Conservatives have to ruin everything, don't they? The National Review has now put together their list of top 50 conservative rock songs of all time. Their choice for #1 right-wing anthem? The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," a song which could just as easily be a warning against the current administration as any other.
Some of the songs on the list do have a deliberate conservative bent ("Sweet Home Alabama," "Taxman," anything by Oingo Boingo). Others are open to interpretation ("Brick" and "You Can't Be Too Strong" - both songs about abortion that show the emotional pain of the decision, but stay far away from condemnation). And then there are some that are just trying to squeeze round pegs into square holes.
I'm sure John Lennon would be rolling over in his grave to find out that "Revolution" made the list. It took some editing of different verses together to help the case "We all want to change the world . . . Don't you know you can count me out?" Huh? The line about counting him out came after "But if you talk about destruction..." It was a statement of non-violence; hardly a conservative value. (Yes, in the second version of Revolution Lennon says "in" after the "out" to show that all options are on the table). Bottom line; despite the jab at those who carry around pictures of Chairman Mao as a symbol of coolness, the song was a case for change, not against it.
On a less severe note, tell me, how does "I Fought the Law" become a conservative classic? It it because the law won? The song celebrates the fighting, not the losing.
Also on the list is "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" thanks to the lyric "She said no huggy, no kissy until I get a wedding vow." Again, like "I Fought the Law," the point of the song is the attempt to get laid, not the failure. The song is not about upholding the conservative value of chastity.
And, I'm sure, Mr. Mellencamp would point out that the values of being from a "Small Town" are not all on the conservative side of the aisle.
But, of course, when you see that "Janie's Got A Gun" is listed because of the way it demonstrates how "the right to bear arms can protect women from sexual predators," you realize this is all a bad joke.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to Neil Young's new album, "Living With War," a few dozen times to clear this list out of my brain...
BTW: This is posting number 800 on this blog since I started in April 2001
Tags: rock and roll, conservatives, lists