If you want to get to know this year’s Republican candidates, listening to their rhetoric will only take you so far. To know these four men, you must listen to what they listen to. Their musical choices reveal their secret lusts, shames and beliefs, unmasking their inmost reptile selves.
“Dancing Queen” from Mamma Mia! The Movie
Newton Gingrich, the fat one, likes ABBA. As of last May, his ringtone was “Dancing Queen”. He told the New York Daily News that Mamma Mia! The Movie (2008) was “amazing". “When they do ‘Dancing Queen’ in the movie, I just think it’s a great sequence. I love that sequence – the energy, the excitement.” Newt’s favourite scene is consistent with his polyamorous bent and unfathomable perversity. In it, Meryl Streep’s character uses “Dancing Queen” to seduce all the women in a Greek village away from their jobs and families. Gathering in number, the singing women abandon themselves to Dionysian frenzy as they dance down the street, down the shore and into the Mediterranean.
Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places”
Willard Romney likes Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places”, which is about the shame of poverty. In this tune, Garth apologises for the time he “showed up in boots / and ruined your black tie affair” – if you need him, he’s drinking himself to death at the bar, and PS, you can kiss his ass, lady. Does Romney like this song because it reminds him of his hardscrabble youth in Bloomfield Hills, back when his daddy worked as a lobbyist, then as CEO of American Motors, and then as governor of Michigan? Or does it remind him of the alcohol he’s never tasted? More likely, Romney, who estimates his own net worth as “between $150 and about $200 some-odd million dollars” and, as CEO of Bain, laid off many friends in low places, heard about this tune from a consultant.
Donovan “Universal Soldier”
Ron Paul’s number one tune is “Universal Soldier”, an anti-war folk song popularised by Donovan. It’s an unusual anti-war song. Rather than condemn the statesmen who make wars or the profiteers who lobby for them, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s song takes aim at the grunt “who gives his body / as a weapon of the war”. Suggesting that the troops are morally responsible for their actions is a major heresy for a Republican (or Democratic, for that matter) candidate, on par with promising to enforce compulsory homosexuality in elementary schools. Paul requested that Aimee Allen sing “Universal Soldier” at a Minneapolis rally during the 2008 campaign, then expounded on its heterodox lyrics in his speech. “Where would the dictators be if we didn’t have the universal soldier, willing to go?” Paul asked. “There would be no wars.”
Ron Paul on “Universal Soldier”
I haven’t turned up anything on Rick Santorum’s favourite song, but Michael the Black Man and his band, the Boss, spread on some thick jams at a Florida rally this week. The band’s blank, empty soul music is a good match for Santorum’s inexpressive face and gristly jowls, and Michael’s fanatical beliefs are a good match for Santorum’s bronze age morality. According to Michael the Black Man’s book, “OBAMA IS THE BEAST 666, GIVEN POWER BY THE DRAGON (SERPENT) OPRAH REVELATIONS 13:3-4 AND 12:7-9.” Michael told the crowd of Santorum supporters, “The Democrats – they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the black man. They’re the slave masters.” After the set, he explained to The Daily Caller that a black man voting for the Democratic Party would be like a Jew voting for the Nazis.
Michael the Black Man at Santorum rally