Here Are The Songs The NPR Politics Podcast Team Never Wants To Hear Again And it's not just "Fight Song." Sam Sanders, Asma Khalid and Susan Davis run down the music they heard most often on the campaign trail this year.
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Here Are The Songs The NPR Politics Podcast Team Never Wants To Hear Again

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Here Are The Songs The NPR Politics Podcast Team Never Wants To Hear Again

Here Are The Songs The NPR Politics Podcast Team Never Wants To Hear Again

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Certain songs have become the soundtrack to the presidential campaigns. They've been with the candidates at every stop, blared from the loudspeakers before and after the speeches. NPR's political reporters have heard these songs over and over again, and there's more than a couple that they're happy to leave behind after tonight. Here's Sam Sanders, Asma Khalid and Susan Davis from the NPR Politics podcast.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: All right, so what do you guys think? What songs have we heard entirely too much on the campaign trail? I have my own list, but Asma, what about you?

ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: So I've been spending quite a bit of time lately with Hillary Clinton, and there's this song that she habitually plays. Every time she walks onstage you hear it and every time she pretty much descends from the stage you hear it. And that is "Rise Up" by Andra Day.

SANDERS: Yeah, it's a very emotional song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RISE UP")

ANDRA DAY: (Singing) And I'll rise up. I'll rise like the day. I'll rise up. I'll rise unafraid. I'll rise up.

SANDERS: This is very dramatic.

KHALID: It's very dramatic.

SANDERS: It's very dramatic.

KHALID: Very emotional. But, I mean, I think a lot of Hillary Clinton songs that you hear have this undercurrent of, you know, either feminist speak or there's a message behind a lot of what she's...

SANDERS: And they're songs sung by women.

KHALID: They are. But there's this one other song you consistently hear, and that's by K'naan. He's this Somali-Canadian rapper.

SANDERS: OK.

KHALID: Which I also think is such an interesting, powerful subliminal message. You know, you hear Donald Trump constantly talking about refugees. He was talking about Somali refugees the other day. And here you have Hillary Clinton really giving this large platform to this Somali-Canadian rapper. It's called "Wavin' Flag."

SANDERS: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAVIN' FLAG")

K'NAAN: (Singing) When I get older, I will be stronger. They'll call me freedom, just like a waving flag. And then it goes back.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: It feels like "The Lion King."

SANDERS: (Laughter) So two songs that I've noticed when I am out covering Hillary Clinton and even at the DNC this year - her, I guess, anthem for this campaign season...

DAVIS: "Fight Song."

SANDERS: "Fight Song." Oh my God.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FIGHT SONG")

RACHEL PLATTEN: (Singing) This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I'm all right song.

SANDERS: By one Rachel Platten. It's kind of her one-hit wonder. And it's at every rally.

DAVIS: This was, like, her signature song...

SANDERS: It was her thing.

DAVIS: ...Of 2016, right?

SANDERS: And let me tell you that I don't like this song.

DAVIS: (Laughter).

KHALID: Oh, Sam.

SANDERS: And I'll tell you why. It stands in comparison to another song that we hear a lot at Hillary Clinton events.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROAR")

KATY PERRY: (Singing) I've got the eye of the tiger, a fighter dancing through the fire.

SANDERS: Katy Perry's "Roar." Katy Perry is one of the most dominant voices in modern pop music, in part because she has the best production. And this is just a better song.

DAVIS: Katy Perry has also been, like, Hillary Clinton's surrogate, right?

SANDERS: She's been out there doing concerts for her.

DAVIS: (Unintelligible) Singer of "Fight Song."

KHALID: Yeah. She was rallying with her...

SANDERS: Yeah.

KHALID: ...In Philly the other day with this cape on...

SANDERS: Exactly.

KHALID: ...That said Madame President on the back.

SANDERS: Yeah.

KHALID: So they've been kind of, you know, bffls (ph).

DAVIS: On the campaign trail.

SANDERS: And I think that, you know, Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" is going to forever be tied to the HRC campaign, and that's it. But "Roar" is a strong enough song...

KHALID: Has legs.

SANDERS: ...That it outlives the campaign. It has legs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROAR")

PERRY: (Singing) And you're going to hear me roar louder...

SANDERS: All right. Now, there have also been tons of songs played at Trump rallies.

DAVIS: Yeah.

SANDERS: I've been to a few of those as well. The one that always stands out the most to me is - it's sung by one of the former three tenors, Pavarotti - "Nessun Dorma."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NESSUN DORMA")

PAVAROTTI: (Singing in Italian).

DAVIS: Donald Trump has been an unconventional candidate in every single way, including his campaign songs.

SANDERS: Yes.

DAVIS: I mean, opera on the campaign trail.

SANDERS: And every time I hear it, I'm like muh (ph). And I know it's coming. And I'll be there and I'm like, oh, that again. Other songs we hear with Trump - lots of Adele, "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. I want to close with - the weirdest thing for me at every Trump rally I go to is that usually, when Trump has finished speaking, they close with a song by the name of...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT")

THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) You can't always get what you want.

DAVIS: And there's always this sort of comedy in this song, in "You Can't Always Get What You Want." And I think Trump embraced it because in some ways, it was a message to the establishment, right?

SANDERS: Yeah.

DAVIS: Like, you can't get what you want, and Donald Trump is it.

SANDERS: Is what you need.

DAVIS: And not - yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT")

THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) But if you try sometimes, well, you might find you get what you need.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Susan Davis, Sam Sanders and Asma Khalid from the NPR Politics podcast. Look for a new episode tomorrow morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT")

THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) And I went down to the demonstration.

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