President Obama’s razor-thin re-election last night shows that the US is still divided on his record as the country’s leader. But one thing is for sure — the rest of the world isn’t. Barry O has been very popular around the world from the get-go, and even after the waning enthusiasm of the last 4 years, a recent BBC poll showed that countries around the world from France and Germany to Turkey and Korea preferred Obama to Mitt Romney by ginormous margins.
So it’s no surprise that musicians, pro and amateur, from around the world have produced an epic buttload of Obama-themed ditties over the last 4 years, especially throughout Africa and the diaspora. Most of them were made in the mania leading up to the 2008 election, but a number of musicians have made tracks this year calling for the re-election. Below, scope the newest global Obama jams as well as few oldies-but-goodies.
MEXICO – “El Corrido de la re-elecion de Barack Obama” (Corrido)
In case there’s any doubt on where the Latino vote lies, there’s this song. Before the dust has even had a chance to settle, a banda sinaloense group out of LA has put out a corrido (Mexican narrative song) congratulating Obama on his re-election on YouTube, accompanied by a video cut together out of stills taken from last night’s victory celebration.
From the Lyrics: La lucha no ha sido facil/ Mi querido presidente/ El rico no apoya leyes/ Que dane sus intereses (The struggle hasn’t been easy/ My dear President/ The rich man doesn’t support laws/ That hurt his interests). PREACH.
TRINIDAD – “Join The Party Obama 2012” (Soca)
Just in time for the election, and unknown denizen of the internet put up a lo-fi Obama soca jam on November 5, mixing the perennial soca theme of “party” with praise for the sitting president. Could this song and it’s 52 views have provided the crucial push that put Ohio over the edge? We may never know.
From The Lyrics: Obama in the party/ come and let me join you/ Obama in the party/ Let me join you.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – “Obama Song” (Acoustic Guitar Jam)
Sarajevo-based artist (and, apparently, musician) Damir Nikšić was so juiced about last night’s Obama victory, he whipped up a celebratory, Balkan-flavored song on the acoustic guitar to share with you.
From The Lyrics: Hey Obama, hey Obama/ You brought joy to us!/ The light to be called darkness/Let not my Obama! (according to Google Translate’s understanding of Croatian)
JAMAICA – “Barack Obama 2012” (Dancehall)
Lest we forget, Jamaica also shows plenty love for our President. Dancehall artist Celcius (the deejay behind “Summa Pah Mi”) endorsed Obama way back in May through his song “Barack Obama 2012.” Celcius tells listeners that they should understand why progress has been slow-moving and that they should stay the course. For another kind of dancehall take on the prez entirely, check out the ridiculously inappropriate “Nah Deprive Michelle,” a graphic ode to presidential coitus in the Obama White House. Also, file under “huh?!”: Big Bird’s dancehall response to Mitt Romney’s threat to cut PBS funding.
From the Lyrics: Rome wasn’t built in a day, people/ Make the president stay/ He giving you a future/ Don’t listen to the tricks that’ll lead you astray.
GHANA – “Uncle Obama” (Azonto)
One of the most controversial Obama songs of 2012 comes from Ghanaian artist/model Sister Deborah, whose azonto track “Uncle Obama” combines the star power of the first African-American with bald innuendo’s about “giving his banana” to her “monkey.” Deborah (who is the sister of Ghanian jokester-rapper Wanluv) says that the song isn’t about the president, however, just a cute guy from the market that shares his name. Sure…..
From The Lyrics: Uncle Obama, I like the size of your banana/ Can I give it to my monkey? He would be so very happy.
MEXICO “La Cumbia De Obama” (Cumbia)
In 2009, a Mexican cumbia band based in Arizona called Grupo Caribe made a song “Cumbia de Obama,” a feel-good track filled with some of the most deliciously cheesy synths we have ever heard. Bonus points for adorable choreographed dances and a truly bizarre use of green-screen that superimposes band members into extremely bland photos of highway overpasses, small town main streets, and flavorless Southwestern business districts.
From the Lyrics: Y como el todo va a cambia/ Por eso tienes que bailar. (Everything’s going to change / So that’s why we have to dance)
JAPAN – “Obama is Beautiful World” (J-Pop)
An oldie but goodie from the 2008 campaign, “Obama is Beautiful World” comes from J-Pop group Anyone Brothers Band (who, from what I can tell on the internet, has never released anything else but this song). Props to the band for getting everybody in their town from the shoe salesman to old ladies shilling fish to do a celebratory Obama dance.
From The Lyrics: 遠く広がる海と まぶしい太陽はまるで
INDIA – “Obama, Obama” (Bollywood)
In 2009, an unknown Indian artist put out this Bollywood-flavored tribute to the big O, expressing the subcontinent’s love for the new president and detailing the ways he was going to magically fix all the problems in the word. Ah 2009, back when everything seemed so simple.
From The Lyrics: He’s determined to resolve the deadlock of Kashmir/ And is even firm to crack the global financial crisis.
KENYA – “Obama Be Thy Name” (Roots Reggae)
Kenyan reggae artist Makadem brought us this dinky-reggae jam filled with endless name-checking of American States. I’m pretty sure he hits all 50, which is kind of impressive on its own.
From The Lyrics: From Kentucky to Virginia/ Nevada to Nebraska/ Montana to Kansas