K’naan to Romney: Leave My Song Alone
K’Naan is not amused.
The Somali-born, Canadian-based artist’s song, Wavin’ Flag, was a massive breakout hit in 2009, propelling the artist onto the world stage when Coca-Cola licensed the song for its FIFA World Cup coverage. The song is a powerful anthem, with lyrics telling a story of being born in a “violent prone, poor people zone/but it’s my home, all I have known.” The song continues “When I get older/I will be stronger/they’ll call me Freedom/just like a wavin’ flag.”
The inspirational and thrilling lyrics are no doubt appealing to political figures trying to strike a chord with their audience — figures like Mitt Romney, who used the song at a campaign event on Tuesday night. Only problem? He didn’t ask permission. And K’Naan was not impressed. He has made it clear: even if Romney had asked permission, K’Naan wouldn’t have granted it. He released a statement that said, in part, “I have not been asked for permission by Mitt Romney’s campaign for the use of my song. If I had been asked, I would certainly not have granted it. I would happily grant the Obama campaign use of my song without prejudice.” K’Naan is currently investigating his legal options.
But look how they treat us, make us believers
We fight their battles, then they deceive us
This isn’t the first time a political candidate, particularly a Republican one, has gotten into trouble over using unlicensed songs. A former band member of Survivor is taking legal action against Newt Gingrich for recent unauthorized use of their song Eye Of The Tiger. And Michelle Bachmann found herself in hot water with Tom Petty for unauthorized use of American Girl.
Photo Credit: Coca-Cola South Africa on Flickr.