I WANT MY MTV… Conservatives are better at laying claim to liberal rhetoric than vice-versa (“Healthy Forests,” “Academic Bill of Rights,” etc.). Now they’re coming for the music.

Courtesy of The National Review, John J. Miller has sifted through NRO readers’ suggestions for “The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs” and picked some winners. (Alas, the whole list is not available without a subscription.) Among them:

8. “Bodies,” By the Sex Pistols. Violent and vulgar, but also a searing anti-abortion anthem by the quintessential punk band: “It’s not an animal/ It’s an abortion…”

28. “Janie’s Got a Gun,” By Aerosmith. How the right to bear arms can protect women from sexual predators: “What did her daddy do?/ It’s Janie’s last I.O.U. / She had to take him down easy / And put a bullet in his brain…”

OK, that’s all good fun, and can be taken with a grain of salt. But then Miller lays definitive claim to The Beatles’ deftly ambiguous “Revolution” (“You say you want a revolution/ Well you know / We all want to change the world …”). This one is a little trickier. It’s not a conservative anthem, but it defies the familiar genre of protest rock.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Christina Larson

Christina Larson is a Washington Monthly contributing editor and an award-winning science and environment journalist who has reported from five continents.