Fooled Again

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John J. Miller's National Review list of the "50 Best Conservative Songs" is getting the kind of attention usually reserved for a Rolling Stone anniversary issue or a round of coitus at the Clintons' house. But the list gets off to a bumpy start with The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," which Miller pegs as "oath that swears off naive idealism once and for all." It's never been clear that this is what Pete Townsend was writing about. People have claimed the song is really an anti-war anthem, which is more likely than the Ballad of David Horowitz interpreted by Miller. Still, Republicans have glommed onto WGFA more than any other rock song, as remembered here by disgraced pundit Ben Domenech.

I'll never forget sitting in the First Union Center in Philadelphia for the 2000 GOP Convention, listening in between speakers as the Latin-themed canned music that played in the auditorium came to an abrupt, drum-crashing stop. The speakers suddenly started blasting Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," [sic] that horrid theme The Bill used during his dual campaigns. My mouth dropped in shock. Delegates started booing. What idiot had picked this music?

As the song hit the chorus, the track skipped, blipped, and Stevie Nicks screeched to a grinding halt…replaced by the patented Roger Daltrey shriek and the crunching Pete Townshend riff of "Won't Get Fooled Again." Images of Gore came to mind: "Meet the new boss/same as the old boss."

The hall erupted in applause, and I started laughing hysterically.

Hysterical laughter, of course, is the natural reaction to any situation involving Ben Domenech. Hysteria or depression is probably a better reaction to the idea that Republicans heard a guy sing "meet the new boss/same as the old boss" and thought of Al Gore before George W. Bush.

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  1. Hmmm… how about chiming in about the top libertarian songs!

    http://hammeroftruth.com/2006/05/25/top-libertarian-songs/

  2. hehe. Rush, The Trees. Funny how such simplistic list-making can lead National Review to equate Libertarianism with Conservatism.

    Good songwriting, er lyrics, always allows the listener to infer the meaning they want I guess.

  3. I think Right Here, Right Now should have been the #1 song.

    Cuz that song SUX!

  4. They played “WGFA” at a political convention?!
    Do they know what irony is? Top conservative song? The song isn’t apolitical, let alone conservative – it’s ANTI-political! Words are failing me…

  5. Wow. Miller’s so far away from the point of rock music that he’s coming up on it from the other side. There are no words.

  6. They missed the point on most of those songs. For instance, “Brick” does talk about the pain and shame of taking a girlfriend to an abortion clinic, but there is zero indication that having the state force his underage girlfriend into having an unwanted child would be a better situation.

  7. While I wouldn’t necessarily call WGFA “conservative,” Miller’s interpretation of it as a disillusioned revolutionary’s lament seems a lot more plausible to me than the idea that it’s an anti-war song.

  8. How can they forget Rage Aganist the Machine’s Bulls on Parade? Selective editing gets you the lyric “Rally round the family / With a pocket full of shells.”

    And where’s the Reagan/Springsteen Born in the USA anthem?

  9. I don’t think Miller really understood the lyrics to “City Was Gone.” I don’t think Miller really understood the lyrics to a lot of those songs, actually.

    “The farms of Ohio
    Were replaced by shopping malls
    And muzak was everywhere
    From Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls…

    I doubt those favorite places were replaced by parking spaces because of central planning, John. Sounds more like an ode to smart growth.

    “There was no train station
    There was no downtown.”

  10. oh my dear…

  11. “the track skipped, blipped, and Stevie Nicks screeched to a grinding halt”

    They were spinning vinyl at the 2000 convention?
    Now that’s what I call conservative.

  12. WGFA tops the list of NRO’s favorite songs? With the Bush administration recycling scare stories about WMD — this time in Iran — you gotta laugh.

  13. I don’t think Miller really understood the lyrics to a lot of those songs, actually.

    Y’think? I guess postmodern interpretation is OK with the National Review as long as it’s from a “conservative” point of view. Funny how, given enough time, people tend to become just exactly like their mortal enemies.

  14. This is just a stupid PR move by the Republicans to claim that some of these really cool rock songs have something to do with their piece-of-shit political party. Fuck them.

    w00t!

  15. I was hoping “3 Wooden Crosses” would be on there. I like that song a lot.

  16. For instance, “Brick” does talk about the pain and shame of taking a girlfriend to an abortion clinic, but there is zero indication that having the state force his underage girlfriend into having an unwanted child would be a better situation.

    And if you’ve heard Ben Folds talk about the song, he specifically says that he didn’t want to approach it from any sort of political standpoint. It’s just a reflection on his feelings at the time.

  17. Whoops, that was me.

  18. The Society for Individual Liberty used WGFA as the theme song in a movie they did about the libertarian break from the conservatives in the early seventies. As I recall, Nixon was the “new boss” and LBJ was the “old boss.”

  19. “WGFA tops the list of NRO’s favorite songs? With the Bush administration recycling scare stories about WMD — this time in Iran — you gotta laugh.”

    This is just like the conservation revisioning of Martin Luther King as a Booker T. Washington-type protocapitalist.

    Obviously, this NR writer isn’t too familiar with the Who’s ouevre and it seems like he was just grasping at titles to retrofit with a conservative pedigree (as if there wasn’t enough in the Lee Greenfield and CW song book for that kind of affiliation).

    A more apropo Who song for “conservative rock” would be Cry If You Want from the final Who studio albumIt’s Hard:

    Dont’ you get embarrassed when you read the precious things you said
    Many many years ago when life appeared rosy red
    No one ever shared your bed
    Nothing ever filled your head
    Except yourself and little Ted
    And scary dreams that you were dead.
    Don’t you want to hide your face
    When going through your teenage books
    And read the kind of crap you wrote
    About “Ban the Bomb” and city crooks
    Think about how long it took
    To get over that sudden “Yuk”
    When in the mirror you would look
    Well now my son you’re well in stook

    Cry if you want Cry if you want

    Didn’t you writh in anger when you saw the man in his big car
    Didn’t you drive a banger and a gallon didn’t get you far
    Should have been a famous star
    But that ain’t what you really are
    You could shout your last hurrah
    While they are propping up the bar
    Maybe things were better then
    Before you led a promised life
    Rash commitements and heavy raps and left wing spiel all compromised
    You fall in love with other’s wives
    Drive ’em nuts with empty lies
    Angry ‘cos you lost the prize
    Forgot the color of their eyes.

    Cry if you want Cry if you want

    Let your tears flow Let your past go

    Don’t you get embarrassed when you think about the way you were
    Yesterday the day before when you were young with much to learn
    Aren’t you glad it’s your last term
    No more acting lowly worm
    You can make the suckers squirm
    When you tell them how much you earn
    Don’t you feel ashamed at all the bitterness you keep inside
    Does your ego save your face “I had a go – I really tried”
    Now you know your leaders lied
    Does it stop you acting snide
    Or are you still a boy that cried
    Tears now surely long since dried.

    Even then, it’s not so much a conservative manifesto, as a middle aged man looking back at his youthful naivete and arrogant ignorance.

    I hated that song when I was in high school (1982), but now that I’m 40, I have to look at Townshend and say, yep, you nailed the middle age disgust at one’s youthful idiocy right on the head with that one. Looking back, the Kenney Jones albums weren’t so bad after all ….

  20. NR should leave music up to the libertarians (except for all those fucking awful Rush songs) and John J. Miller should stick to “stars and stripes forever” and other music you heard at wal-mart for about two weeks after september 11th.

  21. Yeah, Republicans trying to claim a rock song is a fool’s errand. I can’t see them picking something out and not have the artist burn them later.

    And joe, we’ve bitched before about idiots not listening to anything but the chorus. Yeah, “Born in the USA” sounds like a great patriotic song as long as you ignore the fucking words.

    Republicans: just stop kidding yourselves and stick with the white-trash country music.

  22. Proof positive of the banality of conservatism. Lacking creativity, they are incapable of producing anything of their own in order to stay abreast of social change. So, they steal the works of others (even those of a nature contridictory to their philosophy)in order to look “hip.”

    It’s sad.

  23. Hey Iconoclast – you still in Chicago?

  24. Isn’t “Janie’s Got a Gun” about a girl who shoots her father for molesting her?

    Hardly celebrates family values if it is.

  25. Oh man. Joe Strummer and Sid Vicious are rolling over in thier respective graves. “Rock the Cashbah” was written AGAINST a conservative regime in Iran that forbid the playing of rock and roll. I always saw the “It’s not an animal, it’s an abortion” line in “Bodies” as irony.
    We ought to get started on a Libertarian song list here…

  26. So far I’ve only seen disagreements with about four of the songs on the list; since everyone’s trying so hard to find errors, I guess that means the rest of the list is accurate.

  27. Seeing “Wouldn’t it be nice” on that list reminded me of that scene in Roger and Me, where the factory worker recalls how the chorus (actually the same bit quoted by NRO) ended up driving the man insane after being laid off.

  28. Obviously, this NR writer isn’t too familiar with the Who’s ouevre

    Didn’t Pete Townshend use to give talks to Tories about the evils of drug abuse?

    As for the NR writer, as a Michigan undergrad he used to write straightforward, nonpolitical reviews of alt-rock records for the campus conservative paper. His hair went halfway down his back, too, and he went to at least one Lollapalooza. I think his bona fides as a rock fan are in order, and I think he should be able to write articles like this without people assuming he’s just trying to “look ‘hip.'”

    Anyway, while there’s several songs on this list that don’t belong there, there’s plenty as well that should at the very least complicate people’s assumptions about rock’s cultural politics. Especially “Bodies.” Between that and “Holidays in the Sun,” it should be clear that the Sex Pistols don’t fit the classic left-wing mold any more than they belong under the conservative banner.

    My big problem with the article is the intro. As Clark Stoosbury pointed out, his rejection of “Let’s Impeach the President” (by Reagan fan Neil Young) and “Sweet Neo Con” (by Hayek fan [*] Mick Jagger) suggests that Miller is equating “conservative” with “Bush supporter.”

    [* Well, maybe a Hayek fan. You can’t really hold a man to something he said in a sketch for Saturday Night Live.]

  29. Hey, Joe” by Jimi Hendrix is a conservative song ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, that there are actually a good number of arguably libertarian songs, certainly more than songs that could be called “conservative”. Wonder if the LP is focusing too much energy in the wrong area. . . .

  30. ROFL

    ROFL

    ROFL

  31. Libertarian songs: For a simple, fun, unpretentious song that still gets the central message across, I like “Closer to Free” by the Bodeans.

    (It might be tainted by having been a TV theme song, but I never saw the show, so I’m unaffected by this.)

    I was hoping “3 Wooden Crosses” would be on there. I like that song a lot.

    I don’t know that song, but the title made me think of old “Two Hangmen” by Mason Proffit for a good libertarian song:

    As I rode into Tombstone on my horse whose name was Mac
    I saw what I relate to you goin’ on behind my back
    It seems the folks were up in arms a man now had to die
    For believin’ things that didn’t fit the laws they’d set aside
    The man’s name was “I’m a Freak” — the best that I could see
    He was an executioner a hangman just like me
    I guess that he’d seen loopholes from workin’ with his rope
    He’d hung the wrong man many times so now he turned to hope

    He’d talk to all the people from his scaffold in the square
    He told them of the things he found;
    But they didn’t seem to care
    He said the laws were obsolete, a change they should demand
    But the people only walked away, he couldn’t understand

    The Marshall’s name was Uncle Sam he said he’d right this wrong
    He’d make the hangman shut his mouth if it took him all year long
    He finally arrested Freak and then he sent for me
    To hang a fellow hangman from a fellow hangman’s tree

    It didn’t take them long to try him in their court of law
    He was guilty then of thinking a crime much worse than all
    They sentenced him to die so his seed of thought can’t spread
    And infect the little children; that’s what the law had said

    So the hangin’ day came ’round and he walked up to the noose
    I pulled the lever but before he fell I cut him loose
    They called it all conspiracy and that I had to die
    So to close our mouths and kill our minds they hung us side by side

    And now there’s two hangmen hangin’ from a tree
    That don’t bother me at all
    Two hangmen hangin’ from a tree
    That don’t bother me at all
    ——————————–

    I guess it can be interpreted as an anti-capital punishment song, but I see it more as an anti-War on Drugs song. Obsolete laws, unjust laws, “it’s for the children,” gov’t denial of truths … And it’s one of the few that doesn’t labor under the baggage of also praising the joys of getting stoned out of your mind. It’s simply about what’s right to do.

  32. Isn’t “Janie’s Got a Gun” about a girl who shoots her father for molesting her?

    Sure is. Or at least…

    tell me now it’s untrue
    what did her daddy do
    he jacked a little bitty baby
    the man has got to be insane
    they say the spell that he was under
    the lightning and the thunder
    knew that someone had to stop the rain

    …would suggest that it is. One wonders what he was thinking.

  33. “I don’t think Miller really understood the lyrics to ‘City Was Gone.'”

    Yeah, that was my reaction too. The slams on shopping malls, etc., make it at most a paleoconservative song. And given Chrissie Hynde’s political views, it’s probably even more accurately described as a Granger song.

  34. I wrote him and suggested “When the shit hits the fan” by the Circle Jerks, but it didn’t make the cut.

  35. If we’re talking Who songs about conservatives, I think Eminince Front describes this administration rather well.

    Come and join the party – Dress to kill
    Won’t you come and join the party – Dress to kill.

    …It’s a put on, it’s a put on…

  36. Well, it’s all pretty silly, but then again it’s no sillier than some of the stretches Dave Marsh has made to advance his agenda. Unless you really do believe that Madonna’s Holiday was a sardonic commentary on the capitalistic excesses of the Reagan era…

  37. There are at least two songs on the list that were used in Michael Moore movies, most notably WGFA near the end of Fahrenheit 911 where it was used to skewer Bush and his fumbling speech. The Roger & Me montage of urban decay set to the Beach Boys was great. Is this the first time that Moore and National Review have agreed about something?

    I think that Chrissy Hynde would disagree about My City was Gone, considering the attempts she made to force Limbaugh to quit using it on his show due to his political leanings.

    Was the Rage Against the Machine reference a joke? There is not a single thing in any RATM song that can be considered remotely conservative, Bulls on Parade criticizes the money spent on war and weapons instead of using it to provide education and libraries for poor people, leaving the residents with nothing left to do except commit crime to survive. Not exactly something that you will be hearing on O’Reilly anytime soon.

  38. The conservative movement is a fucking laugh. I won’t even click to the stupid list. The Who sing about growing up, the mistakes we make and the ways we all try and survive in this fucked-up world. For the vanguard rag of the conservative movement to attempt to co-opt something as beautiful and free as Townsend’s lyrics makes me sick, AGAIN.
    Long live rock and roll, the conservative wave has finally crested and is about to be swallowed up by its own hypocrisy, self-focus and utter fucking stupidity.

  39. I really like the first two Cranberries albums, and always wondered if “Icicle” was, as Miller suggests, an anti-abortion song.

  40. RATM is such a terrible band that I could only wish them upon the lefties.

  41. I’m surprised the theme from Cops didn’t make the list, given how that song has been misinterpreted by the law-and-order crowd…

  42. Was the Rage Against the Machine reference a joke?

    It was a commentary on Miller’s selective quotation of song lyrics.

  43. I’m with cecil. I didn’t even click over to the list. Such a topic is a waste of minutes of my life. And the hits to a website like that only encourages the assholes.

  44. For the Who, doesn’t “Squeezebox” promote family values?

  45. Joe, I doubt Sid Vicious cared one way or another. He was in the Pistols for less than a year and his contribution to the band was more symbolic than anything (legend has it they unplugged his amp because he was such a lousy player). With that said, I would hardly characterize “Bodies” as a pro-choice song.

  46. Given the mental manuevering necessary to consider most of those songs conservative, I am surprised they didn’t include Neil Young’s Ohio as an example of the dangers of protesting the war and criticizing the government.

  47. Looking at all of them, I count 12. And one non-rock song. There’s quite a few libertarian songs.

    1. “Won?t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who.
    See above.

    2. “Taxman,” by The Beatles.
    More libertarian.

    3. “Sympathy for the Devil,” by The Rolling Stones.
    See above.

    4. “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
    No political stance. I love my home is not a political message unless you bring up the politics.

    5. “Wouldn?t It Be Nice,” by The Beach Boys.
    Uhhh, fine.

    6. “Gloria,” by U2.
    Huh?

    7. “Revolution,” by The Beatles.
    Uhh, no. Considering Conservatives are also trying to change the constitution and try to bring about their own revolutions, I’m not buying it.

    8. “Bodies,” by The Sex Pistols.
    Sure, we’ll give him this one.

    9. “Don?t Tread on Me,” by Metallica.
    Fine.

    10. “20th Century Man,” by The Kinks.
    Libertarian

    11. “The Trees,” by Rush.
    So let me get this straight, a song for cutting the trees = conservative. A song against cutting down trees and development (see #13), also conservative. He loses both for the inconsistency.

    12. “Neighborhood Bully,” by Bob Dylan.
    In the 80s, weren’t the Democrats the pro-Israel party and the Republicans the pro-Arab party. GHW Bush was loved in the Arab world.

    13. “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders.
    See joe’s comment.

    14. “Right Here, Right Now,” by Jesus Jones.
    Uhh, right.

    15. “I Fought the Law,” by The Crickets.
    Sure.

    16. “Get Over It,” by The Eagles.
    This coming from the party of “9/11 is Clinton’s fault”?

    17. “Stay Together for the Kids,” by Blink 182.
    Sure

    18. “Cult of Personality,” by Living Colour.
    No cult of personality in the Republican ranks, none at all. Ignore the Reagan and Bush love, there’s no cult of personality, for conservatives. I swear.

    19. “Kicks,” by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
    Isn’t NRO’s official editorial line to legalize drugs?

    20. “Rock the Casbah,” by The Clash.
    See above comments.

    21. “Heroes,” by David Bowie.
    Just because it involves a divided Berlin doesn’t make it conservative.

    22. “Red Barchetta,” by Rush.
    Are conservatives the only ones that drive fast?

    23. “Brick,” by Ben Folds Five.
    See above comments.

    24. “Der Kommissar,” by After the Fire.
    I’ll let conservatives keep whatever Falco writes.

    25. “The Battle of Evermore,” by Led Zeppelin.
    This is more nerd than conservative.

    26. “Capitalism,” by Oingo Boingo.
    Libertarian

    27. “Obvious Song,” by Joe Jackson.
    So the guy in a big white car, polluting, driving a car that gets 3 to a gallon is a liberal? Bwah?

    28. “Janie?s Got a Gun,” by Aerosmith.
    Ahh, killing an incestuous father. When I think conservative, this is the first idea that pops in my head.

    29. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Iron Maiden.
    Something an English professor would approve of. And most English professors are commie bastards.

    30. “You Can?t Be Too Strong,” by Graham Parker.
    So it describes something but doesn’t push your view, therefore it fits into your political box. Huh?

    31. “Small Town,” by John Mellencamp.
    Apolitical. Especially considering John is a flaming liberal.

    32. “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” by The Georgia Satellites.
    Ok.

    33. “You Can?t Always Get What You Want,” by The Rolling Stones.
    Miller said, “You can ‘[go] down to the demonstration’ and vent your frustration, but you must understand that there?s no such thing as a perfect society ? there are merely decent and free ones.” Are we listening to the same song?

    34. “Godzilla,” by Blue ?yster Cult.
    WTF?!?!?!

    35. “Who?ll Stop the Rain,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
    So an anti-Vietnam song is conservative because it’s anti communism? Uh, that makes it more none of the above than conservative.

    36. “Government Cheese,” by The Rainmakers.
    They got it

    37. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” by The Band.
    The song is a lamentation of the Union war style. Since when is lamenting military overkill conservative?

    38. “I Can?t Drive 55,” by Sammy Hagar.
    Wasn’t the national speed limit put in place by a Republican president? And conservatives have no problems with the nanny state, as long as they’re the nanny.

    39. “Property Line,” by The Marshall Tucker Band.
    I’ll let him have it

    40. “Wake Up Little Susie,” by The Everly Brothers.
    This is rock and roll? WTF?

    41. “The Icicle Melts,” by The Cranberries.
    His.

    42. “Everybody?s a Victim,” by The Proclaimers.
    It’s anti-American, how can it be conservative

    43. “Wonderful,” by Everclear.
    Liberals don’t say divorce is 100% harmless, just better than the alternative.

    44. “Two Sisters,” by The Kinks.
    Only conservatives love their children?

    45. “Taxman, Mr. Thief,” by Cheap Trick.
    See Taxman above

    46. “Wind of Change,” by The Scorpions.
    How is this conservative? Even if you give credit to Reagan for ending the Cold War, a song happy about reunification doesn’t seem liberal or conservative.

    47. “One,” by Creed.
    Take it

    48. “Why Don?t You Get a Job,” by The Offspring. Uh, conservative how? This is actually for women in the workplace rather than staying at home leeching of their man.

    49. “Abortion,” by Kid Rock.
    Ok

    50. “Stand By Your Man,” by Tammy Wynette.
    Works. Stay with your man when he cheats and wrongs you isn’t exactly a message to be proud of.

  48. And the hits to a website like that only encourages the assholes.

    Better that they waste their time dreaming up fanatasies about tory rockers plaintively singing ballads of conservatism than they come up with some new foreign policy ideas (e.g. new places to invade) or other neo-con jobs.

  49. I was being generous as you can see.

  50. In the 80s, weren’t the Democrats the pro-Israel party and the Republicans the pro-Arab party.

    No.

    4. “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
    No political stance. I love my home is not a political message unless you bring up the politics.

    You should read the lyrics; they talk about Watergate.

    40. “Wake Up Little Susie,” by The Everly Brothers.
    This is rock and roll? WTF?

    Yes.

  51. Good analysis, Mo. National Review loves to throw hate at libertarians except when it suits their purposes to include us in the “family”. Considering that they should, in theory, embrace the limited government, free market ideals of libertarians, such a position makes no sense. Unless, of course, Republicans aren’t in any way libertarian, even rhetorically speaking.

    I will give NR a little on the drug issue. They’ve been fairly anti-drug war over the years, though I imagine that position has been as inconsistently held as the small government one has.

  52. The single best libertarian song as written and performed by a guy who was homeless:

    Governor
    Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise

    I wish the governor
    would just leave the poor man alone
    He’s messing up my home
    I wish the governor y’all
    would just leave the poor man alone
    He’s screwing up my home

    You know my taxes
    Are gettin too high
    I can’t pay the rent
    Oh Lord how can I make it by
    My woman wanna leave
    They cut off the phone
    Now I got to spend all of my nights alone

    I wish the governor
    would leave me alone
    He’s messing up my home
    I wish the governor y’all
    would just leave the poor man alone
    He’s messing up my home

    I went down
    to the grocery store
    They got a food tax
    I got to sleep on the floor
    Tired of workin three jobs
    but I know the governor
    he ain’t got it so hard, so hard

    I wish the governor (oh Lord)
    would just leave me alone (I’m doing alright out here by myself)
    I wish the governor (would get his hands out of my pocket)
    would just leave me alone
    I ain’t bothering nobody (here we go)

    I wish the governor
    all you folks down there in Washington DC
    I wish you would just leave me alone
    you know I need to go to work and get some money for the baby
    I wish the governor
    All y’all up on capitol hill
    I know you gettin your thrills
    but I just want you to leave me alone
    Me and my cat and my dog and my car in the garage
    Just leave us alone
    You know I get nervous
    hey hey hey hey
    Leave my mother and my brother
    why don’t you just leave us alone
    I’m gonna say goodbye now

  53. his rejection of “Let’s Impeach the President” (by Reagan fan Neil Young) and “Sweet Neo Con” (by Hayek fan [*] Mick Jagger) suggests that Miller is equating “conservative” with “Bush supporter.”

    Naaah. Ya really think so?

  54. wingnutx, good point, 80’s era Circle Jerks has some classic examples. I was also thinking “Forced Labor” (Tell ’em for me – I’d kill to be free). Then again, he’d have to ignore “Political Stu.”

  55. I can think of one song that’s missing, at least that concerns the recent crop of conservatives.

    Let’s Play Scratch and Sniff with Grandpa’s Butt by The Fuknotz.

  56. Hey Thomas Paine’s Goiter: I picked up a used CD once by Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise…eight years later it is still one of my favorites of all time. Great idea. And since I cannot get this stupid topic out of my head, my useless contribution to a useless list: two songs that belong on every Libertarian’s playlist: “Life Sentence” by the Dead Kennedys and “Voices in the Sky” by Motorhead.

  57. There’s Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”. That’s either pure anarchist or liberal. I’m voting for the former.

  58. 47. “One,” by Creed.
    Take it

    Yes, please take it. Take it far away. Send every copy into the sun, please. Get it out of here. Send the band too. I don’t care if they have broken up. Send their new bands too.

  59. Pro Lib-I’d say it’s less political and more about a guy avenging himself against a society that he feels has abandoned him.

    So much for the golden future, I can’t even start
    I’ve had every promise broken, there’s anger in my heart
    You don’t know what it’s like, you don’t have a clue
    If you did you’d find yourselves doing the same thing too

  60. Mo – I’d give them “Why Don’t You Get a Job.” The guy’s supposed to be the breadwinner while the woman should be busy rearing the progeny in conservativeland.

  61. A thought on “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” 19th century romantic poets are conservative? A poem written by an opium afficionado is conservative? When it’s about a man who is punished for the sin of killing a bird? By a pagan “spirit”?

    Maybe “Go Ask Alice” should be considered conservative as well, since it’s based on a 19th century childrens book.

  62. Miller missed Rush’s “Temples of Syrinx” as a plausibly conservative, or at least anti-liberal song.

    Not only are the evil priests of the Temples of Syrinx obviously leftist enamored with communism, but they control the media!

    We’ve taken care of everything
    The words you hear, the songs you sing
    The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
    It’s one for all and all for one
    We work together, common sons
    Never need to wonder how or why

    Look around at this world we’ve made
    Equality our stock in trade
    Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
    Oh, what a nice, contented world
    Let the banners be unfurled
    Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand
    ——————–

    There are a lot of left-liberal themes in there, and the right likes to portray left-liberal monomanias as “a kind of religion.”

    (However, Rush’s “Witch Hunt” is just as clearly against right-wing xenophobia and censorship, restoring balance to the Force.)

  63. “There are two kinds of music. Good music and the other kind.”
    Forgotten second half of quote:
    Rush sucks ass!

  64. Did they really say “I Fought the Law” was by the Crickets, as in Buddy Holly??!!?? I realize that 1965 was during the Ice Age to the guy who wrote this list, but still. Buddy Holly had been dead what, seven years by then? Assuming he means the famous version of “I Fought the Law,” that one was by the Bobby Fuller Four. Bobby Fuller, a fellow Texan, killed himself by drinking gasoline the week that song hit no. 1. I’m sorry, but I have no respect for a list compiled by someone who can’t be bothered to look on iTunes for the name of an artist if he wants to claim a song for a political argument.

  65. Okay, so I should read the original before I rant. The writer did mention the famous cover. Still, if he’s going to credit the song writer, credit the person, not the first band that recorded something.

  66. Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

    Best rock ‘n roll couplet ever

  67. 11. “The Trees,” by Rush.
    So let me get this straight, a song for cutting the trees = conservative. A song against cutting down trees and development (see #13), also conservative. He loses both for the inconsistency.

    Hint: The song isn’t about trees. Think Harrison Bergeron.

  68. Never mind the Offspring noise, I can’t believe he overlooked the Silhouettes classic “Get a Job”

    Every morning about this time
    she get me out of my bed
    a-crying get a job.
    After breakfast, everyday,
    she throws the want ads right my way
    And never fails to say….

    Old-school conservatism at its finest.

  69. “Rush sucks ass!”

    Well, Duke, it’s pretty obvious why you don’t like lyrics that use more than one syllable.

  70. And what about more recent Rush, Test For Echo…

    Some kind of pictures on the sense o’clock news
    Miles of yellow tape, silhouetted chalk lines
    Tough-talking hood boys in pro-team logo knock-offs
    Conform to uniforms of some corporate entity
    Don’t change that station
    It’s a Gangsta Nation
    Now crime’s in syndication on TV

    What a show
    Vertigo
    Video vertigo
    Test for echo

    Touch and go in slo-mo
    Video vertigo
    Test for echo

    Some kind of drama live on satellite
    Hidden camera coverage from the crime scene to the courtroom
    Nail-biting hood boys in borrowed ties and jackets
    Clutching at the straws of respectability

    Can’t do the time?
    Don’t do the crime
    And wind up in the perp walk on TV

  71. The LP actually did have a list and there is a list going on over at Hammer of Truth right now. The LP News list of libertarian songs was almost as bad as this one, IMO. Complete with Lee Greenwood and just a lot of junk. IMO, the “left” probably owns music. A lot of these lists are just reaching and misinterpretation ( equates conservatives with Neo-cons and/or rednecks.. tries to find antiquated “family values” everywhere,etc).

  72. Maybe Miller thought the song was “Cheney’s Got a Gun”.

  73. Hey Thomas Paine’s Goiter: I picked up a used CD once by Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise…eight years later it is still one of my favorites of all time. Great idea.

    I’ve suggested “Governor” to the national LP about 100 times and, of course, they continue to ignore, because they’re too busy plotting the overthow of the dwarf with +100 sheild and +90 stealth. Idiots.

    If you can’t take a song by a homeless man that asks the government to leave him alone and lower taxes and run with it – well, as suspected, you’re a party full of dinks.

  74. punk historian writes: “With that said, I would hardly characterize “Bodies” as a pro-choice song.”

    I’d have to guess it’s not really pro-choice or pro-life, but rather a lyric calculated to best piss in their audience’s soup, to garner controversy, without necessarily having a strong position on the matter.

  75. “Maybe Miller thought the song was “Cheney’s Got a Gun”.”

    Hm…

    tell me now it’s untrue
    what did that old lawyer do
    he snuck right up behind Dick Cheney
    the man has got to be insane
    the gag order he was under
    the lightning and the thunder
    who’s gonna pay for the next campaign.

  76. “The farms of Ohio
    Were replaced by shopping malls
    And muzak was everywhere
    From Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls…”

    I doubt those favorite places were replaced by parking spaces because of central planning, John. Sounds more like an ode to smart growth.

    Joe—

    In “Cuyahoga County”– you can count the number of Repubs on any level of gov’t over the last thirty years on one hand(without unzipping your pants or taking off your shoes)… :o)

    Anyone with two nickles to rub together has been fleeing that region even before Chrissie left in the early 70’s! They tried “smart growth”… and all the productive people got “smart” and fled to outlying areas the “city” did not control– which was a ‘good call’ considering the Cleveland Public Schools were so dysfunctional under a 7-0 Democratic “school board” that the State was forced to step in over 15 years ago to actually try to run them(the State is still there, the schools are still dysfunctional…).

    Ms Hynde is from the northern Akron/Canton “suburban” area–which is where all the Cleveburg ex-pats first went when they decided to leave- thus the ‘development’ she is criticizing in the song…

    Look at the explosion in “Delaware County”(north of Columbus) during the 90s– among the “top twenty” in growth nationwide(despite Ohio losing population overall). Same situation.

    I’m expecting to see “Fairfield County”(east of Columbus) on the 2010 census stats…

  77. See, Warren’s right.

    same as the old boss says a multitude of things irrespective of what Petey et al actually meant. And it’s a good tune.

  78. Further proof that Republicans simply aren’t cool. Not that Democrats aren’t complete dorks in their own right, but that Republicans are the type who remind me of the white folks caught on video tailgating outside of a Notre Dame game.

    From now on, Republicans can only listen to Pat Boone, the Gatlin Brothers and whatever monstrosity John Ashcroft decides to pen next. The Democrats get Fleetwood Mac and Joan Baez. We get the rest.

  79. Look at the explosion in “Delaware County”(north of Columbus) during the 90s– among the “top twenty” in growth nationwide(despite Ohio losing population overall). Same situation.

    And they’re still building god-forsaken little boxes here in Central Ohio, even as the real estate market starts to go under. Guess SOMEONE has to take out all those ARM mortgages ….

    I won’t even talk about all the vacant office space in Downtown Columbus. If anyone ever wants to know what Neutron Bomb devastation would look like in real life, just visit downtown Cowtown, OH.

    Hey Iconoclast – you still in Chicago?

    Unfortunately, not back there until mid-2007. I actually got in trouble at work when we were introducing ourselves to a new corporate bigwig, and I remarked that I enjoyed Iraq more than Central Ohio. These rubes in Franklin County have NO sense of humor and actually think their cultural scene compares to Chicagoland.

    At least I can laugh at all the morons here that actually thought that Ken Blackwell was actually going to remain anti-big government. He’s already backpedaling into Bush Big Government Republicanism …

  80. John J. Miller is an amazingly ignorant twit. He laughingly misinterprets many of these songs such as: Won’t get fooled again, My city was gone, Rock the Casbah, Battle of Evermore, Who’ll stop the Rain, and Keep Your hands to Yourself. (These are the ones I’m certain of, but I’m sure he gets a lot of the others wrong as well.) Most of these and some other mistakes have been pointed out above. I’ll just mention “Keep your hands to yourself.” He says it “affirms old time sexual mores.” Hardly! It’s really a joke, which the video (with the pregnant bride and her shot-gun wielding father) makes abundantly clear….

    By the way, anyone who doesn’t like Rush is missing out on one of the greatest rock band ever, both lyrically and musically.

  81. Just one more thing, for anyone who may happen to care. “Don’t stop” wasn’t sung by Stevie Nicks. It was written and sung by Christine McVie.

  82. qcbau,
    Shotgun weddings ARE the old time sexual mores.
    Rush was great, too bad aboot them be’n from Canada eh.

  83. How did Miller overlook “I’m a Simpleton”–excuse me, “I’m a Simple Man”–by Charlie Daniels?

    John Stuart Mill had stupid people and conservatives pegged right.

  84. And another thing, 98% of these songs were excoriated by conservatives at the time of their release.

  85. Oh. My. Non. Existent. God. I just realized there isn’t one Ted Nugent song on that list. That just can’t be an oversight. This list has to be some kind of joke or something. Either that, or someone’s going to wake up with a zebra head (with the arrow still protruding from the eye) in their bed.

  86. Just consulted with the SO and she observed that WGFA is similar to Lennon’s Revolution, in that it more overtly exploited the appeal of revolution while at the same time more subtly cautioning against the downside of it. Come to think of it, that makes both songs somewhat similar to many drug songs of the era (especially the ones that made it to the top 40) which exploited the appeal of drugs superficially while cautioning against their abuse (Momma Told Me, The No No Song, etc.). In other words, having it both ways. The SO is also bringing up Couger’s Ain’t That American exploiting both sides of patriotism, which I felt Springbeen’s Born In The USA did as well. Clever that…

  87. The best political pop song of all time–though rarely thought of as such–was Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues.” The two lines

    “Well, I called my Congressman and he said, quote,
    ‘I’d like to help you, son, but you’re too young to vote'”

    tell us more about politics than all progressive, conservative, and libertarian “political” songs put together…

  88. Just read the list, and it’s amusing and mildly interesting. Turns out Lennon’s Revolution and a similar Mellencamp song are actually there. Sympathy for the Devil was probably the most surprising, and the explanation is thought provoking and brings up some of the same problems as their #1 choice. To a degree they’re right that Jagger was attributing “moral relativism” to the devil; where I think they’re wrong is thinking the stance of the song on the opposite end of the spectrum of the devil’s. At the risk of citing the obvious, the song asks for sympathy for the devil because his take on things isn’t really so different from ours, for, after all, “it was you and me”! (A perhaps better reason to include this song is that it includes the Russian Revolution as an event reflecting Lucifer’s involvement!!)

  89. Say what ! Why is “Get a haircut get a real job” not on the list ?

  90. I remember introducing the Dead Kennedys to a YAFfer–it was actually the first time in my life that I learned that (some) conservatives hated the government. Prior to that, I had thought that they were only into war and jesus (in addition to hating the parts of government that they hate).

    I was walking precincts to keep Doris Allen from being recalled…

    Anyway, my conservative friend liked “Bleed For Me” quote a bit.

  91. There are so many great conservative rock songs, I’ve made a list of 50 more:
    http://jonswift.blogspot.com/2006/05/50-more-conservative-rock-songs.html

  92. I just wanted to respond to some comments that have been made since my last one. Warren: It may be true that “shotgun weddings are the old time sexual mores” but I don’t think that the song and video was portraying them in a positive light–it was more likely making fun of those mores. Also, Ted Nugent may be conservative, but his songs are more often a celebration of sex than of conservative values. Go figure….
    Fyodor: Good point about Sympathy for the devil. I seriously don’t think it’s a song against “moral relativism” as Miller claims.

    I will admit there are some songs on the list that do more or less promote “conservative values”
    For example, “One” by Creed is against racial preferences. It used to be, a long time ago, that liberals were against racial preferecnes, but like they did on several other issues, they went to far and got on the wrong side of this. Racial preferences are just plain wrong (and given our history they are actually evil.)

  93. The Society for Individual Liberty used WGFA as the theme song in a movie they did about the libertarian break from the conservatives in the early seventies. As I recall, Nixon was the “new boss” and LBJ was the “old boss.”

    They (along with every POTUS back to FDR) were each the “new boss”, and King George 3 the “old boss”.

  94. It seems to me that if the libertarians were going to latch onto one Who song it would not be WGFA, but Going Mobile. “Watch the police and the taxman miss me, I am mobile!” You can’t get much more libertarian than that.

    I missed this thread unflortuneately, but my God some of the people on here are obnixious and self important. It was a dumb list in a magazine. Most musicians are thoughtless or liberal or more likely both, so it was slim pickings. I really surprised they came up with 50. Certainly, a lot of the songs on the list were a stretch, but you have to give Miller credit for some pretty creative and thought provoking analysis of them.

  95. Side note regarding Sympathy For The Devil.
    Please to meet you. Hope you guess my name

    I maintain that the singer’s name is not Lucifer. The singer’s name is God. The following lyrics make this undeniably clear in my mind.

    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
    As heads is tails
    Just call me lucifer
    cause Im in need of some restraint

    The singer declares that he is to Lucifer as cops are to criminals and sinners are to saints.

    So if you meet me
    Have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy, and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politesse
    Or Ill lay your soul to waste

    Thou shalt have not other gods before Me anyone? The singer claims the power to “lay your soul to waste”. While the devil may do the dirty work, it is solely God’s prerogative to condemn a soul.

    Finally, consider these lyrics and their relevance to the dogmatic debate within Christianity.
    I was round when jesus christ
    Had his moment of doubt and pain
    Made damn sure that pilate
    Washed his hands and sealed his fate

    I submit therefore that the name in question is Jehovah. The song’s central theme is to remind us that God was present at all the most vile episodes in history. The title suggest that we should have sympathy for Satan because he is less culpable for the evil in the world than God himself.

  96. Look at the explosion in “Delaware County”(north of Columbus) during the 90s– among the “top twenty” in growth nationwide(despite Ohio losing population overall). Same situation.

    Um, not exactly.

    1990 Ohio population – 10,847,115
    2000 Ohio population – 11,353,140
    2004 estimate shows a modest decrease, but I think they estimated a loss or no change through most of the 90’s, too, IIRC.

  97. Warren,

    Interesting idea but I always took those lyrics as an expression of the idea of chaos and evil being one and the same. The phrases “every cop is a criminal” “all the sinners saints” and “heads is tells” I think are just examples of the Devil as joker and deciever and are not meant to imply that the Devil and God are one in the same, only that the Devil succeeds by making you think so and decieving you into believing what is good is actually evil and what is evil is actually good.

  98. Personally I would take the Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Sympathy for the Devil” and replace them with their anti-welfare state song, “Hang Fire”.

    In the sweet old country where I come from
    Nobody ever works
    Yeah nothing gets done
    We hang fire, we hang fire

    You know marrying money is a full time job
    I don’t need the aggravation
    I’m a lazy slob
    I hang fire, I hang fire
    Hang fire, put it on the wire

    We’ve got nothing to eat
    We got nowhere to work
    Nothing to drink
    We just lost our shirts
    I’m on the dole
    We ain’t for hire
    Say what the hell
    Say what the hell, hang fire
    Hang fire, hang fire, put it on the wire
    Doo doo doo

    Take a thousand dollars go have some fun
    Put it all on at a hundred to one
    Hang fire, hang fire, put it on the wire

  99. John wrote that “some of the people on here are obnoxious and self-important.” If that includes me, then I’m sorry. It’s true that it was only a stupid list in a magazine–it’s just that as a former apolitical musician who has recently become interested in politics and especially in the Libertarian viewpoint, I found the list and the discussion to be very interesting. Once again, I apologize if I offended anyone.

  100. Warren,

    I had a different analysis of that lyric. “Lucifer” means “light-bringer” or “morning star.” In the mythology, Lucifer was among the greatest of the angels, until he rebelled against God’s will and was cast out of heaven, to start a new career promoting wickedness and other fun stuff. So when Jagger sings “just call me Lucifer,” the devil is making a point: there’s no difference between a cop and a criminal, a sinner and a saint, or between Satan himself and perhaps the greatest of the angels. Which works because they’re the same entity.

  101. qcobau,
    You obviously haven’t learned thing one about the libertarian point of view. ๐Ÿ™‚

  102. Anonymous coward makes a good point about Sympathy for the Devil. His idea is probably closer to the true meaning of the song than Miller’s view. The point that I and several others have tried to make is that quit a few of those songs have been misinterpreted or twisted by the authors of the list to fit their point of view, much like Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” was also misinterpreted by conservatives in the 80’s. And, by the way, I notice that song is not on the list. One thing the authors of the list tend to do is to cherry-pick a few lyrics rather then listen to the whole song. Still, it would actually be a much better list for them if the ten songs they are most wrong about were taken off, since I’m sure they are more of less right about a majority of those songs.

  103. Hey Warren,

    If I don’t know thing one about the Libertarian point of view, then why don’t you enlighten me? I can guess what you might be getting at, but don’t make me guess. I’d like to hear it.

    George

  104. UOh gosh gee ummmm?. See I was just yanking your chain a little there George, as indicated by the smiley ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was poking fun at the way you were all apologetic over having inadvertently offended someone. Why I thought it was funny is because I thought they were being insulting to you more than you were offensive to them. And see, it’s kind of anti-libertarian because we’re suppose to be all “me me me and screw you” about everything (which of course isn’t the case but it’s a stereotype, and like most stereotypes, there’s a kernel of truth to it). So I’m saying you don’t know anything about libertarianism because you’re being too civil and need to toughen up and be more self-serving. And now here I’ve gone and spelled out the joke, which takes all the funny out of it (however much there was to begin with). So now I have to say I’m sorry that you thought I was taking a shot at you, and I’m sorry to everyone else for being unfunny and filling up the thread with pointless comments.

  105. So when Jagger sings “just call me Lucifer,” the devil is making a point: there’s no difference between a cop and a criminal, a sinner and a saint, or between Satan himself and perhaps the greatest of the angels.

    Ah, but you’re missing the fact that the song is ostensibly being sung BY Satan — Jagger sings from a first-person perspective as the Devil. Within the context of the song it isn’t Jagger claiming those things, but Satan himself. The song is therefore conservative, in that it is takes the conservative position that the Devil and the Left are in agreement on a lot of things.

    I’m also kind of amused that so many people here seem to think “libertarian” and “conservative” are mutually exclusive. Most libertarian positions are also popular conservative positions — hardly surprising, given that the modern libertarian movement is a spinoff of conservatism.

  106. Ah, but you’re missing the fact that the song is ostensibly being sung BY Satan

    Ah, but my point is that while it appears at first to be Satan, the song is actually sung by God. The essential message being, ‘God is a prick’, and therefore explicitly anti-conservative (also not a doctrine held by liberals, in spite of what many conservatives would have you believe).

    As for libertarian/conservative (in)compatibility, Pro Liberate captured it best
    Good analysis, Mo. National Review loves to throw hate at libertarians except when it suits their purposes to include us in the “family”. Considering that they should, in theory, embrace the limited government, free market ideals of libertarians, such a position makes no sense. Unless, of course, Republicans aren’t in any way libertarian, even rhetorically speaking.

    I will give NR a little on the drug issue. They’ve been fairly anti-drug war over the years, though I imagine that position has been as inconsistently held as the small government one has.

    Comment by: Pro Libertate at May 26, 2006 04:55 PM

    What he says about NR specifically can be generalized to conservatives as a whole.

  107. Here is what Pete Townsend said today on his weblog about WGFA being named top conservative song. He doesn’t outright reject the label.

    Won’t Get Fooled Again has been listed in the UK Independent Newspaper as the number one song with – as I understand it – the political message most often misunderstood – in this case the message is said to be ‘conservative’, a word that may mean different things in the UK and USA.

    Of course the song has no party-allied political message at all. It is not precisely a song that decries revolution – it suggests that we will indeed fight in the streets – but that revolution, like all action can have results we cannot predict. Don’t expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.

    The song was meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the centre of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.

    This was everything to do with what I believe to be the power of music and congregation and nothing to do with what any individual might do to use the language of modern rock and pop to express their privately held views. I suppose the ‘universal’ themes behind rock, that I have always espoused, can emerge over time looking vacuous, unspecific, vague and dilletantish. But despite its looseness, and its decadence, rock has lasted a lifetime, and still seems to prevail as the impudent portal for the naive complaints of the hopeful young.

    From 1971 – when I wrote Won’t Get Fooled Again – to 1985, there was a transition in me from refusal to be co-opted by activists, to a refusal to be judged by people I found jaded and compliant in Thatcher’s Britain. Peter Gabriel and I spoke often on the phone about work we were doing with David Astor, Neville Vincent, Donald Woods and Lord Goodman to raise money to help spring Nelson Mandela from gaol in South Africa. We realized quickly that what we were doing was buying guns for the ANC, an organisation that some on the far right believed were no better than the IRA. Nelson was sprung, so everything turned out well. But when in the mid-nineties, one of the very last IRA bombs went off in a theatre in London close to where my musical of Tommy was about to open, I decided my karma had come around full circle.

    Not all action to change the world has to be trumpeted from the rooftops by Bono editing the Independent newspaper (though it was a fantastic and audacious stunt equal to Lord Matthew Evans giving me an editorial chair at Faber and Faber in 1985), or from the scaffolding of a rock festival. Roger Daltrey does indeed play rock ‘n’ roll with Richard “Dirty” Desmond (who owns some big newspapers among other things), but he himself gets down and dirty visiting hospitals where the teenage cancer victims for whom they raise money struggle to survive. He holds them, laughs with them, and gives them hope. This is One-to-One stuff of the kind that I find I am incapable. I can meet and speak with survivors of sexual abuse, drug abuse and the victims of all kinds of domestic violence, but I have what I now know is a quite common problem with those who might suddenly die on me in a hospital, clinic or hospice.

    I am just a song-writer. The actions I carry out are my own, and are usually private until some digger-after-dirt questions my methods. What I write is interpreted, first of all by Roger Daltrey. Won’t Get Fooled Again – then – was a song that pleaded ‘?.leave me alone with my family to live my life, so I can work for change in my own way?.’. But when Roger Daltrey screamed as though his heart was being torn out in the closing moments of the song, it became something more to so many people. And I must live with that. In the film Summer of Sam the song is used to portray white-boy ‘street’ idiocy; a kind of fascist absurdity, men swinging their arms over air-guitars and smashing up furniture. Spike Lee told my manager that ‘?he deeply understood Who music?.’. What he understood was what he himself – like so many others – had made it. He saw an outrage and frustration, even a judgment or empty indictment in the song that wasn’t there. What is there is a prayer.

  108. So now I have to say I’m sorry that you thought I was taking a shot at you, and I’m sorry to everyone else for being unfunny and filling up the thread with pointless comments.

    You obviously haven’t learned thing one about the libertarian point of view. ๐Ÿ™

  109. John wrote that “some of the people on here are obnoxious and self-important.” If that includes me, then I’m sorry. It’s true that it was only a stupid list in a magazine–it’s just that as a former apolitical musician who has recently become interested in politics and especially in the Libertarian viewpoint, I found the list and the discussion to be very interesting. Once again, I apologize if I offended anyone.

    gcobau, stick around here long enough and you’ll see that it’s less what you or other people say and more that some people never internalized that old chestnut about the speck in one’s neighbor’s eye versus the log in one’s own.

    I’ll add that I hope you do; I for one have found your comments interesting.

  110. Also, Jon Swift’s list is easily 100 times more amusing than Miller’s.

  111. 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.

    Jon Swift, you are one seriously messed up dude.

  112. I just got in, and I’m surprised by how much has been written. I don’t normally get involved with lines of discussion on the web, but I’m finding this to be an extremely cool one. I think that the mix between music and politics is interesting. As for Jon Swift: if (as he claims) his only sources of news are Fox, Rush Limbaugh, and Jay Leno, then you know he’s got to be messed up in the head. I’ll have more to say tomorrow, but now I’m going to bed.

  113. I just got in, and I’m surprised by how much has been written. I don’t normally get involved with lines of discussion on the web, but I’m finding this to be an extremely cool one. I think that the mix between music and politics is interesting. As for Jon Swift: if (as he claims) his only sources of news are Fox, Rush Limbaugh, and Jay Leno, then you know he’s got to be messed up in the head. I’ll have more to say tomorrow, but now I’m going to bed.

  114. Ah, but my point is that while it appears at first to be Satan, the song is actually sung by God

    That’s certainly an interesting hypothesis, but there’s no support for it in the lyrics to the song, nor is it the interpretation that Jagger himself has offered. You might as well claim that the song is being sung by Pee Wee Herman — there’s just as much evidence for that proposition. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Considering that they should, in theory, embrace the limited government, free market ideals of libertarians, such a position makes no sense.

    Heh. I’m not sure what grounds liberatarians have for that sort of self-important attitude. Conservatives were extolling the value of free markets and limited government before libertarians even *existed* as a coherent political group. When conservatives embrace free markets and limited government they aren’t embracing libertarian ideals — they’re embracing conservative ideals. That libertarians also believe in them is purely coincidental (and, given how small a percentage of the population libertarians are, not very important).

    Unless, of course, Republicans aren’t in any way libertarian, even rhetorically speaking

    That would be a relevant point if Miller’s list was one of Republican rock songs. Conservatives are usually Republican for the same reason that libertarians are usually Republican — the party is closer to their interests than the Democrats are, and the various minor parties (Reform, Liberty, Libertarian, et al) aren’t worth bothering with.

  115. DB,
    There is support in the lyrics. See my comment at May 27, 2006 03:11 PM

    As far as the conservatives go. Sure, in the long distant past Republicans use to talk about markets and limited government. But you haven’t heard a peep out of em in the past decade. Hmmm, wonder what could have happened? Oh, but you say conservatives aren’t necessarily Republicans. Yeah ok, one is an ideology and the other a political party. It is true that I hear a little grousing from conservative corners about the government spending too much. But where are the howls of protest over, No Child Left Behind, the PATRIOT act, and illegal immigration (as in: a free market demands more legal immigration). The fact is, conservatives (as a group) like to use libertarian rhetoric when they don’t like what liberals are doing with the government, but will abandon all libertarian precepts and start, legislating morality, killing foreigners, and otherwise put the heal to the necks of ‘undesirables’ first chance they get.

    As for your contention that libertarians usually vote Republican. That is just false. Libertarians have as much in common with Democrats as the do with Republicans.

  116. To weigh in on the interpretation of “Sympathy for the Devil”, I believe that the lyrics are indeed written from the Devil’s point of view, but as the name implies, there is no value judgement made as to whether the values expressed there are positive or negative. That’s why it was not a very good choice for the “conservative” song list.

  117. One more thing for now, I basically view the Libertarian position as being economically conservative and socially liberal, believing that a more limited government is better in both these areas. That’s why for a Libertarian to choose between Democratic and Republican candidates, it would depend on which issues were most important to him or her and what the candidates had to say about them.

  118. I feel silly even dignifying your argument with a response, since it is a fact that you’re wrong — the author says the song’s about Satan, ergo it is. But anyway:

    There is support in the lyrics. See my comment at May 27, 2006 03:11 PM

    Yeah, I read it. You made two mistakes typical of amateur revisionist literary critics — you selectively quoted the song out of context, and you misread some of what you quoted. For instance, you misread “is” as “is to” for the “cop is a criminal” verse, which caused you to incorrectly assume the verse was describing a relationship rather than an equivalency. You further ignored the “rode a tank” and “traps for troubadours” lines, which describe Satan but not God. If the entire song consisted of the “Jesus Christ” verse you could make an argument the singer is God — unfortunately for you, there are other verses in the song. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As far as the conservatives go. Sure, in the long distant past Republicans use to talk about markets and limited government.

    As I noted in my previous post, “conservative” does not imply “Republican” or vice-versa.

    But you haven’t heard a peep out of em in the past decade. Hmmm, wonder what could have happened

    What happened is that you haven’t bothered paying attention to conservatives for the past decade, because they most definitely have been critical of the Republican Party’s big-spending ways. The National Review, for example, regularly criticizes Bush for his largesse in welfare-state programs.

  119. as the name implies, there is no value judgement made as to whether the values expressed there are positive or negative. That’s why it was not a very good choice for the “conservative” song list

    When you have a character named Lucifer taking credit for murder, war, and chaos, it isn’t necessary for the author to explicitly say “these things are bad”. It would be necessary to point out that they *weren’t* bad, if the author so desired — in Western culture, when someone says that the Devil was behind some atrocity, that they are saying “that atrocity was bad” goes without saying.

  120. I feel silly even dignifying your argument… But anyway:

    A song is a work of art. As such, the author is hardly the last word on the subject. I claim artistic license to deconstruct at will. My thesis is, that if you re-examine *all* the lyrics assuming the first person singer is the lord almighty, that the song becomes more interesting, more profound, and more self-consistent. You are free do disparage this interpretation, but it is foolish to claim it is wrong.

    you selectively quoted the song out of context, and you misread some of what you quote
    The name’s Pot, pleased to meet you Mr. Kettle. To wit, your critique vs. what I wrote:

    As I noted in my previous post, “conservative” does not imply “Republican” or vice-versa.
    “Oh, but you say conservatives aren’t necessarily Republicans. Yeah ok, one is an ideology and the other a political party.”

    What happened is that you haven’t bothered paying attention to conservatives for the past decade, because they most definitely have been critical of the Republican Party’s big-spending ways.
    “It is true that I hear a little grousing from conservative corners about the government spending too much.”

  121. anarchy in the uk=conservative
    bodies=prolife
    ok

  122. She was a girl from birmingham
    She just had an abortion
    She was a case of insanity
    Her name was pauline she lived in a tree
    She was a no one who killed her baby
    She sent her letters from the country
    She was an animal she was a bloody disgrace

    Body Im not an animal
    Body Im not an animal

    Dragged on a table in factory
    Illegitimate place to be
    In a packet in a lavatory
    Die little baby screaming fucking bloody mess
    Its not an animal its an abortion

    Body Im not animal
    Mummy Im not an abortion

    Throbbing squirm, gurgling bloody mess
    Im not an discharge, Im not a loss in
    Protein, Im not a throbbing squirm

    Fuck this and fuck that fuck it all and
    Fuck the fucking brat
    She dont wanna baby that looks like that
    I dont wanna baby that looks like that
    Body Im not an animal
    Body Im not an abortion

    Body Im not an animal
    An animal
    Im not an animal…
    Im not an abortion…

    Mummy! ugh!

  123. ambiguity=art

  124. huh

    this is really pretty silly.

    My vote for libertarian anthem is Aint Nobody’s Business… either the traditional one or Taj Mahals different tune of the same name.

    I was thinking of doing a mixtape recently of libertarian themed tunes…partly as a joke to myself, also because there are plenty of decent ones out there. A lot of funk/soul stuff has great ‘tired of The Man @^& with me’ chops.

    even more prevalent are tunes that express frustration with people who always have to categorize things into their preconceived boxes in order to justify appreciation. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And you know sometimes words have two meanings.

    wow, thats terrible. ๐Ÿ™‚

    has the piper lead us to Reason?

    it makes me wonder

    ouch. i better stop.
    JG

  125. Thanks to John for posting the commentary of Pete Townsend on the topic of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

    I have always seen the song as being a great anthem for the Libertarian Party — or, indeed, any third party that suffers under the duopolies extant in the US, and to a somewhat lesser extent, the UK. It’s not so much a libertarian song, as a song that reminds us of the good-cop/bad-cop game that the two power parties play, while the warfare-welfare machine keeps chugging along. So, while Libertarians can’t and shouldn’t claim any kind of exclusive ideological “ownership” of this song, to hear representatives of either “power party” do so is simply ludicrous. I wonder: Do they even bother to read the lyrics?

  126. Wow James, I very much agree with your comment, and think it may be the best one I’ve seen on here. WGFA is a song which could be interpreted as saying that the party in power is usually corrupt. Also it is indvidualistic, in that Pete townsend felt like he did not want to sell out to any obvious cause or ideology. WGFA really could be the perfect Libertarian Anthem.

  127. Meh. Replace all 50 with Motorhead’s Stand. Let’s see who’s still a Rock Fan 3:30 later:

    Stand – you can make it
    Stand – you can take it
    Stand – realize that nobody can break it for you
    Stand – you can do it
    Stand – go right to it
    Stand – nobody can do a damn thing to you
    But you can’t stand – if you don’t care
    Can’t stand – if you don’t dare
    Can’t stand – if you’re running scared
    Forget you’re blood & bone
    Stand like you’re made of stone
    Stand – on your honor
    Stand – show you’re gonna
    Stand – they can’t put the creeping death upon you
    If you stand – never move it
    Stand – gotta prove it
    Stand – stand ’cause you can’t stand to lose it
    Stand – stand – stand like a rock
    Stand – stand – you can stop their clock
    Stand – stand – put them into shock
    Stand
    Stand – stand – together
    Stand – yeah you better
    Stand – don’t you know that you can live forever if you
    Stand – one for all
    Stand – don’t you crawl
    Stand – if you stand then you deserve it all
    But if you can’t stand,
    Then they’re the boss,
    Can’t stand – it’s a total loss
    Can’t stand – they’ll nail you to the cross
    Forget you’re blood and bone
    Stand like you’re made of stone
    Stand

  128. 8. “Bodies,” by The Sex Pistols.
    Sure, we’ll give him this one.

    But, we shouldn’t — http://nostradennis.typepad.com/the_pit/2006/05/this_is_why_con.html

  129. I’m also kind of amused that so many people here seem to think “libertarian” and “conservative” are mutually exclusive. Most libertarian positions are also popular conservative positions — hardly surprising, given that the modern libertarian movement is a spinoff of conservatism.

    The problem is purely in the words. Libertarianism is a spinoff of American conservatism, but in European terms its more like an extreme form of liberalism (which is to say, anti-authoritarianism). Of course, Europeans don’t mean by liberalism what libertarians mean when they carp about liberals, and conservatism no longer means precisely what it meant when libertarianism was developing within it. Libertarianism may be incompatible with some forms of modern day conservatism (extreme social and cultural conservatism, for example), but if that’s the standard to which compatibility is being held, then it’s also incompatible with large swathes of American and European liberalism.

    Essentially, the political language of today is becoming hopelessly garbled.

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