The latest political candidate to use an artist’s song without asking first? Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, is using Joshua Davis’ “Workingman’s Hymn” at his campaign stops. The team was likely drawn to the chorus, which declares, “I know we can turn it around.”
“Workingman’s Hymn,” written by Joshua, was the singer’s “winners song” on The Voice 7, where he eventually came in 3rd place. When a reporter from The Boulder Weekly interviewed Joshua ahead of a local appearance, it turned out he had no idea Bush was using the song in his campaign.
The reporter said, “I bet you weren’t thinking about Bush when you wrote that song.” Joshua’s response, “Well, actually… I was.”
Joshua penned the song toward the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, and it’s at least partly talking about “turning around” Jeb’s brother’s policies. Oops.
A little bit of research would have uncovered the fact that the singer/songwriter is a self-declared “liberal guy” who grew up in a pro-union household in Michigan. There are Youtube videos of Josh introducing the song at his shows as a tribute to the power of collective bargaining. As you can see from the video posted below, the tune is an ode to the ordinary working man.
But even when an artist is known widely for their politics–like Bruce Springsteen or Neil Young–it doesn’t stop candidates with differing political views from using their songs.
It’s not mentioned in the piece whether Josh will be sending a cease and desist to the Jeb Bush for President campaign.