January 19th, 2009
11:27 AM ET

Songs about presidents, from JB Lenoir to They Might Be Giants

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/18/obama.sunday/art.bonjovi.afp.gi.jpg caption="Jon Bon Jovi rocks the "We Are One" inaugural concert on Sunday."]

Greg Kot
The Chicago Tribune

As the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama approaches, here are a few classic songs about some of his predecessors:

“Eisenhower Blues,” JB Lenoir (1954): It wasn’t common practice to write songs critical of the Chief Executive in the ‘50s, prompting the Chicago blues singer’s label to change the title to “Tax Paying Blues.” The song was later covered by Elvis Costello in the ‘80s.

“He was a Friend of Mine,” the Byrds (1964): Roger McGuinn reconfigures the folk song to pay tribute to John F. Kennedy.

“Abraham, Martin and John,” Dion (1968): “The good they die young,” Dion concludes as he recounts some of the leaders America has lost to assassination.


soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    It is amazing to hear the music that PE Obama has
    inspired. This weekend I was introduced to a name
    entitled "Keep Marchin' from Rapael Saddiq. I had
    to download this song onto my ipod. Even Young
    Jeezy has an Obama song. Robin Thicke's song
    'Magic Touch". Along with countless mashups and
    original videos on Vimeo and Youtube.Yesterday's
    concert was great.It ran the full spectrum of all types
    of music.

    January 19, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  2. Ron

    Where did the Republican party go wong? They stand for nothing that Ab stood for. The nation is second and they are first. Fill my pockets with gold and money. Now they have retreated to Northern Virginia, which is not part of the confederasie any more, and have moved to the state of Reagon (California). Ab would be sad

    January 19, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  3. JC- Los Angeles

    I loved hearing the song that went like this: "he carries himself with quite a look/ has a publisher and pens some books/ speaks real well and is the ultimate face/ we're hoping he locks up the crooks at an alarming pace."

    January 19, 2009 at 11:38 am |