In the wake of this week’s New Hampshire Republican primary, where he earned a second-place finish following no-surprises frontrunner Mitt Romney, the Right’s favorite libertarian loose cannon and alleged crypto-racist, Ron Paul, is getting more attention than ever. In his admittedly uphill battle to convince Republican voters nationwide that a septuagenarian can still swing the Presidential bat, Paul can use all the help he can get, especially if he’s expected to go toe-to-toe with Teflon candidate Romney. The one thing that’s always good for galvanizing voters into action is an uplifting anthem. So Hive fished around to find five of the most notable online additions to the Ron Paul campaign songbook, as submitted by artists who seem to be the very definition of the term “grassroots.”
With a coffeehouse folkie flavor and a moody, minor-key feel, acoustic balladeer Chloe Wead delivers an unfailingly earnest ode to her hero. Of course, you’d have to be Mr. Magoo not to see the rhyme scheme coming in verses like “In the year 2008 the economy was great [Um, really?]/ And only one man could see the coming fall/ They ridiculed his age and laughed his views across the stage/ That one man was … ” We give up — Charles de Gaulle? No, it couldn’t be him, because Wead actually uses that rhyme in her conspicuously defensive verse about how Ron’s not too old for office. Fun fact: Chloe’s dad is Presidential historian and former George H.W. Bush Special Assistant Doug Wead.
Humboldt Lagoon, an outfit that seems to specialize in moody, atmospheric art rock, seemingly decided that they needed to simplify their sound in order to make their pro-Paul message reach the masses in sufficient numbers. To accomplish the task, they crafted a kind of cowpunk battle cry. Still, some of the lyrics are bound to confuse not only the lowest common denominator, but anyone with a penchant for linear logic. If Paul’s “… the only one that sticks to his guns in the house of the rising sun,” does that mean he’s a proponent of prostitution, or perhaps a pro-Japan man?
At first, “Make a Stand” seems pretty straightforward – a lo-fi country tune that sounds like it was recorded in the bathroom of a Paul patriot during a reverie of righteous passion. The sentiments it expresses are all pretty pro forma: Carson declares his desire to find a place where he can hang his hat, stake a claim, make a stand, etc. But things start getting weird as he begins to picture said place more clearly in his mind’s eye, and you get the distinct impression that the singer is some kind of Unabomber-style survivalist in the making. “It’s just a couple acres,” he says, “But the well is deep and clean/ The pantry’s full, my powder’s dry, I’ve stored a couple hundred gallons of gasoline.” Meanwhile the onscreen imagery mirrors the lyrics, depicting a tumbledown shack in the middle of nowhere, with the aforementioned accoutrements. Things quickly turn apocalyptic, with Carson informing us that he can hunt and trap “… when the times start looking lean.” And though he prays, “We never see the day the house of cards comes down,” he nevertheless declares, “If it does, you know where I’ll be found.” Um, can we just jot down that address for the FBI, Stu?
The first impulse upon hearing John Jones’s election-themed adaptation of Petula Clark’s ‘60s pop smash “Downtown” is to assume that it’s intended satirically. After all, it’s difficult to imagine that chorus lyrics like “Ron Paul, he’s really not that old/ Ron Paul, he’d rather pay with gold” could be embraced by the pro-Paul community, but that’s exactly what seems to have happened. If Paul somehow manages a surprise takeover of the primary, will John Jones ascend to fame as the Libertarian answer to Weird Al Yankovic?
When all is said and done, the last ballot has long since been cast, and the 2012 Republican Primary is a distant memory, no matter how things end up there will be one truly remarkable development with which Ron Paul can be credited: It will forever be noted that at some point in the course of his campaign, he inspired someone to interpolate excerpts from the Presidential hopeful’s speeches into a poorly produced dancehall reggae track. It’s worth noting that Paul and Sen. Barney Frank came together to sponsor a bill to end the war on marijuana. Suddenly, a dancehall Paul track makes sense.