Sing it in Helsinki

By Bulletin Staff | July 16, 2018

Strong music for manly leaders

President Trump’s trip through Europe ahead of a Helsinki meeting with Russian President Putin has included almost everything a public spectacle enthusiast could hope to witness:

  • Senseless NATO-bashing, followed by unpersuasive, pro forma NATO praise.
  • An interview with a low-brow British newspaper in which Trump criticized and insulted the UK prime minister ahead of meeting with her.
  • A subsequent press conference in which Trump labeled the interview he cooperated with “fake news.”
  • A giant balloon, portraying Trump as an angry, diapered baby grasping a smart phone, flown over London.
  • Trump complaints that a balloon made him feel unwelcome.
  • And the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign—charges made public just days before Trump’s visit with Putin, who, reputedly, personally ordered those criminal acts.

But if the president’s summer European tour has been extraordinary—and it has—it has also lacked the powerful theme music that any self-respecting public spectacle should include. This failing is not just artistically suspect—it could be seen as a break in diplomatic protocol, perhaps even a slight with national security implications. “Little” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after all, has been promised a recording of Elton John’s song, “Rocket Man.” What does Trump have for the way more powerful Putin? So far as we know, nichego.

To avert a possible international incident, the Bulletin staff toiled overtime this week to compile a list of five songs, any one of which might make an appropriate musical gift, from Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin. (We’re sure there are others; add your musical gift suggestions in the comments section below, or tweet them to: @BulletinAtomic.)

And if either president wants a mixtape or playlist, just let the Bulletin know. We’re always happy to blend art with international affairs.

1. Artist: The Dead Kennedys

Song: “Back in the USSR”

Relevant lyric: Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my mind

Suggested tweet: The Beatles made it famous; these guys make it punk enough for Putin.


2. Artist: Rolling Stones

Song: “Sympathy for the Devil”

Relevant lyric: Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

Suggested tweet: What gift more appropriate 4 man w/everything—even ICBM named Satan 2?


3. Artist: Pussy Riot

Song: “Make America Great Again”

Relevant lyric: What do you want your world to look like?
What do you want it to be?

Do you know that a wall has two sides?
And nobody is free?

Suggested tweet: Song title and band name we can grab onto.


4. Artist: Boney M

Song: “Rasputin” (pronounced rass-poo-TEEN)

Relevant lyric: Ra, ra, Rasputin
Lover of the Russian Queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Ra, ra, Rasputin
Russia’s greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

Suggested tweet: So who’s Russia’s greatest love machine, now? Eh?


5. Artists: Red Russian Army Choir & Leningrad Cowboys

Song: Happy Together

Relevant lyric: Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

Suggested tweet: Turtles weak, low-energy; this has strength for manly world leaders. Like us.


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Glenda Shopen
Glenda Shopen
5 years ago

How about the Merry Minuet by the Kingston Trio?