When Neil Young first said that he'd prefer it if Donald Trump didn't use his song "Rockin' In the Free World" in his campaign last year, I quickly filed it away under "News Stories Most Likely To Be Shared By Dads / Opportunities To Pepper Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyrics Into Water Cooler Conversation" ("Heard ol' Neil put Trump down!") and moved on with my life. But this #DadRock plot has thickened, as Young recently changed his tune about Trump to something significantly less victorious (maybe a bit more nihilistic), concluding that it doesn't really matter if Trump uses his songs, as long as it's licensed legally and the artist is paid.
"Once the music goes out, everybody can use it for anything," Young, a Canadian who has spoken highly of Bernie Sanders but generally isn't a fan of U.S. politics and our bullsh*t, told Reuters. Now that Young has blown the lid off of one tiny bit of order in this senseless world, we're left to pick up the pieces. Music can still be a sacred thing, and the thought of Trump's grubby, cheese-dust-stained fingers messing with my favorite workout and/or shower crying playlists makes my blood boil and my heart ache. Apparently, nothing is sacred, and Trump could license the Sesame Street theme song for his rallies if he felt so inclined. #Capitalism.
So I'm putting Trump on notice that the following songs, albums, and artists are 100-percent off-limits to the Make America Great Again campaign.
1. "Another Brick in the Wall"
Here's the obligatory punny entry on this list. Not only would this tonally be off-putting (a little sleepy and creepy for a rally or event featuring Trump), but it's also on the list of "Songs I Like To Listen To On The Treadmill," which, as you can imagine, is a very short list.
2. Any/All Bruce Springsteen
I've made this prohibition clear to Chris Christie over the years, and now I'm going to say it loud and clear to Trump: You can't have The Boss. I don't care if the Donald thinks he was #BornToRun, or if Christie thinks he can earn a pass because Springsteen hugged him once during the "Stronger Than the Storm" era. This is an absolute no. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not cross the George Washington Bridge during commuting hours.
3. Old Bon Jovi
I don't care so much about the new stuff, to be honest, but anything from Slippery When Wet or earlier is unacceptable. This is a less forceful/guttural protective feeling than what I feel over Springsteen, but I still won't have "Living On a Prayer," "It's My Life," or my monthly karaoke outings tainted either.
4. Literally Anything Written By Women
Not that I'm all that worried that Trump — noted speaker of misogynist garbage — will be showing too much favoritism toward lady singers (particularly after being burned by Queen Adele herself already.) But on principle, I feel compelled to make it clear to Trump that he and his supporters don't get to throw parties with Grrrl Power anthems. They can't sit with us.
5. All The Show Tunes — But, Like, Especially Hamilton
In a nod to his hometown of New York, Trump has regularly included some musical theater favorites at his events — from "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables to "Memory" from Cats to "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera — and it's steadily hurt my soul since it was brought to my attention. While I'd like to say that he can't be allowed to use anything off the Great White Way, I know that's sort of ambitious. So instead, I'll say that he absolutely cannot have Hamilton. (Especially not before I finally get to see it.)
6. "Our House"
Although Young has all but washed his hands of the whole deal, I refuse to give up on this one. We all know how much Trump likes to talk about real estate, furnishings, and finishes, but this family car ride favorite is too pure and sweet for this cruel world — and particularly for the Trump campaign. He doesn't deserve two cats in the yard. No cats in the yard for him ever.