Elections are the cornerstone of any democratic society. These give people a voice and an opportunity to effect change by choosing their leaders. The choices they make on election day significantly shape the nation’s policies.
Voting and elections may still be far away as of this writing. However, the importance of casting a vote cannot be emphasized enough.
And so today, we’ll present 25 of the best songs about voting and the elections. Let us find out what songwriters and artists think of these civic duties.
1. “Elected” By Alice Cooper
Up first is the 1972 single “Elected” from Alice Cooper‘s Billion Dollar Babies album. The song presents a scenario where the narrator is running for office.
As often observed in political campaigns, the narrator makes extravagant promises. He shamelessly uses self-promotion to his advantage. This is embodied in the lines “I’m your top prime cut of meat, I’m your choice, I wanna be elected.”
Over time, “Elected” became a relevant tongue-in-cheek commentary on election politics. Despite being an old song, it continues to resonate with listeners for its humorous but pointed critique of the electoral process.
2. “Vote ‘Em Out” By Willie Nelson
In “Vote ‘Em Out,” Willie Nelson underscores the power of voting in democratic societies. This was released amid the 2018 Senate election in Texas.
In the lyrics, the narrator emphasizes the notion that the most effective way to effect change is through voting. This is expressed in the line, “If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out.” In addition, he reminds listeners that the ballot box is “the biggest gun we’ve got.”
At its core, “Vote ‘Em Out” is a call to action for people who are dissatisfied with their current political representatives. It encourages listeners to be brave in making the right choices.
3. “No Matter Who You Vote For The Government Always Gets In” By Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Did you know that “No Matter Who You Vote for the Government Always Gets In (Heigh Ho)” by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band was meant to be released amid the British election of 1988? But it didn’t happen. Instead, the song was released just before the British general election in 1992.
Lyrically, the song is a satirical commentary on the perceived ineffectiveness of voting. The title itself reflects cynicism toward the electoral process. It suggests that regardless of who gets elected, the government system remains the same.
We can say that the song expresses disillusionment with the political system. The overarching sentiment is that no matter who wins, the result is the continuation of the status quo.
4. “My Vote Don’t Count” By Yellopain
Next, we have “My Vote Don’t Count” by rapper Yellopain. This song focuses on the significant role of voting and the inner workings of the US government.
Contrary to what the title suggests, the song aims to debunk the notion that votes don’t matter. It emphasizes that every election is important and votes do count. Voting has the power to effect change, and so every vote matters.
In essence, “My Vote Don’t Count” encourages listeners not to be complacent. It tells us to take an active part in shaping the future through the act of voting.
5. “Vote For Me” By Chicago
From Chicago‘s album Chicago XI comes a song with “vote” in the title. “Vote for Me” perfectly captures the many promises that politicians make during election campaigns.
“Vote for Me” uses a cynical tone to highlight the disconnect between campaign promises and the actual policy implementation once the election is won. The title itself encapsulates the lofty and usually unfulfilled promises made during campaigns.
Essentially, the song is a reminder to critically assess the politicians’ promises and platforms. It underscores the importance of informed voting. It also encourages voters to look beyond the promises to the potential actions of these politicians.
6. “Vote, Baby, Vote” By Deee-Lite
A song that strongly encourages voting is Deee-Lite‘s “Vote, Baby, Vote.” The song is short, but the repeated line “Vote, baby, vote” leaves a strong message to the listeners.
The song captures the importance of exercising the democratic right to vote. The line “Are you registered, baby?” emphasizes the necessity of voter registration. This is the first step toward casting a vote. It also suggests advocacy for voter engagement and awareness.
Hence, the song is a rallying cry to listeners not just to vote but to make sure they are eligible to do so. It shows that each individual holds the power to shape the political landscape.
7. “Democracy” By Leonard Cohen
Voting and elections are key elements of democracy. Leonard Cohen‘s 1992 song “Democracy” delves into the complexities of the democratic process.
The song suggests that democracy is a continuous process. This is an ongoing examination of fundamental principles such as equality, freedom, and opportunities.
The lyrics suggest that democracy will arrive not through laws or governments but through “a hole in the air.” This metaphor could indicate that democracy comes from the collective will and actions of the people and is not imposed from above.
8. “Vote!” By Little Steven
American musician Little Steven has a powerful song in “Vote!” This track emphasizes the importance of voting in elections.
The song encourages listeners to participate in the democratic process by voting. It suggests that voting is our civic duty and every vote counts. Little Steven also reminds us that we have a voice that we can use in a meaningful way by voting.
“Vote!” serves as a rallying cry, showing the significance of voting in shaping the future of the nation. It empowers individuals, promotes voter participation, and highlights the importance of each vote in the democratic process.
9. “People Have The Power” By Patti Smith
We have a saying that two heads are better than one. Just like in Patti Smith‘s “People Have the Power,” a lot can be done if more people work together.
This track emphasizes the collective strength of people in shaping societal and political outcomes. It assures that people hold the power to make significant changes through their votes.
In the context of elections, the song promotes the idea that people can influence political direction and effect change. It is a call to action, encouraging listeners to participate actively in their democracy.
10. “Freedom Of Choice” By A Perfect Circle
In “Freedom of Choice,” the rock band A Perfect Circle provides a commentary on the importance of voting elections. The song is about exercising democratic rights and freedoms, particularly the freedom to choose.
The song, an original by the new wave band Devo, underscores the value of making an informed decision. Moreover, it emphasizes the need to take an active role in shaping society’s direction.
“Freedom of Choice” also warns against complacency, or not exercising the right to voice. It implies that not making a choice is a choice in itself. It’s something that could lead to undesired outcomes.
11. “Days Of Decision” By Phil Ochs
Released in 1965, “Days of Decision” by Phil Ochs is a protest song from his album I Ain’t Marching Any More. The track delves into the importance of making choices and taking a stand.
In the context of voting, it can be interpreted as an anthem for democratic participation. Decisions on these important matters have a critical role in shaping the nation’s future. The song suggests that these are the “days of decision.” This implies a time of significant political choice where each vote counts.
“Days of Decision” serves as a call to action for people to exercise their democratic rights. The song encourages voters to make decisions that align with their beliefs.
12. “Election Day” By Arcadia
The Duran Duran offshoot band, Arcadia, released a song with “election” in the lyrics. “Election Day,” though, is not about elections in the conventional sense. Rather, it uses the concept of “Election Day” metaphorically.
This song turns out to be a dark, romantic song with an atmospheric tone. It’s not a political commentary or advocacy for democratic participation. The song uses Election Day to create a sense of drama and urgency.
However, the title can be interpreted symbolically. As we know, Election Day is a significant event in any democracy. It represents a time when people have the power to make a choice and effect change. This is much like how the song’s characters face their own decisions and consequences.
13. “I Could Never Be President” By Johnnie Taylor
The soulful song “I Could Never Be President” by Johnnie Taylor uses the president metaphor to express deep feelings. The song is not directly about voting and elections. However, it uses the idea of the presidency, a position gained through election, as a symbol.
The lyrics suggest that the narrator feels he could never be president. That’s because his primary interest is not in leading a nation but in dedicating his life to his loved one.
In a broader context, the song can be a commentary on the personal sacrifices that come with positions of power. It also implies that not everyone is cut out for such roles.
14. “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” By James Brown
The funk song “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” by James Brown was released in 1974. It’s not explicitly about voting elections. However, the song has been associated with these themes due to its political undertones.
The title itself is a commentary on leadership. The word “funky” has several meanings, such as something cool or different, or it can refer to a problematic situation. “People It’s Bad,” on the other hand, expresses Brown’s view of political conditions. It suggests that there are issues that need to be addressed.
At its core, “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” is a call to action for people to be aware of the political climate. It encourages them to use their voting power to effect change.
15. “Electioneering” By Radiohead
Up next is “Electioneering” by Radiohead. It was released in 2017 from their album OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017.
The song sheds light on the manipulative nature of politics, where politicians might say anything to gain votes. It uses the process of electioneering, or conducting a political campaign, as a metaphor to express this viewpoint.
The lyrics describe a person involved in electioneering who is willing to say the right things to gain people’s trust and votes. This portrayal criticizes the hollow promises often made during election campaigns.
16. “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” By YG Ft. Nipsey Hussle
Next, we have a protest song by YG featuring Nipsey Hussle. “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” was released during the 2016 US presidential election campaign. As the title suggests, this is an explicit critique of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In relation to elections, the song is a rallying cry for people who opposed Trump’s candidacy. The lyrics reflect their dissatisfaction with his policies, particularly those perceived as racist or divisive. The singers aim to raise awareness regarding these issues.
At its core, the song uses music as a tool for political expression, a call to action for voters, and a form of protest against a political candidate.
17. “Vote For Me” By The Specials
Yet another politically charged commentary on politics and the nature of politicians graces our list. “Vote for Me” by the band The Specials was released in 2019 from their album Encore.
The lyrics suggest that politicians are more interested in gaining power than in genuinely serving the public. This is addressed in the lines “drunk on money and power / inside your ivory tower.”
“Vote for Me” encourages listeners to be critical of politicians’ promises and policies. It emphasizes the need to think carefully about who we vote for.
18. “Ballot Or The Bullet” By Van Halen
A song that underscores the power and importance of voting is “Ballot or the Bullet” by Van Halen. This title came from Malcolm X’s 1964 speech. Here, he highlighted the role of voting as a tool for social and political change.
The song is a reminder of the choices that voters have. It tells them to use their vote (the ballot) as a means of effecting change. Or they can resort to more drastic measures (the bullet), which can be interpreted as a symbol of conflict.
Essentially, the song emphasizes the role of voting in shaping society and the consequences when this power is misused. It encourages listeners to take an active role in voting.
19. “Another Bloody Election” By Killing Joke
From Killing Joke‘s 1996 album Democracy comes the song “Another Bloody Election.” This is a commentary on the political process and the nature of politicians.
The lyrics express doubt and disillusionment with the electoral process. They suggest a cycle of false promises and manipulation. The lines “Rosettes and campaign trails / false gestures, too much make-up” point to the insincerity often associated with political campaigns.
What this says is that politicians are more focused on their image and performance. The song is a reminder to question whether these politicians are truly serving the public or just pursuing personal gains.
20. “Throwing The Election” By Game Theory
Our list cannot be complete with Game Theory‘s “Throwing the Election.” This was released in 1988 and penned by Scott Miller for the album Two Steps from the Middle Ages.
The song title implies a deliberate attempt to manipulate an election result. Thus, the song serves as a critique of the political process. It suggests that the outcomes may not always be a true reflection of the people’s will. These may be influenced by various factors.
In many ways, this song expresses cynicism toward the electoral process. This reflects on the perceived manipulation in voting and elections.
21. “Hey Mr. Politician” By Evil Conduct
Up next is Evil Conduct‘s “Hey Mr. Politician.” The song directly addresses politicians and expresses discontent about their actions and motives.
The lyrics reflect a sense of disillusionment with the political process and the people representing it. The song starts with a sarcastic tone, “Hey, Mr. Politician / I don’t like you.” This sets the tone for the rest of the song. It also highlights the disconnect between politicians and their constituents.
“Hey Mr. Politician” is a reminder of the need for transparency, honesty, and genuine commitment in politics. It expresses the desire for politicians who represent the interests of the people.
22. “Vote With A Bullet” By Corrosion Of Conformity
The heavy metal band Corrosion of Conformity is not afraid to leave some strong words for the political system. Their song “Vote with a Bullet” focuses on issues of corruption, injustice, and repression.
The song expresses disillusionment with the state of the world. It brings attention to the notion that power, religion, and justice seem to be twisted and easily manipulated for personal gain.
The title itself is an expression of frustration with a system that doesn’t seem to change or improve, no matter how one votes. It’s also a call to action, encouraging listeners to make their voices heard.
23. “Voting Doesn’t Work” By Corporate Avenger
We need songs that openly criticize the democratic process such as “Voting Doesn’t Work.” This song by Corporate Avenger specifically focuses on the act of voting.
The song mentions voting to convey the belief that it fails to bring about significant change or address key issues. The lyrics express frustration with the political system. They suggest that it doesn’t serve the people as it should.
Further, the lyrics show skepticism toward the effectiveness of voting in shaping policy. They highlight a mistrust of the political establishment, branding it as hypocritical.
24. “My Vote Will Count” By YelloPain Ft. Sevyn Streeter
The penultimate to our list is the powerful song “My Vote Will Count” by YelloPain Ft. Sevyn Streeter. This is a remixed version of “My Vote Don’t Count” and stresses the importance of voting. It educates listeners about the value of their votes.
The narrator lists down the significance of voting, not just at the presidential level, but also at local and state government. He argues that these levels directly affect our lives. And so we must participate in every election.
Further, the song encourages listeners to take control of their future by exercising their right to vote. It conveys messages of empowerment and political engagement, telling us that change is possible if we make our voices heard through the ballot box.
25. “Be Careful How You Vote” By Walter Trout
We’re leaving you a very important message through Walter Trout‘s song, “Be Careful How You Vote.” It focuses on the importance and impact of voting decisions in shaping society’s future.
Like some of the songs above, this song reminds us that each vote cast in an election has consequences. Therefore, voters must be mindful and informed about their choices.
In relation to voting, the song highlights the responsibility of every citizen to vote wisely. We must not fall for political promises. Rather, we should carefully consider the track record, values, and plans of political candidates.
Summing Up Our List Of Voting And Election Songs
In conclusion, the songs above have shown you unique perspectives on the act of voting and the democratic process. These can’t emphasize enough the need to vote wisely.
We hope that these tracks have challenged you to critically engage with the political system. It means questioning its efficacy and recognizing the weight of individual votes.
And when election day comes around, let us be responsible citizens by participating and exercising our right to vote. Our descendants will thank us one day.