President Songs Mixtape
Every once in a while music and history collide in interesting ways. Dust off your cassette player. It’s time for songs about the presidents.
In his distinctive voice, J.B. Lenoir sings of difficult times in Eisenhower’s America. The song was eventually re-recorded and renamed “Tax Payin’ Blues.”
The Man in Black recounts the assassination of James A. Garfield. The upbeat and haunting chorus sticks around long after the song ends.
“James K. Polk”
They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants always deliver on the geeky history songs. This is their folky tale of “Young Hickory,” “Napoleon of the Stump.”
“Ronnie, Talk to Russia”
Watch out for the snare drum attack on this one. In this Cold War cut, Prince urges Reagan to talk to Russia before nuclear war breaks out.
“Funky President (People It’s Bad)”
The Godfather of Soul recorded this song after Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Gerald Ford is the “brand new funky president.”
“We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover”
Annie Ensemble, Charles Strouse, Peter Howard
In this bitter song about President Hoover, the cast from Annie laments about hard times during the Great Depression.
“Abraham, Martin & John”
Marvin Gaye sings of loss in this song that mentions Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy.