Although they are all very different in sound, there is a clear path in subject line between Johnson’s “My Mind is For Sale” and the following songs:


My Mind is For SaleIf You’re Gonna Build a WallLand of The FreeThat’s What Makes Us Great


Primarily, Johnson released his album, All The Light Above It Too on September 8, 2017, with the single, “My Mind is For Sale” which preceded the album with a release date of July 14, 2017.


Jason D’Amato creates a similar subject line concerning the wall and the division it creates against others through his song, “If You’re Gonna Build a Wall.” I was especially captivated by the way D’Amato’s music video parallels Johnson’s – both videos are creatively constructed and appear “hand-made” with stop and shoot film techniques. Johnson’s video features the construction and writing on of wooden blocks, whereas D’Amato’s portrays the handwritten pages of an exam. Despite their different visuals, both songs manifest the lyrics of the song in a powerful, creative way.


D’Amato’s chorus states,

“If you’re gonna build a wall,

You better be ready the day it falls.”


Stemming from this line, Johnson’s song features not only the construction of wooden blocks, but also the visual of Johnson himself knocking them down to the ground, sending the blocks everywhere.


Concerning the inspiration for this song, D’Amato states, “every time I turned on the TV or opened my computer, I was bombarded by the 24-hour news cycle. The dark and divisive rhetoric coming out of the Trump campaign was the initial spark.” It is evident that Johnson and D’Amato were prompted to create in similar ways.


Furthermore, The Killers recently released “Land of The Free,” in which immigration and the border wall is also discussed. However, this song expands the story with real-life visuals and video of immigrants in its music video. I think that this song and the music video are great extensions off of Johnson and D’Amato’s song, as it takes a “real-life” look at what is actually happening at the border through its music video. Similar to Johnson and D’Amato, the song serves as a critique of many issues, some of which being immigration and racial tensions.


Lastly, Bruce Springsteen and Joe Grushecky team up in this single, “That’s What Makes Us Great,” which dives deep into many of the issues that have been discussed throughout Johnson, D’Amato, and The Killers’ music.


The opening line states,

“They come from everywhere

A longing to be free

They come to join us here

From sea to shining sea.”


Immediately painting a picture of immigration and those journeying from afar to enter the U.S., Springsteen and Grushecky dive into the divide that has been placed between the states and those trying to enter, as well as the “con man” Trump and “his crooks.”  Although different in sound and style, the song and its content (the lyrics) creates a similar connection to the dialogue that is already being discussed; namely, Trump, his wall, immigration, and the racial divide that he is creating within our nation.


Through their connection to these main underlying social and political issues, the songs I have outlined form a connection and lineage to Johnson’s “My Mind is For Sale.”


Thanks for reading!