It is extremely easy to take a song, something that is subjective by nature, and interpret it however necessary in order to suit your cause. I found 8 songs that netizens seem to agree are liberally-biased. These are my summations, and I invite anyone to tell me I’m wrong. After all, your arbitrary opinion is almost as good as mine.
1.) “Imagine” by John Lennon
Anyone trying to argue that the Beatles were politically non-partisan clearly never listened to a single song by any of the members, either as a group or singularly, as in this case. In typical hippie, anti-war fashion, Lennon asks the listener to “imagine all the people sharing all the world.” Anti-government, anti-religion, and anti-war sentiments abound in this three minute song.
2.) “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer
This pop-esque ballad provides much the same sentiment as “Imagine.” However, Mayer has more of a defeatist attitude. “It’s not that we don’t care; we just know that the fight ain’t fair,” Mayer whines. He tries to stop complaining for a moment by noting that our generation will take over some day, but the cliché fails to resurrect the dignity of the ideals. In sum, Mayer’s song gives liberal music a bad name as it reflects the whiny why-me portion of liberals that conservatives most like to rag on.
3.) “The Decline” by NOFX
This song is not for the faint-hearted—if it can even be found in its entirety. “The Decline” is 18 minutes long, which is different from NOFX’s punk tendency toward two minute or less tracks. A mention of the differences in marijuana fines in Detroit versus California, a blurb on the Christians’ love of the NRA, and a reference to victims of laissez-faire highlight liberal ideals quite well. The song covers a wide range of topics and, despite the length, it’s actually fun to listen to.
4.) “Right to Choose” by Anti-Flag
Liberals support the destruction of the sanctity of marriage. In other words, they think men should be allowed to marry men because marriage is all about love, right? This song is aimed at the homophobic conservatives that still exist in large numbers. If someone tries listening to this song very loudly while driving through the Bible belt, they can expect to have their car keyed when they stop for gas. Unfortunately, due to explicit language, most examples of great lines can’t be included in this blurb, but one line is safe to mention: “You can’t help whom you love, and gender is not the issue.” That pretty much sums up the whole song. I highly recommend looking it up.
5.) “Moral Majority” by Dead Kennedys
This song is under two minutes—as truly great punks songs are—and half of it is dedicated to ridiculing money-hungry evangelists. Also, Mickey Mouse. The words are difficult to understand on first listen, so it’s worth looking up the lyrics online. Although this song originated in the ‘80s, the line about “cheap nostalgia for the Salem witch trials” reminded me so much of Rep. Peter King that I wondered for a moment if the Dead Kennedys might have been omniscient. But then, I realized they didn’t need to be, because nothing has changed in this country since the ‘80s.
6.) “The Formula” by So Many Dynamos
Tree huggers unite! All right… that’s not quite the message, but it’s close. This song is all about environmental issues and how the “formula doesn’t work.” The music is almost too happy for the dire warnings expressed in the lyrics. Liberals’ pet project gets a nice nod here.
7.) “American Jesus” by Bad Religion
This is a satirical song directed to the Americans who feel they are the greatest people on the planet and “feel sorry for the earth’s population because so few live in the U.S.A.” Conservatives have a tendency to refer to these people, and usually themselves, as “patriots.” The song is also directed toward right-wing Christians who believe their God is the one and only God, which leads them to feel sorry for other people.
8.) “Handlebars” by The Flobots
Raise your hand if you like George W. Bush. Well, the Flobots don’t either. Ultimately, this song is a censure of the Bush administration. It begins by listing some good things that can be done by government, but then it leads to other things, like “my reach is global, my tower secure, my cause is noble, my power is pure” and “I can do anything with no permission.” That sounds a bit like Iraq, no? Some listeners have suggested that the lyrics refer to the openness and aspirations of youth. For these, consider that the Flobots are notoriously pro-environment and anti-government. Also, what kind of kids are you raising that would say “I can end the world in a holocaust,” anyway?