After reading that New York Times article about the President's iPod, I couldn't resist putting together a Top Ten playlist for Dubya. So, in my Editor's Cut last week, I nominated songs like Kid Rock's "Pimp of the Nation," Eminem's "Mosh" and REM's, "The End of the World as We Know It." I even suggested that Bush add that old jazz standard, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."
But I knew my list included only a tiny fraction of what this President needed to hear. So, I asked readers for their nominations for the "First iPod." Within minutes, terrific song suggestions were pouring in from across the United States. Many of you nominated Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief;" Green Day's "American Idiot" ("custom-written for Dubya," one reader observed); Black-Eyed Peas, "Where is the Love?;" and Edwin Starr's "War--What is it Good for?" Greats like Frank Zappa (especially, "The Torture Never Stops,"), Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs were also at the top of many lists.
I've compiled a readers' playlist from all your emails, but first I wanted to share a few of the interesting comments that came in from across the country:
* W.D. Dean from Burleson, Texas, says: "Here are a couple of songs from the master of stinging social commentary...Frank Zappa. If Frank were still with us he would be having a field day with the current political climate. Two of his songs that come to mind are 'Dumb All Over,' a catchy little tune about the influence of the religious right in American politics, although it could easily describe the entire Bush Administration as well and 'When the Lie's So Big,' a song describing the Republican Party in general, also written in 1980. These songs were definitely ahead of their time."
*Adam Hasty in Nashville, TN writes: "I humbly suggest 'Vietnow' by Rage Against the Machine. It seems more than fitting given the current situation."
* Jean McIntosh from Lawrence, Kansas writes in: "On behalf of all blue staters who happen to live in red states, I'd like to nominate 'Hound Dog' from the late, great Elvis. Because of W's whining about the 'hard work' of the job which he stole from Al Gore; because of the lies of the so-called liberal media (SCLM) who said anyone who belonged to such a 'distinguished family' couldn't possibly be such a sleazy crook; because of his enthusiasm for hunting which is as great as his incompetence at it; and most of all, because 90 percent of the time, he looks as clueless as a lost dog which has just been hit over the head with a large club. "When they said you were a high class/that was just a lie..you ain't ne'er caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine." And the song's pretty catchy too.
*Donna Hill of Plattburgh, NY nominates Terry Jacks' 'Seasons in the Sun.' "Might make ole George think about the men he is sending to war without harking back to the Vietnam era protest songs. And Madonna's 'Papa Don't Preach' should suit the abstinence policy fairly well."
* David Carlson from Santa Cruz, CA nominated a song due out this summer--James McMurtry's "We Can't Make it Here Anymore." "It's going to be on his new album 'Third World Turnpike' due out this summer, but he has been playing it live and causing a stir in his shows this spring. A critic for the local paper described the song as a 'kind of lament for the wrenching economic changes that have turned places like rural Texas into battlegrounds between opportunistic corporations and people trying to eke out a living.' It describes the various indignities of working class life in almost journalistic detail, but McMurtry also points fingers, at the politicians and CEOs who he sees as victimizers of patriotic, decent Americans."
* "We need to get some Dylan into his iPod, " writes Steve Elworth of Brooklyn, NY. "Otherwise, George W suffers from even more severe cultural illiteracy. 'Masters of War,' 'With God on Our Side.' 'Highway 61 Revisited,' 'Ballad of a Thin Man,' and, of course, 'It's All Right Ma,' because he has to remember that 'sometimes even the President of the United States has to stand naked.'"
* Paul Blumberg from Bloomington, Indiana writes, "To help Bush balance his budget (impossible with all his tax cuts) we might add 'Pennies from Heaven.' He'll need 'em."
* "I recommend, " writes Julie Bolcer from Brooklyn, "that Mr. Bush listen to XTC's 'Dear God,' and 'We'd Like to Thank you, Herbert Hoover,' from the soundtrack to the musical 'Annie.'"
I'm grateful for all the mail, and based on the more than 300 nominations that came in, here's a new and expanded playlist for George W. If he knew what was good for this country's heart and soul, the President would stop deceiving and denying and start downloading. If he won't, we should--if you have an iPod, create your own "Dubya Playlist."
Hail to the Thief, Radiohead
American Idiot, Green Day
Where is the Love?, Black Eyed Peas
War--What is it Good For?, Edwin Starr
Bu$leaguer, Pearl Jam
Masters of War (and many others, including Idiot Wind and It's All Right Ma), Bob Dylan
White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land (and I Ain't Marching Anymore), Phil Ochs
The Torture Never Stops (and others like When the Lie's So Big), Frank Zappa
Bombs Over Baghdad, Outkast
Nowhere Man (also The Long and Winding Road and The Fool on the Hill), The Beatles
Gimme Some Truth, John Lennon
Papa Don't Preach, Madonna
Hit The Road Jack, Ray Charles
This Land is Your Land, Woody Guthrie
What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
Bring the Boys Home, Freda Payne
Burning Down the House, Talking Heads
Political Science (and Rednecks), Randy Newman
Asshole from El Paso, Kinky Friedman
I'm Too Dumb for New York City and Too Ugly for LA, Waylon Jennings
What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding?, Elvis Costello
Excitable Boy, Warren Zevon
War on War, Wilco
Nobody's Fault But Mine, Led Zeppelin
Everybody's Been Burned, The Byrds
Eve of Destruction, Barry Maguire
And from Richard Myers out of Furlong, PA: "How about 'The End' by The Doors--as in less than four years and counting?"
Here's to that! In the meantime, let's keep adding to George W's iPod. Click here to keep those suggestions coming.
© 2005 The Nation