TMA Votes! A Playlist

October 14, 2020

By The TMA Music Team                                                                                   [Header image credit: Canva]

The 2020 Elections are well underway. Millions of voters have already cast their ballots and over the coming weeks more and more will vote either by mail or at the polls. At TMA, we encourage everyone to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and to use the power of their voice and their vote in helping to shape our democracy.

In that spirit, the TMA Music team has put together an inspirational playlist, with a note about what inspired each addition. We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed making it!

As you tune into the playlist, click here to locate your polling place.

Special thanks to our contributors Larry Weintraub, Susan Schwartz, Amanda Levine, Val Holmes, and Jason Blaine.


“Born in the U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen

A classic Americana song — and who doesn’t love Bruce! Makes me want to exercise my right to vote.

“Respect” – Aretha Franklin

If you’re going to vote in person, may you live in a town that respects your space and the ability to vote safely. If you are voting by mail, may you live in a town that respects your intelligence and that you know how to do this correctly.

“What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye

Originally recorded about police attacks on anti-Vietnam protestors and then re-recorded in 2001 by a ton of popular musicians to put a spotlight on the fight against AIDS. Overall, a meaningful song to bring to light issues happening in our country and the world.

“Changes” – David Bowie

Election time is when we utilize our American right and say: “Hey, it’s time for a change because I’m not happy with what’s happening in my city, my state, and my country.”

“Give a Little” – Maggie Rogers

I love the lyric, “If you give a little, get a little, maybe we could learn to love each other” — in a tense political climate, listening and compromise can go a long way!

“Fight the Power” – Public Enemy

Listening to this song at this time reminders me that if I’m not happy with who is making decisions on my behalf, then it is up to me to fight the power . . . and vote!

“People Get Ready” – The Impressions

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called this song the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.  It both uplifts and soothes the spirit.

“Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” – Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman was launched into stardom after performing this song along with “Fast Car” at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium.  It is just as relevant now with the many protests for social justice we’ve seen throughout the year.

“Dancing in the Street” – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Being able to participate in free elections should be a point of celebration! Also, this song makes me think of how joyful it will feel once the difficulties of COVID-19 begin to recede.

“Preach” – John Legend

As much of a global activist as he is a musician, John Legend released this song to encourage change through action—not just talking about it.

“Don’t Give Up On Me” – Andy Grammer

When you’re trying to impact change in the world, it is easy to get discouraged when there are so many roadblocks in your way.  It’s helpful to feel like there are people beside you committed to persevere.

“I Am Woman” – Helen Reddy

R.I.P, Helen!  This song is having a resurgence with her recent passing.  It speaks to women’s empowerment as many women are thinking about the struggles of our Supreme Court justice nomination and what it could mean for women’s rights.

“If I Had a Hammer” – Peter, Paul & Mary

This folk song is a classic of the Civil Rights Movement.  The harmonies of Peter, Paul & Mary are a joy to the ears.

“I Know a Place” – MUNA

Everyone has something about themselves that can make them feel different or alone.  Finding community and celebrating each other is what this tune is all about!

“Pink Houses” – John Mellencamp

A quintessential 80’s jam that has been used time and time again during political campaigns.

“What a Wonderful World” – Jon Batiste

“What a Wonderful World” is an iconic song, and this new version by Jon Batiste is intimate, personal, and moving.  A timeless reminder that, at its core, life is beautiful and that beauty is something worth fighting for.

Listen to the full playlist below…

[Note: may contain explicit content]

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music here.

About TMA Music

We help brands harness the power of music and use it to foster a deeper bond with your customers. Our team of seasoned experts helps you navigate the music industry to develop a comprehensive music strategy, ideate on creative music concepts, license songs, partner with the right talent, and execute on every facet of a music marketing program.