John Mellencamp’s Controversial New Song Hurts So Bad

The bizarre, Forrest Gump-meets-Frontline clip you’re about to see is John Mellencamp’s new Chevy ad, in which his song “Our Country” is played over a montage of American-history milestones, from Vietnam to Katrina (you can find out more about the controversial video via our auto-neurotica pals at Jalopnik).

Chevy may have been going for a sort of “America: Warts And All” approach with the commercial, but it’s gotten several right-wingers in a tizzy: Over at the conservative Free Republic site, armchair-Christgaus have already given “Country” a D-, opining that “I thought Mellencamp sucked before I even understood politics,” and “What`s worse than being Bruce Springsteen? Being someone who imitates Bruce Springsteen.” One commenter even makes an Electric Boogaloo reference, proving that no matter what your patrisan loyalties may be, we all make the same, tired ’80s references.

Our thoughts: The video is creepily exploitative–we’re pretty sure that Rosa Parks didn’t get on the bus hoping that she’d be posthumously employed to sell pick-up trucks–and the song sounds like every other Mellencamp tune since 1992. This guy’s rewritten “Pink House” more times than Ryan Adams.

John Cougar’s “Our Country” Chevy Commercial [YouTube]
John Cougar’s “Our Country” Chevy Commercial [Free Republic]

  • Nicolars

    “What`s worse than being Bruce Springsteen? Being someone who imitates Bruce Springsteen.”

    Never in a million years did I think I would ever agree with anything written on Free Republic, but this dude has a point.

  • e.lucid


    Man, if Rosa Parks’ estate sued OutKast over “Rosa Parks,” just imagine what they’re going to do with this steaming atrocity?!

  • Mike C.

    The quality of Mellencamp’s work has remained so consistent for so long–more so than Springsteen’s, even, and I love Bruce Springsteen–that it makes “Our Country” a real shock to anyone who’s actually been paying attention to him for the past 10 to 15 years. Come on, the guy is so good that even the single Babyface produced for him is good.

    The fact that J.C.M. played the Vote For Change tour in ’04 makes this easily misunderstood new song (What? You mean “Born In The U.S.A.” isn’t blindly pro-U.S.A.?) even more of a head-scratcher.

  • Bill Brasky

    I dont get the “Steven Colbert don’t steal this” thing….I need to get cable don’t I?

  • brasstax

    C’mon, he’s using these new Chevy dollars for his new heart attack fund! They probably just said they wanted some jingle red-staters could identify with. Bad song? Sure. But at least he didn’t retool “Rain on the Scarecrow” or anything like that.

  • Steve518

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that commercial on the t.v. the other night. If I don’t buy a Chevy, do the terrorists win?

  • ohHELLnaw

    You misunderstand: the message here is that if Rosa Parks had purchased a Chevy, she would never had to deal with the bus brouhaha.

  • AcidReign

    …..I couldn’t bear to click the links on this one. If I hear “a lil’ ditty, ’bout Jack n’ Diane” again, I’m going to have to go shoot something. Too risky.

  • Major Tom

    He does hit a valid point… our country DOES have both east and west coasts.

  • IvyLeagueMetalhead

    “What`s worse than being Bruce Springsteen? Being someone who imitates Bruce Springsteen.”

    The best part about this comment is that it also can be applied to Brandon Flowers.

    That commercial was pretty appalling, though.

  • dennison

    I don’t know where you people get off by saying that John Cougar Mellencamp is a lefists. If he is some far left wing nut don’t you think he would be sponsoring a hybrid import? At least he is sponorsing an American product and money stays on our soil. If you look at the begining of the video you see men either coming home or leaving for possibly a far east country that makes cars. Think about it!!! You need to put your P.C. way of thinking to the side!!! You need to start thinking about “Our Country”!!! If you don’t love leave it!!!