I wouldn’t say that we’ve been deluged by political songs by New Jersey artists this election season — which is a little bit surprising, given how epochal this election feels. But there has at least been a trickle of songs, and I’ve compiled some of them here.
I would love to add some more, so if anyone knows of any, please let me know in the comments section below, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m looking, ideally, for new songs by Jersey artists that are directly about the election, though, as you’ll see in some of these selections, I’m interested in more tangentially connected songs as well.
And in case you were wondering … You may notice that most of these songs slant to the Left, but if any Jersey songwriters have anti-Clinton songs, I’d be happy to include those as well.
Here is what I’ve been able to come up with so far:
“Trump City (Diving Horse’s Ghost),” The Deafening Colors. The band, partially based in Atlantic City, gave this 2015 song of theirs an anti-Trump spin in this new video.
“If I Was President 2016,” Wyclef Jean. A comedic update of Jean’s 2004 song.
“If You’re Gonna Build a Wall,” Anthony D’Amato. “If you’re gonna build a wall/You better be ready for the day it falls,” advises singer-songwriter D’Amato in this somber, ominous song, enhanced by a clever video showing D’Amato taking a test at Trump University.
“Mr Trump (You’re Fired!),” Jim Testa. An angry punk anthem from the singer-songwriter and journalist from Weehawken (who has occasionally written for NJArts.net).
“Election Day,” The Spiders. This Nick DiStefano-fronted band states on its web site that the song “captures the frustration that we all have with our current political system.”
“GTP,” Linda Chorney. “I just could not resist,” writes the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Linda Chorney in the introduction of her YouTube.com post of the video for her anti-Trump anthem, “GTP.” “Trump is unfit for the presidency, and as a woman, I resent that he has even made it this far … as a human, I resent that the GOP tolerated his bigotry, racism, insulting vets — the disabled … and it took using the P word to say enough was enough. This film is to empower.”
“You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” Nalani & Sarina. When the twin sisters from Flemington appeared at The Bitter End in New York last month, they pointedly performed this Stevie Wonder cover — originally written and released during the Watergate Era — as a commentary on this year’s presidential candidates. (Note: This video starts with the end of Nalani & Sarina’s performance of their own song, “We’ll Be Free”; to watch just “You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” skip to the 1:30 mark.)
“Ebolabama,” The Porchistas. This song, by Montclair’s The Porchistas, parodies the absurd conspiracy theories that many pundits and politicians, including Donald Trump, have spread about President Obama, so it is at least tangentially relevant to the election.
“Gov. Chris Christie’s Fort Lee, New Jersey Traffic Jam,” Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon. Similarly, with Gov. Christie playing such a big role in the election — as a failed candidate and now as one of Trump’s top advisers — this seems at least slightly relevant as well.
“Long Walk Home,” Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. This song — partly about the distance the country has strayed from its own ideals — was written long before the current election. But in this clip, shot Sept. 11 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Springsteen ties it to the present by holding up a copy of the Constitution. “Well, somebody gave me a copy of the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “It does say ‘Fuck Trump’ on the front of it. And this was his request.”
(Thanks to Shawn Poole for suggesting this song.)