By now, you’ve probably seen Rick Perry’s “Strong” ad, in which he opines, “There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” Not only are gays in our military, they’re also composing music for our campaign ads. As the Harvard Political Review points out, the music that plays in the background of Perry’s ad is inspired by or directly taken from Aaron Copland, a gay composer.
A Harvard music major noticed the the connection and sent the author of the Political Review post an email saying, “Just realized this: the music in Rick Perry’s new anti-gay ad is by Aaron Copland, a famous 20th Century American composer…who was an outspoken gay Jew.” Copland also supported the Communist Party.
The ad rapidly became the second-most “disliked” video on YouTube. Just to clarify: the hundreds of thousands of people hate Rick Perry, not Aaron Copland.
UPDATE: New Yorker music critic Alex Ross writes on his blog about the origins of the music:
A feeble soundtrack gestures in the direction of the “Americana” style of Aaron Copland, and in particular of Appalachian Spring. You can see what I mean by comparing the ad itself…to the opening and closing sections of Appalachian Spring…the music is not by Copland, although it certainly attempts to get close.
Listen here: Perry/Copland
A Strong Response [HPR]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 10, 2011