I checked my e-mail for the first time in a few days, and in it I had a very nice invitation from one pseudonymous Jon Swift (who does have a great e-handle) to check out his list of 50 more conservative rock songs
. This blogger sent me this despite knowing that I mocked the previous list, and that I was sure to mock his list as well (patience, dear readers, I'll get to it!). I did, however, want to extend to Mr. Swift a thank you for his gracious invitation and to let him know that the mocking is nothing personal and meant in good humor. In fact, when I have a bit more time, I'll post a list of 50 "left-wing" country songs where I take selective quotes out of context and interpret them liberally for him to mock. It's all about trading traffic, right?
So let's get to the business of chuckling at someone else's expense, shall we?
According to Ann Althouse, "To be a great artist is inherently right wing. A great artist like Dylan or Picasso may have some superficial, naive, lefty things to say, but underneath, where it counts, there is a strong individual, taking responsibility for his place in the world and focusing on that."
I understand that conservatives like to claim a monopoly on things like being strong and taking responsibility - unless they are talking about those mean liberal judges who are thwarting the will of the people, or those nasty secularists who are busy still
persecuting the right-wing Christians who control all three branches of government.
You begin to wonder if there really is any such thing as a liberal rock song. I think a lot of liberal critics twist the meanings of some of the lyrics, pull words out of context or just willfully blind themselves to the real meaning of many rock songs.
I just blew milk out of my nose. Pot, meet kettle.
I'm going to assume that we're using the same criteria the NRO
used for their list, except interpreted more, ahem
1. Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Has there ever been a more succinct summation of the philosophy of conservatism? I could listen to this song again and again and again and again.
If this is the most succinct summation of conservative philosophy available, I think we could all agree then that conservatism is the most vapid political ideology around. 2400+ dead American soldiers? Not my problem! Saddling our children with a crushing debt to finance our foreign misadventures? Hey, it's not my money! Failure to protect life, liberty, and property in NOLA? What, me worry?
2. Bruce Springsteen, "Born in the USA"
How could the National Review have missed this one? Ronald Reagan loved this patriotic song and used it during his campaign, which must have made Bruce Springsteen very proud. I love to sing the words aloud: "Something, something, something, etc./BORN IN THE USA!"
They probably missed it because it's an indictment of me-first Americanism. But, you'd have to listen to more than the words in the chorus to figure that one out. Incidentally, the Boss has asked several times that Republicans not use this song for their campaigns.
10. Iggy Pop, "I'm a Conservative"
"When you're conservative you get a better break/You're always on the right side" This is so true.
This is the sort of thing that drives ms. wobs crazy - missing the obvious sarcasm.
11. Barry Sadler, "Ballad of the Green Berets"
"Fighting soldiers from the sky/Fearless men who jump and die/Men who mean just what they say/The brave men of the Green Beret." If it weren't unmanly to cry I'd be tearing up right about now.
I saw this advertised on an album of Country Classics. How this got thrown in the hopper as a rock song is anyone's guess, but I'll applaud Mr. Swift's, ahem
, liberal interpetation of what qualifies as a rock song.
12. Neil Young, "Let's Roll"
If he wrote more songs like this and stopped writing songs that dis Lynyrd Skynyrd and our President, I wouldn't have signed the petition to have him deported back to Canada.
First, conservatives have absolutely no
ownership over 9/11 - what happened on that day happened to everyone in the United States, regardless of political affiliation, national origin, etc. The people on Flight 93 of whom Neil Young wrote were not all Republicans. It's a tale of heroism and sacrifice that belongs to humanity, not one political party. Incidentally, seeing some conservatives (and I do not know whether Mr. Swift falls into this category, not having read beyond one post in his blog) appropriate this particular narrative of heroism while supporting a war in which they are unwilling to enlist themselves or their children to fight makes me a little nauseous.
Second, Neil Young didn't diss Skynyrd. It was quite the opposite. Young wrote "Southern Man," which Skynyrd responded to in "Sweet Home Alabama." Of course, Skynyrd didn't realize that Young was referring to old-fashioned Yankee Imperialism, not the denizens of the Southeast.
17. Beatles, "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"
There are so many great conservative Beatles songs. The National Review had two, "Taxman" and "Revolution," but I especially love this celebration of gun ownership. I'm sure that John Lennon would be a member of the NRA if he were alive today since he was a great believer in individual freedom.
There's that milk again. I may have to stop reading this list, otherwise I'm going to ruin AFT's property. I hope we're all enjoying the irony of John Lennon being an NRA member if he hadn't been gunned down
in front of the Dakota.
18. Byrds, "Turn, Turn, Turn"
All the lyrics come from the Bible, which is, of course, conservative.
Um... have you read the Bible? There's some pretty lefty things in there. Taking care of the poor. "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven"? If Mr. Swift wants to politicize the Bible, I'll take him on in that fight. I'm not going to say it's a leftist text, but it sure as hell ain't a conservative book.
22. The Village People, "In the Navy"
A moving tribute to our fighting forces by a group of men who dress like real men from a time when no one had ever heard of a metrosexual.
But they were gay, gay, gay! Really gay! Out and proud gay! And they were alluding to a long history of homosexuality on the high seas! C'mon, listen to the damn songs and understand the context in which they were written before adding them to your list! I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that he's not praising "YMCA" as a ditty extolling the virtues of youth service.Intermission
I realize this has become a long post, so you might want to take a break, stretch, grab another beverage from the fridge, pee, etc. We'll wait.
23. Ted Nugent, "I Just Wanna Go Hunting"
It's a mystery why the most prominent conservative, NRA card-carrying, non-drug-taking, beef jerky-selling rock 'n' roller was left of the National Review's list.
Finally! A song on this list that makes fucking sense!
24. Pink Floyd, "Another Brick In The Wall, Part II"
"We don't need no education." Clearly, this is an argument for home schooling.
Hey, us hippie lefties started the home-schooling craze long before you conservatives pulled your kids out of private school. And clearly, this song is not
about home schooling. It's about rebelling against the stultifying conformity of bourgeois England. Did he listen to the rest of the words in that song?
25. Jennifer Lopez, "Jenny from the Block"
Liberals think there is something wrong with making money but as JLo proves, making a lot of money didn't make her any more arrogant than she already was.
Okay, that was funny.
29. Gorillaz, "Dirty Harry"
"I need a gun to keep myself from harm." A tribute to the Second Amendment, although since they live in England the amendment probably has a different number.
Um... England doesn't have a constitutional right to bear arms. Or a document which would be the rough equivalent of our Constitution. And again, I think we may be missing some tongue-firmly-in-cheek commentary here.
33. Beastie Boys, "Fight for Your Right (to Party)"
Civil rights, schmivel rights. Here's a fight a conservative can really back wholeheartedly.
By this logic, conservatives should also support youth smoking, skipping school, porn, and pissing of your parents.
34. Crosby Stills Nash and Young, "Ohio"
"Should have been done long ago," CSN&Y sing about the shooting of anti-war protesters at Kent State, which sounds harsh but true. A cautionary song about what could happen when you protest against the government.
Uh, no. You don't get to appropriate a song that clearly comes out against the government shooting students (who weren't part of the protests, as I recall) in the back as they were fleeing.
38. The Rascals, "People Got To Be Free"
Any song that talks about freedom is conservative, of course.
Unless, of course, you're talking about freedom to criticize the president, freedom to marry who you want, regardless of what gender or sex that person may be, freedom to put drugs in your body, freedom to use the telephone without the government logging your call, etc.
41. Guns N Roses, "One in a Million"
Axl Rose's "Anti-Immigrant Song."
I'm glad to see conservatives are re-embracing racism these days.
42. Bob Marley, "Redemption Song"
"Have no fear for atomic energy." Marley's "song of freedom" from the "mental slavery" of environmentalism.
Wow - and they call leftists post-modern. Mr. Swift is probably unaware that there is a pro-nuclear energy wing of the environmental movement - which is forgivable. What's not forgivable is pigeon-holing this song as an anti-environmentalist screed.
43. Toby Keith, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)”
"You’ll be sorry that you messed with/The U.S. of A./'Cause we'll put a BOOT in your ass/It's the American way." President Bush now says he regrets the tough language he used but I'm sure Toby Keith doesn't.
45. Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the U.S.A."
"I'm proud to be an American/where at least I know I'm free." I almost didn't include this song because the "at least" sounds suspiciously liberal.
Argh! Not rock songs! Not rock songs!
44. Edgar Winter Group, "Frankenstein"
I included this song because the National Review list included "Godzilla," though I'm not sure why. I think it's because monsters are conservative for some reason.
Hey, that's as compelling a reason as anything else on this non-sensical list!
48. Britney Spears, "Oops...I Did It Again"
Bush supporter, wife, mother and role model Britney Spears doesn't feel the need to apologize for her "mistakes" because the men who might have thought she led them on should take personal responsibility for their actions.
First off - not a great song. Horrific, really. Second, assuming Mr. Swift's interpretation is spot on, isn't Britney Spears making a feminist statement, that she shouldn't be viewed as a sex object and should be allowed to act the way she wants without unwanted male attention?
And Britney Spears a role model? The one who drove her car with her child on her lap? The one who hired little people to entertain at her douchebag of a husband's birthday party?
Oops! Big ole milk spray there. I think I've finally wore out my welcome here![updated 6/5/06 at 11:18 AM]:
Yeah, I know. I'm a tool