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Rockin' the Right The 50 greatest conservative rock songs. By John J. Miller
National Review Online ^ | May 26, 2006 | John J. Miller

Posted on 05/26/2006 12:39:03 PM PDT by Keflavik76

Rockin' the Right

The 50 greatest conservative rock songs.

By John J. Miller

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week on NRO, we’ve been rolling out the first five and now all 50 songs from a list John J. Miller compiled that appears in the June 5 issue of National Review . Here’s a look at #1 and get the whole list—complete with purchasing links—here.

On first glance, rock ’n’ roll music isn’t very conservative. It doesn’t fare much better on second or third glance (or listen), either. Neil Young has a new song called “Let’s Impeach the President.” Last year, the Rolling Stones made news with “Sweet Neo Con,” another anti-Bush ditty. For conservatives who enjoy rock, it isn’t hard to agree with the opinion Johnny Cash expressed in “The One on the Right Is on the Left”: “Don’t go mixin’ politics with the folk songs of our land / Just work on harmony and diction / Play your banjo well / And if you have political convictions, keep them to yourself.” In other words: Shut up and sing.

But some rock songs really are conservative — and there are more of them than you might think. Last year, I asked readers of National Review Online to nominate conservative rock songs. Hundreds of suggestions poured in. I’ve sifted through them all, downloaded scores of mp3s, and puzzled over a lot of lyrics. What follows is a list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs of all time, as determined by me and a few others. The result is of course arbitrary, though we did apply a handful of criteria.

(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: conservative; music; rock
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Here is something completely different for the long holiday weekend. Bob's Dylan's "Neighbohood Bully" is one of my favorites.

"The neighborhood bully just lives to survive, He's criticized and condemned for being alive. He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin, He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in. He's the neighborhood bully."

1 posted on 05/26/2006 12:39:06 PM PDT by Keflavik76
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To: Keflavik76; rhema

Ping


2 posted on 05/26/2006 12:41:23 PM PDT by Caleb1411 ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G. K. C)
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To: Keflavik76

Related thread from last night:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1638516/posts


3 posted on 05/26/2006 12:42:35 PM PDT by stillonaroll
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To: Keflavik76
Thanx for the post.

Good stuff!

4 posted on 05/26/2006 12:43:16 PM PDT by capt. norm (W.C. Fields: "Hollywood is the gold cap on a tooth that should have been pulled out years ago.")
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To: Keflavik76

Great article, some really wonderful songs.


5 posted on 05/26/2006 12:52:47 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Keflavik76
Nice list - how about the Freepers crank this list up to 100? Let's go! Here's my first entry - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers "Refugee"

It don't really matter to me, baby,
Everybody's had to fight to be free,
You see you don't have to live like a refugee.

6 posted on 05/26/2006 12:54:56 PM PDT by bagadonutz
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To: Keflavik76

I prefer "Gloria" by Van Morrison & Them. :-]


7 posted on 05/26/2006 12:55:22 PM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: Keflavik76
I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar.
8 posted on 05/26/2006 1:03:17 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Keflavik76
Hey they "left" off my total right song

Kill A Commie For Mommie


It dont get more conservative than that!

9 posted on 05/26/2006 1:04:31 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (I'd rather be carrying a shotgun with Dick, than riding shotgun with a Kennedyl!)
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To: Keflavik76

Left off the list was the song Anthem by Rush:

Live for yourself -- there's no one else more worth living for.
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more.


10 posted on 05/26/2006 1:06:16 PM PDT by eastcobb
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To: Keflavik76
I don't know if I'd call it entirely conservative, but Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" does a *great* job slamming the MSM.

We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing

When it's said and done, we haven't told you a thing

We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry

11 posted on 05/26/2006 1:06:30 PM PDT by DemforBush
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To: Keflavik76

Bush Was Right--The Right Brothers

http://www.therightbrothers.com/order.php#mp3


12 posted on 05/26/2006 1:11:24 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Keflavik76

Okie from Muskogee

by Merle Haggard

We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don't take our trips on LSD
We don't burn our draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.

I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all

We don't make a party out of lovin';
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo;
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do.

And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all.

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear;
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen.
Football's still the roughest thing on campus,
And the kids here still respect the college dean.

We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA.


13 posted on 05/26/2006 1:14:19 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY ((((Truth to a Liberal, is like a crucifix to a vampire))))
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To: Keflavik76

Two songs I was surprised weren't on his list:

"Unborn Child" by Seals and Croft
"We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister


14 posted on 05/26/2006 1:14:59 PM PDT by Hillsdale Guy
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To: eastcobb

I'm glad to see Rush made it twice. My initial thought was "Trees", so glad it made #11. I'll need to check the Lyrics for "Tom Sawyer" - something in there about not bowing to any god or government as I recall. (Again - probably more Libertarian than "conservative".


15 posted on 05/26/2006 1:14:59 PM PDT by geopyg ("I would rather have a clean gov't than one where -quote- 1st Amend. rights are respected." J.McCain)
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To: Hugin

Bush Was Right
Written by: Frank Highland

Freedom in Afghanistan, say goodbye Taliban
Free elections in Iraq, Saddam Hussein locked up
Osama’s staying underground, Al Qaida now is finding out
America won’t turn and run once the fighting has begun
Libya turns over nukes, Lebanese want freedom, too
Syria is forced to leave, don’t you know that all this means

Chorus
Bush was right!
Bush was right!
Bush was right!

Democracy is on the way, hitting like a tidal wave
All over the middle east, dictators walk with shaky knees
Don’t know what they’re gonna do,
their worst nightmare is coming true
They fear the domino effect, they’re all wondering who’s next

Repeat Chorus

Ted Kennedy – wrong!
Cindy Sheehan – wrong!
France – wrong!
Zell Miller – right!

Economy is on the rise kicking into overdrive
Angry liberals can't believe it's cause of W's policies
Unemployment's staying down, Democrats are wondering how
Revenue is going up, can you say "Tax Cuts"

Repeat Chorus

Cheney was right, Condi was right,
Rummy was right, Blair was right
You were right, we were right, “The Right” was right and
Bush was right
Bush was right

© 2005 Pool Guy Music (ASCAP), All rights reserved.


16 posted on 05/26/2006 1:16:02 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: geopyg

What's the other Rush song with the lyrics -

You don't get something for nothing,
You can't have freedom for free.
You won't get rich with the sleep still in your eyes,
No matter what your dreams might be.


17 posted on 05/26/2006 1:17:27 PM PDT by geopyg ("I would rather have a clean gov't than one where -quote- 1st Amend. rights are respected." J.McCain)
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To: Keflavik76

Leonard Cohen's The Future is pretty conservative in a bleak sorta way.


18 posted on 05/26/2006 1:17:31 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: geopyg

That would be Something For Nothing.


19 posted on 05/26/2006 1:19:42 PM PDT by eastcobb
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To: Keflavik76

Surprisingly, a great commentary on the media by Frank Zappa:

I'm The Slime
by Frank Zappa
I am gross and perverted
I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little had changed
I am the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin' out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't got for help...no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

That's right, folks..
Don't touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin' along on your livin'room floor

I am the slime from your video
Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go


20 posted on 05/26/2006 1:21:44 PM PDT by Hillsdale Guy
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To: eastcobb

Makes sense! (lol)


21 posted on 05/26/2006 1:22:57 PM PDT by geopyg ("I would rather have a clean gov't than one where -quote- 1st Amend. rights are respected." J.McCain)
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To: Keflavik76

Oddest places for some conservative sympathies to show up:

http://www.lyricsondemand.com/onehitwonders/werenotgonnatakeitlyrics.html

Oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

we've Got The Right To Choose And
there Ain't No Way We'll Lose It
this Is Our Life, This Is Our Song
we'll Fight The Powers That Be Just
don't Pick Our Destiny 'cause
you Don't Know Us, You Don't Belong

oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

oh You're So Condescending
your Gall Is Never Ending
we Don't Want Nothin', Not A Thing From You
your Life Is Trite And Jaded
boring And Confiscated
if That's Your Best, Your Best Won't Do

oh.....................
oh.....................
we're Right/yeah
we're Free/yeah
we'll Fight/yeah
you'll See/yeah

oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore
no Way!

oh.....................
oh.....................
we're Right/yeah
we're Free/yeah
we'll Fight/yeah
you'll See/yeah

we're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

we're Not Gonna Take It, No!
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

just You Try And Make Us
we're Not Gonna Take It
come On
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
you're All Worthless And Weak
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore
now Drop And Give Me Twenty
we're Not Gonna Take It
oh Crinch Pin
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh You And Your Uniform
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore


22 posted on 05/26/2006 1:25:24 PM PDT by Hillsdale Guy
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To: Keflavik76

One of the greatest conservative songs of all time is Rush's "Heresy," which is deeply anti-communist. It is a heartbreaking look at the lives of those who had to suffer under communist rule in the former Soviet Union. "All those precious wasted years. Who will pay?"

"HERESY"
Words by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

All around that dull gray world
From Moscow to Berlin
People storm the barricades
Walls go tumbling in

The counter-revolution
People smiling through their tears
Who can give them back their lives
And all those wasted years?
All those precious wasted years --
Who will pay?

All around that dull gray world
Of ideology
People storm the marketplace
And buy up fantasy

The counter-revolution
At the counter of a store
People buy the things they want
And borrow for a little more
All those wasted years
All those precious wasted years
Who will pay?

Do we have to be forgiving at last?
What else can we do?
Do we have to say goodbye to the past?
Yes I guess we do

All around this great big world
All the crap we had to take
Bombs and basement fallout shelters
All our lives at stake

The bloody revolution
All the warheads in its wake
All the fear and suffering
All a big mistake
All those wasted years
All those precious wasted years
Who will pay?


23 posted on 05/26/2006 1:27:37 PM PDT by Rastus
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To: Keflavik76

UNBORN CHILD
(lyrics by Lana Bogan; music by James Seals, 1974)
From the album UNBORN CHILD (1974).

Oh little baby, you'll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullabye.

Oh unborn child, if you only knew just what your momma was plannin' to do.
You're still a-clingin' to the tree of life, but soon you'll be cut off before you get ripe.
Oh unborn child, beginning to grow inside your momma, but you'll never know.
Oh tiny bud, that grows in the womb, only to be crushed before you can bloom.

Mama stop! Turn around, go back, think it over.
Now stop, turn around, go back, think it over.
Stop, turn around, go back think it over.

Oh no momma, just let it be. You'll never regret it, just wait and see.
Think of all the great ones who gave everything
That we might have life here, so please bear the pain.

Mama stop! Turn around, go back, think it over.
Now stop, turn around, go back, think it over.
Stop, turn around, go back think it over.


24 posted on 05/26/2006 1:29:22 PM PDT by Hillsdale Guy
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To: Keflavik76
Alright! “Government Cheese,” by The Rainmakers hits #36! Rockin at the T-Dance is another great Conservative song! Best damn band of the 80's!
25 posted on 05/26/2006 1:31:44 PM PDT by Bommer (Attention illegals: Why don't you do the jobs we can't do? Like fix your own countries problems!)
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To: Keflavik76
I cannot believe they did not list "Beer For My Horses":

"We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds, too much corruption and crime in the streets. It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground. Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down. You can bet he'll set 'em down."

26 posted on 05/26/2006 1:34:01 PM PDT by JoeGar
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To: Hillsdale Guy

Speaking of Zappa, I thought of this one:

Flakes

Flakes! Flakes!
Flakes! Flakes!

They don't do no good
They never be workin'
When they oughta should
They waste your time
They're wastin' mine
California's got the most of them
Boy, they got a host of them
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
They got the Flakes

Flakes! Flakes!

They can't fix yer brakes
You ask 'em, "Where's my motor?"
"Well it was eaten by snakes . . ."
You can stab 'n' shoot 'n' spit
But they won't be fixin' it
They're lyin' an' lazy
They can be drivin' you crazy
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
[Take it away, Bob. . .]

I asked as nice as I could
If my job would
Somehow be finished by Friday
Well, the whole damn weekend
Came 'n' went, Frankie
[Wanna buy some mandies, Bob?]
'N'they didn't do nothin'
But they charged me double for Sunday
You know, no matter what you do
They gonna cheat 'n' rob you
Then they'll send you a bill
That'll get your senses reelin'
And if you do not pay
They got computer collectors
That'll get you so crazy
Til your head'll go through th' ceilin'
Yes it will!

I'm a moron 'n' this is my wife
She's frosting a cake
With a paper knife
All what we got here's
American made
It's a little bit cheesey,
But it's nicely displayed
Well we don't get excited when it
Crumbles 'n' breaks
We just get on the phone
And call up some Flakes
They rush on over
'N' wreck it some more
'N' we are so dumb
They're linin' up at our door
Well, the toilet went crazy
Yesterday afternoon
The plumber he says
"Never flush a lampoon!"
This great information
Cost me half a week's pay
And the toilet blew up
Later on the next day ay-eee-ay
Blew up the next day WOO-OOO

We are millions 'n' millions
We're coming to get you
We're protected by unions
So don't let it upset you
Can't escape the conclusion
It's probably God's Will
That civilization
Will grind to a standstill
And we are the people
Who will make it all happen
While yer children is sleepin',
Yer puppy is crappin'
You might call us Flakes
Or something else you might coin us
But we know you're so greedy
That you'll probably join us
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you

~ Zappa


27 posted on 05/26/2006 1:36:38 PM PDT by Trampled by Lambs (I think, therefor I Zot!)
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To: JoeGar

"The KKK took my baby away" -- The Ramones

For those that don't know their history, this was the song Joey Ramone wrote about Johnny Ramone after Johnny stole (and then married) his girlfriend.

Not really conservative, I just really like the Ramones.


28 posted on 05/26/2006 1:37:04 PM PDT by AmericanRepublican (There are fools on both sides. Only the true Americans will prevail.)
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To: JoeGar

Don't know if that qualifies as a rock song. There are a lot of country songs that could go. Notice for Stand By Your Man they cited the Motorhead version.


29 posted on 05/26/2006 1:37:05 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Keflavik76

I'd like to see Red Barchetta shoot to the top.


30 posted on 05/26/2006 1:45:10 PM PDT by techworker
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To: bagadonutz

Here's another song by Tom Petty, although I prefer the Johnny Cash version) -- "I Will Stand My Ground"


31 posted on 05/26/2006 1:48:21 PM PDT by ClubCaved
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To: Keflavik76

Also missing from the list are any Ted Nugent songs. Stormtroopin' and Kiss My Ass are classics.


32 posted on 05/26/2006 1:54:55 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Hugin
Notice for Stand By Your Man they cited the Motorhead version.

I prefer the Blues Brothers' version!

33 posted on 05/26/2006 1:59:02 PM PDT by smokinleroy
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To: DemforBush

how about "Get Over It" by the Eagles?


34 posted on 05/26/2006 2:28:33 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!)
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To: Keflavik76

"Get Off This" - Cracker


All these cats with holey jeans, dirty hair and titty rings,
Say what your scene man, we got these questions.
I is it true that you have sold your soul? I say hey man, I don’t know
Lend me a quarter won’t you, I’ll call my ac-c-countant.

Chorus:
Let’s get off this, and get on with it,
If you wanna change the world shut your mouth and start to spin it
Get off this, get on with it
If you wanna change the world shut your mouth and start this minute

Petty little ayatollah come around to judge and stone ya
All we’re trying to do is make a fortune
Yeah we ain’t got no government loans, and no one sends a check from home
And get this: we’re just doin’ what we wanna


35 posted on 05/26/2006 2:33:13 PM PDT by dfwgator (Florida Gators - 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions)
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To: Keflavik76

The Kinks : Village Green Preservation Society

We are the village green preservation society
God save donald duck, vaudeville and variety
We are the desperate dan appreciation society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
We are the draught beer preservation society
God save mrs. mopp and good old mother riley
We are the custard pie appreciation consortium
God save the george cross and all those who were awarded them
We are the sherlock holmes english speaking vernacular
Help save fu manchu, moriarty and dracula
We are the office block persecution affinity
God save little shops, china cups and virginity
We are the skyscraper condemnation affiliate
God save tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
God save the village green.


36 posted on 05/26/2006 3:18:05 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: Keflavik76

*


37 posted on 05/26/2006 3:26:25 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Delicacy, precision, force)
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To: Sam Cree

Sgt. Barry Sadler's "The Ballad of the Green Berets" ought to have been included .


38 posted on 05/26/2006 3:39:44 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: bagadonutz

Remember the Heroes - Sammy Hagar


39 posted on 05/26/2006 4:10:41 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup (Retreat Hell, We just got here!)
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To: Keflavik76
Dead Kennedy's "California über alles"

I am governor jerry brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns
Soon I will be president

Carter power will soon go away
I will be fhrer one day
I will command all of you
Your kids will meditate in school

California über alles
über alles california

Zen fascists will control you
100% natural
You will jog for the master race
And always wear the happy face
Close your eyes, cant happen here
Big bro on white horse is near
The hippies wont come back you say
Mellow out or you will pay

California über alles
über alles california

Now it is 1984
Knock knock at your front door
Its the suede/denim secret police
They have come for your uncool niece

Come quietly to the camp
Youd look nice as a drawstring lamp
Dont you worry, its only a shower
For your clothes heres a pretty flower

Die on organic poison gas
Serpents eggs already hatched
You will croak, you little clown
When you mess with president brown

California über alles
über alles california

40 posted on 05/26/2006 4:54:26 PM PDT by Rate_Determining_Step (US Military - Draining the Swamp of Terrorism since 2001!)
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To: All
Sabaton, "Primo Victoria"

Through the gates of hell As we make our way to heaven Through the nazi lines Primo victoria

We've been training for years Now we're ready to strike As the great operation begins We're the first wave on the shore We're the first ones to fall Yet soldiers have fallen before

In the dawn they will pay With their lives as the price History's written today In this burning inferno Know that nothing remains As our forces advance on the beach

Aiming for heaven though serving in hell Victory is ours their forces will fall

Through the gates of hell As we make our way to heaven Through the nazi lines Primo victoria

On the 6th of june On the shores of western europe 1944 D-day upon us

We've been here before Used to this kind of war Crossfire grind through the sand Our orders were easy It's kill or be killed Blood on both sides will be spilled

In the dawn they will pay With their lives as the price History's written today Now that we are at war With the axis again This time we know what will come

6th of june 1944 Allies are turning the war Normandy state of anarchy Overlord

41 posted on 05/26/2006 5:06:09 PM PDT by Mr. Buzzcut (metal god ... visit The Ponderosa .... www.vandelay.com ... DEATH BEFORE DHIMMITUDE)
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To: KJC1; gardencatz

ping


42 posted on 05/26/2006 5:11:22 PM PDT by feefee (rovian salt carrier)
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To: Rakkasan1

"how about "Get Over It" by the Eagles?"


Most definitely! I think that one may have made the list, actually.


43 posted on 05/26/2006 6:34:00 PM PDT by DemforBush
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To: dfwgator

How could I forget Cracker!

(I dedicate this one to Sheryl Crow, Cindy Sheehan, and a bunch of other self-important libs)


I don't know what the world may need
but I'm sure as hell that is starts with me.
And that's a wisdom,
I've laughed at.

I don't know what the world may want,
but a good stiff drink it surely don't.
So I think I'll go and fix myself a tall one.

Cause, what the world needs now
is a new kind of tension.
Cause the old one just bores me to death.
Cause, what the world needs now
is another folk singer
like I need a hole in my head.

I don't know what the world may need,
but a V8 engine is a good start for me.
Think I'll drive to find a place,
to be surly.
I don't know what the world may want,
but some words of wisdom could comfort us.
Think I'll leave that up to someone wiser.

Cause, what the world needs now
are some True Words Of Wisdom
like "La La La La La"!
Cause, what the world needs now
is another folk singer
like I need a hole in my head.

I don't know what the world may need,
and I never grasped your complexities.
I'd be happy just to get your attention.
And, I don't know what the world may want,
but your long, sweet body lying next
to mine could certainly raise my spirits.

Cause what the world needs now
is a new Frank Sinatra
so I can get you in bed.
Cause what the world needs now
is another folk singer
like I need a hole in my head.


44 posted on 05/26/2006 6:38:48 PM PDT by DemforBush
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To: Keflavik76

60's, 70's, 80's AND 90's rock-and-roll memories BUMP!


45 posted on 05/27/2006 2:35:06 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
Rockin' The Right: The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week on NRO, we’ve been rolling out the first five and now all 50 songs from a list John J. Miller compiled that appears in the June 5 issue of National Review . Here’s a look at #1 and get the whole list — complete with purchasing links — here.

On first glance, rock ’n’ roll music isn’t very conservative. It doesn’t fare much better on second or third glance (or listen), either. Neil Young has a new song called “Let’s Impeach the President.” Last year, the Rolling Stones made news with “Sweet Neo Con,” another anti-Bush ditty. For conservatives who enjoy rock, it isn’t hard to agree with the opinion Johnny Cash expressed in “The One on the Right Is on the Left”: “Don’t go mixin’ politics with the folk songs of our land / Just work on harmony and diction / Play your banjo well / And if you have political convictions, keep them to yourself.” In other words: Shut up and sing.

But some rock songs really are conservative — and there are more of them than you might think. Last year, I asked readers of National Review Online to nominate conservative rock songs. Hundreds of suggestions poured in. I’ve sifted through them all, downloaded scores of mp3s, and puzzled over a lot of lyrics. What follows is a list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs of all time, as determined by me and a few others. The result is of course arbitrary, though we did apply a handful of criteria.

What makes a great conservative rock song? The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values. And, to be sure, it must be a great rock song. We’re biased in favor of songs that are already popular, but have tossed in a few little-known gems. In several cases, the musicians are outspoken liberals. Others are notorious libertines. For the purposes of this list, however, we don’t hold any of this against them. Finally, it would have been easy to include half a dozen songs by both the Kinks and Rush, but we’ve made an effort to cast a wide net. Who ever said diversity isn’t a conservative principle?

So here are NR’s top 50 conservative rock songs of all time. Go ahead and quibble with the rankings, complain about what we put on, and send us outraged letters and e-mails about what we left off. In the end, though, we hope you’ll admit that it’s a pretty cool playlist for your iPod.

1. “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who.

The conservative movement is full of disillusioned revolutionaries; this could be their theme song, an oath that swears off naïve idealism once and for all. “There’s nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.” The instantly recognizable synthesizer intro, Pete Townshend’s ringing guitar, Keith Moon’s pounding drums, and Roger Daltrey’s wailing vocals make this one of the most explosive rock anthems ever recorded — the best number by a big band, and a classic for conservatives.

2. “Taxman,” by The Beatles.

A George Harrison masterpiece with a famous guitar riff (which was actually played by Paul McCartney): “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street / If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat / If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat / If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.” The song closes with a humorous jab at death taxes: “Now my advice for those who die / Declare the pennies on your eyes.”

3. “Sympathy for the Devil,” by The Rolling Stones.

Don’t be misled by the title; this song is The Screwtape Letters of rock. The devil is a tempter who leans hard on moral relativism — he will try to make you think that “every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints.” What’s more, he is the sinister inspiration for the cruelties of Bolshevism: “I stuck around St. Petersburg / When I saw it was a time for a change / Killed the czar and his ministers / Anastasia screamed in vain.”

4. “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

A tribute to the region of America that liberals love to loathe, taking a shot at Neil Young’s Canadian arrogance along the way: “A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow.”

5. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” by The Beach Boys.

Pro-abstinence and pro-marriage: “Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true / Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do / We could be married / And then we’d be happy.”

6. “Gloria,” by U2.

Just because a rock song is about faith doesn’t mean that it’s conservative. But what about a rock song that’s about faith and whose chorus is in Latin? That’s beautifully reactionary: “Gloria / In te domine / Gloria / Exultate.”

7. “Revolution,” by The Beatles.

“You say you want a revolution / Well you know / We all want to change the world . . . Don’t you know you can count me out?” What’s more, Communism isn’t even cool: “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao / You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.” (Someone tell the Che Guevara crowd.)

8. “Bodies,” by The Sex Pistols.

Violent and vulgar, but also a searing anti-abortion anthem by the quintessential punk band: “It’s not an animal / It’s an abortion.”

9. “Don’t Tread on Me,” by Metallica.

A head-banging tribute to the doctrine of peace through strength, written in response to the first Gulf War: “So be it / Threaten no more / To secure peace is to prepare for war.”

10. “20th Century Man,” by The Kinks.

“You keep all your smart modern writers / Give me William Shakespeare / You keep all your smart modern painters / I’ll take Rembrandt, Titian, da Vinci, and Gainsborough. . . . I was born in a welfare state / Ruled by bureaucracy / Controlled by civil servants / And people dressed in grey / Got no privacy got no liberty / ’Cause the 20th-century people / Took it all away from me.”

11. “The Trees,” by Rush.

Before there was Rush Limbaugh, there was Rush, a Canadian band whose lyrics are often libertarian. What happens in a forest when equal rights become equal outcomes? “The trees are all kept equal / By hatchet, axe, and saw.”

12. “Neighborhood Bully,” by Bob Dylan.

A pro-Israel song released in 1983, two years after the bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, this ironic number could be a theme song for the Bush Doctrine: “He destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad / The bombs were meant for him / He was supposed to feel bad / He’s the neighborhood bully.”

13. “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders.

Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for Limbaugh’s radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change: “I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride.”

14. “Right Here, Right Now,” by Jesus Jones.

The words are vague, but they’re also about the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War: “I was alive and I waited for this. . . . Watching the world wake up from history.”

15. “I Fought the Law,” by The Crickets.

The original law-and-order classic, made famous in 1965 by The Bobby Fuller Four and covered by just about everyone since then.

16. “Get Over It,” by The Eagles.

Against the culture of grievance: “The big, bad world doesn’t owe you a thing.” There’s also this nice line: “I’d like to find your inner child and kick its little ass.”

17. “Stay Together for the Kids,” by Blink 182.

A eulogy for family values by an alt-rock band whose members were raised in a generation without enough of them: “So here’s your holiday / Hope you enjoy it this time / You gave it all away. . . . It’s not right.”

18. “Cult of Personality,” by Living Colour.

A hard-rocking critique of state power, whacking Mussolini, Stalin, and even JFK: “I exploit you, still you love me / I tell you one and one makes three / I’m the cult of personality.”

19. “Kicks,” by Paul Revere and the Raiders.

An anti-drug song that is also anti-utopian: “Well, you think you’re gonna find yourself a little piece of paradise / But it ain’t happened yet, so girl you better think twice.”

20. “Rock the Casbah,” by The Clash.

After 9/11, American radio stations were urged not to play this 1982 song, one of the biggest hits by a seminal punk band, because it was seen as too provocative. Meanwhile, British Forces Broadcasting Service (the radio station for British troops serving in Iraq) has said that this is one of its most requested tunes.

21. “Heroes,” by David Bowie.

A Cold War love song about a man and a woman divided by the Berlin Wall. No moral equivalence here: “I can remember / Standing / By the wall / And the guns / Shot above our heads / And we kissed / As though nothing could fall / And the shame / Was on the other side / Oh we can beat them / For ever and ever.”

22. “Red Barchetta,” by Rush.

In a time of “the Motor Law,” presumably legislated by green extremists, the singer describes family reunion and the thrill of driving a fast car — an act that is his “weekly crime.”

23. “Brick,” by Ben Folds Five.

Written from the perspective of a man who takes his young girlfriend to an abortion clinic, this song describes the emotional scars of “reproductive freedom”: “Now she’s feeling more alone / Than she ever has before. . . . As weeks went by / It showed that she was not fine.”

24. “Der Kommissar,” by After the Fire.

On the misery of East German life: “Don’t turn around, uh-oh / Der Kommissar’s in town, uh-oh / He’s got the power / And you’re so weak / And your frustration / Will not let you speak.” Also a hit song for Falco, who wrote it.

25. “The Battle of Evermore,” by Led Zeppelin.

The lyrics are straight out of Robert Plant’s Middle Earth period — there are lines about “ring wraiths” and “magic runes” — but for a song released in 1971, it’s hard to miss the Cold War metaphor: “The tyrant’s face is red.”

26. “Capitalism,” by Oingo Boingo.

“There’s nothing wrong with Capitalism / There’s nothing wrong with free enterprise. . . . You’re just a middle class, socialist brat / From a suburban family and you never really had to work.”

27. “Obvious Song,” by Joe Jackson.

For property rights and economic development, and against liberal hypocrisy: “There was a man in the jungle / Trying to make ends meet / Found himself one day with an axe in his hand / When a voice said ‘Buddy can you spare that tree / We gotta save the world — starting with your land’ / It was a rock ’n’ roll millionaire from the USA / Doing three to the gallon in a big white car / And he sang and he sang ’til he polluted the air / And he blew a lot of smoke from a Cuban cigar.”

28. “Janie’s Got a Gun,” by Aerosmith.

How the right to bear arms can protect women from sexual predators: “What did her daddy do? / It’s Janie’s last I.O.U. / She had to take him down easy / And put a bullet in his brain / She said ’cause nobody believes me / The man was such a sleaze / He ain’t never gonna be the same.”

29. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Iron Maiden.

A heavy-metal classic inspired by a literary classic. How many other rock songs quote directly from Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

30. “You Can’t Be Too Strong,” by Graham Parker.

Although it’s not explicitly pro-life, this tune describes the horror of abortion with bracing honesty: “Did they tear it out with talons of steel, and give you a shot so that you wouldn’t feel?”

31. “Small Town,” by John Mellencamp.

A Burkean rocker: “No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from / I cannot forget the people who love me.”

32. “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” by The Georgia Satellites.

An outstanding vocal performance, with lyrics that affirm old-time sexual mores: “She said no huggy, no kissy until I get a wedding vow.”

33. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” by The Rolling Stones.

You can “[go] down to the demonstration” and vent your frustration, but you must understand that there’s no such thing as a perfect society — there are merely decent and free ones.

34. “Godzilla,” by Blue öyster Cult.

A 1977 classic about a big green monster — and more: “History shows again and again / How nature points up the folly of men.”

35. “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Written as an anti–Vietnam War song, this tune nevertheless is pessimistic about activism and takes a dim view of both Communism and liberalism: “Five-year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains . . .”

36. “Government Cheese,” by The Rainmakers.

A protest song against the welfare state by a Kansas City band that deserved more success than it got. The first line: “Give a man a free house and he’ll bust out the windows.”

37. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” by The Band.

Despite its sins, the American South always has been about more than racism — this song captures its pride and tradition.

38. “I Can’t Drive 55,” by Sammy Hagar.

A rocker’s objection to the nanny state. (See also Hagar’s pro-America song “VOA.”)

39. “Property Line,” by The Marshall Tucker Band.

The secret to happiness, according to these southern-rock heavyweights, is life, liberty, and property: “Well my idea of a good time / Is walkin’ my property line / And knowin’ the mud on my boots is mine.”

40. “Wake Up Little Susie,” by The Everly Brothers.

A smash hit in 1957, back when high-school social pressures were rather different from what they have become: “We fell asleep, our goose is cooked, our reputation is shot.”

41. “The Icicle Melts,” by The Cranberries.

A pro-life tune sung by Irish warbler Dolores O’Riordan: “I don’t know what’s happening to people today / When a child, he was taken away . . . ’Cause nine months is too long.”

42. “Everybody’s a Victim,” by The Proclaimers.

Best known for their smash hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” this Scottish band also recorded a catchy song about the problem of suspending moral judgment: “It doesn’t matter what I do / You have to say it’s all right . . . Everybody’s a victim / We’re becoming like the USA.”

43. “Wonderful,” by Everclear.

A child’s take on divorce: “I don’t wanna hear you say / That I will understand someday / No, no, no, no / I don’t wanna hear you say / You both have grown in a different way / No, no, no, no / I don’t wanna meet your friends / And I don’t wanna start over again / I just want my life to be the same / Just like it used to be.”

44. “Two Sisters,” by The Kinks.

Why the “drudgery of being wed” is more rewarding than bohemian life.

45. “Taxman, Mr. Thief,” by Cheap Trick.

An anti-tax protest song: “You work hard, you went hungry / Now the taxman is out to get you. . . . He hates you, he loves money.”

46. “Wind of Change,” by The Scorpions.

A German hard-rock group’s optimistic power ballad about the end of the Cold War and national reunification: “The world is closing in / Did you ever think / That we could be so close, like brothers / The future’s in the air / I can feel it everywhere / Blowing with the wind of change.”

47. “One,” by Creed.

Against racial preferences: “Society blind by color / Why hold down one to raise another / Discrimination now on both sides / Seeds of hate blossom further.”

48. “Why Don’t You Get a Job,” by The Offspring.

The lyrics aren’t exactly Shakespearean, but they’re refreshingly blunt and they capture a motive force behind welfare reform.

49. “Abortion,” by Kid Rock. 

A plaintive song sung by a man who confronts his unborn child’s abortion: “I know your brothers and your sister and your mother too / Man I wish you could see them too.”

50. “Stand By Your Man,” by Tammy Wynette. 

Hillary trashed it — isn’t that enough? If you’re worried that Wynette’s original is too country, then check out the cover version by Motörhead.


46 posted on 05/27/2006 2:35:57 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: Keflavik76

"In the Year of the Wolf" by Motorhead.


47 posted on 05/27/2006 2:44:24 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

No way is No. 8 by the Sex Pistols a conservative song.


48 posted on 05/27/2006 2:57:36 PM PDT by Dante3
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy
I'm happy "Obvious Song" -Joe Jackson- made it, I would also add his "Everything Gives you Cancer"

Also, The Talking Heads "I can't get used to this lifestyle", a song, to my mind about granting every enviromentalist their wish, and in the process, making a nightmare for all.

.


Here we stand
Like an Adam and an Eve
Waterfalls
The Garden of Eden
Two fools in love
So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees
Are smiling upon them
From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
we got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

Years ago
I was an angry young man
I'd pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway
This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over
But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
you got it, you got it

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
you got it, you got it

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
you got it, you got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
you got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
you got it, you got it

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
you got it, you got it

This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle

49 posted on 05/27/2006 3:01:18 PM PDT by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: DemforBush

Is the head dead yet?
The boys in the newsroom got a running bet
Put the widow on the set,we love dirty laundry
Yep,superb one!


50 posted on 05/27/2006 3:12:27 PM PDT by Riverman94610
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