Entertainment & Arts

Ten songs stolen by politicians


Swedish band Abba is suing a Danish anti-immigration party for using their song, Mama Mia in a rally.

The youth wing of the party sang the song, changing its lyrics to suit their far-right agenda.

But the Swedish legends are by no means the only musicians to object to politicians using their work. Here are 10 others:

Keane - Everybody's Changing

Earlier this year, the British Conservative Party used the rock group's 2004 hit in their election campaign. Drummer Richard Hughes posted on Twitter that the Tories had not asked for permission and that he would not be voting for the party.

James - Sit Down

Singer Tim Booth complained about the use of the band's song at a Labour Party Conference in 2008. The song was played over a PA system before a speech by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Manchester Central.

MGMT - Kids

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party used the smash single by indie band MGMT at its national congress, and in two online videos, in 2009. The UMP admitted using the track without permission and offered the symbolic compensation of one euro (85p, $1). MGMT's French lawyer, Isabelle Wekstein declined the offer, calling it insulting and disrespectful.

The incident happened a week before the French parliament considered a law put forward by Mr Sarkozy's party to crack down on online piracy.

Jackson Browne - Running on Empty

During the US presidential campaign in 2008, John McCain used a handful of songs without the consent of their creators, collecting an impressive number of complaints and in one case, a lawsuit:

•Jackson Browne sued Mr McCain for the use of Running on Empty.

•John Mellencamp's songs, Our Country and Pink Houses, were used even though Mellencamp described himself as a "staunch Democrat".

•Van Halen, Foo Fighters, Heart and Orleans also complained about their music being used.

Sam & Dave - Hold On, I'm Comin'

The R&B duo's song was used by Barack Obama as a theme song in his 2008 presidential campaign until Sam Moore asked him to stop. Some supporters sang the lyrics as: "Hold On, Obama's Coming". It seems there were no hard feelings. Less than a year later, Sam Moore, along with Sting and Elvis Costello performed Soul Man at one of Obama's inaugural parties.

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA

US President Ronald Reagan infuriated Springsteen by using Born in the USA in his 1984 re-election campaign. It was an odd choice, as the song is widely interpreted as a bitter criticism of American society by a Vietnam veteran, with lyrics such as: "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much" and "Ain't got nowhere to run / I'm a long gone Daddy in the USA."

At the time, Springsteen told the Rolling Stone magazine "I think people have a need to feel good about the country they live in. But what's happening, I think, is that that need is getting manipulated and exploited. You see that in the Reagan election ads on TV."

Rolling Stones - Angie

Angela Merkel enraged the Rolling Stones when she used the band's 1973 hit, as her campaign theme in her 2005 bid for German Chancellor. Although the Stones did not take legal action, a spokesperson for the band said: "We are surprised that [permission] was not requested. If it had been, we would have said No."

Campaign managers probably hoped that something would be lost in translation with lyrics such as, "With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats / You can't say we're satisfied," or "All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke."

Hunters & Collectors - Holy Grail

The Tasmanian Liberals angered Australian band, Hunters & Collectors, by using their song Holy Grail at an election launch in 2002. "We are disgusted by the appropriation of our much loved anthem by a political party that we utterly despise," former front man Mark Seymour said, "We would like to make it known to the people of Tasmania that we are opposed to everything that the Liberal Party stand for."

Coldplay - Clocks

In 2007, New Zealand's National Party leader, John Key, used a piece of music in a political DVD that was strikingly similar to Coldplay's "Clocks."

The piece in the DVD was composed by an Auckland artist but was so similar to Coldplay's hit - in its harmonies and rhythms - that it confused audiences. Australian copyright authorities notified the group's front man, Chris Martin.

Rush - The Spirit of Radio

Canadian band Rush was infuriated when Rand Paul used their song, The Spirit of Radio, to enthuse crowds during the US campaign in 2010 for Kentucky's Republican Senate nomination. Mr Paul's campaign manager dismissed the band's complaint, calling it a "non-issue".