It won’t surprise you to learn that Cockburn does not, generally speaking, listen to hip-hop. But he has been forced to make an exception for a new song by New Jersey rapper Loza Alexander.
“Lets Go Brandon” [sic] has rocketed up the charts and now sits at number two on iTunes, sandwiched just between country star Walker Hayes’s “Fancy Like” and professional sad English lady Adele’s “Easy On Me”.
It was the song’s title that caught Cockburn’s eye: three words that he had seen all over the internet and heard chanted from the bleachers in recent weeks. Fortunately, Cockburn’s nieces were on hand to explain the meme’s origin.
“Let’s Go Brandon”, Cockburn understands, is a stand-in for “Fuck Joe Biden”. The amusing switcheroo emerged earlier this month during an interview after a NASCAR race. Brandon Brown had just claimed victory at the Talladega speedway in Alabama. As the emotional young motorist told sports reporter Kelli Stavast just how much the win meant to him, chants of a four-letter word and the president’s name were audible from the stands.
In a valiant, if heavy-handed effort to smooth things over, Ms Stavast drew the victor’s attention to rowdy fans. “As you you can hear the chants from the crowd,” she said, “Let’s go Brandon!”
Now the talented Mr Alexander has turned the meme into art.
Cockburn notes Alexander’s red “Make Music Great Again” cap and, ever the eagle-eyed newsman, suspects he knows who the rapper would rather see in the White House.
For now, though, just enjoy the lyrics:
Tried to cover up, but tell the people, go Brandon
But we know what they sayin’, though
You can hear the chant in every post
Don’t nobody want this commie ’cause we not in China
Everybody hated Trump, and now they out to catch a body
That’s what they get for treatin’ us like we in Squid Game
Dream light, mandate like he’s insane
These times, people wakin’ up to e’erything
Go Brandon, but we all know what the sayin’ mean
Not since Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” or Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” has the anger of a generation been channeled into poetry so beautifully.
Repeat after me: “Let’s go, Brandon!”