Rock and politics… what hath Charlie Daniels wrought?
While the whining lyrics of Elton John, Green Day, Sting and Bruce Springsteen dominate the playlists when it comes to political songs making their way to the charts, there have been more than a few that managed to work their way into the hearts of conservitarians everywhere.
While most of the tunes on this list are openly and unashamedly jingoistic, a few have managed over time and circumstances to easily fall into the small government and/or flat-out nationalistic leanings of many Rock fans.
In no particular order;
Swords of a Thousand Men – Tenpole Tudor
The advent of Medieval-Punk very well may fizzled and died an early death when first unleashed on the world in the early 1980s.
But luckily for the London-based Tenpole Tudor, Swords of a Thousand Men was released right when Prime Minister Thatcher loosed the British Armed Forces for a bit of good old fashioned Argie-bashing.
Long-Haired Country Boy – Charlie Daniels Band
“If you don’t like the way I’m livin’ you just leave this long-haired country boy alone.”
The rock anthem for libertarianism before there ever was libertarianism.
Don’t Tread on Me – Metallica
While James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich are known to be at opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two co-wrote this ode to the leave-me-alone-or-I’ll-crush-your-face sentiment.
Besides, any song that references the first official flag of the United States Marine Corps must be pretty kick-ass to begin with.
I Love America – Alice Cooper
Vincent Furnier meant it when he wrote;
I love that mountain with those four big heads
I love Velveeta slapped on Wonder bread
I love a commie, if he’s good and dead. Yup
I love America
I love Old Glory and homemade pie
I think them Ruskies should be sterilized
I love my chicken Kentucky Fried
Finger lickin’ good!
I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher – Notsensibles
Never purposefully intended to be either pro- or anti-Maggie, simply by virtue of their never-ending vow of fealty to the PM, this automatically rates as conservative/patriotic. The lyrics are more English than jellied eels and spotted dick;
I’m in love with Margaret Thatcher
I’m in love with Maggie T
Oh, Margaret Thatcher is so sexy
She’s the girl for you and me
I go red when she’s on the telly
‘Cause I think she fancies me
American Bad Ass – Kid Rock
Notice he didn’t identify himself as a Canadian bad ass, nor a Sri Lankan bad ass, or even as an Uruguayan bad ass. This guy’s 100 percent an American Bad Ass.
The South’s Gonna Do It Again – Charlie Daniels Band
Before Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jesse and the General Lee… there was the Charlie Daniels Band.
“Be proud you’re a Rebel, ’cause the South’s gonna do it again, yes it is.”
If that doesn’t say it all, nothing does.
VOA (Voice of America) – Sammy Hagar
Reagan Rock at it’s finest. The video of The Red Rocker parachuting into a White House strategy meeting, then getting the official Fist Pump of Approval from Ronnie himself is just too awesome for words.
Raise the Flag! Let it wave.
Shoot them down to their graves, yeah.
Spread the news for all to hear.
We’ve come to fight, let’s make that clear.
You push too hard, you’re gonna fall.
We got fifty million rockers, we’re all on guard, yeah!
We don’t like it. (Oh, no!)
We can make it stop (Oh, yeah!)
We won’t take it (C’mon!)
Let it rock!
You in the Middle East, you be on your toes.
We’re bound to strike, everybody knows.
Just tell your friends, the USSR
We’re gonna, we’re gonna crash that party, ’cause they’ve gone too far, yeah!
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
Yes, it was Pete Townshend who thumped big mouthed yippie/commie Abbie Hoffman off the Woodstock stage with his guitar. But Townshend did state years after the song was released that it’s against all forms of -isms.
Nonetheless, Libertarians and anti-establishment Republicans have embraced the song as their own.
(You Can Still) Rock in America – Night Ranger
No ifs, ands or buts about it. You really can still rock in America.
There’ll Always Be An England – The Sex Pistols [Well, sort of]
In spite of the fact that The Sex Pistols never sing nary a word of the Vera Lynn WWII ultra-patriotic song, there’s something to be said of how endearing it is to have the audience open a Punk Rock concert by belting out that particular tune.
Especially heartwarming is when Lydon tells the assembled punks;
“Thank you for singing along to ‘There’ll Always be an England’! ‘Cause as long as we exist, there’ll f*****g well will be!”