The presidential election season is upon us and it is no use trying to avoid the debate frenzy. More than eight million viewers tuned in to watch the first showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the second round is set to be broadcast from St. Louis on Sunday, October 9 at 9 p.m. EST on CNN.
It is a heated time for America with a great deal of anger, emotion and passion carried in every politically-slanted social media post and shouting match at family dinner. But no matter who you root for during these debates there is something all voters can agree on: sometimes you just need to blast a song and drown out the madness to make yourself feel better.
So whether you plan on watching the second debate while hanging at home, or while getting drunk in a bar, or while eating themed appetizers at a friend’s watch party, here is a playlist to help you get through the highest highs and inevitable lowest lows this next round of discourse will bring.
1. The Pixies, “Where is My Mind”
If you are one of the many people who feels like this entire election season has made you question your sanity then you may be looking for a song that echoes your exasperation. The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” is one of the more ideal tracks to blast from your speakers as the world spontaneously combusts in a burst of anger and stupidity. Haunting, poignant and emotionally fulfilling, “Where is My Mind” offers the perfect soundtrack for that moment when you just want to hit mute and watch the candidates speak silently while you sing and shake your head and drink hard liquor.
2. Helen Reddy, “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar”
You don’t have to be a Hillary Clinton fan to appreciate the historic significance of her nomination. With empowering and uplifting lyrics like, “You can bend but never break me, ‘cause it only serves to make me, more determined to achieve my final goal,” this song is bound to make you feel proud of the fact that a woman has finally made it onto that stage. Play this track before the debates begin so you can get yourself pumped up about how far we’ve come and make it louder to drown out those exasperated follow-up thoughts about why it took this long.
3. R.E.M., “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”
This track is best suited for those who have abandoned all hope and already made plans to move to Canada. Pair this song with post-debate commentary and spin room chit-chat or just have it playing on repeat as an undertone for when Donald Trump inevitably denies climate change. Bonus points given because the Republican nominee once used this track as an entrance song while on the campaign trail (to which former frontman Michael Stipe eloquently responded, “”Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you.”).
4. Miley Cyrus, “Party in the USA”
Maybe you have decided to take a lighthearted approach to this whole presidential election. Maybe as an optimistic person your time watching the debates just makes you feel lucky to live in a democratic country where your vote can make a difference. Or maybe you just really haven’t been following the whole process and need something to listen to while your roommates watch the debates. Either way this 2009 pop song encourages you to put your hands up and nod your head and dance the night away in the good ol’ USA. Thanks, Miley.
5. Green Day, “American Idiot”
Die-hard Bernie fans, those disillusioned with the two-party system, voters desperate for campaign finance reform or anyone angry at “the media” may identify with this angsty track. Headbang and sing out loud lyrics like, “Don’t want a nation under the new mania,
and can you hear the sound of hysteria?” during the endless debate predictions and countdown. Play the song again later when you start scrolling through your Twitter feed and want to throw your laptop across the room. Move on to blasting “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” after finishing that seventh glass of wine.
6. The Flying Lizards, “Money”
Yes this song’s original recording by Barrett Strong is awesome. And yes the version redone by the Beatles in 1963 is also pretty great. But this 1979 version by The Flying Lizards just feels more robotic and greedy and appropriate for the occasion. Mute the television and play this song every time Donald Trump sniffs, I mean, speaks into the microphone.
7. Beyoncé, “Run The World”
Hillary Clinton supporters will want to have this track geared up and ready to play as the second debate comes to a close. Not only is this song dance-friendly, but it is also the perfect reason to yell “Girls!” like a million times. Another option? Keep the song queued up on your soundtrack and play it in short bursts every time Donald Trump utters a condescending or sexist remark. It is bound to be more enjoyable than all the times you whipped a shoe or remote at the television during the first debate.