Political Pop Songs

2 minute read

A “hymn” by Germany’s far-right Pegida movement controversially shot to the top of Amazon’s sales charts in Germany in December, prompting the online retailer to announce it would donate the profits to a charity supporting refugees. Pegida is one of several political groups to rally support with original tunes:


The Communist Party released an English-language music video about its latest five-year plan (shi san wu) in October. Various cartoon characters rap to listeners: “If you want to know what China’s gonna do/Best pay attention to the shi san wu.”


Andrei Ivantsov, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, released the song “Crimea!” in honor of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in April 2014. In the music video, the parliamentarian sings in snowy woods and by the seaside.


The African National Congress regularly drops original songs to rally supporters. In a 2014 Western Cape campaign video, a chorus of people in bright yellow shirts dance and sing the lines, “Oh, lalalalala/ Let us vote ANC/ Now’s the time.”


Ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi co-wrote the anthem “Forza Italia” to unite his party of the same name during its founding in 1993. The song was played at events, with karaoke-style subtitles for fans to sing along.

–Julia Zorthian

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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com