City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Friday Riffs: Which presidental candidate had the most effective campaign song?

We all know what Tuesday is, but let’s forget about the partisan arguing for a few minutes and remember how music used to play a significant part in a candidate’s campaign.

In recent years, the stories have mostly centered on candidates using an artist’s song without his or consent — and usually, said artist did not share the ideological beliefs of the candidate — but taking a look back, there were some memorable musical campaign moments.

Take a look at some of them and vote for the song you think was most effective in the poll at the end.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Happy Days Are Here Again,” by Ben Selvin and the Crooners

Harry Truman: “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” by Eubie Blake (this is the Judy Garland version)

John F. Kennedy, “High Hopes,” by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn (this is the specialized Sinatra version)

Jimmy Carter: “Why Not the Best?” by Oscar Brand

Ronald Reagan: “California, Here We Come,” by Buddy DeSylva (here’s the Al Jolson version). [Reagan briefly – and famously – used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” during a re-election run until Springsteen ordered him to stop.]

George H.W. Bush: “This Land is Your Land,” by Woodie Guthrie

Bill Clinton: “Don’t Stop,” by Fleetwood Mac

Al Gore: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman- Turner Overdrive

George W. Bush: “I Won’t Back Down,” by Tom Petty (that is, until Petty ordered him to stop.)

John McCain: “Take a Chance on Me,” by ABBA

Barack Obama: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder

Mitt Romney: “Born Free,” by Kid Rock

Which president had the most effective campaign song?

View Results

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7 comments Add your comment

mystery poster

November 2nd, 2012
11:04 am

Here are the complete lyrics to “This Land is Your Land” I don’t know how that would be an effective campaign song:

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

david c

November 2nd, 2012
11:41 am

“This Guitar Kills Fascists”

david c

November 2nd, 2012
11:42 am

Says it all.

Get It Right

November 2nd, 2012
2:46 pm

Seriously? Is there nothing of significance happening in “Atlanta’s Music Scene”? How about this? Check out Kelly Jarrard on Facebook or You Tube. Young singer/songwriter trying to get noticed.

Melissa Ruggieri

November 2nd, 2012
3:08 pm

There is plenty of significance here if you read through the entire blog. Friday Riffs is a weekly feature in which I share some videos and ask readers their thoughts on a timely event and its musical tie-in. Chill. Just trying to have a little fun. And there are thousands of singer-songwriters trying to get noticed on Facebook and YouTube. You can’t possibly expect me to know of every one.



November 2nd, 2012
3:20 pm

Tell em Melissa! Good article don’t listen to the complainers they are always miserable!

Get It Right

November 2nd, 2012
3:31 pm

I saw the blog, “Atlanta Music Scene” and thought I may see something about some good local talent. I love to go around and listen to live music. So, I was mistaken; no local music info here this week. I’m not complaining (GaPeachy) and no need to chill. I’ve been chastized and will seek local music information elsewhere.