Continuing the theme of the previous post, after just a few days in New Hampshire it becomes clear that the art of creative chanting is somewhat lost on the American political volunteer. Trendy sociologists and English lit professors have in the past written papers on the wit and wisdom of the British football terraces; how 20,000 drunken louts can create something occasionally poetic in between the abuse on a Saturday. Not so American political campaigns. Obama’s “Fired Up! Ready to Go!” is remarkable for its endearing creation story, but remains a bland slogan, especially after the thousandth chant. But it seems positively lyric compared to the other commonly held chants. These examples, the most common your guest blogger has heard over the last few days, will give a taster.
Beyond the campaign slogan, the most common mainstream chants seem to be:
“Oh Be Ay Em Ay! We change the world today! Oh! Oh! Obama!” “I say Hope! You say Change! Hope! Change!”
The same Oh! Oh! Obama! coda then appears on other chants, including the factually accurate but less than tuneful:
“He was against the war! He’s the one I’m voting for! Oh! Oh! Obama!”
Things get much worse, however, when the crowd runs out of these and is forced to resort to:
“Tired of political drama? Vote for Barack Obama!” “We Want Change, Not More of the Same!” “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! The status quo has got to go!”
Obama’s people are not alone. The other campaigns are, if anything, worse—and certainly a good deal less vocal and enthusiastic. Nonetheless, whoever wins the New Hampshire primary this evening, the noble tradition of the political song is likely among the losers.