After Donald Trump finished his historically long acceptance speech at Thursday night's Republican National Convention, the 1970 hit "All Right Now" by the British band Free played to accompany the confetti and balloons. The next song? "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Seriously.
Nor was it the Rolling Stones' relatively upbeat single version — it was the album version, with the choral introduction by the London Bach Choir.
"Can't Always Get What You Want" is a strange choice to punctuate the GOP race. pic.twitter.com/tJNfufQNSe
— Mashable News (@MashableNews) July 22, 2016
Choosing a 1969 ballad to rev up a Republican convention is an odd enough choice, but one whose chorus is an admonition that sometimes you can't get the thing you want is doubly strange. Yes, "you get what you need," The Stones conclude, but come on, that could be Hillary Clinton's slogan — the Trump Republicans want Donald Trump. Was this a middle finger to Ted Cruz and other #NeverTrump Republicans? Was Trump suggesting that despite his big promises, people should lower their expectations? Was Trump trying to clear the hall so he could fly back home to New York?
Closing anthem for candidate w whom 38% of Republicans are satisfied? The Stones' "You can't always get what you want"
— David Frum (@davidfrum) July 22, 2016
Inside arena: "You can't always get what you want." Right outside arena: "If I could turn back the hands of time." 2016 got jokes. #rncincle
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) July 22, 2016
You Can't Always Get What You Want?
Ok, now I'm convinced sound engineer/DJ is working for DNC
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) July 22, 2016
All of Trump's exit music is from British bands and artists: Free, Stones, Elton John.
Why do you hate American music?
— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) July 22, 2016
The song that followed Ivanka Trump's glowing and happy warm-up speech for her father was appropriate enough, though George Harrison's estate was not pleased:
— George Harrison (@GeorgeHarrison) July 22, 2016
Continuing the theme of British music used against the artists' wishes, Trump made his first entrance to Queen's "We Are the Champions." Rudy Giuliani walked off the stage to Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" — perhaps a nod to Trump's fondling kiss of in-drag Giuliani in 2000. But If you watched the cable networks, you might have missed some of the other musical choices made at Trump's convention.
The house band, led by G.E. Smith, was excellent, but delegates were probably tired of "Sweet Caroline" after the fourth rendition. They played "My Sharona," from The Knack, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC, multiple light-jazz versions of The Beatles' "Eight Days a Week," The Turtles' "Happy Together," an upbeat country version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," and David Bowie's cocaine-fueled "Station to Station." Maybe the strangest sight, however, was the Republican delegates dancing unironically to The Clash's "Rock the Casbah."
Still, there was one genuinely new song, "Make America Great Again," and you can watch Fox News' Shep Smith celebrate its debut (and sing along in harmony with former MVT host Kennedy) in the video below.
So at least the heart of rock 'n' roll is still beating in Cleveland.