For my podcast, I have chosen Jack Johnson’s “My Mind is For Sale.” I am very excited to begin researching this song as I actually don’t know much about it to begin with. I had never heard the song before finding it for this project. However, I have always been intrigued and a lover of Jack Johnson’s music for its calm, beach-y vibe and natural sounding “folk-esque” music and melody. Combining that acoustic natural sound with a protest-based theme is the perfect fit for me with this podcast assignment!


Concerning genre, “My Mind is For Sale” aligns with the folk sound of the genre, as well as ties in perfectly with Johnson’s other songs. Its calm acoustic guitar and piano sound accompany Johnson’s smooth and peaceful voice in this song, as they often do throughout his music. His voice seems to float seamlessly through the song as he delivers his thoughts on the current presidency.


Since I don’t know much about this song, I am excited to begin researching it and find out why Jack Johnson decided to release such a political song. The bulk of his music usually touches on daily life occurrences and features very chill, non-provoking subjects. Thus, I could see listeners tagging this song as out of the ordinary for Johnson because of its political subject matter.


Concerning the political subject matter of this song, I believe that Jack is specifically touching on Trump’s presidency and sharing his view on Trump’s main goal throughout the bulk of his campaign, as well as throughout the time he has served in office: namely, the wall. I think it may be challenging to find out what pushed Jack to release a political song like this, but I have hope that there are interview transcripts available or other information on his thought-process and reasoning behind the song.


By researching this song, I hope to also connect it to its music video. In the home-made video by Johnson, he builds and constructs his son’s wooden blocks with the song lyrics, and knocks them down after each scene. Visually, this definitely drives home the main point and concern of the song – Trump’s wall. With over 4 million views on YouTube, I think that this video has definitely made an impact on the spread and awareness of the song. Further, I hope to research a bit into the lineage of folk music and how other folk artists have addressed Trump and/or his presidency in their own music. Since this was deemed out of the ordinary for Johnson, I am interested to see if this subject matter is also produced less by other folk artists. I would be surprised to see a scarcity in other folk songs that touch on Trump’s presidency, as Johnson’s song definitely connects to the tumultuous time that we have been living in. This particular time in history will definitely be looked back upon with a focus on Trump’s wall. From the time of this song’s release in 2017 to now, the wall has been an overarching concern for both sides of support and opposition.


To me, this song is very intriguing. As I have said before, I am not used to hearing a political message through Johnson’s music. I am excited to see if this will be a turning point in Johnson’s career and if he will release other political songs or songs relating to other social issues in his lifetime. I think it is important, especially for Johnson’s audience to hear a song like this, as it allows the listener to reflect on his / her own thoughts concerning the presidency and Trump’s wall, regardless if they support or oppose him and his wall.


The concerns that I have for this project lie mostly in finding interviews, resources and other information on folk music that have also touched on Trump’s presidency, as well as finding interviews or information about the inspiration behind this song from Johnson directly. I hope that I am able to find interviews or other information from him about what pushed him to compose and produce this song, as it stems into a political realm that he hasn’t been seen in before. I am personally intrigued by this, and hope that others are too!


Looking forward to beginning to dive deeper into this project.