Sandefur is making a list of songs with a libertarian bent. So far he has listed It’s My Life by Billy Joel, My Way by Frank Sinatra and I Hear My Train Coming by Jimi Hendrix (which I haven’t heard), and readers have suggested three songs: Welcome to the United States by Frank Zappa and The Boys from Alabama by The Drive By Truckers. I haven’t heard either of those either, but another reader suggest The Trees by Rush and that’s very much a libertarian song. You’ll find a lot of Rush songs with a libertarian theme because drummer Neil Peart, who writes all of their lyrics, is himself a libertarian. One of their early albums was even named Anthem after the Ayn Rand book. I actually have an old copy of Liberty magazine with an interview with Peart about his libertarian views. The title song from that album includes these lyrics:
Live for yourself…there’s no one else
More worth living for
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more
Well, I know they’ve always told you
Selfishness was wrong
Yet it was for me, not you, I came to write this song
The allusions to Rand’s influence are pretty clear. The entire opus of 2112 is an argument for asserting individuality in the face of oppression, while Witch Hunt is a powerful statement against mob rule. The Libertarian Party magazine a few years ago actually had an article listing the top 25 “liberty songs” based on recommendations from readers. Among my favorites on that list: Get up, Stand up by Bob Marley and Copperhead Road by Steve Earle.