Every four years, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in the United States of America come together to decry the negativity and hyperbole flooding the airwaves and to complain that election season is way too long. Then, on Election Day, we collectively give a sigh of relief to celebrate the end of the craziness.
As we approach the end of the 2016 presidential race, we thought we’d pay our respects to some of the greatest songs used (sometimes without permission or approval of the artist) during campaign events organized by candidates for the presidency. Here are our top 5:
Happy Days Are Here Again by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
Used most famously by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, “Happy Days Are Here Again” helped convey optimism in a troubled time, when the country was mired in a deep economic depression, and when political strife in Europe and Asia suggested another war world was possible.
California Here I Come by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Meyer
Like Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 signaled a political and ideological shift in the country, which had been beset by economic stagnation and international turmoil. Reagan, in running against an incumbent, argued that his successful service as Governor of California would translate to success as President, and he would be able to lead the country in very challenging times.
Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac
Bill Clinton won the Democratic Party nomination in 1992 despite a contentious primary, during which he secured himself the moniker “The Comeback Kid” after losing a state he had been projected to win due to damaging revelations. “Don’t Stop” has become his theme song in many ensuing political events.
Only In America by Brooks & Dunn
“Only In America” has been used widely by a variety of campaigns, most prominently by George W. Bush and by Barack Obama. In both cases, it served as an uplifting anthem to rally a deeply divided country.
You Can't Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones
Donald Trump has run a unique campaign, channeling the frustration of millions of people who have not felt heard or represented by government. The campaign songs used by his campaign similarly reflect the dissatisfaction and anger made manifest in a highly polarized nation.
What are your favorite campaign songs? Let us know!