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October 15, 2008

Music I Listened To While Waiting For Sarah Palin To Begin Speaking At A Rally On CNN.com.

While browsing the internet as I sometimes do because, like so many Americans, I am unemployed, I noticed that a Sarah Palin rally was about to start on CNN.com. So because I am a staunch patriot, I decided to watch. However, I arrived a little before Sarah so I had the opportunity to listen to some of the music her campaign selected for these events to keep the crowd entertained while waiting for Sarah Barracuda. Incidentally, the Heart song “Barracuda” was not played (Probably because of the cease and desist request they filed, as well as the statement put out by the band which reads, in part, “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.”) But there was still lots of great music to be had. What follows is the list of songs I heard while waiting for the lipstick-wearing hockey mom to make her entrance, which she ultimately did while being carried aloft by six paunch, hairy, gun-toting shirtless white guys she referred to as “The Joe Six Pack Six” (not true).

Okay, so when I first clicked in, they were playing, predictably “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.

Sample lyrics:

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger
It's the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he's watching us all
With the eye of the tiger

Which begs the question: did Sarah trade her passions for glory? Did it happen too fast for her? What are her dreams of the past, aside from winning Miss Alaska? I’d never really thought about this song before, content to just let it represent the awesomeness that is Rocky Balboa, but now that I look at the chorus, it gets confusing for me when he starts singing about the last known survivor “stalking his prey in the night.” If he’s the last known survivor, what prey is left? It seems like he would have vanquished all his prey. And why does this have to take place in the night? To answer this question, I turned once again to the internet. As it happens, tigers are not nocturnal, although they do often hunt at night. (Which seems pretty nocturnal to me, but I'm not a scientist)

The next song was “Born to Fly” by country singer Sara Evans

Sample lyrics:

But how do you wait for heaven?
And who has that much time?
And how do you keep your feet on the ground
When you know that you were born,
You were born to fly

I like the sentiment that it’s hard to keep your feet on the ground when you born to fly, but I definitely don’t understand the thought behind “How do you wait for heaven/and who has that much time?” What does that mean? Aren’t we all kind of waiting for heaven, except Warren Beatty in “Heaven Can Wait?” I mean, what choice do we have except to wait for heaven? I suspect the Palin people just liked this song because it’s: a.) country b.) references heaven.

Another predictable choice followed: “Celebrate” by Kool & The Gang. This song is de rigeur for any event that doesn’t involve death: weddings, proms, family reunions, political rallies for doomed campaigns, etc.

Sample lyrics:

There's a party going on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years.
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We're gonna celebrate your party with you !
Celebrate good times. C’mon!

In this case, it was a little unclear which “good times” the Palin people are celebrating. Is it the looming recession? The multiple wars? The erosion of American influence and prestige? Perhaps the campaign is looking ahead to 2012 when their candidate is going to lose her party’s nomination for president instead of just vice president.

Certainly they’re not celebrating their fourteen point deficit in the CBS/New York Times poll today.

Then there was a song that I’ve heard probably 10,000 times over the course of my life, but I can’t understand any of the lyrics. It’s got kind of a disco-soul thing happening, and the chorus sounds like it goes, “On and on.” But when I tried to figure out what it was, I drew a big, fat blank. But I do know it was not “On and On” by Jack Johnson, Stephen Bishop or Abba.

(Although interestingly, these is the first verse of the Abba song:

I was at a party and this fella said to me
"Something bad is happening, I'm sure you do agree
People care for nothing, no respect for human rights
Evil times are coming, we are in for darker nights"
I said, "Who are you to talk about impending doom?"
He got kinda wary as he looked around the room
He said, "I'm a minister, a big shot in the state"
I said, "I just can't believe it, boy I think it's great
Brother can you tell me what is right and what is wrong?"
He said, "Keep on rocking baby, 'til the night is gone"

So that’s why they probably didn’t choose that song.)

Then we hit another upbeat lite FM favorite, “Rock This Town” The Stray Cats. I’ve never been a fan of rockabilly for the simple reason that it sucks.

Sample lyrics:

Were gonna rock this town
Rock it inside out

Were gonna rock this town
Make em scream and shout

Lets rock, rock, rock, man, rock
Were gonna rock til we pop
Gonna roll til we drop
Rock this town
Rock it inside out

I am desperate to see what happens to Dover, New Hampshire gets rocked inside out. Honestly it puts to mind an affliction referred to by my friend Kevin as “trunk butt,” in which the lining of the anus becomes so stretched that it kind of falls out of the butt like an elephant’s trunk. Further reinforcing this image is the lyric: “We’re gonna rock till we pop it.” Now that I think about it, I wonder if “the town” in the song is a metaphor for somebody’s butt?

I was waiting for the Christian rock to kick and I was not disappointed. Next up was “Stars” by Switchfoot. Switchfoot is a band that does not like to be labeled as “Christian rock” but they’ve been closely identified with the genre since their conception, and who am I to abort that view?

Sample lyrics:

Maybe I've been the problem, maybe I'm the one to blame
But even when I turn it off and blame myself, the outcome feels the same
I've been thinkin maybe I've been partly cloudy, maybe I'm the chance of rain
Maybe I'm overcast, and maybe all my lucks washed down the drain

Lyrically, this is a little downbeat. For whatever the country’s problems, I certainly don’t blame Sarah Palin. She hasn’t been involved in any of the major or minor or peripheral policy decisions of the last eight years, or indeed, ever. So to blame her, like the narrator of the song seems to blaming himself, seems unfair.

Sarah Palin has not made any contribution whatsoever to the legislative record of this nation, and so I don’t think she even entertain the notion that “Maybe I’ve been the problem, maybe I’m the one to blame.” Not at all, Sarah! You are blameless! Why? Because you didn’t do anything! You’ve done nothing, Sarah.

As Sarah finally made her way to the stage, she was accompanied by “The House is Rockin’” by Stevie Ray Vaughn

Sample lyrics:

Kick off your shoes start losin' the blues
This old house ain't got nothin' to lose
Seen it all for years start spreadin' the news
We got room on the floor come on baby shake sumpin' loose

I thought this was a pretty apt description for where our nation is at the moment, “an old house with nothin’ to lose.” It certainly calls to mind our crumbling infrastructure and dependence on foreign energy. In case you’re wondering, yes the chant “drill, baby, drill” was recited, as was one new to me: “Mine, baby, mine,” which lacks some panache, but still calls to mind drilling’s environmental degradation plus the added benefit of black lung.

Okay, then there was the rally, which I needn’t bore you with. Suffice to say, it was amazing (not true). The only truly awkward moment was when she was talking about her son Trig who has Down’s Syndrome and she said, “I’ll learn more from him than he’ll ever learn from me.”

After the rally, she closed with “She’s More Than Just A Pretty Face” by Shania Twain, the lyrics of which I’ve reprinted here in full:

She hosts a T.V. show--she rides the rodeo
She plays the bass in a band
She's an astronaut--
a valet at the parking lot
A farmer working the land
She is a champion--she gets the gold
She's a ballerina--the star of the show

She's--not--just a pretty face
She's--got--everything it takes
She has a fashion line--
a journalist for "Time"
Coaches a football team
She's a geologist--a romance novelist
She is a mother of three
She is a soldier--she is a wife
She is a surgeon--she'll save your life

She's--not--just a pretty face
She's--got--everything it takes
She's--mother--of the human race
She's--not--just a pretty face

Oh, oh, yeah
Oh na, na, na, na.....
She is your waitress--she is your judge--
she is your teacher
She is every woman in the world

Oh, la, la, la
She flies an airplane--
she dirve a subway train
At night she pumps gasoline
She's on the council--she's on the board
She's a politician--she praises the Lord

[Repeat Second Chorus]

No, she's (she's) not (not)--
just a pretty face
She's (she's) got (got)--everything it takes
She's--not--just a pretty face
She's got everything it takes
She's not just a pretty face

Make of that what you will.


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I'm with Robin...the "on and on" song is likely "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire, because they played that at the convention. Except when you go to the lyrics sites it says they are actually singing "Ba De Ya."

Of course they are.

I laughed at her Trig comment, so I figure I'm going to hell, or I'm at least good for purgatory.


I attend the school that that rally was held at. The day after the event, there was a banner in the cafe that read, "Haven't seen enough of Palin...log onto (some website)" Naturally, being a high school, someone added a little more to the banner so it read, "Haven't seen enough of Palin's tits?" I don't care how immature that is, it was ridiculously funny.

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