In The Battle To Host The 2016 GOP, It's Alt Country Vs. Rock

The Republicans have narrowed down their choices for their 2016 convention to Dallas and Cleveland. If the vote depended upon which one had the best theme music, it would be a tough decision.

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DON GONYEA, HOST:

Call it the first official contest of the 2016 presidential campaign. Sure, the election's a couple of years away. Nevertheless, we have a pair of finalists. They are cities hoping to host the Republican National Convention two summers from now. In this corner, Dallas, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG D")

FRANK LOESSER: (Singing)You're from Big D. My, oh, yes. I mean, big D, little A, double L, A, S.

GONYEA: And the other contender, hailing from the shores of Lake Erie...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BURN ON")

RANDY NEWMAN: (Singing) Cleveland, city of light, city of magic. Cleveland, city of light. You're calling me.

GONYEA: OK. To be fair, that song is not one you'd likely find on a Cleveland, convention pitch playlist, since the chorus is about how the Cuyahoga River, which runs through town, caught on fire back in the '60s. So how's this instead?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CLEVELAND ROCKS")

THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES: (Singing) Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks. Cleveland rocks.

GONYEA: Even better is that this song is performed by a band called The Presidents of the United States. Of course Dallas can counter with some alt country royalty like Joe Ely, who sings here about the charms of approaching Dallas from the air.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DALLAS FROM A DC-9 AT NIGHT")

JOE ELY: (Singing) Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night? Well, Dallas is a jewel. Dallas is a beautiful site. And Dallas is a jungle, but Dallas gives a beautiful light.

GONYEA: Or they could always go with the theme song of Dallas' most infamous and dysfunctional TV family.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DALLAS THEME SONG")

GONYEA: Well, maybe not. We'll find out which city wins sometime later this summer. Already eliminated from the competition are Las Vegas and Kansas City, certainly not due to a lack of musical options. Democrats meanwhile have also begun the city selection process for their convention, but no finalists have been named. Their decision will come by early 2015. We anxiously await more songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DALLAS THEME SONG")

GONYEA: You're listening to NPR News.

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