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Band to Romney: Quit using our song, and it doesn't mean what you think it means.

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM   |   Comments

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Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Politicians have a habit of getting in trouble with their campaign's musical choices.

Mitt Romney's team is the latest to run afoul of the artist whose music they'd been using along the campaign trail. The Silversun Pickups reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to the Romney campaign, demanding they stop playing the song "Panic Switch" at events.

"We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign," the statement from front-man Brian Aubert said.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul denied the song was played intentionally, telling CBS News in an email that the song was accidentally played during setup before the candidate arrived.

Saul said the song would have been covered by the campaign's blanket license with BMI and ASCAP, but the band disagrees. Silversun Pickups are represented by an independent label, Dangerbird Records, a division of Fontana Distribution.

One place they do agree? That the song was a terrible choice for Romney's campaign.

"Anyone who attends Gov. Romney's events knows this is not a song we would have played intentionally," Saul said.

Aubert points out that the song really wasn't a good choice for Romney's message.

"We're nice, approachable people,." he said. "We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that 'Panic Switch' really sends the message he intends."

(Scroll down for "Panic Switch" lyrics)

The Romney campaign is hardly the first to appropriate a song and anger the artist in doing so.

Ronald Reagan famously (and hilariously, because he apparently never listened to the lyrics) quoted Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA," and Springsteen mocked the president's choice.

Both Bob Dole (1996) and Barack Obama tried to use Sam Moore's "Soul Man" in their respective campains--and were told to cut it out.

John McCain's 2008 presidential run really struggled to find a soundtrack to his presidential runs. Jackson Browne objected to his use of "Running on Empty," John Mellencamp told him to quit playing "Our Country" and "Pink Houses," and the Foo Fighters took offense to his use of "My Hero." And even his VP pick, Sarah Palin, got dinged for the use of Heart's "Barracuda."

Tom Petty asked George W. Bush's campaign to stop using his song "Won't Back Down" in the 2000 presidential run, and sent a cease and desist notice to Michele Bachmann's team for her use of "American Girl" in 2011.

The lyrics to "Panic Switch" probably aren't the message Romney wants to be sending about his campaign.

Time
It's never worth my time
Blue shine
Bleeds into my eyes

I still
Sleep on the right side
Of the white noise
Can't leave the scene behind

Could I be anything you want me to be
It's always meant to be seen

When you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Can you fall asleep with a panic switch

And when you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Do you think she'll sleep with the panic...

Mm, I'll try
To hold on tight tonight
Pink slip
Inviting me inside
Wanna burn skin
And brand what once was mine
But the red views
Keep ripping the divide

If I go everywhere you want me to go
How will I know you'll still follow

When you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Can you fall asleep with a panic switch

And when you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Do you think she'll sleep with the panic...

I'm waiting and fading and floating away
I'm waiting and fading and floating away
I'm waiting and fading and floating away
Waiting and fading and floating

[Guitar Solo]

I'm waiting and fading and floating away
Waiting and fading and floating away
Waiting and fading and floating away
Waiting and fading, waiting and fading

When you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Can you fall asleep with a panic switch

And when you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped
Will you step in line or release the glitch
Do you think she'll sleep with the panic...

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
The Romney-Ryan 2012 campaign
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Is it time to hit the panic switch? UPI/Nell Redmond .Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney introduces Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice presidential running mate on August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. UPI/Patrick McDermott
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