The 1980s hit Eye of the Tiger has become the eye of a storm after anti-gay marriage clerk Kim Davis emerged from jail this week to the strains of the song.
Davis had served five days for refusing to grant marriage licences to same-sex couples. The song, which is best known for being featured in the 1982 film Rocky III, accompanied her triumphant gestures as she was welcomed by a crowd of supporters on a stage alongside Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
The unauthorised use of the song certainly hit a sour note with members of rock band Survivor with co-founder Jim Peterik telling CNN he was “gobsmacked”.
“We were not asked about this at all. The first time we saw it was on national TV,” he said.
“I have not authorised the use of Eye of the Tiger for use by Kim Davis and my publisher will issue a C&D (cease and desist order). This does not reflect my views,” Peterik wrote on Twitter.
Guitarist Frank Sullivan told Rolling Stone: “I do not like mixing rock and roll with politics. They do not go hand in hand.
“What upset me most was that, once again, my song was being used to further a political agenda — and no one even bothered to ask permission.”
In 2012, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich used Eye of the Tiger as entrance music during his campaign rallies. A lawsuit was filed in that situation, though the two parties settled out of court under undisclosed terms.
Huckabee orchestrated the pro-Davis rally outside the Carter County Detention Centre in Grayson to capitalise on Davis’s sudden five minutes of fame.
“If you have to put someone in jail, I volunteer to go,” he told the crowd. “Let me go. Lock me up if you think that’s how freedom is best served.
“Because folks, I am willing to spend the next eight years in the White House leading in this country. But I want you to know I’m willing to spend the next eight years in jail, but I’m not willing to spend the next years in tyranny under people who think they can take our freedom and conscience away.”
Politicians have a habit of rocking the boat in the music world.
Donald Trump upset legendary rocker Neil Young when the real estate mogul co-opted his classic hit Rockin’ in the Free World for his recent presidential campaign launch.
In 2008, Heart took offence at its song Barracuda being used at rallies for vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose nickname was “Sarah Barracuda”.
And the Dropkick Murphys came out swinging when their music was used by Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker.
They tweeted: “Please stop using our music in any way … we literally hate you!”
All we can say is God Bless America!