Political Campaign Songs To Help Get Votes

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Political candidates oftentimes use music to set the tone of their campaign, especially during rallies and public meetings. There have been many popular songs used over the years to convey certain messages to voters, and we’ve put together a list of some of the most effective ones.

Keep in mind, though, that campaigns have to get permission from recording artists before using their material. Over the years, there have been quite a few embarrassing examples of artists publicly demanding that certain candidates stop using their songs!

political campaign songs to get votes

Spotify Political Campaign Playlist

Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac

song on Amazon

“Don’t Stop” is a popular Fleetwood Mac song, widely used by Bill Clinton during his 1992 campaign, encouraging listeners to look to the future. It has been used by political candidates to remind the public that they are thinking about the future, suggesting that circumstances will get better if they are elected.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Why not think about times to come, and not about the things you’ve done. If your life was bad for you, just think what tomorrow will do.

Waiting on the World To Change – John Mayer

song on Amazon

It is no secret that we live in very challenging times, and the John Mayer song “Waiting on the World To Change” lends a very aspirational tone.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Me and all my friends, we’re all misunderstood. They say we stand for nothing and there’s no way we ever could

This song is perfect for a campaign that wants to acknowledge a younger audience who is engaged in the political process but sometimes overlooked. President Obama saw the value in this song when he used it during his 2008 election campaign.

See a list of music acts who performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder

song on Amazon

This up-tempo anthem gets crowds energized and conveys the message that the campaign, and candidate, belong to the people. It suggests attributes such as loyalty, integrity, and trustworthiness, which are all important things that voters look for in the candidates that they support. This Stevie Wonder song was a hallmark of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Here I am, baby, oh, oh
(Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours)
You got my future in your hands

We Take Care of Our Own – Bruce Springsteen

song on Amazon

This anthem is great for political candidates because it reminds listeners of the concept of social responsibility.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Wherever this flag’s flown, we take care of our own

During a time when Americans are all over the world, serving in the military, as diplomats, or simply living abroad, it reminds us that we share a common bond and that it is our job to take care of each other. It also sends a message that the political candidate is thinking about you, no matter your demographic.

And that they plan to keep your best interests in mind. Barack Obama used the song at the 2012 Democratic Convention directly following his nomination acceptance speech.

There’s Hope – India.Arie

song on Amazon

A song like this sparks a strong feeling of optimism, which is one of the sentiments that political candidates want to inspire in voters. It’s a feel-good tune that gets crowds in a light-hearted mood, and it also provides perspective, making reference to how fortunate Americans are compared to some other parts of the world. The concept of hope was the hallmark of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, so it’s no surprise that this song was put in heavy rotation.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

There’s hope
It doesn’t cost a thing to smile
You don’t have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that

This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie

song on Amazon

This folk classic by the iconic Woody Guthrie is a great campaign song because it is already well-known. It is full of political messages, and it reminds voters to take pride in where they are from, and that this country belongs to everyone. In a political world that is often divisive and contentious, songs like this can have a unifying effect. President George H. W. Bush gave the song a revival when he incorporated it into his 1988 campaign.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

This land is your land, and this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters

Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

song on Amazon

A candidate who stays loyal to their principles and beliefs, and who exudes a tough demeanor, is what many voters are looking for in those that represent them. George W. Bush most likely wanted to convey these qualities when he used this Tom Petty song during his 2000 presidential campaign. It very strongly conveys those qualities.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

No I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground

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Born Free – Kid Rock

song on Amazon

In a nation that prides itself on the concept of freedom, this is a song that transcends political affiliation. Lyrics like

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

You can knock me down and watch me bleed, but you can’t keep no chains on me

sparking a sense of American pride that fuels voter mobilization. This message resonated with Governor Mitt Romney, who used the song during his unsuccessful 2012 campaign for president.

Run the World – Beyoncé

song on Amazon

With the likely Democratic nominee for president being a woman for the first time in history, this list would be incomplete without an ode to women’s empowerment. This Beyoncé song, performed by the biggest female pop star in the world, talks about a woman’s ability to take care of her home and simultaneously take care of business.

And seeing as though the president of the United States is often called the leader of the free world, this song may take on a prophetic quality! When Hillary Clinton released a Spotify playlist of campaign songs in early 2016, this song was right at the top.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

My persuasion
Can build a nation
Endless power
With our love we can devour
You’ll do anything for me
Who run the world? Girls (girls)

Do you have a favorite political campaign song? Please share your song below in the comments.

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