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Banned By Bands: Tunes Off-Limits To Campaigns

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Banned By Bands: Tunes Off-Limits To Campaigns

Banned By Bands: Tunes Off-Limits To Campaigns

Banned By Bands: Tunes Off-Limits To Campaigns

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Several bands and artists have protested the use of their music at campaign rallies. So how about a CD collection — Can't Stump The Music — with all the songs that John McCain and Barack Obama can't use?


Chefs desperate for Michelin stars. How about politicians desperate to get crowds riled up, and using campaign songs to do it? Well, nowadays, a lot of recording artists are not too happy about sharing their songs, their hit songs, with candidates they may not like it. At least, they don't like their politics. Here's humorist Brian Unger with today's Unger Report.

(Soundbite of song "Proud to be an American")

Mr. LEE GREENWOOD: (Singing) I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

BRIAN UNGER: For all candidates there's the music that makes them memorable, historic...

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Man: (Singing) I like Ike. I'll shout it over a mike..

UNGER: And puts the party in their political party.

(Soundbite of song "Don't Stop")

FLEETWOOD MAC: (Singing) Don't stop thinking about tomorrow...

UNGER: But what about the music candidates can't use? Songs that will get them sued? Now, for the first time ever available, all of the songs off-limits to Republicans, banned by the liberals who wrote them in one amazing collection, "Can't Stump the Music."

(Soundbite of song "Our Country")

Mr. JOHN MELLENCAMP: (Singing) From the east coast to the west coast, down the Dixie Highway, back home, this is our country...

UNGER: You'll get the songs John McCain has been told to stop playing. It may be John McCain's country, but it's John Mellencamp's song. And from Foo Fighters' "My Hero, My Song."

(Soundbite of song "My Hero")

FOO FIGHTERS: (Singing) There goes my hero, watch him as he goes...

UNGER: You'll get the two anthems Sarah Palin can't legally play. From Heart...

(Soundbite of song "Barracuda")

HEART: (Singing) Barracuda...

UNGER: And from Martina McBride.

(Soundbite of song "Independence Day")

Ms. MARTINA MCBRIDE: (Singing) Let freedom ring...

UNGER: In "Can't Stump the Music," you'll get Van Halen.

(Soundbite of song)

VAN HALEN: (Singing) (unintelligible)

UNGER: But they say, not ever to John McCain. He's running for president...

(Soundbite of song "Running on Empty")

Mr. JACKSON BROWNE: (Singing) Running on empty...

UNGER: And won't be "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne either. You'll get all the songs McCain can't use, banned by the original artists. Bands like Orleans.

(Soundbite of song "Still the One")

ORLEANS: (Singing) You're still the one that makes me laugh. Still the one that's my better half...

UNGER: You'll even get songs banned for use by past Republicans, like Mike Huckabee...

(Soundbite of song "More Than a Feeling")

UNGER: And Ronald Reagan.

(Soundbite of song "Born in the U.S.A.")

Mr. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) Born in the U.S.A...

UNGER: Order now and you'll get this bonus track.

(Soundbite of song "Hold On")

UNGER: The one tune Barack Obama can't legally carry from Sam Cooke. And as a special bonus, you'll get songs in the public domain for John McCain, the two songs he can legally use. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: "Hold On" is by Sam & Dave, not Sam Cooke.]

(Soundbite of "Yankee Doodle")

UNGER: "Yankee Doodle" and this hit, "Happy Birthday."

(Soundbite of "Happy Birthday")

UNGER: And if you have an Obama sticker on your Prius, and you call in the next five minutes, Stevie Wonder will come and sing in your living room, "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." So don't cease or desist, buy "Can't Stump the Music" today. And this is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

CHADWICK: Humorist Brian Unger with us every Monday on Day to Day. And more to come on Day to Day.

(Soundbite of "Signed, Sealed and Delivered I'm Yours")

Mr. STEVIE WONDER: (Singing) Then that time I went and said goodbye. Now, I'm back and not ashamed to cry. Ooh baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours...

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Correction Oct. 14, 2008

The story mistakenly said, "Hold On, I'm Comin' " was by Sam Cooke. It was actually by Sam and Dave.

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