If you want to be taken seriously as a musician, here’s a suggestion: Avoid writing and releasing a song professing your undying, cult-like adoration for a politician. And definitely do not make the lyrics so cringe-worthy that when the heat of your oh-so-important campaign to get one person elected cools down, you will be forever haunted by that YouTube video still racking up clicks and mockery.
And despite the obvious fact that politician worship music is never really a cool or smart thing to produce, people do it. Here are some of the most notable examples, starting with an especially embarrassing one released today:
1) Jessie Murphy & Friends – “Run Liz Run”
Two surefire signs of a terrible pro-politician song: Verbose topical lyrics awkwardly crammed into verses, and a twee chorus that could double in a VW commercial. Platitudes and super-cool hats abound in the above video drafting the Massachusetts progressive senator to run, goddamnit, run, in 2016. Make it stop.
2) Deborah Cox – “No Labels Anthem”
The only thing more tedious than the No Labels movement is the group’s clownish theme song written by Akon and performed by Canadian-born Broadway star Deborah Cox. With ham-fisted lyrics like “See a man with a blue tie / See a man with a red tie / So how about we tie ourselves together and get ‘er done,” all we can say is: “Go away.”
3) will.i.am & friends – “Yes We Can”
The fact that will.i.am was behind this 2008 pop song of religious devotion to then-Senator Obama tells you everything you need to know about its depth. Know what else is cringe-worthy about these sorts of songs? When the musicians gather dozens of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Aisha Tyler, and Austin Nichols for the video, as if to desperately scream: “This isn’t embarrassing! Look at all these famous people who agree with us! How could you ever find this corny?”
4) Krista Branch – “I Am America”
You know it as the de facto anthem of the tea party movement, circa 2010, but this goofy little dance number from a former American Idol contest became the Herman Cain 2012 campaign’s official theme song. The fact that Cain said he “felt goose bumps just listening to it” tells you all you need to know about whether you’ll wince when listening to this.
5) Walter Suhr and the Mango Punch – “Hillary, Hillary Clinton”
A tejano-style song pandering to Latino voters to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008? What could possibly be cringe-worthy about that?
6) Aimee Allen – “Ron Paul Revolution Theme Song”
Yes, I am a libertarian, and therefore mostly sympathetic to Ron Paul‘s 2008 presidential campaign for what it did to disrupt Republican politics. But that doesn’t make this industrial-pop song any less unbearable, what with its “Boo-yah!” punctuations on lines about the 78-year-old’s policy platform. It also doesn’t help to casually drop a reference to the Bilderbergs into the song.
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