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Sunday Song Lyric:
The RNC played the Heart song "Barracuda" after John McCain's acceptance speech on Thursday night, and it seems Heart's Wilson sisters are none too happy about it. Their lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist order to the campaign to prevent further use of the song.

No doubt someone at the RNC chose to play the song because Sarah Palin's earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" on her high school basketball team. But, as Glenn Reynolds notes, it's not the best song to promote the GOP vice presidential candidate given its lyrics. According to the Wilson sisters, "The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women." Here's a taste:

So this ain't the end
I saw you again today
Had to turn my heart away
You smiled like the Sun
Kisses for everyone
And tales - it never fails!

You lying so low in the weeds
Bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down on my knees
Wouldn't you, Barracuda?
Here's a video of Heart performing the song some years back.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has posted the following update:

Reader Gerry Daly says I'm wrong: "The song was in response to ugly, unfounded sexual rumors being spread about the Wilson sisters. In that regard, it is extremely fitting for Palin. Honestly, can you think of a more fitting rejoinder to her foes in politics and the media than 'And if the real thing don't do the trick, you better make up something quick'?" Good point.
Bob K (mail):
You might want to check Glenn's update. Seems it might have been appropriate if the history is known.
9.7.2008 8:18am
Arkady:
I fully expect as the campaign goes forward, this will be more on point:

Undone, The Guess Who:

She's come undone
She didn't know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
It was too late

She's come undone
She found a mountain that was far too high
And when she found out she couldn't fly
It was too late

It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
She wanted truth but all she got was lies
Came the time to realize
And it was too late

She's come undone
She didn't know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
Mama, it was too late

It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone

Too many mountains, and not enough stairs to climb
Too many churches and not enough truth
Too many people and not enough eyes to see
Too many lives to lead and not enough time

It's too late
She's gone too far
She's lost the sun
She's come undone
9.7.2008 8:25am
J. Aldridge:
Ann needs a cease-and-desist order from using a refrigerator.
9.7.2008 9:14am
Cornellian (mail):
Hmm, the RNC with an all-Canadian playlist? The mind boggles.
9.7.2008 9:49am
Dave!:
Except that in Palin's case, it's *her* nickname that is "barracuda" while, in the song, it's the subject called barracuda. Even if you know the history of the song (which I did) I think it's a stupid choice--picked obviously just because of her nickname.

*Almost* as stupid (but not quite) as both the Republicans *and* the Democrats using "Born in the USA".
9.7.2008 10:37am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

Their song is available for use as long as you're willing to pay the fee.

How can they send a C&D on their material that they willingly put up for lease, willingly leased and collected money on?
9.7.2008 11:26am
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
Dave, thanks for pointing out that it's the barracuda that has to "make up something quick". Personally, I think the song as chosen to reinforce the Reagan image of picking an inappropriate song against the wishes of the artist.
9.7.2008 12:17pm
johnw:
I think the song as chosen to reinforce the Reagan image of picking an inappropriate song against the wishes of the artist.

What? Can't I sing Little Pink Houses in the shower anymore? Does it matter if no one else is home at the time?
9.7.2008 12:29pm
Fist pumps (www):
Did you ever think they might pick a song because they like it?
9.7.2008 12:56pm
theobromophile (www):
The GOP also played "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire, which includes this line:
Only blue talk and love

Blue talk? At a GOP convention?
9.7.2008 1:13pm
one of many:
Theo, at the time the song was written blue was used for Republicans and red was used for Democrats so it was obviously originally code for GOP discussions. Just because the media chose to reverse the colors used for the political parties is no reason to assume that the nature of the coded messages in the song changed.
9.7.2008 1:50pm
theobromophile (www):
One of many,

It was a joke. I'm sorry; I was very much unaware that commenters weren't supposed to engage in light-hearted humour.
9.7.2008 3:33pm
road2serfdom:
"The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women."

Why does this make it not a good song for her? I thought the people who ran the music industry in the 70's leaned Democrat. Also, Palin is a woman.
9.7.2008 4:14pm
one of many:
Theo, as was my reply also a joke, you didn't really think I was saying that there are coded for Republicans messages in an E,W&F song did you?
9.7.2008 4:34pm
volokh groupie:
@road to serfdom

I generally agree---and imagine using the music business as an analogue for the press---I can't find anything that would fit better.

Also, watching 15,000 honkeys (calm down--its a joke) at the convention dancing to 70's rock is hilarious.
9.7.2008 6:42pm
MrJustice:
I'm curious. Are campaigns and/or political parties required to get approval before using a song? If so, are they allowed to play excerpts without consent? Thanks.
9.7.2008 8:16pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Are campaigns and/or political parties required to get approval before using a song?

If Universal Music could tell Stephanie Lenz to take down the YouTube video of her toddler dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," I think Heart (if the copyright holder), can tell McCain to cease and desist using their music to promote their candidate.
9.8.2008 1:16am
MrJustice:
Tony,

True. However, Ms. Lenz is suing Universal and to this point the courts have refused to dismiss her lawsuit. I'm sure McCain has a team of lawyers that could advice him what is and isn't outside the bounds of copyright law.

I've come across an article that provides a much clearer picture of what is and isn't required of a campaign. I am enclosing a link.

http://www.slate.com/id/2199492/
9.8.2008 11:34am