Al Gore’s trying for a hard-rocking image with his campaign songs, but George W. Bush is more of a country guy.
The Gore campaign doesn’t have one official song, but is using a collection of 1970s and modern hits, including “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” a 1974 hit by Bachman Turner Overdrive; “Still the One,” by Orleans, a testimony to lasting love, and the recent Fatboy Slim dance hit “Praise You.”
With the BTO song, Gore’s campaign has focused on the chorus, which says, “Here’s something that you’re never gonna forget — baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet,”
But some of the verses sound a bit off-message for a presidential campaign, especially the bit about “I met a devil woman, she took my heart away.”
“My guess is they might cut it off before they get to that,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss told Good Morning America.
BTO is a Canadian band, but then again, Gore has always supported NAFTA.
“Still the One” is a less ambiguous love song. “Praise You” is a technological pile of samples, synths and voice loops, perhaps appropriate for a man who once said he invented the Internet.
Rockin’ in the U.S.A.
Gore follows in a ’70s theme from President Clinton, who used “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)” from Fleetwood Mac’s famous 1977 album Rumours, an optimistic song that might have a personal message for Clinton: “Why not think about times to come / And not about the things that you’ve done,” the band sings.
But Clinton doesn’t particularly like that song, Beschloss said. He wanted an Elvis song for his 1992 campaign, but every song his handlers tried to use was about romances gone wrong. They thought that was off-message, so they turned to Fleetwood Mac, he said.
George W. Bush’s campaign chose a brand-new country song for their theme, “We the People,” sung by a group of country stars including Waylon Jennings, John Anderson, and Billy Ray Cyrus. The song wasn’t specifically written for the Bush campaign, but it seemed a good match, said Bush media adviser Mark McKinnon.
The song sings the praises of farmers, truckers and factory workers, calling out, “We pay the taxes, we pay the bills / So they better pay attention up on Capitol Hill.” The songwriters even slip in a good word for “middle managers.”
The Sound of Democracy