perhaps because the military is composed of so many conservatives.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at May 31, 2006 at 2:02 pm

It’s foolery to expect that every conservative song will appeal to EVERY conservative.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at May 31, 2006 at 2:09 pm

Oh yeah.. they all kinda blend together from that Melencamp era.

Posted by: toby at May 31, 2006 at 2:18 pm

The Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel
A vivid ode to the workingman who gets screwed by the “liberal elites” in Blue State New York of all places. Examples and analysis below
“We took on diesel back in Montauk yesterday
And left this morning from the bell in Gardiner’s Bay Like all the locals here I’ve had to sell my homeToo proud to leave I worked my fingers to the bone”
Eastern Long Island. Gee, I wonder why he had to sell his home. Could it possibly be the Hamptons Crowd who have turned that part of New York into a playground of the useless and idle (but we vote Democrat because of guilt) rich. Paris Hilton anyone?
“I’ve got bills to pay and children who need clothes. I know there’s fish out there but where God only knows. They say these waters aren’t what they used to be. But I’ve got people back on land who count on me.”
Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! But remember boys and girls, this fishing boat captain is probably one of those evil “small businesman” capitalist pigs the Republicans are always favoring with special privileges. His boat is probably worth 500K so we need to take that in the inheritance tax when he dies!
“Now I drive my Downeaster Alexa More and more miles from shore every year. Since they tell me I can’t sell no stripers. And there’s no luck in swordfishing here.”
Anyone want to guess who “THEY” are in this verse? I bet the EPA comissioned some hack PhDs in some Ivy League University to feed lab rats one billion gallons of fish oil from “stripers” so they can then declare it a health hazard. Oh and then we can buy all our fish from our good buddies the Chinese!
“I was a bayman like my father was before
Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore
There ain’t much future for a man who works the sea. But there ain’t no island left for islanders like me.”
Yeah, but I bet he could attend a $10,000/plate John Kerry fundraiser in the Hamptons though
There you have it. My suggestion!
Bob Diethrich
Rosenberg, TX

Posted by: Bob Diethrich at May 31, 2006 at 2:49 pm

“Where have all the Cowboys Gone?” depicts a woman’s loss of faith in her husband as he breaks his promises, abandons the home, and starts running around. She now longs for the Romantic Man she thought she had when she married into the farming life – and it now becomes a trap for her. She wants the romantic cowboy ideal. This ideal is a very hard ideal to live up to.
Contrast this with Carly Simon’s “All I want is You.” where the wife is still madly in love with her husband – one joke of theirs is that the nighbors think that the noises they make are because he is beating her – far from it – they are just so crazy still.

Posted by: red river at May 31, 2006 at 6:06 pm

I put together a list of 50 more conservative rock songs:

Posted by: Jon Swift at May 31, 2006 at 11:43 pm

I started covering John J. Miller’s top 50 conservative songs with this stab at
Heroes by David Bowie (Dr. BLT cover)
I sure wish there were more
Republican Rock Stars
words and music by Dr. BLT (c)2006
I’d like to say I’m one, but I’m unworthy of such a title. Besides, I prefer this title:
King of Blog ‘n’ Roll

Posted by: Bruce at July 7, 2006 at 1:28 am

The Germs “communist eyes”
I’m looking through
Communist eyes
I’m seeing planes in bloodshot skies
I see the flag of a working people
Who conceal the lies in the stars
and sickle
It’s a double edge
Communist eyes-c’mon inside
I can’t ever find the way out
Communist eyes-lost inside
I never get a day out
I’m looking through Communist eyes
All I see is an old man’s alibi
There’s a world outside
but I’m unaware
I open my books but the pages stare
It’s a double edge
Communist eyes-all so blind
I can’t even play the game now
I’m living through Communist times
I wave my flag and hold me head high
I can feel the glory of my
comrades in masses
But I’m waiting for the day
when this madness passes
It’s a double edge…

Posted by: Jeff Cordero at November 13, 2006 at 6:16 pm
Post a comment