Musicians Tell Politicians to Stop Using Their Songs Without Permission in a Last Week Tonight Video

With the close of the Republican National Convention, the wonderfully cantankerous Last Week Tonight host John Oliver addressed the persistent and bothersome issue of politicians making free use of songs without gaining the proper permission from the recording artists. Oliver recruited some of those artists, including, Usher, Heart, Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, John Mellencamp, Imagine Dragons and Dan Reynolds to make a righteous stand through a music video entitled “Don’t Use Our Song”

There are clearly many many mistakes made at the RNC but i’d like to mention
just one more regarding Donald Trump’s choice of song for his entrance on Monday night. Yes that is Queen being played at the Republican National Convention…it is by no means just Trump who angered musicians by using their music without permission. Mike Huckabee pissed off Survivor by using ‘Eye of the Tiger’… Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker used music from the Dropkick Murphys, they tweeted him ‘we literally hate you’ …None of this is anything new politicians have been appropriating pop music for as long as anyone can remember. Over the years Sarah Palin has gotten in trouble for using Heart’s ‘Barracuda’. John McCain was asked to stop using two John Mellencamp songs, the DNC was criticized by Cyndi Lauper for using True Colors and perhaps most famously three decades ago that was this Ronald Reagan used the song born in the USA in 1984 for his reelection campaign until Springsteen suggested maybe he should listen to the lyrics. Springsteen actually pinned attune about the dark side of the American story and the harsh treatment of Vietnam veterans.

In a separate video, Oliver addressed the bewildering manner in which facts were overshadowed and negated by feelings throughout the convention.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.