Nancy Wilson Is This Week’s Troubled Troubadour
It seems that in this campaign season a week will not go by without some rocker getting bent out of shape because their song was used at as political function. This week, add Heart’s Nancy Wilson to the growing list of troubled troubadours. Nancy is upset because the song “Barracuda” has been used by the McCain campaign. From Idolator.
“I think it’s completely unfair to be so misrepresented… I feel completely fucked over.”
I guess the question is this; if a campaign uses a song, does that mean that the campaign is also implying that the recording artist also “represents” the campaigns platform and ideals?
The songs are all essentially pop songs conceived in the belly of commercial beast. They don’t exist in the public eye (ear) if not for the fact that artist did not knowingly jump on the bandwagon of opportunism.
“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.”
A “scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business”!!?? Who knew? I’ve been hearing that song for 30 some odd years and that never occurred to me. Something in there about a porpoise isn’t there?
Don Cook, who co-wrote the Brooks and Dunn song, “Only in America”, which has been used by both political parties, told Chris Willman of PopWatch this.
“For us as writers and them as performers, truthfully, we’re proud when anybody uses our song for something that’s substantial. Even if you’re diametrically opposed politically to the person who’s using your song, the fact that they like it well enough to use it at an important place in their life, you have to love that.”
Cook has it right.
The song is not the campaign. The song is not the platform. When a song is used at a political rally, it’s used as window dressing.
If these songs stand for anything, they do so in the mind of the individual listener. It’s to the point now that when one of these artists complains about how their song was used, they further devalue any possible meaning that the song may have by exposing their self importance.