The spirited rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” that Vampire Weekend performed at a Sanders rally last night shouldn’t hide the fact that folk music is not his strong suit. In 1987, the Vermont senator released We Shall Overcome, a spoken word folk album he did with 30 Vermont artists. The result is simply painful, especially Sanders’s droning recitation of the Woody Guthrie classic that Vampire Weekend performed.
Sanders is likely to offend music lovers of all sorts. Genuine fans of folk music won’t like his mangling of the classics. But there is also the silent majority that might pretend to like folk music but secretly hate it, associating it with forced sing-alongs at summer camp and church. If Hillary Clinton is serious about winning, she needs to publicize Sanders’s folk album more.