Best Conservative Rock Songs

by John J. Miller on June 3, 2010 · 66 comments

in Blog Posts

  • Sumo

What are the best conservative rock songs? My original top-50 list for National Review is here. I’m newly interested in the subject in the aftermath of this. Add your choices and opinions in the comments section–and get ready to create some awesome playlists.

  • Liman

    “Livin’ Thing” by ELO. The singer wrestles with his conscience when his girlfriend/wife seeks an abortion. He knows it’s wrong, but it’s not cool to try to stop her. The phrase “I’m takin’ a dive” is repeated in the background to show he hasn’t got the courage of his convictions.

    “Takin’ a dive ’cause you can’t halt the slide
    Floating downstream.
    So let her go, don’t start spoiling the show
    It’s a bad dream.”

  • Schumpeter Fan

    Metallica, Master of Puppets (consequences of hedonism; warns of enslavmentby the vices in which one partakes; an admonishment to a culture of incontinence which finds fulfilment only in “release”)

  • I know it wasn’t intended as a conservative rock song, and the band Midnight Oil were notorious lefties. (Their lead singer is now the Environment Minister in Australia.) But tell me the chorus of ‘The Dead Heart’ couldn’t be a tea-party anthem:

    “We carry in our hearts the true country
    And that cannot be stolen
    We follow in the steps of our ancestry
    And that cannot be broken”

    I’ve also thought Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” should be a conservative anthem.

    “I’m a do the things that I wanna do
    I ain’t got a thing to prove to you
    I’ll eat my candy with the pork and beans
    Excuse my manners if I make a scene
    I ain’t gonna wear the clothes that you like
    I’m fine and dandy with the me inside
    One look in the mirror and I’m tickled pink
    I don’t give a hoot about what you think”

  • Chris Kirby

    Talking Heads’ “Nothing But Flowers” is a terrific takedown of tree-hugging ec0-politics:

    The highways and cars
    Were sacrificed for agriculture
    I thought that we’d start over
    But I guess I was wrong

    David Byrne fires one zinger after another:

    I miss the honky tonks,
    Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
    (you got it, you got it)

    I dream of cherry pies,
    Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
    (you got it, you got it)

    We used to microwave
    Now we just eat nuts and berries
    (you got it, you got it)

    And the best line of all:

    If this is paradise
    I wish I had a lawnmower…

  • Brian Hastoglis

    Rush – 2112

    Read the lyrics! About a futuristic government that controls everything to the point where one of their key messages to the people is with us in control “you never need to wonder how or why”

  • dcody

    Two more from Metallica:

    –Don’t Tread on Me (obvious–there’s a whole t-shirt industry that plays off this song now, despite Hetfield’s apparent reluctance to play it in concert)

    –Creeping Death (reprising the Biblical story of God’s avenging Angel killing the Egyptian first born males but sparing the Israelites (“BLOOD, every painted door, I shall pass…”)

  • Navin R Johnson

    California Uber Alles by Dead Kennedys

    Carter Power will soon go away
    I will be Fuhrer one day
    I will command all of you
    Your kids will meditate in school
    Your kids will meditate in school!

    Zen fascists will control you
    100% natural
    You will jog for the master race
    And always wear the happy face

  • Laura Hollis

    And Queensryche wouldn’t make anyone’s list of right-wing groups, either. But the lyrics of “Revolution Calling” make a fine conservative anthem – especially now:

    “Got no love for politicians
    Or that crazy scene in D.C.
    It’s just a power mad town
    But the time is ripe for changes
    There’s a growing feeling
    That taking a chance on a new kind of vision is due

    I used to trust the media
    To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
    But now I’ve seen the payoffs
    Everywhere I look
    Who do you trust when everyone’s a crook?

    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling you
    [There’s a] Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Gotta make a change
    Gotta push, gotta push it on through

    I’m tired of all this bullsh!t
    They keep selling me on T.V.
    About the communist plan
    And all the shady preachers
    Begging for my cash
    Swiss bank accounts while giving their
    Secretaries the slam…”

  • Jeff B

    The Trees – another Rush song:

    There’s no more oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe and saw

    So much for the whole “Equal Outcome is more important than Equal Opportunity” song-n-dance number, eh?

  • Rowland Stebbins

    Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise’s song “Governor.”,27s_blackwater_surprise/governor/

  • Emanuel David Weinstein

    Also by the Dead Kennedys (the name of the bans is just about the best flip-off to that dynasty) Holiday in Cambodia:

    “Well you’ll work harder
    With a gun in your back
    For a bowl of rice a day
    Slave for soldiers
    Till you starve
    Then your head is skewered on a stake

    Now you can go where people are one
    Now you can go where they get things done
    What you need, my son:.

    Is a holiday in Cambodia
    Where people dress in black
    A holiday in Cambodia
    Where you’ll kiss ass or crack”

  • Steve

    Speak English or Die and/or F*ck the Middle East by Stormtroopers of Death. Tongue-in-cheek, but humor that would appeal to many conservatives.

  • Matt V

    I wonder if Aenima by Tool would be considered conservative…describing LA as “One great big festering neon distraction” and reflecting on the priorities in society today:
    “Fret for your figure and
    Fret for your latte and
    Fret for your lawsuit and
    Fret for your hairpiece and
    Fret for your prozac and
    Fret for your pilot and
    Fret for your contract and
    Fret for your car.”

  • Procol Harum’s A Salty Dog is a gorgeous song, one of the greatest of the psychedelic era, and a moving Christian allegory:

    For more recent concerts Latin verses have been added by the composers. They translate:
    “A ship driven by winter storms will not reach port unless it will take, as its master, Father Son and Holy Ghost

    If indeed the helmsman will hold his course by the truth, then certainly he will steer the ship by a straight course toward heaven.”

    A great song, and conservative in that it calls the wandering hipster home.

  • Mark LeMenager

    One of the most conservative bands actually hails from Canada -the aptly named “Rush.”
    Give “The Trees” a listen…a great little parable on social justice and communism.
    “There is unrest in the forest
    there is trouble with the trees,
    For the Maples want more sunlight,
    and the Oaks ignore their pleas……
    So the Maples formed a union
    and demanded equal rights
    ‘The Oaks are just too greedy,
    we will make them give us light.’
    Now there’s no more Oak oppression,
    because they passed a noble law,
    and the trees are all kept equal
    -by hatchet, axe, and saw!”

    Or my personal favorite, “Red Barchetta”…a fabulous science fiction tale about a young guy and his uncle who elude the “motor law” and electronic “eyes” to indulge in the illegal pleasures of a country drive in a Ferrari.

  • Joseph A. Yeager

    Here’s a paean to common, old fashioned decency from The Staple Singers that cultural conservatives could surely appreciate:

    If you disrespect anybody
    That you run in to
    How in the world do you think
    Anybody’s s’posed to respect you

    If you don’t give a heck ’bout the man
    With the Bible in his hand
    Just get out the way
    And let the gentleman do his thing

    You the kind of gentleman
    That want everything your way
    Take the sheet off your face, boy
    It’s a brand new day

    Respect yourself, respect yourself
    If you don’t respect yourself
    Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
    Respect yourself, respect yourself

    If you’re walking ’round
    Think’n that the world
    Owes you something
    ‘Cause you’re here

    You goin’ out
    The world backwards
    Like you did
    When you first come here

    Keep talkin’ ’bout the president
    Won’t stop evolution
    Put your hand on your mouth
    When you cough, that’ll help the solution

    Oh, you cuss around women
    And you don’t even know their names
    And you dumb enough to think
    That’ll make you a big ol man

    Respect yourself, respect yourself
    If you don’t respect yourself
    Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
    Respect yourself, respect yourself
    Respect yourself, respect yourself

  • Steve

    Also The Freshman by Verve Pipe, supposedly based on a true story, the song is written from the perspective of a man who regrets participating in a decision for his girlfriend to have an abortion during his first year in college.

  • “Uprising” by Muse has become an anthem for the Tea Parties.

    Paranoia is in bloom,
    The PR transmissions will resume,
    They’ll try to push drugs that keep us all dumbed down,
    And hope that we will never see the truth around

    Another promise, another scene,
    Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed,
    And all the green belts wrapped around our minds,
    And endless red tape to keep the truth confined

    Interchanging mind control,
    Come let the revolution take its toll,
    If you could flick a switch and open your third eye,
    You’d see that
    We should never be afraid to die

    Rise up and take the power back,
    It’s time the fat cats had a heart attack,
    You know that their time’s coming to an end,
    We have to unify and watch our flag ascend

    They will not force us,
    They will stop degrading us,
    They will not control us,
    We will be victorious

  • Teflon93

    “Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2” – Pink Floyd

    We don’t need no education
    We don’t need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm in the classroom
    Teacher, leave them kids alone
    Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone

    “The Prisoner” – Iron Maiden

    I’m not a number, I’m a free man,
    Live my life where I want to.

  • Pat

    Looks like Rush has a lot of conservative songs going for them. Might as well throw in “Closer to the Heart” which makes you feel like you are living back in 1776 with Madison and Mason and others.

  • Corey

    I think a lot of southern rock songs could be considered traditionally conservative in their celebration of place, family, and in their melancholy for things past. You mentioned Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Simple Man,” which are surely of this type of conservatism, but what about “All I Can Do Is Write About It”? The lyrics- “there ain’t no place I ain’t never gone… well there just ain’t no place like home;” and “I’m not tryin’ to put down no big cities/but the things they write about us is just a bore”- aren’t necessarily political, but they remind us that neither is conservatism. They’re about a place and a way of life being crowded out by creeping modernity. Very Burkean.

    But really, there are songs like this on just about every southern rock album because the conflict between modernity and the traditional way of living is one of the genre’s themes. Just look at some of the Allman Brothers’ or Marshall Tucker Band’s lyrics. As long as we’re thinking of conservatism as something more than a political movement, it really isn’t that hard conservative rock songs.

  • Mike

    Not necessarily a conservative rock song, but an insightful commentary on modern American politics – Living Colour’s Cult of Personality:

    Look in my eyes, what do you see?
    the Cult of Personality
    I know your anger, I know your dreams
    I’ve been everything you wanna be
    I’m the Cult of Personality
    Like Mussolini and Kennedy
    I’m the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality

    Neon lights, Nobel Prize
    When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
    You won’t have to follow me
    Only you can set me free

    I sell the things you need to be
    I’m the smiling face of your T.V.
    I’m the Cult of Personality
    I exploit you; still you love me
    I tell you one and one makes three
    I’m the Cult of Personality
    Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
    I’m the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality
    the Cult of Personality

    Neon lights, Nobel Prize
    When a leader speaks, that leader dies
    You won’t have to follow me
    Only you can set you free

    You gave me fortune, you gave me fame
    You gave me power in your God’s name
    I’m every person you need to be
    I am the Cult of Personality

    I am the Cult of Personality

  • flubster

    The Dead Kennedys later rewrote California Uber Alles after Reagan took office. They renamed it “We’ve got a bigger problem now”:

    Last call for alcohol. Last call for your freedom of speech. Drink up. Happy hour is now enforced by law. Don’t forget our house special, it’s called a Trickie Dickie Screwdriver. It’s got one part Jack Daniels, two parts purple Kool-Aid, and a jigger of formaldehyde from the jar with Hitler’s brain in it we got in the back storeroom. Happy trails to you. Happy trails to you.
    I am Emperor Ronald Reagan / Born again with fascist cravings / Still, you made me president / Human rights will soon go ‘way / I am now you Shah today / Now I command all of you / Now you’re gonna pray in school / I’ll make sure they’re Christian too / Chorus: California Uber alles / Uber alles California / Ku Klux Klan will control you / Still you think it’s natural / Nigger knockin’ for the master race / Still you wear the happy face / You closed your eyes, can’t happen here / Alexander Haig is near / Vietnam won’t come back you say / Join the army or you will pay / (Chorus)
    Yeah, that’s it. Just relax. Have another drink, few more pretzels, little more MSG. Turn on those Dallas Cowboys on your TV. Lock your doors. Close your mind. It’s time for the two-minute warning.
    Welcome to 1984 / Are you ready for the Third World War?!? / You too will meet the secret police / They’ll draft you and they’ll jail your niece / You’ll go quietly to boot camp / They’ll shoot you dead, make you a man / Don’t you worry, it’s for a cause / Feeding global corporations’ claws / Die on our brand new poison gas / El Salvador or Afghanistan / Making money for President Reagan / And all the friends of President Reagan / (Chorus)

  • Paul H.

    John, in your original list you included Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Iron Maiden, asking what other rock song is based upon a Coleridge poem. What about Xanadu by Rush? Also Coleridge inspired, and a better song (IMHO). I know you were trying to keep the list from having too many Rush and Kinks songs though. Which, on that note, I would also like to nominate the Kinks Gallon of Gas and Low Budget, both of which perfectly sum up the late 70’s Jimmy Carter malaise era.

  • Matt

    The Grateful Dead. Everything they played. They are the Lewis and Clark’s of rock’nroll. They tapped into 200 years of American music that started on the East coast and ended of the shores of California. All these amazing of genres of music expanded as America did. The Grateful Dead took them to the Moons of Neptune. Really one of the most American bands there was.

  • JRC

    Pearl Jam is far left, but I always thought their song Grievnace was conservative:

    Have a drink, they’re buying
    Bottom of, bottle of denial

    Big guy, big eye watching me
    Have to wonder what it sees
    Progress laced with ramifications
    Freedom’s big plunge

    Pull the innocent from a crowd
    Raise the sticks, then bring ‘em down
    If they fail to obey
    If they fail to obey

    For every tool they lend us
    A loss of independence

    I pledge to my grievance to the flag
    ‘Cause you don’t give blood, then take it back again
    We’re all deserving of something more

    Progress, taste it, invest-it-all
    Champagne breakfast for everyone

    Break the innocent when they’re proud
    Raise the stakes, then bring ‘em down
    If they fail to obey
    If they fail to obey

    Pledge my grievance to the flag
    Aw come on, don’t give blood, then take it back again
    We’re all deserving of something more

    (have a, have a, drink, drink…)
    (have a, have a, drink, drink…)
    I want to breathe
    follow the scene
    I want to taste
    everyone I see
    I want to run when I’m up high
    I want to run into the sea
    I only want life to be…
    I just want to be…
    I will feel alive as long as I am free…

  • Christopher Woerner

    Extreme, “Rest In Peace”. It sounds like a hippie anthem of peace, but if you look at the lyrics, it’s actually tearing apart that whole concept.

    Let’s talk of peace,
    Sounds so cliche
    A novelty,
    Catch phrase of the day
    Middle, index,
    Sign of the time
    Just as complex,
    As water to …

    Someone said
    Give peace a chance
    And, that’s all that we’re saying
    While we’re sitting
    On the fence
    Our hearts are in the right place
    But, your face
    Shows a trace of,

    Don’t tread on me,
    Now you can see


  • KJW

    Back when the band KISS was in their heydey, that group’s producers took another band under their wing called “Starz”. (I don’t know how much success the band’s members had individually before or after that group, but their bass player had been with the group “Looking Glass” which had a hit with “Brandy” (…you’re a fine girl, what a goood wife you would be…)

    Anyway, Starz had some interesting music but never took off commercially. However, they had a concept album called “Violation” that seemed a send up of the type of so-called leadership that our current president and congress would hold dear. Here are lyrics to the title track of the album:

    Empty pockets, empty bed
    Empty bottles, empty head
    Thee committee says shape up
    Or they’ll fix me quick enough

    1.(We are with you everywhere,
    We protect you from yourself,
    We are watching)

    I wanna rock and roll
    (No, that’s a violation)
    I wanna lose control
    (No, that’s a violation)
    I wanna love someone
    (No, that’s a violation)
    I wanna have some fun
    (You better not try it)

    Lousy jobs, down in holes
    Join the union, learn to bowl
    Lovely houses of cement
    Thee committee pays the rent

    Repeat 1 and Chorus

    Thank you for electing us
    We appreciate your trust
    There’s a problem, we’re aware
    That many of your children share
    But we’ve developed new techniques
    The process takes about two weeks
    It’s based upon electro-shock
    A dailey dose of microwatts
    And when we’re through
    With what we do
    We’ll ship the beggar back to you
    And then he’ll be as good as new

    Doctor says, I’m almost fine
    And they’ll let me out in time
    I’m a very stubborn case
    And my tape’s not quite erased

  • Baby M

    I recommend the album Voice of America by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul. While “Little Steven” Van Zandt is no conservative by any means, there’s a lot on this album for a conservative to like. There is, at the core of the album, a strong commitment to human liberty which comes across in tracks like “Solidarity” (about the Polish trade union) and “Checkpoint Charlie” (a call to tear down the Berlin Wall).

  • Lots of Rush songs, a Peart is as close to an Objectivist as I’ve ever seen in Rock.

    Red Barchetta
    Tom Sawyer
    Free Will

  • JND

    How about Blue Oyster Cult’s “Divine Wind”?

    The refrain is hard to beat when we think of our enemies: “If he really thinks we’re the devil, then let’s send him to hell.”

    I would argue that this is a better perspective on American Foreign Policy than our president has.

  • Jack Jolis

    John Kay, the lead singer and all-round generalissimo of STEPPENWOLF, was actually born in what became East Germany (his original name was Joachim Fritz Krauledat), and he was bundled out to the West by his escaping family when he was 5.

    As such, he not only wrote and sang one but two great anti-communist songs — one called “Renegade” from the 1970 “Steppenwolf 7” album, and “The Wall”, from Steppenwolf’s 1990 “Rise and Shine” album.

    I should also like to mention another great anti-communist rock song, “Miami” by “the poor man’s Bruce Springsteen”, i.e., the incomparable Bob Seger, (your fellow Michigander, John), from his 1986 album “Like A Rock”. It’s a nice tribute to the the freedom-seeking Cuban “rafters”.

    Finally, it’s really nice to see T.B. Root (above) give credit to the sublime Procol Harum. Those guys are also responsible for the following deathless lyric, from “As Strong As Samson” on their 1974 “Exotic Birds and Fruit” album:

    “Psychiatrists and Lawyers destroying mankind
    Drivin’ ’em crazy… and stealing ’em blind “

  • txhsdad

    Try “Girl America” by Mat Kearney.

  • Conor

    Think For Yourself – by The Beatles

    “your telling all those lies/about the good things we can have if we close our eyes”

  • Arash

    I think a very obvious choice has been overlooked: Long Haired Country Boy by Charlie Daniels. Consider the following:

    ‘Cos I ain’t askin’ nobody for nothin’,
    If I can’t get it on my own.
    If you don’t like the way I’m livin’,
    You just leave this long-haired country boy alone

    AND, towards the end:

    …I don’t want much of nothin’ at all,But I will take another toke.

    I dare say, that last line sweeten the pot (no pun intended) for Nick Gillespie and the Reason crowd, AND it is also congruent with National Review’s pot legalization stand. This song is made for the Top50 List, I tell you!

  • DM

    James Brown’s “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” is the funk version of the Moynihan Report.

  • Brian Moore

    “Beat on the Brat” by the Ramones seems a fitting response to the sense of entitlement so many young punks have.

  • JohnMac

    Clampdown by The Clash. As with most of the English punk movement, they thought the problem was the Right, when in fact England of the 70’s was a socialist disaster. You could easily put an Obama montage to the song today.

  • Brian B

    John mentioned Teen Angst by the libertarian group Cracker in his second list, but an even better one by them is Get Off This:

    All these cats with holey jeans,
    Dirty hair and titty rings
    Say “what’s your scene man? we got these questions…
    Is it true that you have sold your soul?”
    I say “hey man, i don’t know
    Lend me a quarter won’t you?
    I’ll call my accountant.”

    Let’s get off this,
    And get on with it,
    If you wanna change the world
    Shut yer mouth and start to spin it
    Get off this
    Get on with it
    If you wanna change the world
    Shut your mouth and start this minute

    Petty little ayatollah’s
    Come around to judge and stone ya
    All’s we’re trying to do is make a fortune.
    Yeah, we ain’t got no government loans,
    And no one sends a check from home
    But get this: we’re just doin’ what we wanna.

  • Michael

    “I’m An Adult Now” by the Pursuit of Happiness – the lyrics below are excerpted from the 1986 hit by this underrated Canadian band

    I can’t take any more illicit drugs
    I can’t afford any artificial joy
    I’d sure look like a fool dead in a ditch somewhere
    With a mind full of chemicals
    Like some cheese-eating high school boy

  • m meyer

    -goin mobile-THE WHO-


    THE WHO-I’m free

  • m meyer

    I don’t care about pollution
    I’m an air-conditioned gypsy
    That’s my solution
    Watch the police and the tax man miss me
    I’m mobile
    Oooooh, yeah, hee!

    Mobile, mobile, mobile yeah goin mobile-THE WHO-

  • m meyer

    I’M FREE- I’m free,
    And freedom tastes of reality,
    I’m free-I’m free,
    AN’ I’m waiting for you to follow me.

    If I told you what it takes
    to reach the highest high,
    You’d laugh and say ‘nothing’s that simple’
    But you’ve been told many times before
    Messiahs pointed to the door
    And no one had the guts to leave the temple!

    I’m free-I’m free
    And freedom tastes of reality
    I’m free-I’m free
    And I’m waiting for you to follow me.

  • Joe

    Steely Dan: Only a Fool Would Say That

    A world become one/Of salad and sun/Only a fool would say that…

  • Michael B

    Another vote for Rush’s “2112”…the self-appointed leaders of this new world state:

    “We’ve taken care of everything
    The words you hear, the songs you sing
    The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
    It’s one for all and all for one
    We work together, common sons
    Never need to wonder how or why

    We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
    Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    All the gifts of life are held within our walls

    Look around at this world we’ve made
    Equality our stock in trade
    Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
    Oh, what a nice, contented world
    Let the banners be unfurled
    Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand”

  • Andrew Peterson

    I can’t believe no-one’s mentioned “Opportunity” by Rossington-Collins. If ever there was an old-school conservative leave-me-the-hell-alone anthem this is it …

    There have been times when I have stumbled over my mistakes
    And there have been times when I have fallen flat on my face
    But you tell me there’s been a day like that for you
    Then I’ll stop and listen to what you think I should do

    Now I can take this pressure that you think you’re handing down
    So take off the robe, and put the gavel down
    ‘cause nothing changes in this life but everything my friend
    Don’t go crying ‘bout the day because of what has been

    Opportunity, it’s for the taking
    Look inside yourself, you’ll see
    Then go clean up your own back yard
    Leave my yard to me

    Now if the cup had really not been meant to pass to me
    Surely I would not presume to drink
    Ah but there they are, and they’re reaching out for me
    What else would you have me to think?

    The driving beat, the fury of Dale Krantz’s singing, the fabulous guitar work by Barry Harwood and Gary Rossington – the glorious vehemence of this song is the perfect response to every kind of liberal meddling.

  • “Walk, Don’t Run” by the Ventures.

    Yeah, it’s an instrumental, I know.

  • Sunhawk

    A lot of the music by the Swedish power metal band Sabaton would certainly qualify, in my opinion.

    Like ‘In The Name Of God’ about Islamic Terrorists

    Hide from the public eye, choose to appear when it suits you
    Claim you’re just, killing women and children
    Fight, when you choose to fight, hide in a cave when you’re hunted
    Like a beast spawned from hell, utilizing fear

    Chosen by god or a coward insane?
    Stand up and show me your face!

    Suicidal, in a trance
    A religious army
    Fight without a uniform and hide in the crowd
    Call it holy, call it just
    Authorized by heaven
    Leave your wounded as they die, and call it gods will

    Run when its time to pay, fear consequence of your action
    Reappear, when you’re almost forgotten
    Dream of a world in peace, yet you cause pain and destruction
    Kill your own, a response of your actions

    Captured in all you lies, fear is in your eyes
    Creature who’s gone insane, your war is in vain
    Trapped in a cage of stone, we’ll destroy your home
    Consequence of your action

  • I’m as conservative as most NRO readers and I listen to both Pearl Jam (quite often) and Midnight Oil. There’s no way any Oils song is conservative — The Dead Heart is a paean to the aboriginal peoples of Australia and essentially says they are the true soul of that nation.

    And the inspiration for Grievance was the left-wing nutter protest of the WTO meetings in Seattle in ’99. Pearl Jam wasn’t decrying the protesters, it was sympathizing (see Wikipedia). Remember, this is the same group that wrote Down as a tribute to Howard Zinn (the philosopher king of the uneducated and unwashed) and Bu$hleaguer (which I never listen to). Reading an Oils or PJ song as a conservative one is just reapplying the lyrics outside of the songwriter’s intent.

    Politics isn’t everything, of course — Eddie Vedder was good friends with one of rock’s few conservatives, the great Johnny Ramone.

  • THE WHO-I’m free

  • Tracy

    How about a more well known song that I never saw mentioned in any of the original lists. Not political, but conservative morals are being displayed.

    Van Halen: Jamie’s Cryin

    She saw the look in his eyes
    N’ she knew better
    He wanted her tonight
    And it was now or never
    He made her feel so sad
    Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’
    Oh, whoa, whoa, Jamie’s cryin’ Now Jamie wouldn’t say all right
    She knew he’d forget her
    N’ so they said ah-good night
    Oh, and now he’s gone forever

  • Rob Stark

    The Offspring seems to consistently put out songs with a tilt to the right. Why don’t you get a job? about freeloaders, Walla Walla about someone getting their just punishment for crime, She’s Got Issues about the Oprah society of victimhood and dealing with someone who lives with that. Other titles include Pay the Man, The Kid’s Aren’t Alright, Cool to Hate, Stuff Is Messed Up, Neocon, When You’re In Prison. If you listen you also appreciate their humor. Opening song on their Ixnay on the Hombre CD is called Disclaimer:
    “Ladies and gentlemen
    Welcome to the disclaimer
    That’s right, the disclaimer

    This American apple pie institution
    Known as parental discretion
    Will cleanse any sense of innuendo or sarcasm
    From the lyrics that might actually make you think
    And will also insult your intelligence at the same time

    So protect your family.
    This album contains explicit depictions
    Of things which are real.
    These real things are commonly known as life.
    So, if it sounds sarcastic, don’t take it seriously.
    If it sounds dangerous,
    Do not try this at home or at all.
    And if it offends you, just don’t listen to it”

  • Mike

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned “New WorldMan” by … Rush (AGAIN!). Check out these lyrics:

    He’s a rebel and a runner
    He’s a signal turning green
    He’s a restless young romantic
    Wants to run the big machine

    He’s got a problem with his poisons
    But you know he’ll find a cure
    He’s cleaning up his systems
    To keep his nature pure

    Learning to match the beat of the Old World Man
    Learning to catch the heat of the Third World Man

    He’s got to make his own mistakes
    And learn to mend the mess he makes
    He’s old enough to know what’s right
    But young enough not to choose it
    He’s noble enough to win the world
    But weak enough to lose it
    He’s a New World Man…

    He’s a radio receiver
    Tuned to factories and farms
    He’s a writer and arranger
    And a young boy bearing arms

    He’s got a problem with his power
    With weapons on patrol
    He’s got to walk a fine line
    And keep his self-control

    Trying to save the day for the Old World Man
    Trying to pave the way for the Third World Man

    He’s not concerned with yesterday
    He knows constant change is here today
    He’s noble enough to know what’s right
    But weak enough not to choose it
    He’s wise enough to win the world
    But fool enough to lose it
    He’s a New World Man…

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  • Joseph A. Yeager

    From Was (Not Was), and later covered by Ozzy Osborne comes “Shake Your Head,” which stands as a punchy rebuke to change-the-world liberals and Leftists. Yes, Bruce Hornsby, that’s just the way it is.

    You can’t stare into the sun
    You can’t pretend to have fun
    Shake your head
    You can’t read a robot’s mind
    Can’t expect vultures to be kind
    Shake your head
    Can’t tune a radio to heaven
    You can’t live seven lives
    Shake your head
    You can’t win money at the horses
    You can’t fight the armed forces
    Shake your head

    Shake your head (let’s go to bed)

    You can’t sing underwater
    You can’t have the boss’ daughter
    Shake your head
    You can’t make missles out of mud
    You can’t purify bad blood
    Shake your head
    You can’t sue Buddah for libel
    You can’t rewrite the Bible
    Shake your head
    You can’t hit homers like Babe Ruth
    Can’t put your finger on the truth
    Shake your head

    Shake your head (let’s go to bed)

    You can’t feed the hungry
    Can’t talk Shakespeare to a monkey
    Shake your head
    You can’t bounce a square ball
    You can’t fight city hall
    Shake your head
    You can’t argue with death
    Can’t break a burly sailor’s neck
    Shake your head
    You can’t drink lava from plastic glasses
    You can’t influence the masses
    Shake your head
    You can’t become invisible
    Can’t bullshit the devil
    Shake your head
    You can’t ban the bomb
    And there’s no way to stay calm
    Shake your head

    Shake your head (let’s go to bed

  • anon

    I know I’m late to the party, but you might consider “Excitable Boy” by Warren Zevon. It’s a darkly comic story of a rapist/murderer who society, including the justice system that sentences him to ten years in a home for his horrendous crime, says is “just an excitable boy”.

  • Russ Paige

    Also arriving late to the dance, but am I correct that no one has mentioned Meat Loaf’s “For Crying Out Loud?” I’m not an overtly religious person, but I don’t think I’ve heard a more passionate song of devotion and redemption:

    I was lost till you were found
    But I never knew how far down
    I was falling
    Before I reached the bottom

    I was cold and you were fire
    And I never knew how the pyre
    Could be burning
    On the edge of the ice field

    * * *
    I’m in the middle of nowhere
    Near the end of the line
    But there’s a border to somewhere waiting
    And there’s a tankful of time
    Oh give me just another moment
    To see the light of the day
    And take me to another land
    Where I don’t have to stay
    And I’m gonna need somebody
    To make me feel like you do
    And I will receive somebody
    With open arms, open eyes
    Open up the sky and let the planet
    That I love shine through

    * * *
    For taking in the rain when I’m feeling so dry
    For giving me the answers when I’m asking you why
    My oh my, for that I thank you
    For taking in the sun when I’m feeling so cold
    For giving me a child when my body is old
    Don’t you know for that I need you

    * * *
    Ah but most of all
    For crying out loud
    For that I love you
    When you’re crying out loud
    You know I love you

    It also doesn’t hurt that when he recorded this song on the masterpiece “Bat Out of Hell,” Meat Loaf had the most powerful voice in all of rock and roll.

  • Joe

    Critical Acclaim, Avenged Sevenfold

    One of the great rock bands of the 21st century, this song was written as a response to the number of punk bands who have taken to complaining about America and yet profiting off of it. Matt Sanders even has a hint of a Southern accent as he rips into the Green Days, Anti-Flags, and NOFXs of the world for their blatant hypocrisy.

    Shhhh quiet you might piss somebody off
    Like me motherf*cker you’ve been at it for too long
    While you feed off others insecurities
    You stand here in front of me and bite the hand that feeds

    Self-righteousness is wearing thin (Lies inside your head your best friend)
    Heart bleeds but not for fellow man (Broken glass your fake reflection)

    I’ve had enough its time for something real
    Don’t respect the words your speaking
    Gone too far, a clone

    So how does it feel to know that someone’s kid in the heart of America has blood on his hands fighting to defend your rights so you can maintain a lifestyle that insults his family’s existence? Well where I’m from we have a special salute that we aim high in the air towards all those pompous assholes who spend their days pointing fingers (F*ck you!!!)

    Shhhh quiet you might piss somebody off
    Like the heartbeat of this country when antagonized too long
    I’ll be damned if you count me in as part of your generous hypocrisy, collecting enemies

    Tabloid gossip queen, worthless man (There’s no need for us to bury you)
    Selfish agenda once again (Right this way, you’ve dug your own grave)

    I’ve had enough its time for something real
    Don’t respect the words your speaking
    Gone too far, a clone

    All the way from the East to the West we’ve got this high society looking down on their very foundation, constantly reminding us that our actions are the cause of all their problems. Pointing their fingers in every direction, blaming their own nation for who wins elections, they’ve never contributed a f*cking thing to the country they love to criticize

    Excuse the obscene
    Ignore the untrue
    Depictions we see try and get through
    Admitting mistakes can hurt
    I’m not the last but I sure ain’t the first

    Shhhh quiet you might piss somebody off!!!!

    I’ve had enough its time for something real
    Don’t respect the words your speaking
    Gone too far, a clone

  • Conservative Rock is what we do – LOVE the list and comments! Great songs and artists. Check out the sample of the song Mother government at the website!

    Mother Government (the song) Wrote this from comments liberal friends of mine have made – astonishing but true. These underpinnings of liberal philospohy make a truly sad belief, but a great rock song.

    Mother government tax the rich
    Tax that blonde- hair BMW yuppie bitch
    It’s not my fault that I’m a broken man
    Daddy always to me that you’d fill my empty hand
    The system works like Robin Hood if you play the part
    This war between the classes is tearing us apart

    Mother Government where’s my share
    You gonna tax that over bloated businessman he won’t care –he got enough
    It’s not my fault you see that everyone has it all but me
    I feel I’ve been victimized by the grand old party’s policies
    How do you tell ten kids there’s gonna be a better day
    Thank God for Robin Hood we got another baby on the way –
    (yea, here it comes…..PUSH)

    I’m always hearin the same old story, livin this hypocracy
    I’m stuck in the same category, people with needs-
    (calling your, calling your name)

    I need a stimulus, to get me through this
    I’ve got problems, you’ve got problems, they want to solve them
    Their solution, distribution you’ll be better off tomorrow with
    Mother Government taking care
    Mother Government it’s not fair

    I want mine, gimme mine, come on momma
    I want mine, gimme mine, come on momma
    Gimme mine

  • Kjtaylor

    Hey boner, ballsac!

  • He knows it’s wrong, but it’s not cool to try to stop her. The phrase “I’m takin’ a dive” is repeated in the background to show he hasn’t got the courage of his convictions.

  • I thought they should be a conservative anthem.

  • I want mine, gimme mine, come on momma

  • Dasti15

    Meat Loaf awesome rock band. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad love this song so many memories, the lyrics are fantastic.

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