In a similar way, political candidates choose theme songs based on the title and forget to review the lyrics. This article points out some excellent examples.
John McCain recently dispensed with the classic, Chuck Berry tune, “Johnny B Goode” in favor of Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me.” I don’t object to this because he switched from a rocking song by a real American to a lame disco song by some unisex Swedes. And the new song is fairly appropriate for McCain, being about somebody who is rejected once, asking for a do over, and the lyrics, “Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie If you put me to the test, if you let me try” fit his message. What’s wrong about this lyric is that John McCain has gone from Johnny B Goode who overcomes humble beginnings, achieving self-made success, to being John Cusack standing outside your house with a boombox over his head, willing to "Say Anything" to get
Somebody asking you to “Take a Chance on Me” is a pitiable loser. It doesn’t have to be that way. Dirty Harry asks a similar question in a more assertive manner: “I know what you're thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” Mr. Harry is asking “Do you want to take a chance on me” in a very testosterone-fueled, active way. However, he’s suggesting there may be very drastic, negative consequences if you do, which is not McCain’s intended message (I assume), so he's better off with old Johnny B
McCain is not the only politician these days with a soft message. Barack Obama uses “Higher and Higher” which says nothing about what he will do for you but is about what your love does for him, which seems like the negative flip side of JFK’s message. Speaking of which, Obama talks about giving America “hope”. John Kennedy’s theme song was “High Hopes” back in 1960. Martin Luther King had a dream back in the 60’s. We no longer have time to take a chance on hopes and dreams. We need someone to wake up and give us some results, not hope. Hope is the thing with feathers. Things with feathers, can't be held, they fly away, like birds. By offering “hope”, Obama is giving us the bird! Maybe “Free Bird” would be a good campaign song.
Hillary Clinton has taken to saying, "Some believe you can get change by hoping for it. I believe you get change by working hard.” I've noticed that Obama has recently spoken less about hope and more about change. Here's a good song for one of them about change, with a message for the Bush Republicans: "Ch-ch-changes, Wheres your shame? Youve left us up to our necks in it." But change just for change's sake is not enough. As Billy Joel has said at many weddings, "Don't go changin', to try and please me. Won't change the color of my state.... I Love you just the way you are. Now drive me home and put me to bed."