Community-minded heartland liberals who also happen to be rock musicians have had to deal with Republican candidates misappropriating their songs since the great Reagan/Springsteen “misunderstanding” of 1984, but John Mellencamp has reached his limit. He’s “quietly” had his “people” approach Republican candidate John McCain to ask him to stop using the mildly patriotic (and awful) “Our Country” and the mildly subversive (and classic) “Pink Houses” at his campaign rallies. It’s easy to understand why McCain would want to use “Our Country”; he was probably just hypnotized like the rest of us by all those mom and apple pie and a two-car garage for everyone Chevy commercials. But Rolling Stone finds it hard to believe that dude even bothered to pull out the lyric sheet to Uh-Huh to see exactly what “Pink Houses” was saying about this great country of ours before he added it to the playlist.
Not to mention that the far-right types whose votes McCain is seeking won’t love the mildly progressive lyrics to “Our Country,” which call on the government to “help the poor and common man” and suggest that “there’s room enough here for science to live/ And there’s room enough here for religion to forgive.” And does McCain really want to associate himself with those “Pink Houses” lines about the “simple man” paying for the “the thrills, the bills and the pills that kill”?
Gasp! Mildly progressive ideas like… helping the poor, the kind of liberalism that not even the most centrist GOP member could campaign behind. Well, at least McCain’s following campaign song tradition this year, as choices by both Republicans and Democratics have been infamously marked by the candidates ignoring or overlooking any “off-message” sentiments in the lyrics. And here he already had a catchy, readymade campaign song, even if that one was a little too on-message.
Mellencamp Asks McCain To Stop Using Tunes [Rolling Stone]