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Music: the soundtrack of your spending

February 3, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

As I'm sure TV, the internet and our more gambling inclined friends have let us know the Super Bowl is this Sunday.

Now, I'm not going to take up valuable column inches explaining why, exactly, the Giants are the superior team and that those with differing opinions are suffering from head trauma. That would be wrong and I?won't condone it.

A lot of us will be tuning in to watch the game, some will be tuning in because they watch the commercials, and no one will be tuning it to watch the half time show.


As confounding as choosing the "Material Girl" to play during half time this is just another in a long line of poor music choices by the NFL.

No, I'm not talking about Hank Williams Jr.; without him I would never know when football was about to happen, nor would I?be ready.

I'm talking about Morrissey.

If you don't know who Morrissey is then you have probably never been on prozac for 'debilitating ennui,' I'm sure you've never paid $40 for a pre-aged T-shirt and I'm certain you've never scolded a friend for drinking pasteurized milk.

That's right, Morrissey is a hipster. In many ways he is king of the hipsters, although he's not really into labels.

So when the NFL decided to use one of Morrissey's always depressing and inescapably pretentious songs in a commercial for a sport known for screaming crowds, cheerleaders and touchdown dances, it seemed odd to say the least.

But the NFL outsmarted Morrissey by using only a fraction of his song "Everyday is like Sunday," particularly just the part that says "every day is like Sunday."

The next line in the song? 'Everyday is silent and grey.' With high energy hits like that I can't believe Morrissey hasn't been on Jock Jams!

How does this happen? Was someone in the NFL head office, blasting Morrissey in their headphones, having a good cry, thinking "Our fans NEED to hear this guy!"

What I?think happened is someone in marketing Googled a few key words plus 'lyrics' and just bought the rights to whatever song came up first.

This "Google it" approach is why H&R Block used The Beatles anti-tax anthem "Taxman" for their commercials, why Royal Caribbean cruises used Iggy Pop's ode to heroin "Lust for Life" in a commercial, and why Mitt Romney is feuding with a rapper named K'naan.

Apparently Willard "Daddy Warbucks" Romney used a line from Somali born Canadian national K'naan Warsame's song "Wavin' Flag" during a rally in Florida.

Guess which line Romney picked out? Yeah, the part that says "Wavin' Flag" a lot.

For some reason K'naan has a problem with Romney playing his song. The song is mostly about the poor being forced to fight the wars of the rich and struggling to survive as a poor child.

Frankly, Romney has missed a huge opportunity. Using a rap song at a rally is a great idea, but why use "Wavin Flag?" How about something a little more 'on message?'

The message? Money.

The song: "Money on my Mind" by Lil' Wayne.

Who says Romney can't relate to regular folk? Lil' Wayne is HUGE, and all he talks about is getting money, ditto Romney.

So as you're watching the commercials this Sunday and you hear a song you like, keep it to yourself. The artist probably hates the product anyway, and even if they don't, some of us are trying to watch the game.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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