The 25 Greatest Songs About Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan on the Radio circa 1934-37

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On the eve of Ronald Wilson Reagan’s 100th birthday, I’m indulging in a bit of revisionist history (there’s a lot of that going around), and thinking about our 40th President’s most overlooked achievement. That would be as muse for popular music.

And we’re not just talking NSFW punk anthems. OK, to some degree we are, but here’s a countdown of the 25 best songs about or plausibly inspired by the Gipper, in my humble opinion.

25. “Minutes to Midnight” by Midnight Oil
24. “Dear Mr. Reagan” by the Right Brothers
23. “Reagan Blues” by Hasil Adkins
22. “Bad Time For Bonzo” by the Damned
21. “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)” by The Ramones
20. “The End of the Innocence” by Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby
19. “Fletcher Memorial Home” by Pink Floyd
18. “Bullet the Blue Sky” by U2
17. “We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now” by Dead Kennedys
16. “Exhuming McCarthy” by R.E.M.
15. “Talking Ronald Reagan Blues” by Loudon Wainwright III
14. “If Reagan Played Disco” by the Minutemen
13. “Re-Ron” by Gil-Scott Heron
12. “Common Man” by the Blasters
11. “People See Through You” by Bruce Cockburn
10. “Guns in the Sky” by INXS
9. “I Don’t Need This Pressure, Ron” by Billy Bragg
8. “Jody Foster’s Army” by J.F.A.
7. “Moral Majority” by Dead Kennedys
6. “Cowboys From Hollywood” by Camper Van Beethoven
5. “Peace in Our Time” by Elvis Costello
4. “Right and Wrong” by Joe Jackson
3. “Jokerman” by Bob Dylan
2. “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” by Public Enemy
1. “B Movie” by Gil Scott-Heron

Comments

  • Ed

    Another one from my college radio daze a WMSB, Mississippi State.
    Sheik Vaselino And The Zealots, “B Actor With An A Bomb”

  • http://go.kdhx.org/goinghome Roy Kasten

    That’s one I’ve never heard! Has any president inspired more songwriters than Ronnie Ray Gun?

  • mark
  • Mixtape Jason

    what about Prince’s “Ronnie Talk To Russia”?

  • Joe Tank

    Best music video featuring Ronald Reagan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzyzVZZfUfM

  • landonw

    I guess to call it “popular music” would be a bit of a stretch but “Oval Room” by Blaze Foley is really awesome. Great refrain:
    “He’s the president, but I don’t care
    Ooh, Oooooh, Ooh”