Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folk Music and Political Campaigns

Rick Fielding 02 Oct 99 - 11:00 PM
emily rain 02 Oct 99 - 11:14 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Oct 99 - 11:24 PM
paddymac 03 Oct 99 - 12:01 AM
emily rain 03 Oct 99 - 12:11 AM
sophocleese 03 Oct 99 - 12:31 AM
emily rain 03 Oct 99 - 12:34 AM
sophocleese 03 Oct 99 - 12:38 AM
Susan of DT 03 Oct 99 - 02:47 AM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 99 - 03:01 AM
dick greenhaus 03 Oct 99 - 06:43 PM
G. Ted 03 Oct 99 - 07:04 PM
Allan S 03 Oct 99 - 07:15 PM
bill\sables 03 Oct 99 - 07:36 PM
katlaughing 03 Oct 99 - 08:09 PM
Lesley N. 03 Oct 99 - 09:29 PM
Mudjack 03 Oct 99 - 09:52 PM
WyoWoman 03 Oct 99 - 10:16 PM
Art Thieme 06 Oct 99 - 11:30 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Oct 99 - 11:40 AM
Lady McMoo 06 Oct 99 - 11:46 AM
Susanne (skw) 06 Oct 99 - 05:16 PM
Mark Clark 06 Oct 99 - 06:24 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Oct 99 - 06:34 PM
ddw 06 Oct 99 - 09:18 PM
Susan A-R 06 Oct 99 - 11:14 PM
Art Thieme 07 Oct 99 - 12:16 AM
Peter T. 07 Oct 99 - 04:59 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Oct 99 - 10:14 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 08 Oct 99 - 09:54 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 11:00 PM

Being the political junkie I am, and finding the politics of my own country, Canada, deathly boring, I've spent many thousands of otherwise useful hours following American politics and especially election campaigns. We used to have two (major)parties, the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, who in my opinion were idealogically pretty similar. A third party with somewhat more leftist views (The New Democrats) was formed about 40 years ago, and in recent times has been joined by the Reform Party (perhaps equivalent to the conservative wing of the Republicans) and the Parti Quebecois, who want La Belle Province out of Canada big time. I've sung and written folk (style) fight songs for both the Liberals (paying gig) and NDP, (socialists don't pay) but can't remember any actual trad songs ever being used in campaigns.

In another thread a mudcatter suggested the irony in the song "This Land is Your Land" being sung in American political campaigns run by arch conservatives(which it most certainly has). The thought of Pat Buchanan urging his followers to sing out for America and perhaps not knowing that it's author was a strong Communist supporter strikes me as pretty funny.

One of the early songs I learned (from "The People's Song Book" - a subversive publication if I ever saw one) was Jefferson and Liberty, recycled later (I believe) as Lincoln and Liberty. I was trying to remember if anything else that we might even loosely call "folk" was used in recent memory - maybe for Carter or McGovern. (I believe that "We Shall Overcome" was sung during Bobby Kennedy's campaign) Randy Newman (the songwriter) alluded to folk songs being used in some of Huey Long's campaigns, and of course Governor Jimmie Davis wrote "You Are My Sunshine" which is probably "perceived" as a folk tune.

I've heard lots of parodies lately (some of them brilliantly written) aimed at Clinton and Gore but they've been for the most part written to well known rock tunes. I wonder if the left will also reject a "folk style" when the songs that satirize the "right" during the upcoming campaign, start making their appearance.

Rick (who thinks Pierre Trudeau was the last interesting Canadian Prime Minister)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: emily rain
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 11:14 PM

sorry your politics are so boring, but i gotta admit, i prefer boredom to international humiliation.

rick, surely you've seen the tim robbins movie "bob roberts"? rich ultra-conservative wacko uses folk music to increase his appeal and memorability (and to set off the dullness of his old fashioned liberal opponent). it didn't turn out to be enough to get him elected, though...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 11:24 PM

Actually Emily I HAVEN'T seen it yet, and it sounds right up my alley. I'm a Tim Robbins fan.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 12:01 AM

Rick - your reference to "Jefferson & Liberty" - "Lincoln & Liberty" caught my eye. I did a thread about a month ago on parodies of "Rosin the Bow/Beau" in which folks located several campaign songs using that tune, including "Lincoln & Liberty", but the "Jeffersonian" version didn't come up. Could you find time to post those lyrics? I would be very grateful, as would those others with an interest in political use of folk music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: emily rain
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 12:11 AM

here's an entry from the card catalog of my local public library:

Songs America Voted By; with the words and music that won and lost elections and influenced the democratic process

Compiled and edited with historical notes by Irwin Silber

c. 1971 by Stackpile Books

notes: in part melodies with chord symbols, in part without music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: sophocleese
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 12:31 AM

Rick I strongly advise seeing the Tim Robbins movie, but emily, he did get elected on the strength of his popularity and dirty politics. I watched it while we were gearing up here for the last provincial elections and it got me down a little but did help to prepare me more for Mike Harris. I have to go to bed now so I should stop thinking about Harris.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: emily rain
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 12:34 AM

soph! you told the end! that's what i was trying to avoid! don't you dare say any more! and rick, forget you saw that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: sophocleese
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 12:38 AM

ooops! sorry I AM tired and will now creep away...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Susan of DT
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 02:47 AM

Rick - try a search on @political. We use it in a very broad sense, so it will pull up a lot of songs you may not be looking for, but will also pull up a number of campaign related songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 03:01 AM

Say, Rick, isn't there a folk-style song about Pierre Trudeau? He certainly was interesting. At the time, I wondered how we could get stuck with such losers, while you had somebody like Trudeau. Well, maybe you've caught us with us.
I still wonder why Mario Cuomo was never nominated. Like him or hate him, he sure is an interesting character. personally, I think he's grand.
I'd agree with Emily's suggestion. If you're interested in the music of U.S. politics, you really should have a copy of Irwin Silber's Songs America Voted By. It's out of print, but readily available through http://www.bookfinder.com/. I'm afraid you won't see folk songs in U.S. elections - country and pop songs, certainly; but not folk.

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 06:43 PM

Jefferson and Liberty did not share a tune with Lincoln and Liberty; It's set to a fine Irish dance tune.

If you really want the lyrics (and tune) you could try a search for [Jefferson and Liberty] in DigiTrad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: G. Ted
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 07:04 PM

I worked on a couple of campaigns and I can say that most often the lyrics are customized for the candidate. Carol Mosely Braun had a band that played nothing but customized songs for her cause. As for the movie Bob Roberts, it's my favorite and I love the songs. Sometimes my friends and I would sing the songs just to piss people off. I mean, the songs "Drugs stink" and "some people will have" are just wonderful. We tried like hell to get a copy but Tim Robbins didn't record just the songs, I guess he didn't want to give fuel to the Republicans. In most political science departments it's a cult favorite.

G. Ted terrabus@hotmail.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Allan S
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 07:15 PM

Dont forget Pete Segar Out there rousing the rabble for the peoples party when Henry Wallace was running for pres. Really the com.party in disguise They even put out a song book. called peoples songs. Now doesnt that sound famaliar


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: bill\sables
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 07:36 PM

Rick, Here in England we have had at each general election and by election a candidate by the name of Screaming Lord Sutch, aka David Sutch, His party was called "The Monster Raving Loonie Party" and his proposals were "Lead Free Pencils," and "Christmas twice a year" and "Treadmills in every village and town for joggers to generate electricty for old people". Needless to say he never got elected. He used to show up at elections in a gold top hat and leopard skin coat and according to Guinness holds the record for loosing elections and deposits most times. He was however a rock singer in the 60s and hat hit records with "Jack the Ripper" and "She's fallen in love with a monster man" He brought humour and colour to an otherwise sombre occasion but I often wondered what he would have been like if he had won and become prime minister. Probably not much diferent to the other monster raving loonies we have at the moment. Cheers Bill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 08:09 PM

G.Ted: GOOD NEWS!! The songs from Bob Roberts are available for only $3.00! I decided to go looking to see if they finally allowed them to be released. If you CLICK HERE, you will find a track listing as well as links to the ordering address and page. They even have WAV samples, so I guess it's legit! Have fun, kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Lesley N.
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 09:29 PM

Jefferson and Liberty was set to the tune "Gooby-O" - an old Irish reel - words by Robert Treat Paine, Jr. Lincoln and Liberty was set to Rosin the Beau - words by Jefferson Hutchinson.

This is from Songs People Vote By - which I can't recommend enough - a FASCINATING resource I found through bibliofind. (And the information is in the DT too - as are the lyrics to both!)

Nixon had a campaign song to the tune Merrily We Roll Along??? And Click with Dick -

Come on an click with Dick,
the one that none can lick... He's the mad to lead the USA
In Dick we have the one,
Who turly gets things done,
Ev'ry time he has his say.
He's a man of peace and reason
For the job in ev'ry season
And he knows how to fight,
When he is in the fight,
So let's all click with Dick.

Words and music by Olivia Hoffman, George Stork and Clarence Fuhrman.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Mudjack
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 09:52 PM

John Stewart's "Califonia Bloodlines" was written in memory of Bobby Kennedy and addresses some of the issues for that time. John was on the campaign trail with Bobby all up and down the state of California. Likely John Stewart's best work.
Mudjack


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: WyoWoman
Date: 03 Oct 99 - 10:16 PM

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is no mayoral run-off or primary, so it's often a very crowded field. The year before I moved to Wyoming, there were 13 mayoral candidates, ranging from wacky to wackier. One of them said she wasn't actually running herself, but was channeling the spirit of Tommy Macaione, a dead artist who used to run for mayor all the time.

So I decided if everyone and his dog was running for mayor, I'd just enter my little dog Bob in the race. I announced him in my column one week and replaced my mug with a photo of Bob yawning.

I'm pleased to say he garnered three write-in votes, in addition to my own. Not enough to win, but it was more votes than any other dog had ever received for mayor of Santa Fe.

WyoWoman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 11:30 AM

Much of the thread I started a few years back on J.F.K. songs might be what you're looking for Rick. Also the thread called (I think) "Kennedy Songs"

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 11:40 AM

Thanks Art.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 11:46 AM

I quite agree Bill/S ....and probably brought more joy to the world than some others, e.g. she of the patent for filling ice cream with air!

mcmoo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 05:16 PM

Joe - I have a bilingual (macaronic?) song on Pierre Trudeau written by Vera Johnson, of whom I know nothing, apart from the fact that she is Canadian, fairly old by now (if she is still alive), and two more songs I have, 'The Do-It-Yourself Divorce' and the 'Censor Song'. I haven't fully worked out the French bits of 'Pierre Trudeau'. Maybe Rick would be able to help if I posted them? - Susanne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Mark Clark
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 06:24 PM

In 1963 I was hired to play at a campaign rally for Mayor Richard J. Daly at Medinah Temple in Chicago. As I recall, the songs used traditional (or then-popular "folk") melodies but the words were just cute but empty campaign rhetoric. As it turned out, he won reelection anyway.

- Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 06:34 PM

Susanne I know of several songs (not folk songs) that were written about Pierre Trudeau, and what a bunch of stinkers they were! I recall one called "Check out PM Pierre" that defied description. I've not heard whether Vera Johnson (who made a couple of albums) is still with us. Sandy might know. I'll try to translate but my french is pretty bad.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: ddw
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 09:18 PM

Hi Bill Sables....

Sorry to rain on your parade, but Screaming Lord Sutch died a few months ago — killed himself, if I remember the stories correctly.

I didn't see it, but a friend who — like me — thought he was great said a story moved a few days ago about his successor as leader of the Monster Raving Loonies. Hope he'll be as colourful.

P.S.: Really sorry I didn't have a chance to get in touch while we were in the U.K. last month, but we just never seemed to make it anywhere with much energy left at the end of the day and I spent the whole time with no music except my own playing as a balm for my driving-jangled nerves. But I will — like MacArther — return. And next time I will get into the music scene, for sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Susan A-R
Date: 06 Oct 99 - 11:14 PM

Didn't Oscar Brand just put out a remarkable recording of campaign songs for US presidents (Including a long song that gives a verse to each president from Washington right on up to Bill) I heard the Jefferson and Liberty cut, and the Lincoln and Liberty one (although I'm pretty familiar with that one) I believe that Grandfather's Clock also got parodied, and when I saw Jay Unger and Moly Mason, they did a couple of dance tunes written for presidents (pretty nice ones)

I think that Pete Seeger also used to sing Prescious Friend as a kind of cynical comment on Nixon?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 12:16 AM

Oscar Brand's LP of campaign songs was on Folkways. Now, as a CD it's probably on Smithsonian Folkways. It must have some new songs added if there is one about Bill Clinton.

I first heard VERA JOHNSON when Cathy Fink and Duck Donald introduced me to her and her music in Winnipeg at the big festival there. The one in Birdshill Park. Very did come to Chicago where she did a concert for the folk society known as Aural Tradition. I do hope that she's healthy and happy and going strong. Be sure to giver her my regards...

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 04:59 PM

Worth mentioning that "Bob Roberts" is a dreary movie (I too am a Tim Robbins fan, but this was one of those films you are supposed to like because of its politics, but a few more hours with the script would have helped.

Anyone else remember the Jesse Winchester version of "I Like Franklin D. Roosevelt" changed to "I like Pierre Trudeau" -- seriously weird.
yours, Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 10:14 AM

Did anyone notice that at least one of the recordings used as background in Bob Roberts was by an obscure folkie named Woodrow Wilson Guthrie? (It was playing while the credits were on).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folk Music and Political Campaigns
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 09:54 PM

And don't forget W.C. Handy's "Mr. Crump" which later became "Memphis Blues". According to Handy Crump paid little bands to play it on street corners, and it helped get him elected.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 April 1:12 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.