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.
“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.
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.”
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