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The Heavy

The Ultimate Playlist for Your Next Political Rally (as Long as You're Not a Republican)

Music ListWeston PaganoComment

It happens every election cycle - politician plays song at rally, artist complains, politician replaces it with another song, that artist complains, rinse, wash, repeat.

Of course many musicians do pledge support of some campaigns and lend their tunes to the cause (Killer Mike and Grizzly Bear's stumping for Bernie Sanders being recent highlights), but it's always the conflicts that get more news time and are, well, more amusing.

While America's touring president-hopefuls usually turn to safe, generic fight songs and vaguely patriotic anthems for firing up their attending constituents there can sometimes be peculiarly glaring disconnects, from Trump's doomsday-implicating entrance to an incensed R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It," to Reagan evoking the ostensible feel-good nationalism of Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A.," a song that is actually a clear criticism of the US government and its war-mongering. But even if it's just a song about the sun, there will likely be complaints assuming the politician has one thing in common - the GOP.

Often candidates are technically allowed to play the tunes in question due to the venue holding a blanket license with a performance rights organization (PRO) that pays out royalties for such public performances of the songs. But sometimes the candidates are not covered and thus fall afoul of copyright infringement. Those responsible usually back down either way once a complaint is lodged, even if only out of awkwardness. While it's rare, there are a few examples of lawsuits actually taking place, most notably the time also-bassist Mike Huckabee had to cough up $25,000 in reparations for tainting Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger." 

While countless pieces have been penned (and performed) on this matter before, we at Transverso have taken the liberty of being the first to compile all (well, at least until Trump adds to it again) of the songs that have been retroactively barred from being used as sweet, sweet misappropriated right-wing propaganda in recent years into one playlist. In the age of Spotify hawking mix tapes from "Teen Party" to "Jock Jams" to "Not Your Mother's Christian Music," we figured why not curate the ultimate collection of tracks for you to use at your next campaign speech or event - that is, of course, if you're not a Republican.

The playlist itself is sorted by artist name, and we also provided a list of the tracks below sorted by the names of the offending candidates and public figures.

Donald Trump

  • Adele - “Rolling in the Deep”

  • Adele - “Skyfall”

  • Aerosmith - “Dream On”

  • The Beatles - “Here Comes The Sun”

  • Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band - “All Right Now”

  • Neil Young - “Rockin’ in the Free World”

  • R.E.M. - “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

  • Rolling Stones - “Start Me Up”

  • Rolling Stones - “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

  • Queen - “We Are The Champions”

John McCain / Sarah palin

  • ABBA - “Take a Chance on Me”

  • Bon Jovi - “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”

  • Foo Fighters - “My Hero”

  • Gretchen Peters - “Independence Day”

  • Heart - “Barracuda”

  • Jackson Browne - “Running On Empty”

  • John Mellencamp - “Our Country”

  • John Mellencamp - “Pink Houses”

  • Orleans - “Still the One”

  • Van Halen - “Right Now”

George W. Bush

  • John Mellencamp - “R.O.C.K. in the USA”

  • Orleans - “Still the One”

  • Sting - “Brand New Day”

  • Tom Petty - “I Won’t Back Down”

George H. W. Bush

  • Bobby McFerrin - “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Newt Gingrich

  • The Heavy - “How You Like Me Now?”

  • Journey - “Don’t Stop Believing”

  • Survivor - “Eye of the Tiger”

Mitt Romney

  • K’Naan - “Wavin’ Flag”

  • Silversun Pickups - “Panic Switch”

Mike Huckabee (ft. Kim Davis)

  • Boston - “More Than a Feeling”

  • Survivor - “Eye of the Tiger”

Rand Paul

  • Rush - “Spirit of the Radio”

  • Rush - “Tom Sawyer”

Chuck Devore

  • Don Henley - “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”

  • Don Henley - “The Boys of Summer”

Michele Bachmann

  • Katrina & The Waves - “Walking On Sunshine”

  • Tom Petty - “American Girl”

Ronald Reagan / Bob Dole

  • Bruce Springsteen - “Born in the USA”

Marco Rubio

  • Axwell / Ingrosso - “Something New”

Paul Ryan

  • Twisted Sister - “We’re Not Gonna Take It”

Scott Walker

  • Dropkick Murphys - “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”

Charlie Crist

  • David Byrne - “Road to Nowhere”

Bob Dole

  • Sam & Dave - “Soul Man”

Joe Walsh

  • Joe Walsh - “Walk Away"