Campaign Songs Rally Troops, Lawsuits

Jan 6, 2012 4:58pm

If you are like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mitt Romney is … untamed stallion.

ap mitt romney nt 120103 wblog Campaign Songs Rally Troops, Lawsuits

OK, maybe not, but ”untamed stallion” is a lyric from one of the Romney team’s favorite campaign rally songs, “Born Free” by Kid Rock.

We know. The cowboy hat-wearing, guitar-slinging Kid Rock and his “Born Free” lyrics like, “Deep like the grandest canyon/Wild like an untamed stallion,” are the first things that come to mind when you think of Romney, mostly because of the former Massachusetts governor’s long flowing hair, tank tops and numerous tattoos.

“Born Free” is a catchy tune with wholesome American themes, and it is certainly less controversial than another song played at a recent Romney rally — Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” the theme song from the film, “Top Gun.”

Doesn’t Romney remember what happened to Goose? He died! How could they do that to Meg Ryan?

But I digress. … Often, campaign songs become synonymous with campaigns. In the past, FDR used “Happy Days Are Here Again,” John F. Kennedy used Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes” and Bill Clinton used Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” on the campaign trail.

Now, in the 2012 GOP race, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania use no music at their rallies –  it’s hard to coordinate with the sweater vests — but you can hear Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s rallies and “American Ride” by Toby Keith along the campaign trail with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who loves his country music.

But for some campaigns, music is not easy listening. Jackson Browne didn’t like it when Sen. John McCain used his “Running on Empty” in a 2008 campaign ad and McCain had to settle out of court. Liberal singer/songwriter Tom Petty issued a cease and desist request to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann for using his “American Girl” song at her rallies without his permission, but allowed Hillary Clinton to use the same song for her 2008 run for the White House.

In April, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was forced to grovel on YouTube as part of a out-of-court settlement with singer David Byrne over the use of Talking Heads’ “Road to Nowhere.” In the video, Crist says, “the use of David Byrne’s song and voice in my campaign advertisement without his permission was wrong and should not have occurred.”

As for Mitt Romney and Kid Rock, the Romney campaign made sure to get the rocker’s sign-off before using “Born Free,” because what kind of untamed stallion doesn’t ask permission first.

 

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