Social media lit up Thursday with a cowboy-themed music video from a new pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC. The reviews were less than stellar, but the video already has tens of thousands of views and plenty of attention thanks to its so-bad-it’s-good campiness.
Some wondered how a video like this could ever be made, while others were shocked it even exists. But “Stand with Hillary” is only the latest in a rich history of musical fan fiction for presidential wannabes, which have exploded in the YouTube era.
Even when they go viral, they tend to burn bright and fast, disappearing quickly to be forgotten forever – until now.
In honor of “Stand with Hillary,” we take a moment to remember some of the greatest hits of the last few campaign cycles.
1. “Stand with Hillary.” You could play American iconography bingo with the video for the new eponymous song from the Stand with Hillary PAC and everyone would win every time. Lee Greenwood has nothing on this video, which features tractors, red barns, cowboy hats, pickup trucks, sparklers, flags, families, front porches, picnics, motorcycles and – for good measure – the Statue of Liberty. The song implores the audience to stand with this “great lady,” while the lead singer smashes a glass ceiling spray-painted with “2016.”
Sample lyrics: “Our American Dream is at stake and there’s some Hard Choices that need to be made. … And now it’s 2016 and this time I’m a thinkin’ / Guys, put your boots on and let’s smash this [glass] ceiling.”
2. “Hillary in the House (director’s cut).” For those unsatisfied with the low production values and shaky camera work of the original comes this (slightly) more professionalized version of “Hillary in the House,” the cult hit of Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. The cast of “Waiting for Guffman” would be proud.
Sample lyrics: “We need a woman in the house – the White House … We don’t need no bling, because all we gotta do is sing / We don’t need no bling, because we got the real thing…. This is what you do, to help our Hillary / Put a poster in your hand, and become a one-man-band.”
3. “We’re all Romneyites Now!” After a 2012 presidential primary that had Republicans cycling through one candidate after another before finally settling on Romney, barber Mike Briggs captured the mood as he “combed over” Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and the rest of the field before declaring, in the chorus, “We’re all Romneyites now!”
Fun fact: According to YouTube, Briggs “really is a barber, poet and song writer.”
Sample lyrics: “With a little prayer, we’ll repeal healthcare … Who will set the sun on the anointed one / and send all the czars back home? … With a businessman, we can heal this land / We’re all Romneyites Now!”
4. “Hoot 4 Newt.” What happens when you’re 18 years old and your politically-connected mother asks you to write a rap song about Newt Gingrich? This happens.
Sample lyrics: “N to the E to the W T / Newt Gingrich, taking over these streets… Don’t forget in God we trust / Pursuing happiness, life and liberty? / It’s a must … So hoot, hoot, hoot / Hey, everybody hoot for Newt.”
5. “Game On” (For Rick Santorum). Teenaged sisters Haley and Camille Harris went mega viral with this pro-Rick Santorum 2012 country-folk song, whose video featured young folks jamming out with their parents.
Sample Lyrics: “There is hope for our nation again, maybe the first time since we had Ronald Rea-gan / There will be justice for the unborn, factories back on our shores, where the Constitution rules our land. Yes I believe Rick Santorum is our Man!”
6. “The Herman Cain Train.” This official song of the former pizza executive’s 2012 presidential campaign featured clips of Cain and supporters speaking straight to camera interspersed with railroad imagery.
Sample lyrics: “He’s a true son of the South / Born and raised the American way / His dad left the farm with just the clothes on his back / But he raised some cain and never looked back … This train’s coming to town like a hurricane … Get on board the Herman Cain train.”
7. “Ron Paul Revolution.” The video for this heavy metal jam features the unnamed frontman alone in the desert (he also plays guitar and drums, and the shadow of a tripod reveals that no one is holding the camera) warning the government wants to “turn us all into slaves.”
Bonus imagery: An illustration of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan firing a handgun into a dollar bill along with other assault weapon-wielding agents of the Federal Reserve. FEMA camps, the Patriot Act, and 9/11 also make a cameo.
Sample lyrics: “My elected representative defected from the USA / borders whipped away … They spend my hard-earned money on wars / That line the pockets [of those who] lead the corporations that kill our sons and daughters / who work to feed the government’s drive to turn us all into slaves … It’s time for the Ron Paul revolution!”
8. “Ron Paul is a Virus.” The former Texas congressman inspired lots of songs, but this popular ballad with nearly a half million views offers a gentler, folky endorsement of the former congressmen from his 2008 presidential bid. It favorably compares Paul to a virus.
Sample lyrics: “How’d you like a leader who’s all laissez faire? Or a doctor who knows all about health care? Someone who knows the history of war / and that policing the world will only end in an uproar … If you’re wondering why the FEMA is so afraid, Google it if you’re ready for change … Paul is a virus / Paul is a virus / once you hear his message you’re infected by it.”
9. “Raising McCain.” Country singer John Rich penned an rollicking original song for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, which he hoped the senator would use at rallies. It focuses on McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Sample lyrics: ” He stayed strong, stayed extra long ‘til they let all the other boys out / Now we’ve got a real man with an American plan / We’re going to put him in the big White House … We’re all just raising McCain!
10. “Barack Obama.” Everyone knows “Yes We Can,” the star-studded music video produced by the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am, and maybe even Young Jeezy’s ode to his black president and blue Lamborghini, but the best Obama song of 2008 came from Jamaican reggae artist Cocoa Tea.
Sample lyrics: “Now you can hear it in the morning (Obama!) / And you can hear it in the evening (Obama!) / Black man and white man shouting (Obama!)/ Them in the grove and them is moving.”