Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

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Rspaight
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Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Postby Rspaight » Thu May 25, 2006 10:53 am

This, my friends, is comedy.

Conservative Top 50

Following is National Review's list of its top 50 conservative rock songs, with the magazine's explanations of its choices.

1. "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who.
The conservative movement is full of disillusioned revolutionaries; this could be their theme song, an oath that swears off naive idealism once and for all. "There's nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by—the—bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss." The instantly recognizable synthesizer intro, Pete Townshend's ringing guitar, Keith Moon's pounding drums, and Roger Daltrey's wailing vocals make this one of the most explosive rock anthems ever recorded — the best number by a big band, and a classic for conservatives.

2. "Taxman," by The Beatles.
A George Harrison masterpiece with a famous guitar riff (which was actually played by Paul McCartney): "If you drive a car, I'll tax the street / If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat / If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat / If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet." The song closes with a humorous jab at death taxes: "Now my advice for those who die / Declare the pennies on your eyes."

3. "Sympathy for the Devil," by The Rolling Stones.
Don't be misled by the title; this song is "The Screwtape Letters" of rock. The devil is a tempter who leans hard on moral relativism — he will try to make you think that "every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints." What's more, he is the sinister inspiration for the cruelties of Bolshevism: "I stuck around St. Petersburg / When I saw it was a time for a change / Killed the czar and his ministers / Anastasia screamed in vain."

4. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
A tribute to the region of America that liberals love to loathe, taking a shot at Neil Young's Canadian arrogance along the way: "A Southern man don't need him around anyhow."

5. "Wouldn't It Be Nice," by The Beach Boys.
Pro—abstinence and pro—marriage: "Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true / Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do / We could be married / And then we'd be happy."

6. "Gloria," by U2.
Just because a rock song is about faith doesn't mean that it's conservative. But what about a rock song that's about faith and whose chorus is in Latin? That's beautifully reactionary: "Gloria / In te domine / Gloria / Exultate."

7. "Revolution," by The Beatles.
"You say you want a revolution / Well you know / We all want to change the world . . . Don't you know you can count me out?" What's more, Communism isn't even cool: "If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow." (Someone tell the Che Guevara crowd.)

8. "Bodies," by The Sex Pistols.
Violent and vulgar, but also a searing anti—abortion anthem by the quintessential punk band: "It's not an animal / It's an abortion."

9. "Don't Tread on Me," by Metallica.
A head—banging tribute to the doctrine of peace through strength, written in response to the first Gulf War: "So be it / Threaten no more / To secure peace is to prepare for war."

10. "20th Century Man," by The Kinks.
"You keep all your smart modern writers / Give me William Shakespeare / You keep all your smart modern painters / I'll take Rembrandt, Titian, da Vinci, and Gainsborough. . . . I was born in a welfare state / Ruled by bureaucracy / Controlled by civil servants / And people dressed in grey / Got no privacy got no liberty / 'Cause the 20th—century people / Took it all away from me."

11. "The Trees," by Rush.
Before there was Rush Limbaugh, there was Rush, a Canadian band whose lyrics are often libertarian. What happens in a forest when equal rights become equal outcomes? "The trees are all kept equal / By hatchet, axe, and saw."

12. "Neighborhood Bully," by Bob Dylan.
A pro—Israel song released in 1983, two years after the bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor, this ironic number could be a theme song for the Bush Doctrine: "He destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad / The bombs were meant for him / He was supposed to feel bad / He's the neighborhood bully."

13. "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders.
Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for Limbaugh's radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative's dissatisfaction with rapid change: "I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride."

14. "Right Here, Right Now," by Jesus Jones.
The words are vague, but they're also about the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War: "I was alive and I waited for this. . . . Watching the world wake up from history."

15. "I Fought the Law," by The Crickets.
The original law—and—order classic, made famous in 1965 by The Bobby Fuller Four and covered by just about everyone since then.

16. "Get Over It," by The Eagles.
Against the culture of grievance: "The big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing." There's also this nice line: "I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass."

17. "Stay Together for the Kids," by Blink 182.
A eulogy for family values by an alt—rock band whose members were raised in a generation without enough of them: "So here's your holiday / Hope you enjoy it this time / You gave it all away. . . . It's not right."

18. "Cult of Personality," by Living Colour.
A hard—rocking critique of state power, whacking Mussolini, Stalin, and even JFK: "I exploit you, still you love me / I tell you one and one makes three / I'm the cult of personality."

19. "Kicks," by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
An anti—drug song that is also anti—utopian: "Well, you think you're gonna find yourself a little piece of paradise / But it ain't happened yet, so girl you better think twice."

20. "Rock the Casbah," by The Clash.
After 9/11, American radio stations were urged not to play this 1982 song, one of the biggest hits by a seminal punk band, because it was seen as too provocative. Meanwhile, British Forces Broadcasting Service (the radio station for British troops serving in Iraq) has said that this is one of its most requested tunes.

21. "Heroes," by David Bowie.
A Cold War love song about a man and a woman divided by the Berlin Wall. No moral equivalence here: "I can remember / Standing / By the wall / And the guns / Shot above our heads / And we kissed / As though nothing could fall / And the shame / Was on the other side / Oh we can beat them / For ever and ever."

22. "Red Barchetta," by Rush.
In a time of "the Motor Law," presumably legislated by green extremists, the singer describes family reunion and the thrill of driving a fast car — an act that is his "weekly crime."

23. "Brick," by Ben Folds Five.
Written from the perspective of a man who takes his young girlfriend to an abortion clinic, this song describes the emotional scars of "reproductive freedom": "Now she's feeling more alone / Than she ever has before. . . . As weeks went by / It showed that she was not fine."

24. "Der Kommissar," by After the Fire.
On the misery of East German life: "Don't turn around, uh—oh / Der Kommissar's in town, uh—oh / He's got the power / And you're so weak / And your frustration / Will not let you speak." Also a hit song for Falco, who wrote it.

25. "The Battle of Evermore," by Led Zeppelin.
The lyrics are straight out of Robert Plant's Middle Earth period — there are lines about "ring wraiths" and "magic runes" — but for a song released in 1971, it's hard to miss the Cold War metaphor: "The tyrant's face is red."

26. "Capitalism," by Oingo Boingo.
"There's nothing wrong with Capitalism / There's nothing wrong with free enterprise. . . . You're just a middle class, socialist brat / From a suburban family and you never really had to work."

27. "Obvious Song," by Joe Jackson.
For property rights and economic development, and against liberal hypocrisy: "There was a man in the jungle / Trying to make ends meet / Found himself one day with an axe in his hand / When a voice said 'Buddy can you spare that tree / We gotta save the world — starting with your land' / It was a rock 'n' roll millionaire from the USA / Doing three to the gallon in a big white car / And he sang and he sang 'til he polluted the air / And he blew a lot of smoke from a Cuban cigar."

28. "Janie's Got a Gun," by Aerosmith.
How the right to bear arms can protect women from sexual predators: "What did her daddy do? / It's Janie's last I.O.U. / She had to take him down easy / And put a bullet in his brain / She said 'cause nobody believes me / The man was such a sleaze / He ain't never gonna be the same."

29. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," by Iron Maiden.
A heavy—metal classic inspired by a literary classic. How many other rock songs quote directly from Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

30. "You Can't Be Too Strong," by Graham Parker.
Although it's not explicitly pro—life, this tune describes the horror of abortion with bracing honesty: "Did they tear it out with talons of steel, and give you a shot so that you wouldn't feel?"

31. "Small Town," by John Mellencamp.
A Burkean rocker: "No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from / I cannot forget the people who love me."

32. "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," by The Georgia Satellites.
An outstanding vocal performance, with lyrics that affirm old—time sexual mores: "She said no huggy, no kissy until I get a wedding vow."

33. "You Can't Always Get What You Want," by The Rolling Stones.
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.

34. "Godzilla," by Blue Ayster Cult.
A 1977 classic about a big green monster — and more: "History shows again and again / How nature points up the folly of men."

35. "Who'll Stop the Rain," by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Written as an anti—Vietnam War song, this tune nevertheless is pessimistic about activism and takes a dim view of both Communism and liberalism: "Five—year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains . . ."

36. "Government Cheese," by The Rainmakers.
A protest song against the welfare state by a Kansas City band that deserved more success than it got. The first line: "Give a man a free house and he'll bust out the windows."

37. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," by The Band.
Despite its sins, the American South always has been about more than racism — this song captures its pride and tradition.

38. "I Can't Drive 55," by Sammy Hagar.
A rocker's objection to the nanny state. (See also Hagar's pro—America song "VOA.")

39. "Property Line," by The Marshall Tucker Band.
The secret to happiness, according to these southern—rock heavyweights, is life, liberty, and property: "Well my idea of a good time / Is walkin' my property line / And knowin' the mud on my boots is mine."

40. "Wake Up Little Susie," by The Everly Brothers.
A smash hit in 1957, back when high—school social pressures were rather different from what they have become: "We fell asleep, our goose is cooked, our reputation is shot."

41. "The Icicle Melts," by The Cranberries.
A pro—life tune sung by Irish warbler Dolores O'Riordan: "I don't know what's happening to people today / When a child, he was taken away . . . 'Cause nine months is too long."

42. "Everybody's a Victim," by The Proclaimers.
Best known for their smash hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," this Scottish band also recorded a catchy song about the problem of suspending moral judgment: "It doesn't matter what I do / You have to say it's all right . . . Everybody's a victim / We're becoming like the USA."

43. "Wonderful," by Everclear.
A child's take on divorce: "I don't wanna hear you say / That I will understand someday / No, no, no, no / I don't wanna hear you say / You both have grown in a different way / No, no, no, no / I don't wanna meet your friends / And I don't wanna start over again / I just want my life to be the same / Just like it used to be."

44. "Two Sisters," by The Kinks.
Why the "drudgery of being wed" is more rewarding than bohemian life.

45. "Taxman, Mr. Thief," by Cheap Trick.
An anti—tax protest song: "You work hard, you went hungry / Now the taxman is out to get you. . . . He hates you, he loves money."

46. "Wind of Change," by The Scorpions.
A German hard—rock group's optimistic power ballad about the end of the Cold War and national reunification: "The world is closing in / Did you ever think / That we could be so close, like brothers / The future's in the air / I can feel it everywhere / Blowing with the wind of change."

47. "One," by Creed.
Against racial preferences: "Society blind by color / Why hold down one to raise another / Discrimination now on both sides / Seeds of hate blossom further."

48. "Why Don't You Get a Job," by The Offspring.
The lyrics aren't exactly Shakespearean, but they're refreshingly blunt and they capture a motive force behind welfare reform.

49. "Abortion," by Kid Rock.
A plaintive song sung by a man who confronts his unborn child's abortion: "I know your brothers and your sister and your mother too / Man I wish you could see them too."

50. "Stand By Your Man," by Tammy Wynette.
Hillary trashed it — isn't that enough? If you're worried that Wynette's original is too country, then check out the cover version by Motörhead.
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

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Re: Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Postby lukpac » Thu May 25, 2006 11:02 am

4. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
A tribute to the region of America that liberals love to loathe, taking a shot at Neil Young's Canadian arrogance along the way: "A Southern man don't need him around anyhow."


I guess they missed Al Kooper singing Southern Man in the background.

7. "Revolution," by The Beatles.
"You say you want a revolution / Well you know / We all want to change the world . . . Don't you know you can count me out?" What's more, Communism isn't even cool: "If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow." (Someone tell the Che Guevara crowd.)


They must hate the album version, then. "Don't you know you can count me out...in"

50. "Stand By Your Man," by Tammy Wynette.
Hillary trashed it — isn't that enough? If you're worried that Wynette's original is too country, then check out the cover version by Motörhead.


Ha! "Hillary trashed it — isn't that enough?"

And am I incorrect in saying that Townshend was pissed when GWB used WGFA in 2000?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Jeff » Thu May 25, 2006 11:15 am

So apparently any song about bad shit going down in a Communist state is inherently "conservative." And any song that has anything positive to say about the South is also conservative. Uh huh.

And it's a real stretch to add "Brick" to that list. There's absolutely no pro-life stance in that song. Yes, the girl was "not fine." Does anyone on either side of the ideological fence really believe that an abortion is a walk in the park? Acknowledging the psychological after-effects of an abortion does not make one pro-life.

34. "Godzilla," by Blue Ayster [sic] Cult.
A 1977 classic about a big green monster — and more: "History shows again and again / How nature points up the folly of men."


WTF? :?

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Re: Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Postby MK » Thu May 25, 2006 11:40 am

12. "Neighborhood Bully," by Bob Dylan.
A pro—Israel song released in 1983, two years after the bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor, this ironic number could be a theme song for the Bush Doctrine: "He destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad / The bombs were meant for him / He was supposed to feel bad / He's the neighborhood bully."


Yeah, and the same gun-ho mentality that took us back into Iraq has worked out SOOOO well.

13. "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders.
Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for Limbaugh's radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative's dissatisfaction with rapid change: "I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride."


Of course, the GOP has no problem developing, drilling, and mining the shit out of everything.

14. "Right Here, Right Now," by Jesus Jones.
The words are vague, but they're also about the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War: "I was alive and I waited for this. . . . Watching the world wake up from history."


Dude, forget politics, no one should brag about liking Jesus Jones.
"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." – Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Neither slave nor tyrant." - Basque motto

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Postby Bennett Cerf » Thu May 25, 2006 11:52 am

I love Mussolini almost as much as I love Stalin.

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Re: Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Postby lukpac » Thu May 25, 2006 12:01 pm

MK wrote:
13. "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders.
Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for Limbaugh's radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative's dissatisfaction with rapid change: "I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride."


Of course, the GOP has no problem developing, drilling, and mining the shit out of everything.


I don't know the song, but that would seem to be the anti-conservative song. Since when do *liberals* want sprawl?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Rspaight » Thu May 25, 2006 12:57 pm

Indeed. I think "My City Was Gone" might be the most tortured rationale on a list full of tortured rationales. "A Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative's dissatisfaction with rapid change." Christ. It's an anti-development, anti-suburbia, anti-sprawl song. Conservatives love those things.

I figure that they just *had* to find a way to get Rush's theme song on the list.

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Postby dudelsack » Thu May 25, 2006 2:19 pm

25. "The Battle of Evermore," by Led Zeppelin.
The lyrics are straight out of Robert Plant's Middle Earth period — there are lines about "ring wraiths" and "magic runes" — but for a song released in 1971, it's hard to miss the Cold War metaphor: "The tyrant's face is red."


Anyone who tries to decode Robert Plant's pseudo-mystical bullshit for political purposes is a fucking tosser, as well as a complete tool. That said, I didn't truly chuckle until this one. The last 25 are quite a hoot.

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Postby My Avatar Is A Hot Babe » Thu May 25, 2006 2:38 pm

Some great songs on that list! Here are a few of my other favorites.

"Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jimmy Buffet - I bet this one drives the vegetarian nutjobs crazy.

"This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. Hear that, Mexico? You've got your land, we've got ours. Let's keep it that way.

"Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin - He played Bush's inauguration. We'll let him stay.

"One in a Million" by Guns 'N Roses - Puts the niggers and faggots in their place.

"God Bless America" - Because the only thing the Libs hate more than God is America.
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Re: Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Postby lukpac » Mon May 29, 2006 7:38 am

Rspaight wrote:1. "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who.
The conservative movement is full of disillusioned revolutionaries; this could be their theme song, an oath that swears off naive idealism once and for all. "There's nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by—the—bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss." The instantly recognizable synthesizer intro, Pete Townshend's ringing guitar, Keith Moon's pounding drums, and Roger Daltrey's wailing vocals make this one of the most explosive rock anthems ever recorded — the best number by a big band, and a classic for conservatives.


Pete responds.

http://www.petetownshend.co.uk/diary/di ... zone=diary

27 May 2006
Won't Get Judged Again

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.
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Postby lukpac » Tue May 30, 2006 12:15 pm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 93,00.html

Does the devil have the best tunes? If you are a leftie this morning, you could be forgiven for thinking so. America’s conservative National Review has a big feature declaring there is nothing prog about rock. It lists 50 pop standards that are, apparently, right-wing.

They range from the obvious, such as Taxman by the Beatles, to the debatable Won’t Get Fooled Again by the Who, to the shocking: even the Sex Pistols are claimed as true blues for an anti-abortion rant called Bodies. Oh, and the Clash for Rock the Casbah.

Imaginatively, so are the Everly Brothers for Wake Up Little Susie. Heroes by David Bowie is apparently a cogent condemnation of Soviet militarism; the Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil is an attack on leftie moral relativism as satan makes us believe “every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints”. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd is lauded for praising a place “liberals love to loathe”. Yikes.

Clearly some policy wonk has spent many lonely nights doing what he should have given up aged 14: taking pop lyrics very seriously. But how surprising are the findings? Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton and much of Pink Floyd rock for the rights of toffs to wear pink in pursuit of foxes. And Ray Davies, an old English romantic who lazes on sunny afternoons, tells us to respect our culture. Rockers may have trouped out for Red Wedge the way we dutifully trudge to memorial services. But then it was back in the Bentley to a home counties trout lake singing God Save the Queen.

Still, it used to be the original version — now, presumably, even the Pistols’ version will be tickety boo for the next Tory barn dance in Tring.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Re: Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs

Postby Mike Hunte » Wed May 31, 2006 1:51 am

lukpac wrote:
Pete responds.



Nice to know that, after all these years, Pete's still the one artist who can shovel the shit better than just about anyone when combing over his own work. They don't call him pretentious for nothing...lol!

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Postby Rspaight » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:51 am

And there's more! (Commentary at my www link below.)

Encore!

50 more conservative rock songs.

By John J. Miller

My article on the 50 greatest conservative rock songs has struck a chord, so to speak. The New York Times called it “surprisingly persuasive.” The Boston Herald also noticed it. In Britain, the Independent said that “Dylan will never sound the same again.” Some guy named Pete Townshend posted a comment about #1 song “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and a Scottish newspaper tracked down the Proclaimers, who appear at #42, for a remark. The blogosphere has been active as well: I’ve enjoyed reading responses here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The most amusing reply appeared in several forms on left-wing blogs: Hands off my rock music, right-wing scum! This notion was expressed most succinctly by Dave Marsh, described in the Times as “the longtime rock critic and avowed lefty.” He thought the list was “a desperate effort by the right to co-opt popular culture.” In other words: The 62 million Americans who voted for President Bush’s reelection don’t actually participate in the creation and consumption of pop culture, but we steal it and twist it in dastardly ways.

Yawn.

Much of the commentary has focused on two basic questions, both of which I tried to address briefly in the introduction to the original article. I’ll say a few more words here:

What’s conservative? There are of course many varieties of conservatism, a term which I define broadly in the fusionist custom of NR. The original article said: “The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values.” A few lefties have pointed out that they’re skeptical of government, too, especially with Republicans in power. Fair enough. I would modify this to say “skepticism of big government”—i.e., the welfare state, the nanny state, the left-wing state, etc. Also, claiming that a song is conservative certainly does not mean to suggest that the artist who wrote it or performed it is a conservative. For the most part, I interpreted the lyrics the way a New Critic would interpret a poem—i.e., by examining a text without reference to biography or historical context. I bent this rule in a few places, but only when it seemed appropriate. Rest assured, I don’t think the Sex Pistols are a conservative band—but their great rock song “Bodies” resonates with conservatives in a very particular way.

What’s a rock song? For the purposes of this list, I’ve viewed a rock song as a tune that’s already played on a “classic rock” radio station or one that might conceivably be played there. This eliminates a lot of “pop songs” that might be called conservative, such as “Love Child” by The Supremes Diana Ross & The Supremes - Diana Ross & The Supremes: Anthology - Love Childor “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna Madonna - True Blue - Papa Don't Preach. It also excludes country music, where it is of course much easier to find lyrics that express a conservative sentiment. For what it’s worth, I’d love to see someone assemble of list of the 50 best left-wing country songs.

The smartest commentary focused on the meanings of the songs themselves, and quarreling over what’s on and off the list. The most frequent type of reply, judging from the e-mails I’ve seen, proposed additional songs for the list. Suggestions such as these made the whole enterprise possible in the first place: Last fall, when I solicited nominations for great conservative rock songs, I received hundreds of thought-provoking ideas. The fact that so many people interpreted “Won’t Get Fooled Again” as fundamentally counterrevolutionary, for instance, convinced me that it ought to sit atop the list. At any rate, let me say once again to those who wrote in, back then and more recently: Thank you.

Finally, what’s a rock concert without an encore? Here are 50 more songs—a few that just barely missed making the cut for the original list, plus several others that I’ve learned about only this week. Consider them #51-100 on the list of great conservative rock songs. They appear in alphabetical order:

“Aces High,” by Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden - Powerslave; buy CD on Amazon.com
A tribute to the martial valor of the fighter pilots who saved Britain in 1940. On a tour in the 1980s, Iron Maiden opened concerts with a snippet from Churchill’s “Never Surrender” speech and then launched into this rocker. (My own tribute to the everlasting greatness of Iron Maiden may be read here.)

“After Forever,” by Black Sabbath. buy CD on Amazon.com
“Could it be you’re afraid of what your friends might say / If they knew you believe in God above? / They should realize before they criticize / That God is the only way to love.”

“Alive,” by P.O.D. P.O.D. - Satellite - Alive; buy CD on Amazon.com
An expression of Christian faith by a super-hip band.

“Angry Young Man,” by Billy Joel. Billy Joel - KOHUEPT - Angry Young Man; buy CD on Amazon.com
“And there’s always a place for the angry young man / With his fist in the air and his head in the sand / And he’s never been able to learn from mistakes / So he can’t understand why his heart always breaks / And his honor is pure and his courage as well / And he’s fair and he’s true and he’s boring as hell / And he’ll go to the grave as an angry old man.”

“Anthem,” by Rush. Rush - Fly By Night - Anthem ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Inspired by Ayn Rand. “Begging hands and bleeding hearts will / Only cry out for more.”

“Back in the U.S.A.,” by Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry - The Chess Blues-Rock Songbook - Back In the U.S.A. ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A patriotic rock song: “Did I miss the skyscrapers, did I miss the long freeway? / From the coast of California to the shores of Delaware Bay / You can bet your life I did, till I got back to the U.S.A.”

“Blood from a Stone,” by The Hooters. The Hooters - Nervous Night - Blood from a Stone; buy CD on Amazon.com
“I’m working hard to pay the rent / And support my government / Built the highways and the railroad tracks / Now we’re not giving up ‘til they give it all back.”

“Catch Me Now I’m Falling,” by The Kinks. The Kinks - Low Budget - Catch Me Now I'm Falling; buy CD on Amazon.com
“I remember when you were down / You would always come running to me / I never denied you and I would guide you / Through all of your difficulties / Now I’m calling all citizens from all over the world / This is Captain America calling / I bailed you out when you were down on your knees / So will you catch me now I’m falling.”

“Date Rape,” by Sublime. Sublime - 40oz. to Freedom ; buy CD on Amazon.com
Many liberals probably think this song blames the victim; conservatives will see it offering a bit of common sense: “The moral of the date rape story / It does not pay to be drunk and horny.”

“Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” by The Kinks. buy CD on Amazon.com
A portrait of a hipster—and maybe a metaphor for liberalism: “His world is built round discoteques and parties / This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best / cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.”

“Dirty Laundry,” by Don Henley. Eagles - Selected Works 1972-1999 - Dirty Laundry ; buy CD on Amazon.com
An anti-media tune that could have been a theme song for Dan Rather during the 2004 presidential campaign: “We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing / When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing / We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry.”

“Divine Wind,” by Blue Oyster Cult. Blue Öyster Cult - Cultosaurus Erectus - Divine Wind; buy CD on Amazon.com
Although the lyrics don’t make this clear, this song apparently was written in response to the Iranian hostage crisis. Possibly worth reviving for Iran’s current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “If he really thinks we’re the devil / Then let’s send him to hell.”

“Father and Son,” by Cat Stevens. Cat Stevens - Cat Stevens: Greatest Hits - Father and Son; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Find a girl, settle down / If you want you can marry / Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.”

“Freewill,” by Rush. Rush - Retrospective, Vol. 1 (1974-1980) - Freewill; buy CD on Amazon.com
“I will choose free will.”

“Give It Revolution,” by Suicidal Tendencies. Suicidal Tendencies - Lights...Camera...Revolution - Give It Revolution ; buy CD on Amazon.com
“The greatest weapon of the fascist / Is the tolerance of the pacifist / We’ve got to stand up and fight it.”

“Get Back in Line,” by The Kinks. buy CD on Amazon.com
Anti-Big Labor: “That union man’s got such a hold over me / He’s the man who decides if I live or I die, if I starve, or I eat / Then he walks up to me and the sun begins to shine / Then he walks right past and I know that I’ve got to get back in the line.”

“Gotta Serve Somebody,” by Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 - Gotta Serve Somebody ; buy CD on Amazon.com
“It may be the devil or it may be the Lord / But you’re gonna have to serve someone.

“Handbags & Gladrags,” by Rod Stewart. Rod Stewart - The Rod Stewart Album - Handbags and Gladrags ; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Once you think you’re in you’re out / cause you don’t mean a single thing without / The handbags and the gladrags / That your granddad had to sweat so you could buy.”

“Heresy,” by Rush. Rush - Roll the Bones - Heresy ; buy CD on Amazon.com
An bitter epitaph for Communism, at the end of the Cold War: “All around that dull grey world / From Moscow to Berlin / People storm the barricades / Walls go tumbling in / The counter-revolution / People smiling through their tears / Who can give them back their lives / And all those wasted years?”

“Holiday in Cambodia,” by The Dead Kennedys. Dead Kennedys - Cherry Red: The Punk Singles Collection ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The greatest anti-Pol Pot song in the history of rock: “Well you’ll work harder / With a gun in your back / For a bowl of rice a day / Slave for soldiers / Till you starve / Then your head is skewered on a stake.”

“I’d Love to Change the World,” by Ten Years After. buy CD on Amazon.com
An anti-hippy classic. Many conservatives respond favorably to an ironic line in its first verse: “Tax the rich, feed the poor / Till there are no rich no more.”

“In America,” by The Charlie Daniels Band. The Charlie Daniels Band - The Essential Charlie Daniels Band - In America ; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Well the eagle’s been flying slow and the flag’s been flying low / And a lot of people are saying that America’s fixing to fall / But speaking just for me and some people from Tennessee / We got a thing or two to tell you all / This lady may have stumbled but she ain’t never fell / And if the Russians don’t believe that they can all go straight to hell / We’re gonna put her feet back on the path of righteousness / And then God bless America again.”

“Jesus Is Just Alright,” by The Doobie Brothers. The Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin' 1970-2000 - Jesus Is Just Alright ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A counter-counterculture classic.

“Let’s Roll,” by Neil Young. Neil Young - Are You Passionate? - Let's Roll ; buy CD on Amazon.com
The music is kind of lame, but it’s a well-intentioned post-9/11 battle cry.

“Life of a Salesman,” by Yellowcard. Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue - Life of a Salesman ; buy CD on Amazon.com
A deep cut from a cool band with a big future: “Father I will always be / That same boy that stood by the sea / And watched you tower over me / Now I’m older I wanna be the same as you.”

“Little Red Corvette,” by Prince. buy CD on Amazon.com
A cautionary tale: “Honey you got to slow down / Little red corvette / ‘Cause if you don’t you gonna run your little red corvette right in the ground.”

“The Living Years,” by Mike and the Mechanics. buy CD on Amazon.com
“Every generation / Blames the one before / And all of their frustrations / Come beating on your door.”

“Miss Gradenko,” by The Police. The Police - Message in a Box - Miss Gradenko; buy CD on Amazon.com
Forbidden love in the Kremlin: “Don’t tell the director I said so / But are you safe Miss Gradenko? / We were at a policy meeting / They were planning new ways of cheating / I didn’t want to rock your boat / But you sent this dangerous note / You’ve been letting your feelings show / Are you safe Miss Gradenko?”

“Mother Russia,” by Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden - No Prayer for the Dying - Mother Russia; buy CD on Amazon.com
A song from the close of the Cold War—a bit too optimistic, it now appears, but a tune with its heart in the right place: “Mother Russia / Dance of the tsars / Hold up your heads / Be proud of what you are / Now it has come / Freedom at last / Turning the tides of history / And your past.”

“M.T.A.,” by The Kingston Trio. The Kingston Trio - Vanguard: Roots of Folk - M.T.A.; buy CD on Amazon.com
Against “a burdensome tax on the population in the form of a subway fare increase.”

“My Back Pages,” by Bob Dylan Bob Dylan - Another Side of Bob Dylan (Remastered) - My Back Pages; (and covered by The Byrds).The Byrds - The Byrds: Greatest Hits - My Back Pages; buy CD on Amazon.com
The futility of protest: “In soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand / At the mongrel dogs who teach / Fearing not that I’d become my enemy / In the instant that I preach.”

“Old Time Rock & Roll,” by Bob Seger. buy CD on Amazon.com
“Say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill / Today music ain’t got the same soul.”

“Old World,” by The Modern Lovers.The Modern Lovers - The Modern Lovers - Old World; buy CD on Amazon.com
“I see the ‘50’s apartment house / It’s bleak in the 1970s sun / But I still love the ‘50’s / And I still love the old world.”
“Only a Lad,” by Oingo Boingo. Oingo Boingo - Only a Lad - Only a Lad; buy CD on Amazon.com
A dispatch from the excuse factory: “Only a lad / You really can’t blame him / Only a lad / Society made him / Only a lad / He’s our responsibility / Only a lad / He really couldn’t help it / Only a lad / He didn’t want to do it / Only a lad / He’s underprivileged and abused.”

“The Other Side of Summer,” by Elvis Costello. Elvis Costello - Mighty Like a Rose - The Other Side of Summer; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Was it a millionaire who said ‘imagine no possessions’? / A poor little schoolboy who said ‘we don’t need no lessons’?”

“The Playboy Mansion,” by U2. U2 - The Complete U2 - Pop - The Playboy Mansion; buy CD on Amazon.com
Not a place worth visiting: “Then will there be no time for sorrow / Then will there be no time for shame / Then will there be now time for shame / Then will there be now time for pain.”

“Red Army Blues,” by The Waterboys. The Waterboys - A Pagan Place - Red Army Blues; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Dressed in stripes and tatters / In a gulag left to die / All because comrade Stalin was scared that /
We’d become too westernized.”

“Red Skies,” by The Fixx. The Fixx - 1011 Woodland - Red Skies; buy CD on Amazon.com
Not a sailor’s delight. The words are vague, but it doesn’t take an English Ph.D. to tease out a Cold War metaphor.

“Rock a Bye Bye,” by Extreme. Extreme - Extreme - Rock a Bye Bye; buy CD on Amazon.com
A sad, pro-life ballad: “If you could only hear / The silent screams / When you wake them up / From their dreams.”

“Shattered,” by The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones - Still Life (American Concert 1981) - Shattered; buy CD on Amazon.com
A harrowing portrait of New York City, left in “tatters,” before the Giuliani renaissance: “Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots!”

“Silent Scream,” by Slayer. Slayer - South of Heaven - Silent Scream; buy CD on Amazon.com
Could this be the world’s only pro-life death-metal song? “Bury the unwanted child / Beaten and torn / Sacrifice the unborn / Shattered, adolescent / Bearer of no name / Restrained, insane games / Suffer the children condemned.”

“Silent Running,” by Mike and the Mechanics. buy CD on Amazon.com
Pro-gun, pro-faith, and pro-freedom: “There’s a gun and ammunition / Just inside the doorway / Use it only in emergency / Better you should pray to God / The father and the spirit / Will guide you and protect from up here.”

“Simple Man,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Lynyrd Skynyrd: All Time Greatest Hits - Simple Man; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Mama told me when I was young ... / Take your time, don’t live too fast / Troubles will come and they will pass / Go find a woman and you’ll find love / And don’t forget son / There is someone up above.”

“Something for Nothing,” by Rush. Rush - Retrospective, Vol. 1 (1974-1980) - Something for Nothing; buy CD on Amazon.com
Another libertarian rocker: “You don’t get something for nothing / You don’t get freedom for free.”

“Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” by Cracker. Cracker - Cracker; buy CD on Amazon.com
“What the world needs now / Is another folk singer / Like I need a hole in my head.”

“This Night Has Opened My Eyes,” by The Smiths. buy CD on Amazon.com
The lyrics may hold several meanings, but many pro-lifers read them as a haunting ballad in the aftermath of abortion or infanticide: “A shoeless child on a swing / Reminds you of your own again.”

“Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds. The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn! - Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season); buy CD on Amazon.com
Originally written by Pete Seeger and sometimes interpreted as anti-war, the words are taken from Ecclesiastes and announce that to everything there is a season, including “A time to cast away stones / A time to gather stones together” and “A time of war, a time of peace / A time of love, a time of hate / A time you may embrace / A time to refrain from embracing.”

“VOA,” by Sammy Hagar. Sammy Hagar - VOA - VOA; buy CD on Amazon.com
“You in the Middle East, you be on your toes / We’re bound to strike, everybody knows / Just tell your friends, the USSR / We’re gonna, we’re gonna crash that party, ‘cause they’ve gone too far, yeah!”

“Yakety Yak,” by The Coasters. The Coasters - 20 Best of 50's Rock 'n' Roll - Yakety Yak; buy CD on Amazon.com
“Just tell your hoodlum friends outside / You ain’t got time to take a ride / Yakety yak, don’t talk back.”

“You Never Can Tell,” by Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry - The Definitive Collection - You Never Can Tell; buy CD on Amazon.com
Pro-marriage: “‘C’est la vie,’ say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.”

And, one more, coming in at #101:

“Faithfully,” by Journey. Journey - Journey: Greatest Hits Live - Faithfully; buy CD on Amazon.com
This ballad, by my generation’s favorite guilty-pleasure band, isn’t exclusively conservative—it could appeal to anybody who misses someone. But a soldier in Iraq emailed to say it should be on the NR list: “A song about staying true to your spouse regardless of where you are and what you are doing is definitely supportive of traditional marriage and commitment.” I can’t resist. So here it is.
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

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lukpac
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Postby lukpac » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:59 am

That doesn't even begin to make sense. Invoking Pete Townshend? "Originally written by Pete Seeger and sometimes interpreted as anti-war, the words are taken from Ecclesiastes and announce that to everything there is a season" - besides the DUH! factor, what the hell does that have to do with conservatism?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Bennett Cerf » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:38 pm

“Father and Son,” by Cat Stevens.
“Find a girl, settle down / If you want you can marry / Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy."


I think he's missed the implications of "if you want you can marry."

“Gotta Serve Somebody,” by Bob Dylan.
“It may be the devil or it may be the Lord / But you’re gonna have to serve someone."


Wow. I never expected him to admit that conservatives serve the devil.

Alive,” by P.O.D.
An expression of Christian faith by a super-hip band.


I think this tells us all we need to know about this guy's music critic credentials.