Music is a powerful force in our lives. It can serve as an escape or it can be used to make a statement. Music has been influential and played different roles throughout history; it’s no surprise that music also plays into politics and presidential campaigns. In this article, we explore the 20 best songs about presidents.
Regardless, they all have something important to say about U.S Presidents who shaped our country one way or another. Whether you’re a history buff or just love good music, we guarantee you’ll enjoy these tracks!
Young Abe Lincoln (Make a Tall, Tall Man) – Johnny Horton
In “Young Abe Lincoln (Make a Tall, Tall Man),” Johnny Horton pays tribute to one of America’s most iconic presidents. The song tells the story of Lincoln’s rise from humble beginnings to his election as president, and it paints a picture of the leader as a tireless fighter for justice and equality. With its stirring melody and lyrics, “Young Abe Lincoln (Make a Tall, Tall Man)” is sure to please history buffs and music fans alike!
Abe Lincoln – Bishop Allen
Bishop Allen’s song “Abe Lincoln” tells the story of our 16th president in a unique and interesting way. The lyrics paint a picture of Lincoln as a complex and fascinating figure, and the music creates an emotive and memorable soundtrack. If you’re looking for a song that captures the essence of Lincoln, this is it! Its lyrics are about as close to a poetic ode to Lincoln as you’re likely to find.
Abraham Lincoln – Clutch
“Abraham Lincoln” is a song by Clutch. It is about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The song explores some of the most important moments in Lincoln’s life, such as his fight against slavery and his role in the Civil War. Its lyrics are about as educational as they are entertaining, making it a great choice for history buffs and music fans alike.
James K. Polk – They Might Be Giants
“James K. Polk” by They Might Be Giants is a playful song about the 11th president of the United States. Polk is described as a “hero of the people” who was “a great one for the books.” The song praises Polk’s accomplishments, including his role in annexing Texas and his victory in the Mexican-American War. Many songs about presidents are more serious in tone, but “James K. Polk” is a lighthearted look at America’s history.
Eisenhower Blues – J.B. Lenoir
Eisenhower Blues is a song by J.B. Lenoir about the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower. The song was released in 1962 and became a hit, reaching number one on the R&B chart. It’s a soulful ballad that tells the story of Eisenhower’s time in office, from his military campaigns to his time as president. Lenoir’s vocals are emotive and powerful, and the song is a great tribute to one of America’s most prominent leaders.
Funky President (People It’s Bad) – James Brown
Released in 1970, James Brown’s “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” is a protest song about the Vietnam War. The song takes its title from Richard Nixon, who was president at the time. Brown criticizes Nixon for his policies in Vietnam, as well as his involvement in the Watergate scandal. The song was a hit, reaching number two on the R&B charts.
Re-Ron – Gil Scott-Heron
Re-Ron is a song by Gil Scott-Heron about Ronald Reagan. The song is critical of Reagan’s policies, particularly his stance on the Cold War and the Iran-Contra affair. It was released in 1985, shortly after Reagan was elected to his second term as president. Its lyrics are about the arms race, the AIDS epidemic, and Reagan’s policies in Central America.
Ronnie Talk to Russia – Prince
Prince’s “Ronnie Talk to Russia” is a scathing takedown of America’s Cold War-era president, Ronald Reagan. The song accuses Reagan of putting the country in danger by provoking the Soviets, and it questions his intelligence and qualifications for office. Although it was released in 1988, well after Reagan’s presidency had ended, the song’s lyrics are still relevant today.
Bonzo Goes to Bitburg – the Ramones
The Ramones’ song “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” explores the life and legacy of President Ronald Reagan. The song takes issue with Reagan’s decision to visit a German cemetery that included graves of Nazi soldiers. The Ramones felt that this was an endorsement of Nazism, and the song is a protest against Reagan and his policies.
Old Mother Reagan – the Violent Femmes
The Violent Femmes’ “Old Mother Reagan” tells the story of a broken woman who is struggling to survive in a world that has left her behind. The song paints a poignant picture of Reagan’s life as a former First Lady and her struggles with dementia in her later years. It’s a heartbreaking song, but it also serves as a powerful reminder of the human side of politics.
I Shot The Devil – Suicidal Tendencies
I Shot The Devil is a song by Suicidal Tendencies that was released in 1990. The song is about the band’s guitarist, Mike Muir, shooting the devil. The song was inspired by a dream that Muir had.
Muir has said that the song is about how he felt “controlled” by the devil and how he eventually decided to shoot him. He has also said that the song is about how people can be controlled by their fears and how they can eventually overcome them.
Reagan Sucks – NOFX
This punk rock anthem is a scathing indictment of America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan. Frontman Mike Burkett was openly critical of Reagan and his policies, and this song is one of the most explicit examples of that criticism. The lyrics take aim at Reagan’s policies on social welfare, immigration, and the economy, and they’re sure to get your blood pumping!
The Love Of Richard Nixon – Manic Street Preachers
The Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers released “The Love of Richard Nixon” in 2004 as the third single from their album Lifeblood. The song is a ballad that tells the story of Richard Nixon’s rise and fall from power. The lyrics criticize Nixon’s policies and his role in the Watergate scandal. Many songs about presidents focus on their mistakes and failures, and “The Love of Richard Nixon” is no exception.
Dispatch From Mar-A-Lago – L7
In a recent dispatch from Mar-a-Lago, the L7 women’s activist group reported on the current status of their ongoing protest against the Trump administration. The group has been stationed outside the president’s private club in Florida for over two weeks, and they say they aren’t going anywhere until Trump is out of office. Its lyrics are about the Vietnam War, but the song has come to be seen as a metaphor for the end of the American dream.
Bullet – Misfits
Bullet by the Misfits is a song about John F. Kennedy. The song is about the assassination of JFK and how it affected the country. The lyrics talk about how the country was in shock after the assassination and how it affected the people who were alive at the time. The song is a tribute to JFK and his legacy. Its lyrics are about the event itself and not about Kennedy’s life or policies.
Dallas 1pm – Saxon
Dallas 1pm is a hardcore band from Oxford, England. The band formed in early 1982, and released their first album, “Saxon,” later that year. Their sound is often described as a mix of punk rock and heavy metal, and they are credited with helping to pioneer the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Many songs on their first album are about historical events, including “The Ballad of 1812,” which tells the story of the War of 1812 from the British perspective.
State Of The Union (STFU) – Public Enemy
Public Enemy’s “State of the Union (STFU)” is an incendiary critique of the American government and its policies. The song takes its title from President George H.W. Bush’s State of the Union Address in 1991, and it is clear from the lyrics that Chuck D is not happy with the state of affairs. He accuses the government of racism, greed, and corruption, and he calls for the people to stand up and fight for their rights. “State of the Union (STFU)” is a powerful anthem that still resonates today.
Kill The President – The Offspring
“Kill the President” is a song by punk rock band The Offspring. The song is about the frustration that the singer feels with the current state of the world, and the desire to take action against those in power. The lyrics reference several political events from recent history, including the Iraq War and the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Its lyrics are about as subtle as a brick to the head, but that’s what makes it so catchy and angry!