Alex Massie

A Country Election

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There's been a sad lack of country music in these parts lately. But now that the campaigning is done, it's time to make amends for that. So here's a country playlist for the election. Like you know, if country music can't explain something most likely it ain't worth explaining...

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton offer a succinct (if partisan and less than generous) summary of Britain's journey from 1997 to 2010: Holdin' On To Nothin'.

Non-Labour voters (and disappointed Labour members) suspect Gordon Brown should be singing: Pretend I Never Happened by Waylon Jennings.

On the other hand, Gordon takes his text from Emmylou Harris and Calling My Children Home.

Then again, all the pols seem utterly familiar with the Louvin Brothers' and If I Could Only Win Your Love. It should be their official anthem.

David Cameron, meanwhile, has a message for the bond market: If We Make It Through December by Merle Haggard.

For Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats it's (probably!) yet another case of Someday My Day Will Come by George Jones.

Consolation for the losing candidates in Don't You Take It Too Bad by Townes van Zandt:

For the Great Ignored (who seemed to be forgotten pretty quickly in this campaign) and everyone else feeling left out: Do You Know How It Feels To Be Lonesome? by Gram Parsons.

And for everyone involved in this caper, of course, there's Lyle Lovett's Election Day - covered here by the Wandering Roots:

Your suggestions for additions to this list are more than welcome. You'll notice too that a) country music is endlessly versatile and capable of covering anything and b) the exception to that may be the joy that comes from winning. Not too many country songs about that. Then again, this ain't an election that is going to be too much fun to win...

UPDATE: Norm, of course, provides some excellent additions to the tracklist. As he says, the diehards might take their cue from Nanci Griffith and Last of the True Believers:


Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articlePolitics