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All the Presidents' Jams

Listen to these 44 songs about our 44 presidents—and today's otherwise ho-hum holiday might just blow your mind.

| Mon Feb. 21, 2011 6:00 AM EST

26) Theodore Roosevelt:  Charlie Pool, "White House Blues." Just listen.

27) William Howard Taft: "Get on a raft with Taft!" Filed under: Rejected Huck Finn plot twists.

28) Woodrow Wilson: Blind Willie Johnson (cover by Mississippistaphas), "When the War Was On." One of the greats, from one of the greats: "Well, President Wilson, sittin' on his throne/ Makin' laws for everyone/ Didn't call the black man, to lay by the white."

29) Warren G. Harding: "Why Warren G. Harding Sucked." Because he did.

30) Calvin Coolidge: Geto Boys, "The Secret." An unsung song, for a president who never talked (Silent Cal gets a shoutout at 2:10).

30) Herbert Hoover: Annie, "We'd Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover." The entire musical is basically an indictment of Hoover, but you know you've lost your country when even the red-headed orphans are taking you to task.

31) Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "Franklin D. Roosevelt Jones," We challenge you to not tap your feet.

32) Harry Truman: Chicago, "Harry Truman." Released during the post-Nixon funk in 1975, Robert Lamm spoke for millions when he sang "America needs you, Harry Truman"—the song reached No. 13 on the Billboard charts.

33) Dwight D. Eisenhower: J.B. Lenoir, "Eisenhower Blues." For his efforts, Lenoir was investigated by House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35) John F. Kennedy: Marilyn Monroe, "Happy Birthday." Obviously. (Bonus: "Crucifixion," Phil Ochs; "He Was a Friend of Mine," The Byrds)

36) Lyndon B. Johnson: Tom Paxton, "Lyndon Johnson told the nation." The president who gave us the Great Society, the Civil Rights Act, and protest songs.

37) Richard Nixon: Stevie Wonder, "You Haven't Done Nothin'." The title pretty much says it all.

38) Gerald Ford: James Brown, "Funky President (People It's Bad)." Given the adjectives tossed at his predecessor, "funky" seems pretty tame. Following the line of succession, "Funky President" would go on to be sampled in, among other things, Eric B and Rakim's "Eric B is President."

39) Jimmy Carter: Devo, "Whip It." This song was written by Mark Mothersbaugh to inspire Carter. Seriously, we fact-checked that.

40) Ronald Reagan: The Ramones, "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg." The context: In 1985, President Reagan traveled to Germany and laid a wreath at a cemetery filled with SS soldiers. As Joey Ramone told Mother Jones at the time, Reagan "sort of shit on everybody."

41) George H.W. Bush: Geto Boys, "Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangster." We had no idea either, but the last verse is written from the point of view of Bush the Elder.

42) Bill Clinton: Wesley Willis, "Bill Clinton." The best part is that this song will now be stuck in your head for the next week. (Bonus: Here's Michael Jackson and the entire Clinton–Gore clan singing "We are the World."

43) George W. Bush: The Legendary K.O., "George Bush Don't Like Black People." Like most of the songs about Dubya, this one's a little raw, but Americans were pissed. And can you blame them?

44) Barack Obama: Young Jeezy feat. Nas, "My President is Black." An unassailable statement of fact, buttressed by a John Lewis cameo at (somewhat appropriately) 3:16.

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