Heart and John Mellencamp Join ‘John Oliver’ Supergroup for Anti-Campaign Anthem ‘Don’t Use Our Song’
The 2016 campaign season has seen a number of artists complain about political candidates using their music — and during last night's edition of his Last Week Tonight talk show, John Oliver rounded up a supergroup to fight back with humor.
As you can see in the clip above, Oliver offered a brief recap of campaign infringements past and present — including a few of the many times 2016 Republican nominee Donald Trump has run afoul of artists — before segueing into "Don't Use Our Song," a tune featuring vocals by Heart, John Mellencamp, Usher, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bolton, Josh Groban and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.
The song comes complete with a video stuffed with the sort of stereotypically over-the-top imagery that tends to go along with campaign commercials, including shots of the American heartland (and lots and lots of balloons). "It might seem appealing," goes a sample lyric, "but you're just stealing."
As The Atlantic notes, while most campaigns might not clear the use of songs directly through the artist, they're usually in the clear, legally speaking — to use a recording, you have to pay for the license, and more often than not, those licenses are obtained either through the campaign or the venue where the events take place.
Still, as the artists in the video point out, the songs themselves are often less than a perfect fit for the candidates and their messages — either because the artists are opposed or because the lyrics don't make sense in that particular political context. Whatever side of the political aisle you happen to be on, you should get a few laughs out of "Don't Use Our Song" — and with months left until the election, we're betting there will be plenty of replay opportunities.
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