Election tunes: US presidential candidates and pop songs used in their campaigns

American music icon Bruce Springsteen (right) at a campaign event with US President Barack Obama in 2012.
American music icon Bruce Springsteen (right) at a campaign event with US President Barack Obama in 2012.PHOTO: TWITTER/@HAMILTCNS

Over the years, the United States' presidential election has drawn its fair share of eclectic, charismatic and divisive figures.

What they do have in common - most of them, at least - is a penchant for picking popular songs to play at their rallies in a bid to connect with crowds and drum up support, while beating down their opponents.

However, not all artistes are in favour of their music being used for political reasons, with some even refusing permission or filing lawsuits against presidential hopefuls.

Here are eight songs which candidates and their parties have used to boost their "rah-rah" factor.

1. Hillary Clinton: Fight Song by Rachel Platten

In line with Mrs Hillary Clinton's slogan "Fighting For Us", American singer-songwriter Rachel Platten's inspirational tune has pounded out across Mr Clinton events during her 2016 campaign.

The wife of former US president Bill Clinton is bidding to be the first woman to take the top job at the White House.

Mrs Clinton often says to her supporters "I want you to know I will keep fighting for you!"

2. Donald Trump: Dream On by Aerosmith

Donald Trump can literally "dream on" about using Aerosmith's 1973 hit song. Representatives of lead vocalist Steven Tyler sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican Party's 2016 nominee for playing the tune at his rallies, adding that it was the second time that the band had asked him to stop using the song.

Other artists have also asked the right-wing populist to stop playing their songs.

George Harrison's estate was the latest to blast the Trump campaign, while Queen, Adele, R.E.M, the Rolling Stones and Neil Young have also told the billionaire to stop playing their music at his campaign events.

3. Barack Obama: Land Of Hope And Dreams by Bruce Springsteen

Using American music icon Bruce Springsteen has long been a tactic for politicians looking to connect with the man (and woman) on the street.

Looking to build up patriotic fervour, Mr Barack Obama called on Springsteen to perform Land Of Hope And Dreams in Wisconsin on the final day of campaigning in 2012.

Springsteen's We Take Care Of Our Own was also played throughout the campaign and after Mr Obama's victory speech at his headquarters in Chicago.

Sales of the song reportedly rose 409 per cent following Mr Obama's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Springsteen's managers were said to have turned down Ronald Reagan's request to use his hit song Born In The USA as he was not a supporter of the 1984 Republican candidate.

4. Mitt Romney: Born Free by Kid Rock

Rapper Kid Rock sung his 2010 hit at a February 2012 rally in Detroit for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

"He loves Michigan and Detroit and so do I," Mr Romney said at the time.

The song struck the right chord, since a day later in the Michigan Republican primary, Romney polled ahead of his party rival Rick Santorum.

Rock said he drew plenty of criticism for his endorsement of Mr Romney, but he said it was his right to express his opinion, whatever it was.

"I got friends that didn't vote, man. I wanted to smack them upside the head," he said.

The three-time Billboard Music Awards winner went on to sing at two more Mr Romney rallies, though it was not all sweet music as the Republican lost out to Mr Barack Obama in the race to the White House.

5. Newt Gingrich: Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich used the Rocky III hit during his 2012 campaign.

That was until the song's co-writer Frankie Sullivan filed a lawsuit against the veteran politician for using the song without permission.

Mr Gingrich initially refused to back down, finally settling the suit out of court.

That same year, Sullivan also demanded that the eventual Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stop using the song at his rallies.

6. John McCain: Take A Chance On Me by Abba

Wanting Americans to take a chance on him, John McCain used the 1977 classic from Swedish sensations Abba during his 2008 campaign.

Unfortunately for the ardent Abba fan, the election results showed that the public were more willing to take a chance on Mr Barack Obama than with him.

The Winner Takes It All, another Abba hit, seems more apt in this case.

7. John Kerry: Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival

The popular Vietnam war protest song was used by John Kerry for his 2004 campaign against Republican George W. Bush.

The song is about Americans with political connections who were able to evade war duty in Vietnam, and those who support the use of military force without having to "pay the costs" themselves, either financially or by serving during wartime.

During the campaign Mr Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, attempted to paint an unflattering portrait of Mr Bush as the "fortunate son" who used family connections to avoid being drafted into the war.

8. Bill Clinton: Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac

The 1977 song was used by Democrat Bill Clinton as the theme for his first campaign, most notably at the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

Upon his election victory, Mr Clinton managed to persuade the then-disbanded group to reunite for a special performance at his inaugural ball in 1993.

At the 2000 convention, he ended his speech by saying: "Keep putting people first. Keep building those bridges. And don't stop thinking about tomorrow!"

As soon as it ended, the song was blasted over the loudspeakers.

It was also heard at Mr Clinton's appearances at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 conventions.