Jan 272012

Inspired by the Hall’s search for a Rock and Roll Cabinet, I’m looking for politicians who are mentioned by name in the title or lyrics of a song.

What counts: actual elected officials, cabinet members, monarchs, dictators, etc.

What doesn’t count: album titles, such as Disraeli Gears; made up characters, such as the Mayor of Simpleton, the Lizard King, King Everything, etc; and those involved in politics but who don’t hold some official position, such as Lee Atwater (I’m not sure if there are any examples of this last instance but I thought I’d weed it out to be on the safe side).

An individual’s name may only be used once.

As always, please limit your posts to one answer at a time.

I’ll start off with “Even Richard Nixon has got soul” in Neil Young’s “Campaigner.”


  152 Responses to “Last Man Standing: I Want to Be a Politician”

  1. Happiness Stan

    Beatles – Taxman (Mr Wilson and Mr Heath, leaders of the Labour and Conservative parties respectively at the time. Revolver was released in an election year, so George may have been hedging his bets)

  2. Are we allowed to cite a politician more than once? I’m guessing there are a lot of Nixon references in songs.

    And I know this lady gets name-dropped a lot: “Stand Down Margaret” by The English Beat. Thatcher, obvs.

  3. misterioso

    President Kennedy is mentioned in “I Shall Be Free,” the last song on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.”

    Well, my telephone rang it would not stop
    It was President Kennedy callin’ me up
    He said, “My friend, Bob, what do we need to make the country grow?”
    I said, “My friend, John, Brigitte Bardot
    Anita Ekberg
    Sophia Loren
    Country’ll grow”

  4. Good call, Oats. I meant to say that once a person is mentioned, they are off limits. I’ll amend the post if I can.

  5. Let me get the drop on E Pluribus Gergley in case he decides to log on: “I’m ‘Enery the 8th I am, Enry the 8th I am, I am.” by Herman’s Hermits

  6. “BabyLet’sHaveABabyBeforeBushDoSomethin’Crazy” by Marxist hip-hop group The Coup. This, of course, is about George W Bush, so there’s still room for an HW song.

  7. Adolph Hitler in The Clash’s “White Man in Hammersmith Palais.”

    Game over?

  8. “Jimmy Carter Says ‘Yes'” by Gene Marshall. Recommended!


  9. Big Dipper, “Hey! Mr. Lincoln”

  10. “James K. Polk” by They Might Be Giants

  11. Happiness Stan

    Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Oliver’s Army – “With just a word in Mr Churchill’s ear”

  12. tonyola

    The calypso song “FDR in Trinidad” has been notably covered by Ry Cooder and Van Dyke Parks.

  13. jeangray

    Well, if’n Oats is going to throw in obscure Rap groups, then I must submit “And All You Can Do is Laugh -Part 1” by cLOUDDEAD, which name checks jus’ about every one of the U.S. Presidents, starting out of course with “Big G.W.”

  14. BigSteve

    I Shall Be Free No. 10 (from Another Side of Bob Dylan) contains this verse:

    Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
    I want ev’rybody to be free
    But if you think that I’ll let Barry Goldwater
    Move in next door and marry my daughter
    You must think I’m crazy!
    I wouldn’t let him do it for all the farms in Cuba

  15. BigSteve

    Randy Newman, Rednecks:

    Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show
    With some smart ass New York jew
    And the jew laughed at Lester Maddox
    And the audience laughed at Lester Maddox too
    Well he may be a fool but he’s our fool
    And if they think they’re better than him they’re wrong
    So I went to the park and took some paper along
    And that’s where I made this song.

  16. alexmagic

    Prince’s “Ronnie, Talk 2 Russia” is about Ronald Reagan, naturally. This was pre-Gorbachev and Chernenko is not mentioned in the song, so both are still on the available to play.

  17. Has TMBG or that annoying, doe-eyed guy who is releasing an album about every state (whatever happened to that project?) released an entire album of Presidential songs?

  18. Quasi’s “White Devils Dream” ends with a litany of “fuck you”s dedicated to numerous members of the Bush administration, as well as Tony Blair, so I’ll use this one for him.

  19. Fidel Castro in “Washington Bullets.” My guess is Strummer will vie for most entries in this LMS.

  20. tonyola

    “She’s Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina” by the Kinks mentions Prime Minister Anthony Eden..

    ‘He’s bought a hat like Anthony Eden’s
    Because it makes him feel like a Lord
    But he can’t afford a Rolls or a Bentley
    He has to buy a secondhand Ford
    He tries to feed his wife and his family
    And buy them clothes and shoes they can wear
    But he’s bought a hat like Anthony Eden’s
    So he don t care”

  21. “Exhuming McCarthy” by R.E.M.

  22. jeangray

    “Obama Song” by Michael Franti & Spearhead.

  23. mockcarr

    Linda Ronstadt’s former boyfriend – California Governor Jerry Brown in the Dead Kennedy’s California Uber Alles.

    Mellow out or you will pay!

  24. Since Stan used “Oliver’s Army” for Churchill, I’ll cite the Cromwell reference in The Mekons’ “Hard to be Human Again.”

    I made a mistake
    When I looked over my shoulder
    Cromwell was right behind me
    In the driving rain

  25. tonyola

    Secretary of State Cordell Hull also gets a mention in “FDR in Trinidad”.

  26. The update of that song, “We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now” a few years later featured Ronald Reagan.

  27. tonyola

    I’m surprised no-one has bagged this yet…

    Chicago – “Harry Truman”

  28. From Wussy’s “Pulverized”

    “Rockefeller said the word and flipped the bird, and came out wondering.
    Rockefeller never dealt with you.”

  29. jeangray

    I will see mockcarr’s Jerry Brown and up him one with Emperor Ronald Reagan from the Dead Kennedys’ “We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now”.

  30. jeangray

    No one on here will admit to knowing anything ’bout Chicago.

  31. jeangray

    Oops, guess Uncle Ronnie has already been used.

  32. Cortez the Killer by Neil Young “On the shore lay Montezuma”

  33. Inaugural Pop Music for Jane Margaret Byrne by that annoying, doe-eyed guy.

  34. BigSteve

    I am amused by the concept that kings like Montezuma and Henry VIII are politicians.

  35. tonyola

    “Initials” from the Hair soundtrack…

    “LBJ took the IRT
    Down to 4th Street USA.
    When he got there
    What did he see?
    The youth of America on LSD.”

  36. Got Bobby covered too with “Sympathy for the Devil”


  37. NO! But we’ll send in a limousine anyway


  38. *sigh*

    This occurred to me as I was writing the post but I thought I clarified the point by explicitly saying that rulers such as monarchs counted. I suppose I’m using a liberal interpretation of the definition from Merriam Webster on-line: “a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government.” Now please excuse me while I prepare my defense of the use of the words “actively” and experienced.

    Excellent Python clip, by the way.

  39. Did George Thorogood have the (James) Madison Blues?

  40. tonyola

    Yeah, I tend to agree that kings, emperors, and the like were just as much politicians as modern presidents, dictators, and members of Congress. It’s just a matter of who did the “electing” – the people, the will of a god, or a barrel of a gun.

  41. Happiness Stan

    Dead Kennedy’s “Holiday in Cambodia” – lots of Pol Pot

  42. Happiness Stan

    bottoms, that was supposed to be down there, how did that happen?

  43. “Like Catherine the great underneath a big horse,your sexual preference is me of course” Paul Westerberg

  44. From a man who NEVER took himself too seriously…

    “Mister Khrushchev said, ‘We will bury you’…”

    Sting, 1985.

  45. I assume Sheriff John Brown of “I Shot the Sheriff” was a real guy.

  46. ladymisskirroyale

    Damn – I had Heaven 17’s “You Don’t Need That Fascist Groove Thing” for Reagan…

  47. ladymisskirroyale

    Ike’s Rap – for all those Eisenhower fans out there.

  48. tonyola

    Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is probably the only pop song ever to mention Georgy Malenkov, the Soviet Premier who succeeded Joseph Stalin for a few years.

  49. ladymisskirroyale

    This gave me an excuse to get this horror out of my head and into yours:


  50. ladymisskirroyale

    “Lennon wrote a book on Marx” – American Pie. Or you could kill 2 birds with one stone with the phonetic gameplay: “Lenin wrote a book on Marx…”

  51. Speaking of Lennon, how did it take any of us, me especially, this long to cite “Revolution” and Chairman Mao? I mean, the 45 version is my second-favorite song of the 20th century!

  52. tonyola

    Specials – “Free Nelson Mandela”

  53. Al Stewart has a song called “Warren Harding” on the album Past, Present, & Future. And he probably has a ton more that would fill this category since his thing is historical songs (as in songs about historical people and events, not old songs).

  54. tonyola

    Jimmy Buffett’s “Volcano” mentions the Ayahtollah.

  55. Drive By Truckers:

    “Throw another log on the fire, boys, George Wallace is coming to stay…”

  56. BigSteve

    Another one from Randy Newman’s Good Old Boys — the song Kingfish is sung in the character of Louisiana governor Huey Long.

  57. Oliver Cromwell is mentioned in Young Ned of the Hill by the Pogues.

  58. How about Steve Martin’s “King Tut” for a Last Man Standing?

  59. BigSteve

    I’m going to suppress my anti-monarchist instincts and cite the Stones’ Lady Jane.

  60. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to have a chance of winning one of these things.

  61. Ho Chi Minh is cited as part of the city named after him in The Clash’s “Straight to Hell.”

  62. ladymisskirroyale

    REM in “Little America”: “Jefferson, I think we’re lost…”

  63. I learn something new every day around here: George Stoneman, the Stoneman and his cavalry referred to in The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” would serve as California’s 15th governor. Last Man Standing!

  64. tonyola

    From “The Intro and the Outro” by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band:
    “Digging General de Gaulle on accordion… really wild, General! Thank you, sir.”

  65. Sorry to say, that is Jefferson Holt, REM’s long-time manager.

  66. mockcarr

    A pointed reference to British PM Jim Callaghan in Time For Truth by the Jam

    “Whatever happened to the great Empire?
    I think it’s time for truth, and the truth is you lost, Uncle Jimmy”

  67. H. Munster

    “In 1814 we took a little trip
    Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip”

    — Johnny Horton “The Battle of New Orleans”
    Colonel Jackson went on to become President Andrew Jackson.

  68. Thanks for indulging me Bigsteve. For my part, I pledge to be less ambiguous when laying down the rules next time.

  69. Even though I think it’s a metaphor for Nixon, both Richard I and John I are mentioned in Steely Dan’s “Kings”. I will use King John for my entry, generously leaving Richard the Lionhearted up for grabs.

  70. The Mekons – “Keep On Hoppin'”

    “There’s a bust of General Franco in the corner / And the bible lies unopened on the floor…”

  71. I can’t believe this was still just sitting out there: Leoned Breshnev in End of the World as We Know It.


  72. ladymisskirroyale

    I was hoping he was a stand-in.

  73. ladymisskirroyale

    In Camper Van Beethoven’s “Joe Stalin’s Cadillac” you get a three-fer: Joe Stalin, LBJ and General Pinochet.

  74. H. Munster

    The rules say that album titles don’t count. That implies that song titles do count. So there’s “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman”, an instrumental that Whistlin’ Jack Smith had a hit with in1966.

  75. I guess hip hop is fair game since there are a few entries above.

    NYMP, Jay-Z:

    “I take and rape villages, who gon’ stop me?
    Not Rudy Giuliani…”

  76. alexmagic

    I’ve been waiting for Stalin to come off the table so I could finally play the mention of Mussolini in “Cult of Personality”.

  77. Happiness Stan

    ABBA – Waterloo, “My my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender..”

  78. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awPWWOQVlYk

    Sparks, “Big Bands”

    “I smile like Herbert Hoover when they play…”

  79. tonyola

    Hirohito gets a mention in Ziggy Marley’s “Freedom Road”:

    “Now, Hitler may rant, Hirohito may rave,
    I’m going after freedom if it leads me to my grave.”

  80. bostonhistorian

    Burning Spear’s “Old Marcus Garvey” namechecks Norman Washington Manley, among others.

  81. Tipping my hand here but I can’t believe I can’t come up with a Bob Marley song in which he mentions Haile Selassie. He used to shout his name in between songs but I’m coming up with nothing.

  82. Here’s one I should have thought of immediately: Mr. Oswald (Mosely) from Elvis Costello’s “Less Than Zero.”

    That’s GOT to be the last song of this type, right?

  83. Does Kid Charlemagne count?

  84. Happiness Stan

    Queen’s “Killer Queen” mentions Marie Antoinette

  85. tonyola

    Nico – “Julius Caeser (Memento Hodie)”

  86. John Cale, “King Harry”

  87. tonyola

    Oh, man – how did it take so long for me (or anyone else) to come up with this one?

    Kinks – “Victoria”

  88. bostonhistorian

    The Butthole Surfers, “The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave”

  89. bostonhistorian

    Mojo Nixon, “Put a Sex Mo-Sheen in the White House”

    “Dan Quayle can’t get no tail”

  90. ladymisskirroyale

    Since Marie Antoinette is off the table, here’s Bow Wow Wow talking up the Sun King:


  91. BigSteve

    From Phil Ochs’ Love Me, I’m a Liberal:

    I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
    My faith in the system restored

  92. tonyola

    John Denver – “The Ballad of Spiro Agnew”

    Here are the lyrics in their entirety:

    “I’ll sing you a song of
    Spiro Agnew
    And all the things he’s done..”

  93. ladymisskirroyale

    Richard Davies in “Chips Rafferty”: Mr. Lloyd the Mininster’s Councillor-at-large.” I looked it up: there is a Australian Liberal Minister. And I had to look up who was Chips Rafferty.

  94. bostonhistorian

    Dropkick Murphys “Going Out in Style”

    So what if I threw a party and invited Mayor Menino?
    He’d tell you to get a permit
    Well this time Tom I don’t think so

  95. BigSteve

    Hoodoo Gurus, Tojo

    (Hideki Tojo was Prime Minister of Japan during WWII.)

  96. Steve Earle mentions Pancho Villa in the Mercenary Song.

  97. Violent Femmes “Old Mother Reagan.” Took away from me and you, she better go faarrr away


  98. The Shamen – “In Gorbachev We Trust”

  99. WZevon, “Veracruz” – “I heard Woodrow Wilson’s guns”


  100. DAMN! That takes everyone’s fave off the table “I saw an inside trader eatin’ a rubber tire after running over Rudy Giulani.” LOUUUUU!!!


  101. Happiness Stan

    Flanders and Swann – “A Song of Patriotic Prejudice” mentions William III:
    “He blows up policemen or so I have heard,
    And blames it on Cromwell and William the third”

  102. “He looked a bit like Che Guevara” Panic in Detroit by David Bowie

  103. bostonhistorian

    Frank Turner, “English Curse”

    From the shores of Normandy King William came
    To Albion fair, King Harold to slay
    With greed in his heart and his scurrilous claim
    He took the land for his own

    Also, if you haven’t heard Frank Turner, give him a listen. He released one of my favorite albums of 2011 and is probably coming to a town near you soon…

  104. Happiness Stan

    Kinks (again) – She Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina

    I draw the line at putting forward an obscure royal such as Princess Marina, but it does mention one of our least successful and popular Prime Ministers, “He’s bought a hat like Anthony Eden’s”

  105. Sorry H Stan but tonyola nabbed Princess Marina previously (see #18).

    Bostonhistorian retains the belt.

  106. BigSteve

    Anthony Eden went very early, Stan.

    I’m going to swallow hard and cite the song Lord Grenville, from the Year of the Cat album. Oh how I hate Al Stewart. Grenville was an 18th century Prime Minister.

  107. mockcarr

    Kinks in Mr. Churchill Says make a reference to Mr Beaverbrook (Lord), leaving aside Mountbatten and Montgomery as they seem to be referenced in their wartime roles in the military rather than politics.

  108. How about LBJ himself in the intro to the Electric Flag’s version of “Killing Floor”?

  109. tonyola

    Blue Oyster Cult – “ME 262”:

    “Goering’s on the phone to Freiburg
    Say’s Willie’s done quite a job.”

  110. tonyola

    Please see #29 above.

  111. Regardless of your oversight, welcome aboard! I’m sure we’re still missing some songs citing politicians. Keep ’em coming.

  112. I guess the Princess Diana version of “Candle in the Wind” doesn’t count since she is never mentioned by name.

    No one’s played a Mary Queen of Scots yet, have they? If not, I’m playing Lou Reed’s “Sad Song.”

  113. bostonhistorian

    The Reggae Boys, “Selassie”


  114. tonyola

    While the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” doesn’t mention Elizabeth by name, a defaced picture of here was used for the cover and promotion.


  115. If I’m not playing “Candle in the Wind 1997” you’re not playing “God Save the Queen” based on a visual cue from the record sleeve.

  116. One important difference – on my candidate, the title “Queen” is actually mentioned. “Princess” isn’t mentioned anywhere in yours. Still LMS! Tpppppth.

  117. Was there a really a Queen Jane or was the character merely an Approximation?


  118. Sorry, just now noticed AlexM’s Reagan ref. A lot of times I notice things just now.


  119. Hoagy Carmichael’s double-winner, assuming sometime you will have a LMS for longest song title: ‘Im a cranky old yank in a clanky old tank on the streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu mama doin’ the beat-o beat-o flat on my seat-o Hirohito blues’.

  120. tonyola

    You would definitely win the longest-title LMS, but Hirohito was mentioned before in #61.

  121. tonyola

    Brezhnev gets mentioned in Pink Floyd’s “Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert” (from The Final Cut).

  122. bostonhistorian

    See 54.

  123. bostonhistorian

    Lou Reed, “Good Evening Mr. Waldheim”

  124. The Velvet Underground, “Jesus,” the King of Kings. LMS!

  125. Happiness Stan

    Boney M – Rasputin

  126. tonyola

    Well, no wonder Search didn’t find it here. At least I used the standard spelling.

  127. tonyola

    Lech Walesa is mention by Joan Baez in “Happy Birthday, Leonid Brezhnev”.

  128. Sorry, no can do. At the risk of getting smited, Jesus was not a political leader in the sense that he help a position in a government. For the purposes of this LMS, he’s more akin to someone like Abbie Hoffman.

  129. Again, I don’t think Rasputin held an office. Wasn’t he just like the Czar’s Lee Atwater?

  130. I wish I had a better grasp on Billy Bragg’s catalog…

  131. D.O.A. Fucked Up Ronnie


  132. Sorry, someone got there first. See #15.

  133. Happiness Stan

    I gave it more consideration than I probably ought to have done, but since no-one in Russia was elected at that time I thought I’d run with it as he had considerably more power than most elected politicians have these days. I think that your judgement is correct, though, but I still question the admission of royals, who are no more than than the dynastic descendants of long-dead dictators. And furthermore, dictators have rarely been elected in anything that the UN would recognise as an election.

    Lee Atwater is unknown to me, I’m afraid, should have done some research…

    Also I rather hoped that someone would rise to the posting of a Boney M song, particularly such a classic amongst their canon.

  134. H. Munster

    Ewan MacColl mentions Ho Chi Minh in “The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh.”

  135. tonyola

    Rasputin was the Tsarina’s “spiritual adviser” but held no official position in the government. He won her favor by being able to ease her hemophiliac son’s pain and discomfort, and she (and to a lesser extent, the Tsar) clung to Rasputin as the one hope of “curing” the boy. Rasputin took wide advantage of his access and became one of the most hated people in the Tsar’s circle.

  136. Himmler is referenced in David Bowie’s “Quicksand.”

    And with that I find myself standing atop the shoulders of the world-class LMS player H. Munster!

  137. Does Tipper Gore count? She wasn’t an elected official, but the PMRC (which she co-founded) was definitely a political group. Anyway, if she’s fair game I offer “Censorshit” by The Ramones:

    “Ah, Tipper come on, ain’t you been getting it on?
    Ask Ozzie, Zappa or me.
    We’ll show you what it’s like to be free.”

  138. H. Munster

    “The Blood Trail” by Toxcara refers to the McNamara Line named after Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

  139. The Dashboard Saviors – Just like Geranamo

  140. alexmagic

    Benjamin Disraeli is mentioned in The Rutles’ “Back In ’64”.

  141. BigSteve

    John Cale’s song Graham Greene (from Paris 1919):

    According to the latest score
    Mr. Enoch Powell is a falling star.

  142. Neville Chamerlain is mentioned in Elvis Costello’s “Peace in our Time.”

    “Out of the aeroplane stepped Chamberlain with a condemned man’s stare
    But we all cheered wildly, a photograph was taken”


  143. tonyola

    Spike Jones’ “Der Fuehrer’s Face” mentions Joseph Goebbels:

    “When Herr Goebbels says we own the world and space
    We heil heil right in Herr Goebbels’ face.”

  144. H. Munster

    Senator Bobby mentions “Teddy on the ocarina” in “Wild Thing,” a reference to Senator Edward Kennedy.

  145. You Ain’t Going Nowhere – Bob Dylan
    “Genghis Khan, he could not keep all his troops supplied with sleep.”

  146. alexmagic

    Since I feel like we’re about to enter into the “just start naming historical figures” phase and lose sight of paying respect to truly elected figures who sought change through public office, I will play my trump card here. Owing to the earlier ruling that, while album titles don’t count, song titles do, I take the title by citing a song named after an actual, celebrated politician:

    “Clint Eastwood” – The Gorillaz

  147. H. Munster

    The flip side of Senator Bobby’s rendition of “Wild Thing” was also “Wild Thing,” but this time by Senator Everett McKinley, i.e., someone imitating Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen.

  148. H. Munster

    In the above version of “Wild Thing”, Senator Everett mentions Rocky, i.e., Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.

  149. H. Munster

    John Fogerty refers to Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in “Long DArk Night.”

    Rummy’s in the kitchen messin’ with the pan
    Dickie’s in the back stealing everything he can

  150. H. Munster

    Watershed — “American Muscle”

    I sailed through Fordham and wowed ’em back at Wharton
    I dominated Davos at the Economic Forum
    The Queen of Jordan won’t stop calling me now

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube