Friday, September 5, 2008


Everyone I know loves the song "Barracuda" by Heart, and I'm no exception. It's so badass and sinister, both musically and lyrically. I guess fans of the song include RNC organizers, because they used it during Sarah Palin's speech without Heart's permission. This is because Sarah Palin is apparently nicknamed "barracuda" (but in a GOOD way, you see!).

Well, Heart's not taking that shit. NOT AT ALL:

"Heart sent out a statement Thursday afternoon announcing they had sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the campaign to stop using the song. 'The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored.'"

After the Republicans used their song anyway, they issued another statement:

“Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late ’70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.”

Nancy Wilson, guitarist and sometimes-singer for Heart, also said of the situation, "I think it’s completely unfair to be so misrepresented. I feel completely fucked over."

I kind of love it when politicians haphazardly co-opt a song for their campaign and not only does the song have nothing to do with their message, but they get called out on it. Like when Ronald Reagan used Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" without permission. Had ANY of his people ever listened to the lyrics beyond the nationalistic-sounding chorus? I'll admit, I hadn't until I took a Media Studies class. The song is actually a bitter reflection on the way the Vietnam War affected Americans:

Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

(Born in the USA x4)

I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man


Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"


I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a little girl in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

{quotes from Rolling Stone}


Dennise said...

I knew there was a reason I still loved Heart after all these years. :)

That's like that idiot from Big and Rich (I think is what they're called) that announced at a Republican rally that if Johnny Cash were alive today, he'd vote for John McCain. Well, daughter Roseanne Cash was fuming! She tore him a new one, I don't know if he ever recanted his statement though.

clarafier said...

"if the real thing don't do the trick
you better make up something quick"

in so many ways it IS the republican theme song!