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On John Oliver's show, musicians demand politicians stop using their songs

Technically Incorrect: In a hilarious indictment of politicians who purloin songs and often don't realize what the lyrics actually say, the HBO comedian brings together Usher, Sheryl Crow and many others to fight back.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Usher would like to usher politicians away from his music.

Last Week Tonight/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There's a certain arrogance about politicians.

They claim that only they can fix things. They claim that only they represent fairness, justice and freedom.

And then they go and pilfer music for their conventions, without the permission of artists.

Some artists have had enough.

So on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver brought them together for a sort of "We Are The World. Get Your Tiny Hands Off Of Our Songs" performance.

This is a serious situation, said Oliver.

Why, when Republican candidate Scott Walker used a song from the Dropkick Murphys, they tweeted back at him: "We literally hate you."

So here were Usher, Michael Bolton, Heart, Sheryl Crow and many others to sing "Don't Use Our Song."

The song explains that politicians should ask for permission -- which they likely won't get.

Worse, often these political types just hear the name of the song and don't listen to the actual lyrics.

Ronald Reagan, for example, used Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA," in the belief that it was a positive anthem, rather than a lament about Vietnam.

"It might seem appealing," these stars sing. "But you're just stealing."

Sadly, politicians seem all too happy to steal songs, ideas, speeches and anything else they can put to mercantile use.

It's all to make us feel good, you understand.