Hank Williams Jr. Serenades McCain, Palin

By Jennifer Parker

Oct 13, 2008 4:13pm

ABC News’ Kate Snow and Imtiyaz Delawala Report: Hank Williams Jr. sure knows how to get a crowd goin’. On a small stage in the middle of a sea of red t-shirts at the Richmond International Raceway this afternoon, Williams stood a few feet from Governor Sarah Palin to sing the Star Spangled Banner. But it was his next song that was a surefire hit in this conservative crowd.

"The left wing liberal media has always been a close knit family. But most of the American people don’t believe it anyway, you see. Stop and think it over before you make your decision. If they smell something wrong, they’re gonna come down strong," Williams intoned.

The song "McCain-Palin tradition" was set to the music of Williams’ country classic "Family tradition", a song written in response to critics who said he wasn’t living up to the legend of his father, Hank Williams Senior. The original song contains lyrics about drinking and smoking marijuana.

The new ditty is a completely new political take on that tune with lyrics critical of the media and Democrats.

It compares Governor Sarah Palin to a "mama bear in Idaho. She’ll protect your family’s cubs."

"This old union’s got problems. That is plain to see. The Democrats bankrupted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, just like 1-2-3. The bankers didn’t want to make all those bad loans. But Bill Clinton said "you got to!" Now they want to bail out. What I’m talking about, is a democrat liberal hoodoo!" Williams sang in Richmond.

According to lyrics released by the McCain-Palin campaign, the song’s chorus is: "John N Sarah tell ya just what they think. And they’re not gonna blink. And they’re gonna fix this country. Cause they’re just like you n’ ole Hank. Yes John is a maverick. And Sarah fixed Alaska’s broken condition. They’re gonna go just fine. We’re headed for better times. It’s a McCain – Palin tradition."

But Williams sang the song twice on Monday, once at a joint McCain-Palin rally in Virginia Beach and the second time at the Richmond Raceway.

And he didn’t always stick to the song sheet.

At the first appearance in Virginia Beach, Williams added a line to the song about Barack Obama.

"John and Sarah tell you just what they think. And they’re not gonna blink. And they don’t have terrorist friends to whom their careers are linked," Williams sang.

That line is not included in the lyrics released by the campaign.

Nor is another line that Williams included in Richmond about Governor Palin. It sounds on the tape like he sings: "Why do you hunt? God why do you fish? How can you be so smart and be such a good lookin’ dish?"

Palin is standing just a few feet away.

The ABC transcription of Hank Williams Jr’s "McCain-Palin Tradition", as sung in Virginia Beach:

The left wing liberal media has always been a close knit family
But most of the American people don’t believe it anyway you see
Stop and think it over
Before you make your decision
If they smell something wrong, they’re gonna come down strong
And say McCain-Palin tradition
This old union’s got problems
That is plain to see
The democrats bankrupted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Just like 1-2-3
The bankers didn’t want to make all those bad loans
But Bill Clinton said "you got to!"
Now they want to bail out
what I’m talking about
Is a democrat liberal hoodoo!
To me and you
John and Sarah tell you just what they think
And they’re not gonna blink
And they don’t have terrorist friends to whom their careers are linked
Yeah John is his own man
And Sarah fixed Alaska’s broken condition
They’re gonna do just fine
We’re headed for good times
You know McCain-Palin Tradition
I am very proud
Of our country’s name
But no society is perfect
And we have had our stains
If I’m down at the coffee shop
Someone wants to give our flag friction
We say please move on, we’re standing strong
That’s an Old John McCain tradition
John and Sarah tell you just what they think
And they’re not gonna blink
They’re gonna fix this country, cuz they’re just like good ol’ Hank
Yeah John is his own man
And Sarah fixed Alaska’s bad condition
They’re gonna get it right, we’re gonna see the light, an old McCain-Palin tradition
Some are bound to tell you
I’m preaching to the choir
And that is very true, and we are going higher
Like a Mama bear in Idaho
She’ll protect your family’s condition
If you mess with her cubs, she’s gonna take off the gloves, that’s an American female tradition
John and Sarah tell you just what they think
And they’re not gonna blink
They’re gonna fix this country
Cuz they’re just like good ol’ Hank
Yes John is his own man
Sarah fixed Alaska’s bad tradition
They’re gonna see the light
We’re gonna be just fine
Oh! McCain-Palin tradition

The McCain-Palin campaign released lyrics of the song "McCain-Palin tradition" by Hank Williams, Jr.:

The left wing liberal media have

Always been a real close knit family

But, most of the American People

Don’t believe em anyway ya see

Stop and think it over

Before you make your decision

If they smell something

They’re gonna come down strong

It’s a McCain – Palin tradition

Now this old Union’s got problems

That is plain to see

The Democrats bankrupted Fannie Mae N Freddie Mac

Just like 1, 2, 3

The bankers didn’t want to make all those bad loans,

But Bill Clinton said you got to

Now they want a bail out, what I’m talking about

Is a Democrat liberal who doo

CHORUS

John N Sarah tell ya

Just what they think

And they’re not gonna blink

And they’re gonna fix this country

Cause they’re just like you N ole Hank

Yes John is a maverick

And Sarah fixed Alaska’s broken condition

They’re gonna go just fine

We’re headed for better times

It’s a McCain – Palin tradition

I am very proud of America’s name

Bu no society is perfect

And we have had our stains

If I’m down at the coffee shop and

Somebody wants to give our flag friction

We say please move on

Cause we’re standing strong

That’s an old John McCain tradition

CHORUS

John N Sarah tell ya

Just what they think

And they’re not gonna blink

And they’re gonna fix this country

Cause they’re just like you N ole Hank

Yes John is a maverick

And Sarah fixed Alaska’s broken condition

They’re gonna go just fine

We’re headed for better times

It’s a McCain – Palin tradition

Some are bound to tell you I’m

Preaching to the choir

And that is very true

And we are going even higher

Like a mama bear in Idaho

She’ll protect your family’s condition

If you mess with her cubs

She’s gonna take of the gloves

It’s an American female tradition

CHORUS

John N Sarah tell ya

Just what they think

And they’re not gonna blink

And they’re gonna fix this country

Cause they’re just like you N ole Hank

Yes John is a maverick

And Sarah fixed Alaska’s broken condition

They’re gonna go just fine

We’re headed for better times

It’s a McCain – Palin tradition

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