But I kind of think this year's Democratic National Convention put those old song to shame in terms of absolute jaw-droppingly bad choices (well, maybe "Crazy" still holds that record...). Yes, Bill Clinton was introduced with his signature song. But then there was "Chain of Fools" playing at one point. "Chain of Fools", people! Is that the message Democrats want to be sending, that they -and those who vote for them- are a chain of fools? Because I would think that a savvy politician, and certainly a roomful of them, would recognize the badness in that statement. Democrats definitely shouldn't be telling that their constituents that they're just "a link in [their] chain".
The DNC also played "Pink Houses", which I was also kind of confused about. I understand that part of the Democratic push is how badly the economy is doing and how bad a job the current administration has done in terms of the ordinary Americans, but really now. This was a supremely bad choice, what with the lyrics:
"They told me, when I was youngerBoy, you're gonna be presidentBut just like everything else, those old crazy dreamsJust kinda came and went"
I'm going to put my foot down and say that this is not the message we should be sending out. We should not be saying, at a convention for the presidential nominee, that those crazy dreams of electing him are going to come and go. No, Democrats! Bad!
Michelle Obama getting "Isn't She Lovely" at the end of her speech wasn't really the best either. One, it is a song about an infant. Two, it refers to the she in the song title as "precious". And three, although her speech was about her husband and her job as a mother more than her own accomplishments (and was thus a good first lady speech), "Isn't She Lovely" kind of gives the impression that Michelle Obama -aside from the infant issue- is lovely in one specific way -and that is in appearance. She is very pretty, but she has more to bring to the table than just that. And apparently, though I missed it, the DNC also played XTC's "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead", which is "a song about a JFK-like pol who gets killed". And since the campaign has made a big deal about how much Barack Obama looks up to the Kennedys and how much like JFK he is as a politician who is able to enthuse the youth, that may have been the worst pick in the history of campaign song picks. Had I heard it, that would probably be my top pick.
My favorite that I heard, though, was probably David Bowie's cover of The Beatles' "Across the Universe". Don't get me wrong. I love The Beatles. I love David Bowie. I love "Across the Universe", the original version, the version on "Let It Be... ...Naked", the one used in the musical "Across the Universe", and Bowie's version. But it is really not a great song to play, and here's why. One of the refrains is "nothing's gonna change my world". Since Obama's slogan is "Change We Can Believe In"... ...I think you know where I'm going with this. Word to the wise: if you campaign on change and the idea that your candidate can facilitate that change, don't pick a song that directly contradicts that message.
I'm looking forward to the RNC. I'm sure they'll have some fabulously horrendous song choices as well.