Politicians Using Songs Without Permission Has Had A Long And Fumbling History

03.30.16 2 years ago

Politicians are always doing what they can to grab attention for themselves, particularly when it comes to a presidential campaign. One good way to garner eyeballs, and potentially curry favor, is to use a popular song people know during your campaign. Sometimes, this works out well, because the musician who performed the song likes the politician, or is at least ambivalent about the whole thing. On the other hand, there have been a handful of occasions wherein an artist vehemently opposed a politician using their song, which this Uproxx Video further explores.

One of the very first prominent instances of this was back when Ronald Reagan tried to use Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” for his campaign. Now, even putting aside the fact that “Born in the U.S.A.” is actually a real bummer of a song, Springsteen has always been a supporter of the blue collar working man, and so he asked Reagan to knock it off.

Since then, this has become an issue increasingly more often, with the likes of George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and even Barack Obama getting disapproval from musicians for use of their songs. Then, of course, there is Donald Trump, who seemingly has annoyed every musician on the planet by using their songs. Recently, he’s even taken to using “Born in the U.S.A.” One imagines that’s not going to turn out well for Trump.

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