The Late Movies: 6 Controversial Campaign Songs

Erica Palan

Even if you're not living in the United States of America right now, it's hard to ignore that it's Election Night. While Barack Obama and Mitt Romney duke it out over the presidency, Americans can breathe a sigh of relief that the seemingly endless campaigns have finally come to an end. No more commercials! No more flyers in the door! No more robocalls! (At least not for another few years.) But, in keeping with the American spirit of tonight, I thought I'd give a nod to some presidential campaign gaffes. Here, six campaign songs gone wrong.

1. Born in the USA

In 1984, Ronald Reagan sought re-election using this popular Bruce Springsteen tune, hoping to get an endorsement from the Boss. What Reagan didn't know was that Springsteen is extremely liberal.

2. American Girl

In 2011, Tom Petty put the kibosh on Republican Representative Michele Bachmann using this famous song by sending her a cease and desist order.

3. Barracuda

Sarah Palin used this famous Heart song during her 2008 run for vice president, because her high school nickname was "Sarah Barracuda." Heart was displeased and said, "We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late Seventies as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women."

4. Hold On, I'm Coming

Sam Moore asked Barack Obama to stop using this song at his campaign rallies in 2008. (Interestingly, Moore rewrote the Sam & Dave hit "Soul Man" as "Dole Man," used by Republican Bob Dole's 1996 campaign.)

5. I Won't Back Down

In 2000, Tom Petty asked George W. Bush to stop using this song at campaign events. In 2008, Hillary Clinton used the song during her presidential primary campaign without any argument from Petty.

6. Our Country

John Mellencamp is one of many artists who asked John McCain to stop using their songs during his campaigns. McCain also ruffled the feathers of the Foo Fighters, Van Halen and Jackson Browne; Browne eventually sued him for $75,000.