Friday Fun: Bocephus/Palin ’08

Country royalty has weighed in on the presidential race — Hank Williams Jr. (known to the kids as the “Are You Ready for Some Football” guy) released a song earlier this week praising the virtues of the current Republican ticket. It’s stuck with a yawner of a title (“The McCain/Palin Tradition”), and the lyrics are laughable as ideology (read ’em below the break), but I submit to you that this song is a masterful adaptation of fleeting campaign talking points into the strict conventions of country music. And Ol’ Bocephus truly gives it his all, pulling off some rap-worthy verbal contortions to get the lines to rhyme and the syllables to fit.

I grant that it’s no “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” the ditty that propelled my distant (and doomed) ancestor into the White House, but it IS a real good country tune — some rock-ish studio flourishes here and there, but its heart is a solid swinging beat and a spare root/fifth bassline (I played along a couple of times), layered over with good fiddle and steel guitar parts and of course Hank Jr. Not exactly his daddy, and it sure ain’t his boy Hank III (whom you gotta go see if you haven’t — imagine country music played by terrific musicians with a fiendish punk-rock intensity), but Bocephus can sleep well, knowing he has done his political convictions proud.

[Right after I finished this, I realized that “The McCain Palin Tradition” is a remake of a real tune — so of course the music’s well developed. And I’ll tell ya, it makes the whole thing even MORE impressive, since how many of us have the verbal agility required to turn a song about drinkin’ partyin’ and smokin’ dope into a REPUBLICAN campaign song?]


The left wing liberal media have
Always been a real close knit family
But, most of the American People
Don’t believe ’em anyway ya see
Stop and think it over
Before you make your decision
If they smell something
They’re gonna come down strong
It’s a McCain – Palin tradition

Now this old Union’s got problems
That is plain to see
The Democrats bankrupted Fannie Mae N Freddie Mac
Just like 1, 2, 3
The bankers didn’t want to make all those bad loans,
But Bill Clinton said you got to
Now they want a bailout, what I’m talking about
Is a Democrat liberal who do

John N Sarah tell ya
Just what they think
And they’re not gonna blink
And they’re gonna fix this country
Cause they’re just like you N ole Hank
Yes John is a maverick
And Sarah fixed Alaska’s broken condition
They’re gonna go just fine
We’re headed for better times
It’s a McCain-Palin tradition

I am very proud of America’s name
Bu no society is perfect
And we have had our stains
If I’m down at the coffee shop and
Somebody wants to give our flag friction
We say please move on
Cause we’re standing strong
That’s an old John McCain tradition

Repeat Chorus

Some are bound to tell you I’m
Preaching to the choir
And that is very true
And we are going even higher
Like a mama bear in Idaho
She’ll protect your family’s condition
If you mess with her cubs
She’s gonna take off the gloves
It’s an American female tradition

Repeat Chorus


Written by
Colin Delany
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