45 Songs about Presidents (Pop, Rap/Hip Hop, Rock & More)

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45 Songs about Presidents (Pop, Rap/Hip Hop, Rock & More)

The old song “Hail To The Chief” isn’t the only song about US presidents out there. For years, decades, American Presidents have been the subject of ridicule and praise in songs.

From rock stars to pop stars, they have all written songs about the presidents in their lifetime. Some, if not most of these songs, have not been flattering to those holding the presidential reins.

I. Pop songs about presidents

Not all pop songs are exclusively about the president, and not all songs ridicule the president. Some artists use their songs to express their hope or concern about the president and the political issues.

1) Ronnie Talk to Russia

Artist: Prince
Album: Controversy
Year: 1981
Click to Open YouTube

“Ronnie Talk to Russia” was a controversial song when first released. Prince urges then-President Ronald Reagan to be more diplomatic in dealing with Russia in this song.

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2) Dear Mr. President

Artist: P!nk, Indigo Girls
Album: I’m Not Dead
Year: 2006
Click to Open YouTube

P!nk and the Indigo Girls use this song as an open letter to then-President, George W. Bush. In this song, the musicians criticize Bush’s alleged lack of empathy for the poor, opposition to the rights of LGBTQ+ and the Iraq War.

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3) Fuck You

Artist: Lily Allen
Album: It’s Not Me, It’s You
Year: 2009
Click to Open YouTube

Lily Allen’s song, “Fuck You,” isn’t explicitly about a president but more about the political issues of the time. Some magazines, such as Rolling Stones, believed that the song was a protest against George W. Bush.

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4) High Hopes

Artist: Frank Sinatra
Album: All the Way
Year: 1959
Click to Open YouTube

Sinatra’s “High Hopes” is an inspirational song about working towards your dreams and not giving up. President JFK used this song during his 1960 Presidential Campaign.

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5) Brain of J

Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: Yield
Year: 1998
Click to Open YouTube

Pearl Jam’s song, “Brain of J,” was written about JFK’s brain disappearing from a flight back to Washington DC after being assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

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II. Rock songs about presidents

Rock songs don’t always criticize American presidents. In some cases, songs are used to tell a story about the president’s life or death.

1) Abraham Lincoln

Artist: Clutch
Album: Strange Cousins from the West
Year: 2009
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the narrator bitterly mourns the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865.

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2) I Shot The Devil

Artist: Suicidal Tendencies
Album: Suicidal Tendencies
Year: 1983
Click to Open YouTube

This song was initially titled “I shot Reagan.” The band didn’t mince words about their political stance. There’s a rumor that the FBI had asked the band to change the song’s title.

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3) Reagan Sucks

Artist: NOFX
Album: 45 or 46 Songs That Weren’t Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records
Year: 2002
Click to Open YouTube

Reagan’s presidency was marked by scandal, and NOFX was another band that didn’t mince words about their opinion on Ronald Reagan.

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4) The Love of Richard Nixon

Artist: Manic Street Preachers
Album: Lifeblood
Year: 2004
Click to Open YouTube

This song takes an unexpected view of the disgraced former president, Richard Nixon. The band described the song as taking a more sympathetic view of Nixon and sharing a message of not giving up.

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5) Dispatch From Mar-A-Lago

Artist: L7
Album: Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago
Year: 2017
Click to Open YouTube

This song marked the big comeback of L7. This band was notorious for its provocative and political outlook, and this song is no different.

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III. Songs to celebrate the new president

These have been used in election campaigns, and listeners have chosen songs to take on a new meaning when a new president has been elected.

1) Hail to the Chief

Artist: James Sanderson
Album: God Bless America
Year: 1963
Click to Open YouTube

“Hail to the Chief” is the personal anthem of POTUS. The song is played at many public events that the American President attends.

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2) We Won’t Get Fooled Again

Artist: The Who
Album: Who’s Next
Year: 1971
Click to Open YouTube

This song was originally about the failed revolution of the 1960s. Nowadays, some listeners have used this song to mean they won’t be tricked by a president such as Trump.

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3) Beautiful Day

Artist: U2
Album: All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Year: 2000
Click to Open YouTube

This song was written as a warning of environmental devastation on the earth. This song became a symbol of hope when Biden was elected President. There was hope that he would undo the damage former President Trump had caused. 

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4) We Can Work it Out

Artist: The Beatles
Album: We Can Work It Out
Year: 1965
Click to Open YouTube

John Lennon wrote this song. It was initially about Paul getting into a fight with his then-girlfriend, Jane Asher. The song can be seen as a hopeful message for the new President Biden.

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5) The Land of Hope and Dreams

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: The Essential Bruce Springsteen
Year: 2003
Click to Open YouTube
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IV. Rap/hip hop songs about presidents

Some rap/hip-hop songs won’t be explicitly about presidents. The word “presidents” is sometimes used as a slang term in “dead presidents” to mean money.

1) Dead Presidents

Artist: AY-Z
Album: The Hits & Unreleased, Volume 1
Year: 2001
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Jay Z talks about how he wants to make money, and he encourages people to “hustle” to get more money.

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2) I Want to Talk to You

Artist: Nas
Album: I Am…
Year: 1999
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Nas speaks about the issues his community faces, and he wants to talk to the president about these issues.

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3) Presidential

Artist: YoungBloodZ
Album: Ev’rybody Know Me
Year: 2005
Click to Open YouTube
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4) Black President

Artist: Nas
Album: Untitled
Year: 2008
Click to Open YouTube

This song was written as a tribute to Barack Obama’s election campaign. The song delves into the issues of racial tension in the US.

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5) Arrest the President

Artist: Ice Cube
Album: Everythang’s Corrupt
Year: 2018
Click to Open YouTube

Ice Cube speaks about Trump’s biggest scandals in this song, such as his conspiring with Russia to interfere with the 2016 US Presidential Elections.

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V. Funny songs about presidents

Presidents have always been the subject of mockery. Musicians and comedians have written songs about presidents and the issues surrounding them.

1) We’re All Doomed

Artist: Weird Al
Album: None
Year: 2020
Click to Open YouTube

This song has been described as “saying what we’re all thinking” during the Trump vs. Biden Presidential debate.

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2) Seasons of Trump

Artist: Randy Rainbow
Album: None
Year: 2021
Click to Open YouTube

Randy Rainbow wrote a Rent-inspired song that ridicules Trump’s term as an American President.

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3) Mr. Biden (Bring Me My Vaccine)

Artist: Randy Rainbow
Album: None
Year: 2021
Click to Open YouTube

This song is a parody of the familiar, “Mr. Sandman.” In this song, the singer asks President Biden to bring him a vaccine for COVID-19.

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4) If Donald Trump Got Fired

Artist: Randy Rainbow
Album: None
Year: 2020
Click to Open YouTube
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5) Trump’s Favorite Things

Artist: Randy Rainbow
Album: A Little Brains, a Little Talent
Year: 2019
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the artist Randy Rainbow makes a list of all Trump’s scandals and failures while he was president.

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VI. Songs with president in the title

Songs with the word “president” in the title can have different meanings. Musicians will often sing about hypothetically if someone was elected president or criticizes the president.

1) If I was President

Artist: Wyclef Jean
Album: Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101
Year: 2016
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Wyclef Jean imagines if a black man was elected president. He creates a rather dim and bleak picture for the reader.

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2) I Don’t Want To Be President

Artist: Harry Chapin
Album: The Last Protest Singer
Year: 1988
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the musician sings about his not wanting to be president, even if the whole world voted for him.

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3) Presidents and Magistrates

Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Album: Michigan
Year: 2003
Click to Open YouTube
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4) When the President Talks to God

Artist: Bright Eyes
Album: Motion Sickness: Live Recordings
Year: 2005
Click to Open YouTube

This protest song against the 2000 – 2008 presidency of George W. Bush. Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst made it clear he disapproved of Bush’s policies and the Iraq War.

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5) Funky President (People It’s Bad)

Artist: James Brown
Album: Reality
Year: 1974
Click to Open YouTube

James Brown met with then-President Richard Nixon, which shocked his fans. In this song, he explains that he’s still a man of the people and still sings about the issues his community faces.

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VII. Songs with president in the lyrics

1) Kill the president

Artist: The Offspring
Album: The Offspring
Year: 1989
Click to Open YouTube
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2) Quit Your Low Down Ways

Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: Man Of Constant Sorrow, Vol. 1
Year: 2008
Click to Open YouTube
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3) President

Artist: IAMX
Album: The Alternative
Year: 2006
Click to Open YouTube
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4) Mr. President

Artist: Kylie Minogue
Album: Kiss Me Once
Year: 2014
Click to Open YouTube
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5) Letter to the President

Artist: Tupac Shakur
Album: Still I Rise
Year: 1999
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Tupac directly addresses then-President Bill President. He asks the president, “What’s happening?” because there are still plenty of problems in his community.

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VIII. Songs with presidents’ names in them

1) The Ballad of Ronald Reagan

Artist: Austin Lounge Lizards
Album: The Highway Cafe of the Damned
Year: 1988
Click to Open YouTube

This ballad takes a funny but scathing look at Ronald Reagan’s policies during the 80s. The singers compared Reagan to disgraced US President Richard Nixon.

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2) Donald Trump

Artist: Upchurch
Album: Bad Mutha Fucka
Year: 2016
Click to Open YouTube

The musician uses Trump’s own words to mock then-President Donald Trump in this song.

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3) President Carter

Artist: Lil Wayne
Album: Tha Carter IV
Year: 2011
Click to Open YouTube

In the first verse of the song, Lil Wayne directly addresses President and asks him if he’s prepared for the responsibility of being President.

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4) Obama

Artist: Blueface ft DaBaby
Album: Find the Beat
Year: 2020
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, former President Barack Obama isn’t the song’s main subject. The musician has used this song as “presidential flex.”

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5) Reagan

Artist: Killer Mike
Album: R.A.P. Music
Year: 2012
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Killer Mike shows the connection between Presidential decisions and the black community. He points out that there are facts that have been forgotten or ignored.

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IX. Songs about bad presidents

Often songs written about bad and disgraced presidents will take a scathing look at their time as president and the effect of their choices.

1) R.I.C.O

Artist: Waka Flocka
Album: Waka Myers (Halloween Hits)
Year: 2018
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, the musician talks about what he’d do as a president. He also criticizes then-President Donald Trump for his treatment of Mexico.

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2) Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation

Artist: Tom Paxton
Album: Ain’t That News
Year: 1965
Click to Open YouTube

This song harshly criticized then-president Lyndon Johnson and his involvement in the Vietnam War.

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3) Here’s to the State of Richard Nixon

Artist: Phil Ochs
Album: Live at the Quiet Knight, Chicago, 1974 (FM Radio Broadcast)
Year: 1974
Click to Open YouTube

Phil Ochs was an influential figure in the protest movement. In this song, he expresses his anti-Nixon sentiments and accuses Nixon of ripping the heart out of the country.

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4) You Haven’t Done Nothing

Artist: Stevie Wonder
Album: Fulfillingness’ First Finale
Year:
Click to Open YouTube
Click to Open YouTube

In this song, Stevie Wonder directly attacks the presidency of disgraced President Richard Nixon. Stevie Wonder also includes vocals from the Jackson Five.

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5) My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)

Artist: Ramones
Album: Animal Boy
Year: 1986
Click to Open YouTube

This is an emotional song about the Bitburg controversy. This controversy was caused when then-President Ronald Reagan visited a German cemetery where Waffen-SS soldiers were buried.

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