Presidents' Day Playlist: 44 Songs for Every US Commander-in-Chief [LISTEN]
Today is George Washington's birthday, which follows Abraham Lincoln's birthday by a few days, meaning today is Presidents' Day and you're probably home from school because of it. But instead of just celebrating this day off, we're taking a look and listen at how music has celebrated our Commanders in Chief over the years. Check out this new playlist of 44 songs that were written for and/or about each of our Presidents over the years!
1. George Washington
"No More Kings" by Pavement, a School House Rock cover, is an educational tune about our very first President and our country's origins.
2. John Adams
To say that President Adams had a temultuous relationship with France would be an understatement. So check out this pop song from Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg about President number 2!
3. Thomas Jefferson
Nas' "Black President" from 2008 brings to mind the scandalous past of our founding father, namely his relations with his slaves.
4. James Madison
Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" is about a pivotal moment in the US's history under our fourth President.
5. James Monroe
While Sheryl Crow's rocking "Hard to Make a Stand" song isn't really about the last Founding Father President, she does mix his name with James Dean, which is kind of a compliment, don't you think?
6. John Quincy Adams
Freedom is something that JQA believed in, but was clearly too ahead of his time. With that in mind, we turn to Pharrell's recent hit song that was definitely helped along by the sixth President.
7. Andrew Jackson
Fans of Sufjan Stevens consider his album homage to Illinois a great collection of tunes, with the song "Jacksonville" talking about the town's namesake - our 7th President.
8. Martin Van Buren
Our eighth President is responsible for the trail of tears, which “Indian Reservation” was written about.
9. William Henry Harrison
This well-known phrase was the campaign song for the brief President!
10. John Tyler
We thank Tyler for the annexation of Texas!
11. James Knox Polk
They Might Be Giants, once again, show up on the playlist!
12. Zachary Taylor
He died about 16 months into his first term due to some bad cherries. So...
13. Millard Fillmore
Bobby Rydell apparently had a song called "Forgotten," which was about our 13th President, but it is super hard to find. So here's his hit "Forget Him," which we did do regarding Fillmore.
17. Andrew Johnson
He was the first President to be impeached, so we're going to just link you to the singer that has a similar name!
18. Ulysses S. Grant
19. Rutherford B. Hayes
20. James Garfield
Johnn Cash shares history lessons in many of his songs, so that's why we love the tune "Mr Garfield" about our 20th President.
35. John F. Kennedy
"We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel ... you know why!
36. Lyndon Johnson
Singer-songwriter Tom Paxton hit the nail on the head with this song.
37. Richard Nixon
38. Gerald Ford
39. James Carter
Yes; Devo's "Whip It" is about Carter's presidency!
40. Ronald Reagan
41. George H. W. Bush
42. William J. Clinton
We know where your mind is going with this President, but instead of getting into the songs that refer to Bill Clinton's sex scandal, we're sharing "Super Soaker" by Wavves, which features the President's name as the main hook of the tune.
43. George W. Bush
Connor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame has never been shy about his distaste for the Bush administration. He wrote the song "When the President Talks to God" as a tongue-in-cheek message to the Commander, and then released it for free.
44. Barack H. Obama
With lyrics like "Tell him I'm doin' fine, Obama for mankind / We ready for damn change so y'all let the man shine," Young Jeezy's song "My President," featuring Nas, is a prime example of music paying triubte to the Commander in Chief.
Do you have a favorite song written for or about a President that you think should've made this playlist? Let us know in the comments section below!