The campaign of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) have come up with one of the most over-the-top music videos in support of their candidate. The video features a take on the 1961 novelty hit “Big Bad John” by singer/actor Jimmy Dean (the sausage guy, not the actor James Dean).
The song’s original lyrics starts out like this:
Every mornin’ at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn’t give no lip to big John
The Cornyn version tweaks the lyrics like this:
He came off the bench, after doin’ his time
He fought heathens and hellions and all kinds of crime
He was just getting started, he had a long ways to go
We sent him to Washington, to the really big show, Big John
“Heathens and hellions”? If a New York ad agency wanted to make a parody of all things “Texan,” they could not have done a better job than the supposed “Texans” behind this video.
You can almost understand how politicians can be out of touch with modern music. But how can one campaign so badly misinterpret a song that’s nearly as old as the candidate?
According to Dean’s roommate, the song was intended as a joke on Dean’s fellow actor John Mentoe. Mentoe, who starred in the Western “Destry Rides Again”, was 6′ 5”, just like the song.
Also, the song mentions that “Big Bad John” killed a man in a bar fight in New Orleans. Do Cornyn’s supporters want him to be associated with a song about a murderer, or have the standards for political anthems fallen that low?