Politicians often have deep and dark secrets that they would love to stay buried in their pasts. These skeletons in the closet can usually be things like affairs, bribes, murders, poll-rigging, you know, the normal stuff that would be on an average episode of Scandal. But, truthfully, no one was expecting that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would have the unthinkable surface from his past: He made a spoken-word folk album in the ’80s?
Earlier this summer, Talking Points Memo, via a state politics blog called Seven Days, discovered the cassette (!) entitled We Shall Overcome by Bernie Sanders and 30 Vermont Artists, and blissfully decided to share it with the world. With his political campaign heating up, the tape has now gone viral. So, what’s actually on the album? Well, it’s a lot of covers of folk standards like “This Land Is Your Land,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “Oh Freedom,” the kinds of songs you’d expect a hippie-ish politician like Bernie would record. Though it’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t really sing, so it just sounds like Larry David reading off populist poetry.
It was also revealed that the album was recorded while Sanders was still the mayor. Thankfully, those times of politicians trying to make music are over. At least, we dearly, dearly hope that they are.