Track of the Day: 'Road to Hell'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

For our reader series of songs inspired by presidential candidates, Mark gets ambitious:

In your long list of endeavors this election cycle, I offer an album (in its entirety) that speaks to the different players in the election cycle of 2015-2016: Chris Rea’s Road to Hell, released in 1989. (The Geffen CD issue, which is what I’ve got, included “Let’s Dance.”)

1. “The Road to Hell (Part 1)” - This song is for the Vichy Republicans:

I said ‘mama I come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell’
She said ‘son this is the road to hell’

2. “The Road to Hell (Part 2)” - This song is for the Independents:

Oh look out world, take a good look
What comes down here
You must learn this lesson fast and learn it well
This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway
Oh no, this is the road
Said this is the road
This is the road to hell

3. “You Must Be Evil” - This song is for every breathing Democrat
regarding Trump:

You’re giving out some bad ideas here
I can’t believe that you don't realize
You must be evil

4. “Texas” - This song is for Ted Cruz (the reference to killing and Texas doesn't help):

Well my wife returns from taking
My little girl to school
She’s got beads of perspiration
As she tries to keep her cool
She says that mess it don't get no better
There’s gonna come a day
Someone's gonna get killed out there
And I turn to her and say

5. “Looking for a Rainbow” - This song is for the Trump believers:

Well we come down to the valley
Yea we're looking for the honey
I see a rainbow
I say that's the land of milk and honey

6. “Your Warm and Tender Love” - This song is for the il/legal immigrants:

I was a stranger to the land and life around
In constant danger, being hurt by what I found
And of hurting what I treasured most
Foolish eagle never dove
Till I fell upon your warm and tender love
In the shadows of your warm and tender love

7. “Daytona” - This song is for the hesitant Hillary voters:

Now she ain't easy so you take good care
Or she will scream down on your lust
She can please you like no other
Or she can leave you eating dust

8. “That's What They Always Say” - This song is for the Libertarians:

I’m getting out, I'm holding on
I'm hanging in, the time is wrong
And every morning brings another reason
A piece of cake, no lion share
Just one more dice and you'll be there
That golden bridge is just around the bend

9. “Let's Dance” - This song is for the apolitical (do any still exist?):

Caught in a world full of tears
So many bad times and fears
So while there's a chance and you're near
Let's dance

10. “I Just Wanna Be with You” - This song is for Bernie Sanders fans:

I just want to be with you
No matter what they say
Just want to be with you
Every night and every day
Cold nights, dark days
I want to be with you

11. “Tell Me There’s a Heaven” - This song is for the anti-Trump
Republican establishment:

Tell me
Tell me there's a heaven
Tell me that it's true
Tell me there's a reason
Why I'm seeing what I do

I only hope this exercise has not ruined what has always been a fantastic album to listen to.

Hat tip to a young lady named Maria, who goes by the name Ria, which
reminded me it's been a while since I listened to Chris Rea.

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)