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Bartlett – Conservative Pop Music

Pop Music?
The Top 40 of the Top 40


Full Text of Speech to be given at The Philadelphia Society 
Regional Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, September 21, 2002.  

Pop music is
probably one of the last places a conservative would normally look for
reinforcement of his worldview.   Rock
and roll, which has dominated pop music since the 1950s, is inexorably
associated with liberalism in the minds of many conservatives.  
But in fact, there have been a significant number of songs on the pop
charts during the rock era that are explicitly conservative.  
I have compiled a list of these conservative classics.

Before listing
my top selections, I should explain the criteria on which I based my choices.  
First, I based them solely on the conservatism of the lyrics.  
A song had to have an explicitly conservative theme, although just a
single line may represent it.  I
looked particularly for those embodying religious or patriotic themes, as these
are unambiguously conservative values. 

Second, I paid
no attention to the politics of the performer.
  There are a number of good conservatives, such as Ted Nugent
and even Walter Brennan, who have had hit songs over the years.  
But unless their songs had an explicitly conservative theme, I did not
include them.   Conversely, if some
outspoken liberal recorded a song with explicitly conservative lyrics, I still
included it. 

Third, I
limited myself to songs that made Billboard‘s
Top 40 chart after 1955.   I relied
heavily on the latest edition of Joel Whitburn’s book,
Top 40 Hits
.   I did this
in order to limit the universe of potential songs to a manageable number.  
Also, I think it is more telling if a conservative song had broad
popularity, as indicated by sales, than if it is buried on some obscure album.  
Unfortunately, this rule forced me to leave out my personal favorite
conservative rock song, “Taxman” by The Beatles (well covered by Stevie Ray
Vaughn).   I also had to exclude Ray
Charles’ wonderful version of “America the Beautiful.” 

It should be
noted up front that the Top 40 list, while dominated by rock, is not exclusively
made up of rock songs.   It has
always included so-called crossover hits from the country, blues and other
best-seller lists.   A number of
songs on my list are of this nature.   My
position is that if they made the Top 40 list, they can be considered,
regardless of where they came from.   But
if a song made, say, only the country chart and not the pop chart, it was not
considered.   This forced exclusion
of some favorites, especially Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” quite
possibly the most right-wing song ever recorded by a major artist. 

explained my selection criteria, following is my list of conservative classics
from the rock era, in alphabetical order by artist. 

1.        Paul Anka, “(You’re) Having My Baby”

This is a remarkable song by an extremely prolific
singer and songwriter.   It reached
number 1 in July 1974, and stayed there for 3 weeks.  
What is remarkable about this song is its explicit pro-life message.  
In praising his wife for having his baby, Anka sings: 

Didn’t have to keep it
Wouldn’t put ya through it
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn’t do it
No, you wouldn’t do it

that Roe v. Wade had already been
decided by the Supreme Court, and that being “pro-choice” had already
established itself as liberal dogma, it was very courageous for Anka to put such
a line in one of his own songs.   The
fact that the song was a massive hit also tells us something important about
what most Americans really think about abortion.  
I can think of no similarly pro-choice song ever to make the charts. 

pro-life song by a popular rock group is “Unborn Child” by Seals &
Crofts.   Prolific hit makers in the
1970s, this 1974 song, which did not make the pop chart, is very hard-core in
denouncing abortion.   The following
lyrics are indicative: 

Oh unborn child, if you only knew
what your momma was plannin’ to do
You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be
cut off before you get ripe
Oh unborn child, beginning to grow inside your momma, but
you’ll never know
Oh tiny bud, that grows in the womb, only to be crushed
before you can

Even more
hard-core is “Bodies” by the 1970s Punk group Sex Pistols, from their 1977
album Never Mind the Bollocks.  
In extremely graphic terms, they denounce a girl named Pauline “who
killed her baby.”   The refrain
throughout is the voice of the fetus: “Body, I’m not an animal/Mummy, I’m
not an abortion.”   (See also
Madonna, below.)

2.      The Beatles, “Revolution”

I remember when I was in college, Young Americans for
Freedom had a poster printed with the lyrics of this song on it.  
The reason is that it is fundamentally anti-revolution.  
At a time when rebellious youth around the world were shutting down
college campuses with often-violent demonstrations, it is surprising that John
Lennon and Paul McCartney would write lines like these: 

We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know you can count me out

reached number 12 in September 1968, and stayed on the chart for 11 weeks. 

3.      Chuck Berry and Linda Ronstadt, “Back In the U.S.A.”

This song was not a duet, but the same song that
charted for Berry in 1959 and Ronstadt in 1978.
  She had the bigger hit with it, reaching number 16 and
staying on the chart for 8 weeks.   Berry’s
original just barely cracked the chart at number 37 and was there for just one
week.   I included this song because
Berry is a rock icon and because I like it a lot.
  It is patriotic in a very old-fashioned sense, celebrating
his return to the U.S. from an overseas trip.  
It is hard to imagine a black musician writing words like these today: 

Well, I’m so glad I’m livin’ in the U.S.A.
Yes, I’m so glad I’m livin’ in the U.S.A.
Anything you want, we got right here in the U.S.A.

4.      James Brown, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”

I included this song on grounds of general political incorrectness and because I
love the “Godfather of Soul.”   However,
I think one can also listen to the lyrics not just as a celebration of the
accomplishments of men versus women, but of entrepreneurs and industry.  
Consider these lines: 

You see, man made the cars
To take us over the world
Man made the train
To carry the heavy load
Man made the electro lights
To take us out of the dark
Man made the bullet for the war
Like Noah made the ark
This is a man’s, man’s world
But it would be nothing
Nothing without a woman to care

Rather than a glorification of male chauvinism, I prefer
to think of this song as a paean to the inventors and builders who made the many
products we all take for granted.   In
that sense, it is conservative economically, as well as socially. This song
reached number 8 on the pop chart in 1966 and was on the chart for 8 weeks. 

5.      The Browns, “The Three Bells”

Based on a French song
written in 1945, Dick Manning added new English lyrics in 1959.  
This version went to number 1 in August of that year, remaining in that
position for 4 weeks.
  It tells the life of   “Little
Jimmy Brown” in deeply religious terms.   Typical
are the last lines:

And the little congregation
Prayed for guidance from above
Lead us not into temptation
May his soul find the salvation
Of thy great eternal love

Philadelphia singer Dick Flood also charted with this song,
taking it to number 23 in September 1959.

6.      Johnny Burnette, “God, Country and My Baby”

Burnette is best known for
his huge hit, “You’re Sixteen,” but he also had several other songs that
made the chart, of which this was the last.  
It is the story of a soldier going off to war and his final night at
home.   Although he wants desperately
to stay with his wife, he tells her he has to go.  
“I’ll go for God, country, and my baby,” Burnette sings.  
This patriotic hit peaked at number 18 in November 1961.

7.      The Byrds, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

This is an odd conservative classic, having been
written by old time lefty Pete Seeger and performed by a group that later
glorified drugs in “Eight Miles High.”  
Nevertheless, it makes my list because the lyrics are drawn straight from
the Book of Ecclesiastes.   I figure
that any song based on the Bible deserved inclusion.
  I also like it.  “Turn!
Turn! Turn!” was a massive hit in November 1965, hitting number 1 and staying
there for 3 weeks. 

8.      Judy Collins, “Amazing Grace”

In 1779 Rev. John Newton wrote the words to this
hymn, with William Walker composing the melody in 1844.  
It has long been considered one of the most beautiful songs ever written,
and Collins sings it superbly.   Recorded
at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, this version of “Amazing Grace”
has a rich, deep sound that sends a chill up my spine every time I hear it.
 Collins made it to number 15 in January 1971, and it stayed on
the chart for an impressive 11 weeks.   An
instrumental version of “Amazing Grace” with bagpipes also charted the
following year.   In May 1972, the
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards reached number 11 with their rendition of this
classic hymn. 

9.           Charlie Daniels Band, “In America”

Best known for
his 1979 hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Daniels had this unabashedly
patriotic hit the next year. It peaked at number 11 in June 1980.  
Following is the first verse:

Well the eagle’s been flyin’ slow
And the flag’s been flyin’ low
And a lotta people sayin’ that America’s fixin’ to fall
Well speaking just for me
And some people from Tennessee
We’ve got a thing or two to tell you all
This lady may have stumbled
But she ain’t never failed
And if the Russians don’t believe that
They can all go straight to hell
We’re gonna put her feet
Back on the path of righteousness
And then God bless America again

10.      Neil Diamond, “America”

In 1981, prolific singer/songwriter Diamond remade Al
Jolson’s “The Jazz Singer.”   One
of the new songs he wrote for that film was “America,” an unabashedly
patriotic celebration of a turn-of-the-century immigrant’s new home.  
It is stirring and exciting and my favorite of all Diamond’s many, many
hits.   “America” reached number
8 in May 1981, and remained on the chart for 13 weeks.  
The film, however, didn’t do as well. 

11.      Doobie Brothers, “Jesus Is Just Alright”

The title of this song pretty much says it all.  
Performed by a mainstream rock group with a number of hits in the 1970s,
this song cracked the chart in February 1973 at number 35, staying just 2 weeks.  
To my knowledge, this is the only religiously-oriented song they ever
recorded.   But it was a good one.

12.      Yvonne Elliman and Helen Reddy, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”

Elliman was a member of the cast of the rock opera, “Jesus
Christ Superstar,” written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  
This is a song from that show, sung in the voice of Mary Magdalene.  
Elliman’s performance is incredible, coming close to being erotic while
still being deeply religious.   It
reached number 8 in May 1971, and was on the chart for 6 weeks as a single.  
Helen Reddy had a simultaneous hit with the same song.   
Her version rose to number 13 the same month.

13.      Miss Toni Fisher, “West of the Wall”

Best known for her huge 1959 hit, “The Big Hurt,”
Fisher’s only other chart appearance was with this song in 1962.  
It is about a woman whose love is trapped on the Communist east side of
the Berlin Wall.   She waits for him
on the western side, “where hearts are free.”  
The song was prescient, as well, for the line, “West of the wall that
soon will fall.”   It peaked at
number 37 in July.

14.      Connie Francis, “God Bless America”

Inclusion of this classic Irving Berlin song
obviously needs no explanation.   Francis
was one of the most prolific hit makers of the rock era.  
She put this song on the chart for 2 weeks in December 1959, where it
rose to number 36.

15.      Bobby Fuller Four, “I Fought the Law”

First released in 1964, this song didn’t make the
chart until February 1966, reaching number 9.  
I included it on my list because of its strong law and order message.  
The refrain throughout is, “I fought the law and the law won.”

Two other
songs with a similar message that did not make my list, are “Indiana Wants
Me” by R. Dean Taylor, which hit number 5 in September 1970, and The Kingston
Trio’s “Tom Dooley,” a number 1 hit in 1958.

16.      Cast of Godspell, “Day By Day”

“Godspell” was a Broadway musical similar to
“Jesus Christ Superstar.”   This
was a song from that musical.   It
reached number 13 on the chart in June 1972, and was on the chart for 9 weeks.

17.      Lee Greenwood, “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Greenwood is a well-known country and western singer.  
This song was originally released in 1984, hitting number 7 on the
country chart.   But in 1991, in the
wake of the Gulf war, it was re-released, crossing over to the pop chart.
  It reached number 30 in June and was on the chart for 5

18.      George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord”

Harrison was, of course, a member of The Beatles.  
After that group’s breakup, he went on to record a number of solo hits,
of which this was the biggest.   It
hit number 1 in December 1970, and stayed in that position for 4 weeks.  
The inclusion of this song may be controversial because of its
non-Christian lyrics.   However, I
take the view that being deeply religious makes the song per se conservative,
even if the religion is Hinduism or Buddhism.  
The fact that Harrison also wrote “Taxman” contributed to my decision
to add “My Sweet Lord” to the list. 

19.      Edwin Hawkins Singers, “Oh Happy Day”

This may be the only true gospel song by a hard-core
gospel group to ever make the pop chart.   In
May 1969, this Paul Anka-produced song went to number 4 and stayed on the chart
for 9 weeks.   Unlike some other
religious songs that made the charts, “Oh Happy Day” was not dressed up in
pop clothing.   It is pure, 100
percent gospel.   It ranks as one of
the most improbable hits in rock history.   Because
of its uncompromising religious nature, it made my list.  
Country singer Glen Campbell also charted with this song in 1970,
reaching number 40 with it in May.

20.      Johnny Horton, “Battle of New Orleans”

This is a straightforward retelling of the famous War
of 1812 battle, in which a force of rag-tag Americans led by Andrew Jackson
defeated the cream of the British army.   I
included it on patriotic grounds and because it teaches more about the actual
Battle of New Orleans than most students probably learn in school these days.  
The song was a massive hit, reaching number 1 in May 1959, and staying
there for 6 weeks.

Horton’s two other hits, “Sink the Bismarck”
and “North to Alaska,” both in 1960, were also historical in nature.  
Both written for movies, the former tells the true story of the hunt for
a German battleship in World War II, and the latter of the Alaskan gold rush.

Three other songs in this genre that did not make my
list are “P.T. 109,” “Ballad of the Alamo,” and “The Ballad of Davy
Crockett.”   The first tells the
true story of John F. Kennedy’s World War II exploits.
  Sung by sausage king Jimmy Dean, it reached number 8 in 1962.  
The second was the theme to John Wayne’s movie about the fight for
Texas independence.   Recorded by
Marty Robbins, it reached number 34 on the chart in 1960.  
The last was the theme song from the Walt Disney television show, based
on the exploits of a true America hero.   So
popular was this song that it actually charted 4 times in 1955 with 4 different
artists singing it, including Tennessee Ernie Ford and the show’s star, Fess
Parker, now a well-known wine maker.   The
biggest hit was by Bill Hayes, whose version was number 1 for 5 weeks. 

21.      Whitney Houston, “The Star Spangled Banner”

In the midst of the Gulf war in 1991, Miss Houston
was asked to sing the National Anthem at the opening of Super Bowl XXV on
January 27.   Although a difficult
song for even the best singers, she electrified the crowd with this rendition.  
Released as a single, this live performance reached number 20 on the

22.      Ferlin Husky, “Wings of a Dove”

Another crossover hit by a well-known country and
western singer, this song tells the story of Noah and the flood.  
It was number 1 for 10 weeks on the country chart and was on the pop
chart for 13 weeks, reaching number 12 in December 1960. 

23.      The Impressions, “Amen”

In general, I excluded Christmas songs from my list, but
included this one because I enjoy the rich harmony of this great soul group, and
because its religiosity is so explicit.   Featured
in the Sidney Poitier movie, “Lilies of the Field,” “Amen” reached
number 7 in December 1964 and was on the chart for 7 weeks.  
Otis Redding also had a brief hit with this song, taking it to number 36
for 1 week in July 1968.

24.      Jay and the Americans, “Only in America”

An old-fashioned patriotic song, with a heavy dose of
Horatio Alger thrown in.   A typical
line is, “Go to sleep a pauper and wake up a millionaire.”  
Although it may be more the reverse in Silicon Valley these days, it
still embodies the fundamental classlessness of American society, which says
anyone can get ahead here with a bit of hard work.  
The song reached 25 in September 1963.

25.      Elton John, “Philadelphia Freedom”

Whitburn says that this song was written as some kind
of tribute for tennis star Billie Jean King and her team, the Philadelphia
Freedoms.   This is not correct.  
I clearly recall an interview with Elton John just before this song was
released, in which he said it was written to celebrate the American Bicentennial
in 1976.   The lyrics leave no doubt
that this was in fact the case.   For
example, John sings, “From the day I was born I’ve waved the flag.”  
And there is nothing whatsoever in the song that even hints at any
relationship to Ms. King or tennis. 

Some conservatives may object to inclusion of this
song on a list of conservative classics on the grounds that John is an open
homosexual.   But as noted at the
beginning, I ignored the artist and looked only to the song lyrics in making my
choices.   I also think
“Philadelphia Freedom” is a great song.  
It was a number 1 hit for 2 weeks in December 1974.

26.      Kingston Trio, “M.T.A.”

The M.T.A. in this song is Boston’s Metropolitan
Transit Authority, which levied “a burdensome tax” on the people of that
city in the form of a subway fare increase.  
I included this song because it embodies a libertarian disdain for high
taxes.   Originally written in 1948,
it reached number 15 in June 1959. 

Two other excellent anti-tax songs by contemporary
singers, which unfortunately were not released as singles, are “Taxman, Mr.
Thief” by Cheap Trick, and “1040 Blues” by Robert Cray.  
The former appeared on their first album in 1977, with a live version
also appearing on their 1999 album, Music
for Hangovers
.   The title pretty
much says it all.   The latter
appears on Cray’s album, Shame + a Sin.
  Following are some representative lines:

I hate taxes
I work hard for my money
Every April you take it all away
Taxes gonna break my back I swear
Don’t you know I pay a lot more than my share?

27.      The Kinks, “Sunny Afternoon”

British taxes must have been really high in 1966.  
That year, The Beatles recorded “Taxman” and fellow Brits The Kinks
also recorded this anti-tax anthem.   As
they sing, “The tax man’s taken all my doughÖHe’s taken everything
I’ve got.”   They took this song
to number 14 in August.

It is also worth noting another important song by
this group that was not released as a single, “20th Century Man.”  
Written by Ray Davies, leader of The Kinks for almost 40 years, it
reflects a profoundly conservative worldview, as shown in the following lyrics:

You keep all your smart modern writers
Give me William Shakespeare
You keep all your smart modern painters
I’ll take Rembrandt, Titian, Da Vinci and Gainsborough
I was born in a welfare state
Ruled by bureaucracy
Controlled by civil servants
And people dressed in gray
Got no privacy, got no liberty
Cos the twentieth century people<
Took it all away from me

28.      Laurie London, “He’s Got the Whole World (In His Hands)”

A simple, yet
deeply felt, song about God, the title pretty much says it all.  
It reached number 1 in March 1958, and stayed in that position for 4

29.      Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama”

In the early 1970s, singer Neil Young recorded a
couple of songs, “Alabama” and “Southern Man,” that painted all
Southerners as racist rednecks.   Lynyrd
Skynyrd responded in 1974 with “Sweet Home Alabama,” a vigorous defense of
the South and a direct counterattack on Mr. Young.  
It made my list mainly for the following lines:

In Birmingham they love the gov’nor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

It is worth
remembering that the governor of Alabama at this time was George Wallace.  
And with the song coming out in August 1974, just as Richard Nixon was
forced to resign the presidency because of Watergate, the line about that alone
makes it a conservative classic.   “Sweet
Home Alabama” reached number 8 and was on the charts for 11 weeks.  
Sadly, most of the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane crash in

30.           Madonna, “Papa Don’t Preach”

this is a strongly pro-life song, for which the singer was criticized by pro-choicers
at the time.   In it, she asks her
father’s advice about what to do with an out-of-wedlock child.  
“My friends keep telling me to give it up,” she sings, but in the end
decides, “I’m gonna keep my baby.” The song hit number 1 in July 1986.

31.           Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Andy Williams, “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Inclusion of
this classic needs no explanation, other than that it was a genuine hit during
the rock era.   This version reached
number 13 in September 1959, and was on the chart for 11 weeks.  
Backed by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, it has been this
famous group’s only chart appearance.

Well-known pop
singer Andy Williams also charted with this song, sung during a eulogy for slain
Senator Robert F. Kennedy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on June 8,
1968.   It was on the chart for 4
weeks that year, reaching number 33.

32.      Ocean, “Put Your Hand in the Hand”

A Canadian
group, Ocean put this highly religious song on the chart in March 1971, where it
rose to number 2.   The opening
refrain puts Jesus at the center of this unlikely hit.

Put your hand in the hand of the
Man who stilled the water
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
By putting your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee

33.      Elvis Presley, “Crying in the Chapel”

Although best known for his many rock standards,
Elvis recorded a number of gospel songs and considered them some of his best
work.   This is the only one of those
recordings to become a pop hit.   Recorded
in 1960, “Crying in the Chapel” didn’t reach the chart until May 1965,
when it climbed to number 3.

34.      Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”

better know in later years as a country and western singer, Rogers started out
singing psychedelic rock, such as his first hit, “Just Dropped In (To See What
Condition My Condition Was In)” in 1968.  
The following year, he took this Mel Tillis song to number 6.  
Coming at the peak of the Vietnam War protests, Rogers deserves credit
for taking a patriotic stance in the following lyrics:

It wasn’t me who started that old crazy Asian war
But I was proud to go and do my patriotic chore

35.      SSgt. Barry Sadler, “The Ballad of the Green Berets”

Inclusion of this song is so obvious it hardly needs
comment.   I am still amazed that
such an explicitly pro-Vietnam War song could make the pop chart in 1966.  
And not just make the chart, but be a huge hit.  
Sadler’s song was number 1 for 5 weeks, making it one of the biggest
hits of the 1960s.

36.      Dusty Springfield, “Wishin’ and Hopin'”

Some of my female friends will object to this song,
but I included it because it takes such a traditional approach to how women
should deal with men. Springfield made the chart with this song in July 1964,
and it reached number 6.   What
female artist would sing these lyrics today? 

Show him that you care just for him
Do the things he likes to do
Wear your hair just for him, ’cause
You won’t get him
Thinkin’ and a-prayin’
Wishin’ and a-hopin’

37.      Diana Ross and the Supremes, “Love Child”

Possibly the
best-selling female rock group of all time, Diana Ross and the Supremes scored a
number 1 hit in October 1968 with this culturally conservative hit.  
The song is all about avoiding premarital sex and the terrible
consequences of out-of-wedlock births.   The
danger, all too real in the Black community, then and now, is that the child is
the one who ultimately suffers.   As
they sing:

This love we’re contemplatin’
Is worth the pain of waitin’
We’ll only end up hatin’
The child we may be creatin’

38.      The Temptations, “Ball of Confusion”

This song made my list because of one line,
“Politicians say mo’ taxes will solve everything.”
  It rose to number 3 in 1970 and stayed on the chart for 13
weeks, longer than all but one of The Temptations’ many hits. 

39.      Aaron Tippin, “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly”

Just days after the World Trade Center attack,
country singer Aaron Tippin released this unabashedly patriotic song.  
Under normal circumstances, it might not have been released as a single
at all and probably would have stayed only on the country chart.  
But just as earlier conflicts pushed patriotic country hits over onto the
pop chart, the Sept. 11 attack did so again. Tippin’s effort went as high as
number 24 on the pop chart in late 2001. 

40.      Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man”

Wishin’ and Hopin'” as an anti-feminist anthem.  
It is also a great song, brilliantly sung.  
It is almost impossible not to be moved by Wynette as she belts out the
song’s title over and over.   It is
truly a classic in every sense of the term.  
“Stand by Your Man” was number 1 on the country chart for 3 weeks and
hit 19 on the pop chart in December 1968.   R&B
singer Candi Staton also charted with this song in 1976.  
Her version was on the charts for 9 weeks, rising to number 24.


I realize that
some will disagree with these choices, either because they are not sufficiently
conservative or because they have better ones.  
I welcome a debate on the subject and hope others will join in,
especially younger conservatives more familiar with the music of the last 20
years than I am.   No doubt, I have
left off some songs that deserve recognition.  
Nevertheless, I think I have proven that during the rock era, a
substantial amount of music has not only embodied classical conservative themes,
but proven very popular as well.   I
frankly think it would be much harder to put together a companion list of the
most left-wing songs.   (Off hand,
the only one I can think of is “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater
  Perhaps some entrepreneur will put these songs together on a
compact disk and we can see if they still have market appeal. 

Bruce Bartlett
is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis and a nationally
syndicated columnist.   He thanks
Stan Evans, Nancy Christy, Chris Bachelder, Howard Segermark, Chris Manion,
Terry Teachout and Grover Norquist for helpful suggestions in compiling this
list.   Of course, they are not
responsible for any errors of judgement. 

Note: In most cases, lyrics were obtained at, edited in some cases by my own ear.  
Contact me with suggestions or complaints at  
Just remember, the song must have made the Top 40 pop chart list to be
considered for inclusion.   However,
I am also happy to hear about other conservative songs in the rock genre. 


Following are some “also-rans” that didn’t make
my cut. 

Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues” (#8, 1958):

Everly Brothers, “Wake Up Little Susie” (#1,
1957): culturally conservative 

Norman Greenbaum, “Spirit in the Sky” (#3, 1970):

Mickey Newbury, “An American Trilogy” (# 26,
1971): patriotic 

The Shirelles, “Soldier Boy” (#1, 1962):

Bobby Vinton, “Mr. Lonely” (#1, 1964): patriotic 

Al Wilson, “The Snake” (#27, 1968): explains

The Winstons, “Color Him Father” (#7, 1969):


Some offbeat conservative/libertarian album cuts by
major rock groups: 

Blues Traveler, “Support Your Local Emperor,” Travelers
and Thieves

Metallica, “Don’t Tread on Me,”
Black Album

Rush, “Something for Nothing,”

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