It turns out that the 2016 presidential candidates are a very musically-inclined bunch.
With nearly all of their campaign announcements, we were treated not only to speeches and sound bytes but also to a song or two or three (we’re looking at you, Ben Carson).
We’ve put together a playlist of these launch songs so that you can decide which candidates “beat” out the competition.
Sen. Ted Cruz
Aaron Tippin - “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly”
Ted Cruz explained how his “music tastes changed on 9/11” in an interview with “CBS This Morning,” he now listens to primarily country music and eschews rock n’ roll. Tippin recorded the patriotic country track “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly” two days after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Sen. Rand Paul
John Rich - “Shuttin’ Detroit Down”
Paul’s campaign announcement was removed from YouTube because of Paul’s unlicensed use of the song. The country track, which debuted in 2009, grapples with Detroit’s auto industry crisis and financial bailouts.
Dr. Ben Carson
Eminem - “Lose Yourself”
Irving Berlin - “God Bless America”
Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward - “America the Beautiful”
Julia Ward Howe - “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
A number of choirs performed these tracks at the launch event, and Carson’s wife played the violin for the National Anthem.
Montgomery Gentry- “Where I Come From”
This isn’t the first time that Montgomery Gentry has been tied to Huckabee: the country duo appeared on Huckabee’s eponymous FOX News show in 2012.
Santorum for President - “Take Back America”
Santorum went the DIY route and released “Take Back America” as his official campaign theme song (although he’s not singing on the track, as far as we know). The country song kicks off with the lyrics: “Isn’t it time to take back America? / Isn’t it time to unleash the pride? / Open our eyes, and take back America. / This is the way, changing the tide, isn’t it time?”
Colt Ford - “Answer to No One”
Perry adapted the song for his announcement. In place of the rap line “Hank Junior supporter, let’s protect our border,” Perry’s version featured the line “Rick Perry supporter, let’s protect our border.”
Senator Lindsey Graham
James Brown - “I Got You (I Feel Good)”
Comedian Jon Stewart poked fun at Graham’s soulful choice of music on “The Daily Show.”
“That is the actual campaign song that they went with. That was on their tape,” he assured audiences. “I don’t think that ‘I Feel Good’ goes with one single sentence of that speech.”
A local Central, South Carolina jazz band also entertained the crowd ahead of Graham’s delayed arrival.
Pitbull - “Rain Over Me”
Zac Brown Band - “Homegrown”
Jeb Bush also blared a number of Ranchera tunes during his announcement. A Cuban family also reportedly performed songs in Spanish during the event.
Neil Young- “Rockin’ in the Free World”
Neil Young was not happy about Trump’s use of his song and the campaign has since ceased playing it. Before his controversial 2016 campaign announcement, Trump played a number of songs from the hit Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal
Garth Brooks - “Callin’ Baton Rouge”
The Republican governor selected a bluegrass-inspired country song about a man trying to track down a woman named Samantha after he met her in the Louisiana city the night before.
Gov. Chris Christie
Bon Jovi - “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
Christie also played another song by a New Jersey native, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” at his launch event. The track choice came as no surprise: Christie has reportedly attended more than 130 Springsteen concerts.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Woody Guthrie - “This Land is Your Land”
Irving Berlin - “God Bless America”
Sanders invited the Vermont-based band Mango Jam to perform at his launch event. The six-piece dance band played a mix of Cajun and Zydeco tunes. Burlington, Vermont blues and soul musician Nicole Nelson also sang “God Bless America.”
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - “I Won’t Back Down”
U2 and Mary J. Blige - “One”
Journey - “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”
An Irish band called The Corrigan Brothers also showed its support for O’Malley by writing a jingle that includes the lyrics: “Tiraloo! Tiraloo! It’s time to party / He’s gonna be president / Martin O’Malley.” O’Malley reportedly approves of the tune.
Sara Bareilles - “Brave”
Clinton has also debuted an official Spotify playlist for the campaign that includes hits from J-Lo, Kelly Clarkson, and Pharrell.