On the day of perhaps the most surreal presidential inauguration the USA has ever seen, Getintothis’ Guy Murphy suggests a playlist Donald Trump should consider.
This time last year not many of us would have predicted that we would start 2017 heading out of the EU and awaiting Donald fucking Trump to be inaugurated as President of the United States. But hey ho, that is how berserk the world has gone in the past 12 months.
Thankfully not everybody is happy about it and although Trump managed to secure enough votes to become the most powerful man in the world, he has proven pretty terrible at putting together an event. While Barack Obama managed to organise a pretty cracking line up of Alicia Keys, Smokey Robinson, John Legend, Soundgarden and Stevie Wonder amongst others, poor Donald has been blown out by both Rebecca Ferguson and a Bruce Springsteen cover band among others.
So now that it looks like he might be basically connecting up his Spotify Premium account to the big sound system on the National Mall, we thought we’d help him out with a top 10…
- LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum
Written by James Murphy during a tour when he realised the majority of Americans didn’t know much about other places.
James did once say the song was double edged in an interview with Clash Music and gave a bit more detail about why he and the band aren’t ‘North American Scum’.
- Green Day – American Idiot
To be honest, I hate this song. But it would be pretty stupid to leave it out when it contains the following:
Well maybe I’m the faggot America
I’m not a part of a redneck agenda
Now everybody do the propaganda
And sing along to the age of paranoia
Also, no matter how hard you try to stop the song getting stuck in your head…it does.
- Manic Street Preachers – Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit’sworldwouldfallapart
A song that calls out America for its foreign policy and attacks its conservative ideals, the title pretty much sums it up. The song’s lyrics are also as relevant now, with the rise of nationalism both here and in America, as they were then:
There ain’t no black in the Union Jack
There ain’t enough white in the Stars and Stripes
- The Guess Who – American Woman
Covered by Lenny Kravitz in 1999, this song is about how the Canadian born band preferred women from back home rather than their American counterparts.
The song also carries an anti-Vietnam war message with the line ‘I don’t need your war machines’.
- Public Enemy – Fight the Power
Written to be the anthem of the streets in America, Fight the Power was released at a time of huge racial tension, with the black community harassed by police and abandoned by the Government.
The band’s bass player, Brian Hardgroove, said that the song’s message was about fighting the abuse of power.
- Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
Written about the Vietnam War and in particular the treatment of veterans on their return home; the song was famously misinterpreted by a conservative columnist who, not knowing Springsteen’s politics, thought The Boss might endorse Ronald Reagan. The plan backfired after Reagan name checked Springsteen in a speech during his election campaign, with Springsteen questioning just how big a fan of his the president was!
- Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Ohio
Banned from a number of radio stations due to its anti-Nixon lyrics, this counterculture song was penned by Neil Young following the Kent State Shootings.
David Crosby once referred to Young namechecking Nixon as ‘the bravest thing I ever heard’.
- Rage Against the Machine – Sleep Now With Fire
Taken from Rage’s 1999 album, The Battle of Los Angeles, the track attacks American greed and foreign policy.
The band teamed up with famed documentary maker, Michael Moore, to film the video which caused the doors of the New York Stock Exchange to be closed. It also includes an eerie prophecy with one man holding a ‘Donald Trump for President‘ placard in one of the shots.
- The Clash – I’m So Bored With The USA
Originally a song about a relationship titled I’m So Bored With You written by Mick Jones before The Clash formed. The song took a whole new direction when Mick played it for Joe Strummer during one of their first meetings in a London squat. Joe, thankfully, misheard the lyrics and the rest is history.
- Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
When asked to perform at Trump’s inauguration, Rebecca Ferguson could have chosen to flat out refuse and list her reasons why she disliked him, or wouldn’t perform. Instead, she made an amazing gesture of political protest, she agreed on the condition that she could perform this song.
Originally a poem by Abel Meeropol, the song is about racism and the lynching of African Americans in the South. The Billie Holiday version, which was named by Time Magazine as the best song of the Century in 1999, was recorded during a one-session release from her contract with CBS Records, who were worried about the possible reaction by record shops in the South.
Trump’s election has been celebrated by white supremacists across America while his election of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist is particularly worrying. Ferguson’s offer was one she knew Trump couldn’t and wouldn’t accept and so while it won’t be performed at the official event, it definitely deserves top spot here.