Nov 172016

Since the surprise election of Donald Trump last week, musicians have responded in all sorts of ways, from benefit concerts to social media missives. A few have taken to the world of cover songs to express their feelings and frustrations, picking songs with titles like “Drunk On Election Night” or “Time To Move On.” We’ve pulled together a few of the best.

Courtney Barnett – “Drunk On Election Night” (Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males cover)

Kelly is a relatively obscure artist from Barnett’s home country of Australia, but “Drunk on Election Night” seems very relevant. Written in 2006, it was about a different president but has lyrics that seem prescient for anyone hoping for a different result:
I was hoping everybody’d make a move to the left
But we gone and made a swing to the right
Now I’m singing the blues for the country
As we move into another long night

Father John Misty – “Trump’s Pilot” (Tim Heidecker cover)

Father John Misty’s covers tend to involve a certain degree of trolling – like covering Ryan Adams’ covers of Taylor Swift in the style of the Velvet Underground – and this one is no different. Tim and Eric comedian Tim Heidecker had just released his outrageously dark piano ballad “Trump’s Pilot” a few days prior, and Misty covered it pretty fast.

Ben Sollee – “Time To Move On” (Tom Petty cover)

That previous song was about Trump’s private pilot intentionally crashing his plane – like we said, dark – but Ben Sollee has a much more positive message. He too was disappointed with the election results, but he wrote accompanying his Tom Petty cover, “I partly blame myself. I know now that I have been too casual a citizen. It’s time for me and so many other young Americans to engage and formally state our positive, inclusive message.”

Foxing – “White Flag” (Dido cover)

St. Louis indie-rock band Foxing covered “White Flag” as a benefit for Planned Parenthood, which has been getting a lot of donations since the election. Nothing about the song is explicitly political – and, indeed, the band had originally recorded it as a benefit to buy themselves a new van – but the lyrics about refusing to wave the white flag sort of work.

Win Butler of Arcade Fire w/ Preservation Hall Jazz Band – “Born in the U.S.A” (Bruce Springsteen cover)

This is sort of a bonus track, since Butler and Pres. Hall performed this cover a few days before the election. But it still applies. (Video should autostart at the right place, but if it doesn’t, go to 2:10:26).

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