Musicians Who Told Politicians ‘Don’t Use My Song’

Source: Paul Marotta / Getty Images

11. Dropkick Murphys
> Song: I’m Shipping Up to Boston
> Politician: Scott Walker
> Outcome:

When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker strode out to the strains of “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” at an event for presidential aspirants in Iowa, the punk band Dropkick Murphys was not happy. The group fired off a tweet asking Walker to not use their music. They also added “…we literally hate you!” The band said on Facebook that it was not looking to sue anyone over the issue; it just didn’t want to be associated with “certain events or people.”

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12. Elton John
> Song: Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer
> Politician: Donald Trump
> Outcome:

President Trump admires Elton John. He even referenced one of the British rocker’s songs by disparagingly calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man.” John has known the president for decades, but he turned down Trump’s invitation to perform at his inauguration. John also had asked that his songs not be used during the 2016 presidential campaign but Trump continues to use songs such as “Tiny Dancer” at political rallies.

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13. Explosions in the Sky
> Song: Your Hand in Mine
> Politician: Ted Cruz
> Outcome:

The Texas rockers were able to force Sen. Ted Cruz to take down a campaign ad featuring their music in 2016 because of copyright issues.

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14. Foo Fighters
> Song: My Hero
> Politician: John McCain
> Outcome:

Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, who was a supporter of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign against McCain, asked that the Republican stop using the group’s song “My Hero.” The McCain campaign continued to use the song, saying that although it respects copyright, it had the legal rights to use the song.

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15. Heart
> Song: Barracuda
> Politician: Sarah Palin
> Outcome:

“Barracuda” was one of the biggest hits of rock group Heart, and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin — whose nickname was “Sarah Barracuda” in high school — used the song at campaign rallies in 2008. She continued to do so, claiming she had the right to use the song because of a blanket license from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.