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March 3, 2008

All come singing
Posted by Teresa at 11:47 AM *

I love watching what people do with YouTube. Throughout this campaign season, private citizens have been making political statements by posting music videos. This isn’t the first time that’s been done, and US voters aren’t the only ones doing it, but we seem to have hit some kind of a moment, because political music videos are popping up all over the place.

Maybe it’s the equipment, not the moment. As I keep reminding myself, this Mac laptop I’m working on has as much video processing power as a TV studio did a few elections back. On the other hand, since the Obama campaign has the best videos, it may be the example Will.i.am set by doing the extraordinarily popular Yes We Can. It’s beautiful. If you haven’t watched it, you should. Will.i.am got a bunch of professionals to join the project, which is no end of help when you’re making an amateur video.

Will.i.am and friends went on to make We Are the Ones, demonstrating that a video in which a bunch of actors and musicians voice their own opinions does not have quite the same impact as one in which they give voice to the words of a speech by Barack Obama.

YouTube is a conversation. Posted in reply to “Yes We Can” is Fired Up, Ready to Go, which is lively and impressive, but a tad too self-conscious for my taste. IMO, the best thing about it was that it inspired a further reply that’s a must-listen. As it says on the lyrics page (you’ll want to get a look at it), “The Mighty Sparrow, calypso king of the world, endorses Obama.” The calypso itself is called Barack the Magnificent:

The Foreign Relations Committee,
Can attest to his tenacity,
For homeland and job security.

He stood his ground
When the war was a conception,
Said it was wrong,
So he didn’t go along,
Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton
They said of Barack’s opinion,
“He’s a man of resplendent vision!”

“We Are the Ones” got its own odd little reply, done in the Makossa style, which is indigenous to Cameroon: Ready to Go (Makossa), reprised as Obama drives America crazy/L’Amérique folle d’Obama. I’d never heard of Makossa before. I had to look it up on Wikipedia.

The Latino community’s music videos kick ass. If you want to hear four of the best on a single link, try Latinos por Obama’s greatest hits: “Viva Obama,” “La Caminata,” “Si Se Puede Cambiar,” and “Obama Si (Ya Basta lo Mismo).”

To take them separately:

Viva Obama is a stylish corrido performed with considerable panache by a Texas mariachi group. I already posted the lyrics here.

La Caminata is a reggaeton, which is Spanish hiphop or rap—I am hopelessly, hopelessly gapped on the subject. Its repeating line, “Como se dice / Como se llama / — Obama / — Obama” is a serious earworm. It also appears on YouTube with different visuals as The Obama Song: Spanish Reggaeton and Latinos for Barack Obama. And, because the spirit is with the Obama campaign at this mortal moment, three middle-school white kids dressed up—two as rappers, one in a sombrero—to record their own version: Como Se dice Como Se llama Obama. Good on ‘em.

Si Se Puede Cambiar by Andres Useche is a simple, heartfelt, lyrical song full of blunt questions. Its basic version has English subtitles, but you can also get it subtitled in Vietnamese and Korean.

Ya basta lo mismo means “Enough already of the same old thing,” and the liner notes on Obama Si — Tejas! say “Ya Basta Lo Mismo! No Mas Clinton, No Mas Bush, No Mas De Lo Mismo! Se Puede Cambiar…Si Se Puede, Tejas!” I can’t make out all the lyrics, but I’d know this one has teeth even if it didn’t mention the CIA and Cointelpro.

Two more in Spanish. I really like Vote Obama (VO-tay oh-BAH-ma), a filk of “La Bamba” by Austin band Cerronato. It features the mighty Clemencia Zapata on percussion and vocals, helping keep rock and roll safe for middle-aged women.

Finally, one I can’t puzzle out, possibly because it’s not the variety of Spanish I learned in my youth, back when I could hear: Colombian “Barack Obama” singin’ reggaeton. On the screen are the words ME FALLA / JUANCHO STYLE. Gapped again!

Reverting to English now, three rap-style songs: Open Letter to Barack Obama by Jin, a young Asian-American; New Barack Obama Song 2007 (Representin’ Obama), a rap by some kids who are ticked at Bill Maher for saying young people don’t vote; and Ba Rock, the Home Cut pt. 1. We await further installments.

He’s the Man for Me, recorded at a New York Women 4 Obama rally, gets some mileage out of subverting romance tropes. Tank Talk’s Obama Love Song is a vaudeville-style number by a young man who’s surprised to find himself planning to vote for a Democrat. Obama Song by Brian Larkin is another amateur video by professionals. It’s a nice song, and in previous election years would have been a standout. Stem the Rising Tide is dedicated to Barack Obama, and keeps turning up as an Obama-related video, but it’s just too diffuse for me. You Rock, Barack, on the other hand, has true idiosyncratic citizen weirdness:

Obama, we’re tired of all the drama
Bush is a joke we’re at the end of our rope
You’re the one who dares to hope

Obama, your mama is just like my mama
‘Cept my mama didn’t name me Barack
End the war in Iraq
Bring our brothers and sisters back …

If you think this song ain’t too pretty
That’s cause we wrote it by committee.

The New Bbama Song, a filk of “The Llama Song,” is very silly. It would be just the thing to play for the kid in I’m an Obama Baby.

“But surely,” you must be asking, “other candidates’ supporters also make music videos?” The answer is that not all candidates’ supporters feel inspired to express their feelings in song. Unfortunately, some of these uninspired supporters make music videos anyway, like the otherwise very nice family that made Texas for Hillary Go Go Go. No va. If you must have a Hillary Clinton music video, there’s always Oye Hillary: A Song Written for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign. It’s described as “A volunteer effort by a multi-cultural team supporting the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign,” which pretty much says it all.

One likeable older guy who obviously has a solid grounding in nineteenth-century music came up with Lead the Way, a song for John McCain. When the election is over, I hope he adapts the music to some other use. Other than that, what McCain seems to inspire are parodies like No, You Can’t and John.he.is, plus a bunch of riffs on McCain singing Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Anne.”

Most Ron Paul videos consist of a lone Ron Paul supporter inexpertly strumming an acoustic guitar and singing about how Ron Paul never lies, will abolish the income tax, and won’t tell them what to do. The most prominent of these is the unfortunately titled Ron Paul Is a Virus. The two exceptions are JamieR2006’s Ron Paul 2008 - The Music Video and NewYorkViolets’ The Ron Paul Song, both of which could conceivably be danced to.

Mike Huckabee gets the weirdest range. A lot of them, you could have predicted. There’s the Huckabee Catchy Jingle Song, which isn’t, and Huckabee: The Snoopy Candidate, whose creator feels that Huckabee shares many worthy characteristics with Snoopy from “Peanuts”, and Stuck on Huck, which is trying way too hard to be cool, and Because of You (Huckabee’s Song), for hardcore fans of Christian soft rock, and Duane Schwingel’s I Like Mike, which is just as nice as nice can be, and The Huckabee Song, whose creator also likes Mike Huckabee (it’s pretty basic).

Less predictably, there’s Mike Huckabee: One Who Will Lift Us Up, which is a decent little bluegrass number—piano, violin, and vocal harmony—by a bunch of old-time religion types. And then there’s Headbangers for Huckabee: Minister & The Pine Barrens Metal Ensemble doing Huck ‘Em All. That one originally appeared at World Metal Alliance, which is headbangers central, and it’s not a parody. (Note: the video’s been removed from YouTube, so I replaced the URL with the one from the WMA site.)

I love my country.

Note: Patrick thinks the title of this post ought to be “Hooray, hooray, the country’s risin’, for Henry Clay and Frelinghuysen,” in token of these music videos being part of a great American campaign tradition. I agree with his point; I just don’t want to use the title. Still, lest we forget the Polk vs. Clay race of 1844: Clay and Frelinghuysen, The First Polk Song, The Vermonter’s Song at Baltimore, Kilkenny Cats, and The Blue Hen’s Chickens.

Additions:

Chris Quinones, Eine Kleine Barackmusik and Superdelegate by Roy Zimmerman.

Comments on All come singing:
#1 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 12:05 PM:

Well, if Sparrow seh so, is so!

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 12:46 PM:

Teresa, thank you. I didn't know I wanted to see/hear all this, but now I'm looking forward to quite a binge.

#3 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 12:53 PM:

But why are all the 1844 campaign songs "to the tune of Old Dan
Tucker"? Was there such a dearth of imagination? Or were the actual
tunes lost, and the modern recording artists just used the one tune?

#4 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:14 PM:

> this Mac laptop I'm working on has as much video processing power as a TV studio did a few elections back

There's going to come a time where we have enough portable computing
power to automatically edit video feeds in hard to detect ways in real
time - for example changing the numbers of people at a demonstration
(take out the children, add some guys in black fatigues with bandanas),
or the overall balance of their skin tones, or swapping messages on
banners for more or less inflammatory ones.

#5 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:16 PM:

Later in the 19th century, 100% of all campaign songs were to the tune of "Rosin the Bow." You can look it up.

#6 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:21 PM:

One thing my partner found on Youtube that's extremely neat is that
there are those little village competitions going on, where villages in
Africa, India, China, the Middle East and so on show off the leet
dancing skills of their children. If you search Youtube for "little
kids dancing" these should turn up.

#7 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:23 PM:

And when Emily Dickinson started writing campaign jingles, they were all to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

#8 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:23 PM:

Also worth viewing: A remix of Lennon's "Imagine" made using clips of George W. Bush.

#9 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Wow, I haven't listened to the Mighty Sparrow in ages.

#10 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:36 PM:

Well, great. Now here I am sitting at my desk chanting Como se dice, como se llama ...and I couldn't even get any of the damn YouTube files to load. It's an earworm I don't even have to HEAR to be infected.

I really am astounded by the will.i.am song. It's beautiful and
stirring. I watch it often enough that my two-year-old answers the
question "What does Mr. Obama say?" with "Yes we can!"

Also: I, too, love this about people. There's so much creativity out
there that is just ready to burst out when you give people the
opportunity.

#11 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:46 PM:

These videos show how much hope and faith there is invested in Obama
right now it's scary, because there's always the fear that people will
be so horribly disappointed and angry if he cannot live up to these
expectations.

#12 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 01:50 PM:

And of course there's always The Might Be Giants' James K. Polk, which is one of their catchier historicals.

There's a thesis for some Musicologist in here somewhere, about our
country's long history of singing about politicians we
love/hate/moderately like enough to maybe vote for.

#13 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:04 PM:

Nit: I think the New Bbama song isn't a filk but is the original with new visuals. (This claims to be the original source, that is, of all the other reproduced versions of the Llama Song.)

But it cheered me up sufficiently after the DRILLING outside my
OFFICE that I can go back to work without being distracted by wanting
to stab someone.

#14 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:07 PM:

My parents had an LP of campaign songs that included the "Hurrah,
Hurrah, the country's risin'/for Henry Clay and Frelinghuysen."

Now I can't get the tune out of my head.

Perhaps a rousing chorus of "Van Buren, Boom Boom" or "I Like Ike" will help.

[wandering off, humming:

I like Ike.

He's a man we all of us like.

He makes no deals.

His favor can't be curried!

And Uncle Joe is worried,

Cause we like Ike...."]

#15 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:16 PM:

Wow, that "Huck Em All" was scary. I was sure that Ron Paul was the
clear Fascist candidate in this election cycle, but I may have to
conclude that it's Huckabee.

Although actually, if I'd thought about it, I probably would have
concluded that anyway - Ron Paul may be the favorite of the white pride
crowd, but the potentially fascist bits of America are considerably
broader than that. Plus there's the moderately difficult problem
philosophically of being a fascist libertarian.

#16 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:17 PM:

I had the same thought as Kate Nepveu (#13) about the Llama song,
but whatever it is, the fact that there's something like Llama song
filk in the world still made my day. :-)

#17 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:24 PM:

Clifton Royston #9: I played the Sparrow kaiso to some of my students and their response: 'What is he saying?'

#18 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:25 PM:

I highly recommend Oscar Brand's CD of Presidential campaign songs from Smithsonian Folkways.
Includes threats that slavery and knavery would be comin' if John
Quincy weren't comin', a third-party advocacy piece urging us to get
off "the same old merry-go-round," two or three songs slagging "little
Matty Van" or "little Van...a washed-up man," and Carter's emo "Why Not
The Best?" My partner and I own it and bring it to parties.

I wonder how good "Winners and Losers: Campaign Songs from the Critical Elections in American History, Vol. 1" is.

#19 ::: Thaedeus Zefuldar ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:28 PM:

I did one called King George last year.

I think it turned out pretty good considering

it was only my second iMovie attempt.



#20 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 02:57 PM:

I think my favorite historical campaign song is The Man Who Never Returned as performed by the Kingston Trio.

"Fight the fare increase! Vote for George O'Brian! Get poor Charlie off the MTA!"

#21 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 03:39 PM:

Daniel Boone (20): Yeah, but I could never figure out why, when his
wife is handing him his lunch through the open window every day, she
doesn't include the "one more nickel!" he needs in order to get off the
train.

#22 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 03:58 PM:

I've been afraid to listen to the Obama "Yes We Can" song, fearing
that is desecrated the wonderful Allen Toussaint song "Yes We Can Can"
(made famous by the Pointer Sisters). Can someone here who knows the
song I'm talking about confirm that the Obama song has nothing to do
with it?

Teresa, Jonathan Bellman and Phil Ford over at Dial M for Musicology have been writing a fair amount about music and the campaign season.

#23 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 03:59 PM:

Daniel Boone @ 20, that reminds me (through thinking of the Dropkick Murphys' cover of The Man Who Never Returned) that I've long thought a GREAT campaign song would be "A Few Good Men."

Join us in our song

We shall rise and sing

Stand up and be counted

Sing a song for liberty...

Also, the Is corruption not their trademark and compassion what they lack? part. It's a great theme song for election season, along with Billy Bragg singing "You fascists are bound to lose."

#24 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:00 PM:

Mary Aileen, if she'd given him the nickel, the song would have been over.

Huckabee is something this country hasn't seen in quite some time: a
populist demagogue along the lines of Huey Long. They used to be really
thick on the ground, but the advent of film, and then television,
seemed to have put a cramp in their style.



#25 ::: Phil Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:06 PM:

I wholeheartedly second the recommendation for Oscar Brand's
Presidential Campaign Songs album. It's vastly entertaining,
educational, goes over well at parties, and, for a long time, I thought
it documented the bygone practice of original campaign songs for
candidates. After Carter's "Why Not The Best?" (which I'd describe as
seizing the twang zeitgeist rather than emo; either way, it kicked the
crap out of Ford's lame "I'm Feeling Good About America"), it looked
like candidates were happy to just borrow old songs rather than write
new ones. I'm thrilled to see that YouTube has revived the practice.

As for the Brand album, the rule of thumb is that if you remember
the candidate's campaign slogan from history class, the song is
probably utterly infectious. I was also tickled to learn that Polk's
campaign song is as catchy as They Might Be Giants' tribute to him.
However, my personal favorite may well be Millard Fillmore's tune, "The
Union Wagon". I guarantee that upon hearing it you will be eager to
take a ride on the Millard Fillmore wagon.

Finally, I haven't quite decided who I'm voting for yet - North
Carolina's primary isn't until early May, at which point it'll likely
be moot - but knowing that The Mighty Sparrow endorses Obama is a
powerful argument for the Yes, We Can faction.

#26 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:13 PM:

Beth @24, to be sure. As long as Huckabee's in US politics, I'm going to stay a little nervous.

Daniel @15, fascists like empires, and Ron Paul wants to end the Pax
Americana. I just wish he was equally sane about other issues.

Martin @11, ditto. I've only caught up on the Spanish Obama songs,
but they make me want to cry, because they expect so much more than
Obama is promising.

#27 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:17 PM:

I think the thing they most want is within reach, which is the sense
that their leaders believe the people are an essential part of the
political process.

#28 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:20 PM:

Oh, wow, Teresa, I'd completely forgotten about Jin! He had a
smallish hit a few years back (2004, I think) with a pretty great song
called "Learn Chinese". Here's a fan-made video for it on YouTube (the song has naughty words, if that matters for anyone).

#29 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Not that I want to load anyone up with even more time-wasters but
last year's election in Australia produced quite a bit of YouTube
activity as well. The successful challenger, Kevin Rudd, featured in,
among other things, a Mao-propaganda-style anthem. My favourite piece,
and the only I can find a link for, was this post-election farewell to John w Howard, 'Will I ever see your face again? No way! Get lost! F*ck off!'

#30 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:29 PM:

Just watched the Huckabee vids. Uh, thank you, Teresa, I think. I'm
not sure which is scarier, but since headbangers often have a fondness
for fascism, I'll vote for the family that's afraid liberals will take
away their knives.

#31 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 04:40 PM:

Teresa @27, agreed. Much of my support for Obama has nothing to do
with him (though I think he's a good man). It's that his supporters are
clearly willing to push him in a way I haven't seen in ages. Or maybe,
never. McCarthy and McGovern were both running with their crowd. Every
Democrat frontrunner since then seems to have strolled, essentially
saying, "I'm the centrist who got the nomination, so accept what I want
to do." But with Obama, people are pushing him hard to the left. I
think it's reasonable to hope he'll actually go there.

#32 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 05:05 PM:

Scraps, #22: Nope, nothing whatever to do with the Toussaint song. will.i.am did co-write "My Humps," however (even Homer nods).

Will, #31: I alluded to this on my LJ a couple weeks ago. Obama may disappoint, but at least there's a shot he'll listen to his constituents. McCain won't disappoint, but I think this is more bug than feature.

#33 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 05:08 PM:

Thanks, Chris! Though yeah, the "My Humps" datum is disquieting.

#34 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Chris and Scraps, have you seen the Alanis Morissette cover video of
"My Humps"? Hilarious. Poke around on YouTube if you want to see it.

#35 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 06:19 PM:

All those Obama links and no mention of Eine Kleine Barackmusik? Clearly, an oversight that must be corrected.

And if you're bored of songs about the candidates, how about one about the primary process itself? Sounds fascinating, right?

Superdelegate

Both by Roy Zimmerman; I'd link to his page too, but don't want to
get into any spam filters. You can reach it easily from the YouTube
links anyway.

#36 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 06:39 PM:

Is that Roy Zimmerman of the Foremen?? Because if so I am there. Had wondered what any of them were up to.

(I have heard the Morisette cover, and it is funny.)

#37 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 06:51 PM:

I'm splitting the diference between Martin @ 11 and will @ 31: I
figure Obama is going to break people's hearts, but that might not be a
bad thing, especially since, as will points out, he's the closest thing
to a mass mobilization on the left in decades.

As for Huckabee, well, I'm from Arkansaw, and he is indeed a scary
dude, and part of the scary is that he's mostly for real. The
comparison to Huey Long is apropos in many ways, including their weird
mix of venality and sincere social concern.

#38 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 07:15 PM:

My wife and I homeschool our children, does anyone know what Clinton or Obama's views on homeschooling are?

#39 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 07:54 PM:

By the way, does anyone else think it's time for a revival of How To Steal An Election? I loved that record when I was a kid.

#40 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 08:09 PM:

How to Steal an Election, #39: As nasty as the whole election
process here, I'm thankful that we don't have an election like Russia
had where Putin's puppet just got into office.

#41 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 08:37 PM:

Further to Jonathan @ 29, The Chaser (you may remember them from
APEC- they were the ones who got through the security barricade with a
fake Canadian motorcade) had some great political satire, including
songs.

Two of my favourites, Stairway to Kevin and Howard's Way

Incidentally, you can download all the episodes of the Chaser from the ABC website.

#42 ::: Kristi Wachter ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 08:57 PM:

Makossa:

My favorite radio show, KFOG's "Ten at Ten" (which is a magnificent
little history lesson every day - his sound bytes of the start of the
AIDS crisis in early 80's years are heartbreaking), often plays "Soul
Makossa" by Manu Dibango when 1973 comes up.

#43 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 09:59 PM:

Jonathan, #29: That is awesome. I'm looking forward to somebody filking it here after November. Very few of the lyrics would even have to be tweaked!

Chris, #35: OMG. I love Roy Zimmerman! If he weren't married and I weren't childfree, I'd want to have his babies.

#44 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 10:51 PM:

Jonathan Shaw @ #29: That was delightful indeed. I'm just
wondering how long it'll take before a producer of such a video about
GWB wouldn't be subject to arrest.

#45 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 11:06 PM:

I notice, on the eve of the Texas primaries, that there are brand
new comments on each of the Spanish-language Obama clips about Hussein
Obama and Muslims for Obama. **sigh** I guess Hillary's Professionals
figure if it could work for Uncle Turd Blossom on McCain in South
Carolina, it should work on Obama too.

Completely unrelated, but I also notice that "Huck 'Em All" has been "removed by the user."

#46 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2008, 11:14 PM:

LMB, no problem; I've replaced the "Huck 'Em All" URL with the one from the World Metal Alliance site.

#47 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 12:16 AM:

Janni @ #16: the fact that there's something like Llama song filk in the world still made my day.

There are things very like Llama song filk in the world, such as The Dalek Song
(retelling the Doctor Who episode "The Parting of the Ways"), which if
memory serves I'd seen before I'd ever heard the original Llama Song
all the way through.

#48 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 01:28 AM:

Thanks, Teresa. That was so very much more listenable than any of
the other songs for The Huckster. Which only means that I could get
completely through it.

#49 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 07:43 AM:

#45: Why do you suspect Hillary's relative amateurs and not the
proven masters of the smear? They can do the delegate math as well as
anyone at this point. With the Republican nomination pretty much in the
bag, it's not too early to start spreading lies and misinformation
about *any* Democratic candidate just for laughs, let alone the one who
looks like the probable future nominee.

And if they can have their smear blamed on *another* Democrat, well, that's even better, isn't it?

#50 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 09:41 AM:

This also happens to be at the nadir of my own technological prognosticating.

Ten, twenty years ago, I was looking forward to the ongoing drop in the
cost of computing enabling amateur animators to begin to a.p.a. their
home creations.

Animation isn't a hot ambition -- MTV is . . .

#51 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 10:42 AM:

Heresiarch, you're wicked as ever.

Chris (49), we're in a hall of mirrors.

#52 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 11:23 AM:

Whoops! Van Buren is called a USED-up man, not a WASHED-up man, in "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too." I regret the error.

I am wholly surprised that no one here has yet mentioned "Get on a Raft with Taft."

Get on a raft with Taft, boys

Get on the winning boat

The man worthwhile

With a friendly smile

Will get the honest vote!

Interesting note I found while looking this up: the
LA Times reported in 2000 that we do not know exactly how much Taft
weighed because we didn't have precise enough scales for that weight
range
. Is that true?

Benjamin Harrison's "He's All Right" has a defensive-sounding refrain:

What's the matter with Harrison?

He's all right!

There can be no comparison;

He's all right!

and goes on to bash Cleveland:

Ben's a man who bravely went

For his native land to shoot

Whereas Grover Cleveland skulked

Behind the nearest substitute!

And I look forward to fan-written songs mentioning the vice-presidential candidates as well. Do you remember the name of Buchanan's VP?

For there is balm in Gilead,

We hear the people say;

Buchanan and John Breckenridge

Will surely win the day!

#53 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 12:37 PM:

I would like to note that I woke up at half-past three this morning,
and then had the greatest difficulty going back to sleep because of the
earworm:

Hurrah! Hurrah! the nation's risin'

For Harry Clay and Frelinghuysen!

And they didn't even win, more's the pity.

#54 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 12:49 PM:

Alan, #4: I don't think that's going to be a worry at any major
event, for one simple reason: multiple feeds, including people with
video cellphones. If you've got 10 or 30 or 200 live feeds from the
same event up on YouTube, and one of them looks different from the
others (or from the MSM coverage), it will get NOTICED. And can you
imagine the explosion when it is?

The place where it might be a problem is at smaller events with
little or no MSM coverage, and where recording equipment of any kind is
tightly controlled.

Chris, #49: That's exactly why I'm supporting Obama. The fact that so many people automatically
suspect Clinton whenever anything underhanded comes up is a kind of
baggage that I don't think she can overcome. I also don't think that
putting "Obama is a Muslim" comments on Latino support videos is going
to get much response from the target community except disgust at the
people doing it. It's knee-jerk crap, which argues for lower-end
sources.

#55 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 01:51 PM:

Chris @ 49: I'm basing my suspicions on the news item that a
couple of her staffers have already been fired for sending such
e-mails. Also, the same usernames that have been used to post rumors
and links to specious sites have also been signed to posts supporting
Hillary at her sites.

I'm about to head off to work (not in my office) and I didn't
bookmark the articles, but if you're still needing citations when I get
back from the caucus tonight, and it's not way late, I'll look them up
and post them.

#56 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 02:41 PM:

If anyone is interested in un-gapping on Latin music, for free, I
highly recommend Batanga.com, which streams out stations of different
genres (such as reggaeton). Last.fm also has a lot of Latin music to
stream (as well as just about everything else I've looked at), but it's
harder to pick out specific genres there if you don't know any artist
names.

#57 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 02:44 PM:

Teresa,

A couple editorial comments - The "Colombian Barak Obama" video
isn't an Obama campaign video. From what I can tell, he's a Colombian
singer who looks like Obama, which is what's being commented on. (Note
- my Spanish isn't very good, so I could be wrong.)

The JamieR2006 piece is a Ron Paul video, but the music isn't
original. I've heard it before, and my steel sieve memory tells me it's
a Michael Jackson love song, but I could be wrong about that, too.

The link for "Stuck on Huck" goes to the same place as the one for "The Huckabee Song."

The "Snoopy Candidate" song needs video footage of Uno getting a
standing ovation at Madison Square Gardens to go with the lyrics about
"waving the sign of the Beagle high." Just sayin'.

Otherwise, this was fun. I've become a fan of "The Mighty Sparrow." His endorsement is good enough for me.

#58 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 02:49 PM:

will.i.am did co-write "My Humps

Oh, here is a must-see: Alannis Morisette's version of "My Humps"

#59 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 03:41 PM:

Not to mention Brad Neely's "George Washington".

#60 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 05:40 PM:

My mother's favorite illustration of her family's Republicanism is this simple one for Eisenhower:



Whistle while you work!

Stevenson's a jerk!

Eisenhower's got the power,

Whistle while you work!

There may have been more to it, but if so it didn't stick with Mom for the intervening 50 years.

#61 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Awesome compilation, Teresa, thank you! I am especially delighted
with "Barack the Magnificent." Those lyrics are a political commentary
better than I've read in the newspaper.



And, because the spirit is with the Obama campaign at this mortal
moment, three middle-school white kids dressed up--two as rappers, one
in a sombrero--to record their own version: Como Se dice Como Se llama
Obama. Good on 'em.

*cringe* But now THAT video is breathtakingly racist and just plain
wrong. Those kids are so horribly unfamiliar with the language and
culture of the people they are imitating that their imitation is pure
mockery.

#62 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 09:20 PM:

Oh my -- did you actually miss one, and the one that rocks my world as of this sitting?

NO YOU CAN'T -- NO SE PUEDE
isn't in Spanish, actually, and features the sort of rich white
conservative people who would indeed turn down a whole lot of the hope
and promises. Spot-on parody.

#63 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2008, 10:58 PM:

Fragano @ 53: I was somehow quite ignorant of Henry Clay till I saw
a friend with the Remini biography and she recommended it. I probably
learned more about John Quincy Adams from that book than from any other
I've read, too.

As to videos, here's a slightly off-topic creepy one. The music isn't too well performed, but the mashup idea was brilliant. I don't think it'd work with the original tracks.

#64 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2008, 12:10 AM:

Y'know, all I know about Henry Clay comes from Irving Stone's They Also Ran,
where IIRC Stone calls Clay one of the two arguably mentally ill
candidates for president (the other being William Jennings Bryan --
this being through the Eisenhower administration, I think). I imagine
someone will declare Stone a hack shortly, but the book was
entertaining.

#65 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2008, 01:04 AM:

Offtopic, but a few songs below Huck 'Em All on that site, Jason
Becker playing Paganini's 5th Caprice is disquietingly kinda cool.

#66 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2008, 01:24 AM:

A llama llama bo-bama,

Fee Fi Fo Fama, Obama!

(sigh) i got nothin'

#67 ::: Strata Chalup ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2008, 04:26 PM:

Daniel B (#20): I'd heard Charlie on the MTA as a kid, but it didn't
stick in my mind until I picked up a Clam Chowder tape that had a
version on it. To this day I sing it "Vote for Ed Sobansky", as their
version used the name of one of the band members. :-)

They also had a cover of "Benson, Arizona", from the movie
"DarkStar" on one of their tapes. I still have it, stamped with the
address label from the Benson AZ general store when I drove through
there on my first cross-country solo trip. The folks at the store had
never heard of the song, and were quite amazed to hear it played for
them. They thought it was pretty neat that somebody would go to space
and miss ol' Benson. Except the teenagers, who couldn't believe folks
would want anything except to get away to Phoenix or some other big
city.

Anyone else here remember seeing CC perform at Disklaves on the East Coast in the early to mid 80's?

#68 ::: (view all by) ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2008, 01:30 PM:

For fans of the Llama song, here's my daughter's acoustic version.

Just in case she's reading this I would like to point out that this
happened a LONG TIME AGO when she was in COLLEGE and she is now a
SERIOUS THEATER PROFESSIONAL. (I would also like to point out that my
daughter's orthographic skills are somewhat better than those of
whoever posted the video.)

#69 ::: The Constructivist ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2008, 04:37 PM:

Anyone pick up on my Fishbone suggestion yet?

#70 ::: Susie Lorand ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 12:06 AM:

Belatedly de-lurking to recommend the Zydeco version of "Yes We Can": Oui on peut.

#71 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:58 PM:

Two of my current favorites:

"Respondele a Obama" by Jose Conde y Ola Fresca

"Si Se Puede Cambiar" by Andres Useche

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