Presidential Rock-n-Roll?
February 17, 2005 7:55 AM   Subscribe

My weekend hobby band likes to jam to particular themes when the calendar dictates. Last week it was all love songs and anti-loves songs. This coming Monday being Presidents' Day in the U.S. we thought we would rock the basement with songs that fit the theme. But what songs?

So far the only ideas we have come up with are things like the traditional "Whitehouse Blues" or even "It's Alright Ma" ("sometimes even the President of the United States must have to stand naked!"), but that's where we seem to be drawing a blank. We play a lot of Grateful Dead covers, so things like U.S. Blues or even Liberty are also likely candidates.

You probably will assume correctly that the band is made up of left-leaning folks, so if that helps with your suggestion, all the better.
posted by terrapin to Media & Arts (37 answers total)
 
How about something from The Presidents of the United States of America?
posted by nitsuj at 8:05 AM on February 17, 2005


Songs featuring the G sharp minor 11th or an F sharp major 1st inversion.
posted by riffola at 8:06 AM on February 17, 2005


Anything by The Monkeys.
posted by bondcliff at 8:09 AM on February 17, 2005


Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man) by Randy Newman. Or not.
posted by loquax at 8:10 AM on February 17, 2005


I do not endorse the action itself but, there's always Kill the President by Coffin Break. The band name link has a .wma download of the song so you can learn it in advance.
posted by safetyfork at 8:13 AM on February 17, 2005


Fortunate Son?
posted by mzurer at 8:17 AM on February 17, 2005


Campaigner (Neil Young)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:17 AM on February 17, 2005


"James K. Polk" by They Might Be Giants?
posted by Gucky at 8:22 AM on February 17, 2005


Impeach the President?
Hail to the Chief?
posted by box at 8:22 AM on February 17, 2005


Election Day by Duran Duran.
Meet El Presidente by Duran Duran.
The Love of Richard Nixon by The Manic Street Preachers.
posted by biffa at 8:23 AM on February 17, 2005


Elected by Alice Cooper
posted by riffola at 8:27 AM on February 17, 2005


You could cover all the various "theme" songs of candidates, as in Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thnking About Tomorrow" for Clinton, etc.

Although, considerably more obscure than covering a Dead Kennedys tune.
posted by Gucky at 8:30 AM on February 17, 2005


Wyclef Jean's "President"
Lee Perry's "President Dub"
Nation of Ulysses's "Presidents of Vice"
Bowie's "Young Americans" (do you remember, your President Nixon...)
The Meter's "Big Chief"
posted by hellbient at 8:34 AM on February 17, 2005


"Christ for President" by Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg/Wilco
posted by u2604ab at 8:40 AM on February 17, 2005


There's lots of folk and country songs about old assassinations: check out The Ballad of Charles Guiteau and Mister Garfield about Charles Garfield, or White House Blues about William McKinley.

(I imagine there's some good punk songs about Hinckley shooting Reagan too, but you'd have to ask someone else about those.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2005


"Politician" by Cream (and a great cover by Los Lobos, too)
posted by octothorpe at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2005


All these might be a bit of a reach, but maybe, just maybe...?

Talking Heads - Don't Worry about the Government.
Ramones - Bonzo goes to Bitburg
the entire Lambchop Nixon album

on preview: Chris Stamey (from the db's) has a new album with Yo La Tengo as his backing band. They do a decent version of Cream's "Politician" too...
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:50 AM on February 17, 2005


The Violent Femmes'eses Old Mother Regan off of Add it up?
Curse you gucky, you stole mine!
posted by Capn at 8:53 AM on February 17, 2005


Electioneering! It's fun!

Songs featuring the G sharp minor 11th or an F sharp major 1st inversion.

And it's easy!
posted by Drexen at 9:00 AM on February 17, 2005


"The New World" by X.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:05 AM on February 17, 2005


The President by Robyn Hitchcock, from the Element of Light album. I believe this makes passing reference to the same event described in the Ramones' "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg".
posted by matildaben at 9:25 AM on February 17, 2005


"Where Have All the Good Times Gone?" by Van Halen.
posted by hellbient at 9:25 AM on February 17, 2005


Or the original by The Kinks, hellbient. (sorry. Pet peeve of mine)
posted by terrapin at 9:29 AM on February 17, 2005


They Might Be Giants' version of "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" from The Future Dictionary Of America Soundtrack.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:35 AM on February 17, 2005


Also, you could do an all-Reagan set if you wanted.

Translator: Ronnie Ray-Gun Blues
Joe Jackson: Right and Wrong
Billy Bragg: I Don't Need This Pressure, Ron
Dick Gaughn: Think Again
Gil Scott-Heron: B Movie
Van Dyke Parks: Trade War
Camper Van Beethoven: Sweethearts, Cowboys From Hollywood
Carmaig de Forest: Hey Judas
Ramones: Bonzo Goes to Bitburg
Shattered Faith: Reagan Country
Dead Kennedys: California Über Alles (In God We Trust, Inc. version)
Public Enemy: Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
Hasil Adkins: Reagan Blues
The Minutemen: If Reagan Played Disco
Robyn Hitchcock: The President
Non Phixon: I Shot Reagan
A.P.P.L.E.: Impeach Reagan
D.O.A: Fucked Up Ronnie
D.R.I.: Reaganomics
Wasted Youth: Reagan's In
The Fartz: Battle Hymn of Ronald Reagan
Prince: Ronnie Talk 2 Russia
INXS: Guns in the Sky
Dead Kennedys: Moral Majority
D.I.: Reagan's Der Fuhrer
Prince: Ronnie Talk to Russia
Reagan Youth: Reagan Youth
Joseph Beuys: Sun Instead of Reagan
TSOL: Abolish Government/ Silent Majority
Bruce Cockburn: People See Through You
R.E.M.: Ignoreland
NOFX: Reagan Sucks
Suicidal Tendencies: I Shot the Devil
Gil Scott-Heron: Re-Ron
Violent Femmes: Old Mother Reagan
Austin Lounge Lizards: Ballad of Ronald Reagan
Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Two Tribes
Reathel Bean & The DBC (aka Garry Trudeau): Rapmaster Ronnie
Demented Youth: Assassination Attempt
NOFX - Reagan Sucks
Tesla: Modern Day Cowboy
Iron Maiden: Two Minutes To Midnite
Sick of It All: We Want the Truth
Midnight Oil: Minutes to Midnight
Loudon Wainwright III: Talking Ronald Reagan Blues
Bonzo Goes to Washington: (We Begin Bombing in) 5 Minutes
Old Skull: Homeless
CCCP: American/Soviets
XTC: Living Through Another Cuba

list taken from here.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:50 AM on February 17, 2005


terrapin - deep down, i knew that (no really)...thanks.
i was thinkin' it'd be more for the "kids", you know...

another:
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" - Tears for Fears
posted by hellbient at 9:51 AM on February 17, 2005


Fuzzy Monster, that's awesome.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:59 AM on February 17, 2005


Send in the Clowns.
posted by fenriq at 10:14 AM on February 17, 2005


Dead Kennedys: California Über Alles (In God We Trust, Inc. version)

Indeed-- redone for the Reagan era, and subtitled 'We've Got a Bigger Problem Now'. Last call for alcohol, last call for freedom of speech. Drink up.... happy hour is now enforced by law. Good stuff.
posted by jokeefe at 10:26 AM on February 17, 2005


Thanks all! We may have to play for 3 days straight to do all of these ... and That's Alright Ma
posted by terrapin at 10:50 AM on February 17, 2005


"I Wanna Be a Boss" by Stan Ridgway
posted by AJaffe at 11:01 AM on February 17, 2005


The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum - Funboy 3
You Haven't Done Nothing - Stevie Wonder
posted by black8 at 11:04 AM on February 17, 2005


"Hinkley Had a Vision" by the Crucifucks
posted by AJaffe at 11:13 AM on February 17, 2005




Pigs (Three Different Ones) by Pink Floyd
posted by grateful at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2005


Okay... ya'll beat me to "Old Mother Reagan" and even "Mr Garfield." But I don't think anyone's posted "The Ballad of Squeaky Fromme" (the woman who tried to dust Gerald Ford) .
posted by Clay201 at 4:14 PM on February 17, 2005


The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum - Funboy 3

Weren't they British? Because there's a whole other category of songs about Margaret Thatcher (starting of course with The Smiths, Margaret on the Guillotine, which landed Morrissey a night in jail, I believe).
posted by jokeefe at 5:27 PM on February 17, 2005


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