Question: What do the Montreal Canadiens and American conservatives have in common? Well, not much, really. Except for the fact that the Dropkicks Murphy’s don’t approve of either.
For the past few days, the venerable pro-union Celtic punk band made headlines after sending a cease and desist to Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker, who’d been using “Shipping Up to Boston” as his entrance music.
When the band learned that Walker was using their music — which is akin to Stephen Harper campaigning with “Taking Care of Business” or, classically, Ronald Reagan using Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” — they took to Twitter to voice their displeasure against the union-busting governor.
That tweet earned its fair share of headlines, but, as it turns out, they’ve also publicly shamed other politicians who’ve used the songs in the past. Take, for example, fellow Wisconsin Republican Jeff Fitzgerald, who used the song at the Republican National Convention. When they found out he was using it, they took to Facebook. “The stupidity and irony of this is laughable,” they wrote last spring.
[pullquote]A Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate – and crony of anti-Union Governor Scott Walker – using a Dropkick Murphys song as an intro is like a white supremacist coming out to gangsta rap![/pullquote]
“Fitzgerald: if you and your staff can’t even figure out your music you might wanna give up on the politics!!!!! We stand beside our Union and Labor brothers and sisters and their families in Wisconsin and all over the U.S!”
The band, of course, is right: “Shipping Up to Boston” is as Republican as song as “Born in the U.S.A.” And yesterday, after their tweet earned the attention of the world, they took to Facebook again to clarify their intentions.
They posted the following statement.
[quote]”The bottom line is: when a politician uses our music to walk out to, for better or worse, it brands us with that person. If one of our favorite teams’ rivals, such as the Montreal Canadiens, used a Dropkick Murphys song when they took the ice, we’d be equally displeased.
We feel that we have the right to ask to not be associated with certain events or people – we don’t think that’s too much to ask. This isn’t a legal issue to us—we’re not looking to sue someone. Yes, our words were a little harsh, but it was borne out of frustration with the past history of Wisconsin Republicans, such as Jeff Fitzgerald, using our music.
The band has stood for and aligned itself with certain principles since its inception in 1996, so people who react as though we’re jumping on some sort of political bandwagon simply don’t know the history of the band.
We are what we are, we believe what we believe—and for the most part, try to leave our politics to our lyrics.”[/quote]
Spoken like true Bostonians. So there you have it: The Dropkicks have two rivals: Republicans and the Montreal Canadiens.