There must be a job somewhere choosing music for politicians in campaigns and at rallies. I sometimes cannot believe how wrong they can get things. The McCain camp has been very publicly slammed by Heart’s Nancy Wilson for using the song “Barracuda” during the recent republican convention. In a comment to Entertainment Weekly, she had this to say: “”I feel completely f—ed over.”
That’s quite a statement in the run-up to an election. Some people could have been flattered by the use of her song. But to be more precise, she also sent EW a longer explanation. Click through to read it.
“Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.”
The same article also points to the questionable use of country duo Brooks and Dunn’s “Only in America” by the Obama camp. Why? Because George Bush had used it for his previous campaign. In neither case were the writers consulted about using the music. It’s worth bearing in mind that songwriters often insist on a clause in publishing contracts that specifically excludes the use of a song in certain types of advertising (cigarettes and alcohol, usually) and political causes. This is probably why the McCain received “cease and desist” orders from the publisher of “Barracuda”.
As I wrote in 2005 already when Germany’s Angela Markel was using the Stones’ “Angie” in her campaign (“…you’re beautiful, ain’t it time we said goodbye…”): don’t they ever learn?