Republican Convention theme song: ‘Look Out Cleveland’

The Band's "Brown Album," cover photo by Elliott Landy, late 1960s. (L-R): Richard Manuel, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson.

The Band’s “Brown Album,” cover photo by Elliott Landy, late 1960s. (L-R): Richard Manuel, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson.

“Look out, Cleveland, a storm is comin’ through. 

And it’s runnin’ right up on you …”

Here’s your theme song for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland July 18-21: “Look Out Cleveland,” written by Robbie Robertson for The Band’s 1969 self-titled album.

It’s not about the city in Ohio, but so what?

In post-truth America 2016, facts are mere distraction.

“Look Out Cleveland” is a rowdy tune that doesn’t require deep thought, making it spot-on for the kind of storm that’s comin’ through northeast Ohio in a couple of weeks — courtesy of Donald Trump and his latest reality TV sideshow.

Consider this verse, written in the late ‘60s when America wasn’t so great either, especially if you were black, poor or getting sent off to die in a war:

“Hidin’ your money won’t do no good, no good

Build a big wall, you know you would if you could, yeah

When clouds of warnin’ come into view

It’ll get the ol’ woman right outta her shoe”

That’s Trump’s campaign in a nutcase — hide money, build a wall and knock Hillary Clinton off her feet when she’s not tripping herself up.

No matter how gauche and offensive Trump gets in Cleveland, if Clinton’s pesky trust-fall problems continue beyond the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia later this month, it could be all over.

Immediately after the election, President-elect Trump will announce plans to appoint Robbie Robertson as White House speechwriter and ambassador to his native Canada — the destination of many in this country planning to Amerexit.

In “Look Out Cleveland,” Robertson has already scripted Trump’s Christmas card to Congress and to Hillary.

“There’ll be thunder on the hill;

Bye bye, baby, don’t you lie so still.”

As much as I fear an America under Trump, my immediate worry is for Cleveland, a city that has endured more than its share of hardship and bad PR. That finally changed this year when Obama supporter LeBron James worked his Cavalier magic on the floor of Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

The Republican convention’s impact on Cleveland might not be so good, if you listen to Robertson.

This old town’s gonna blow away.”


About Jim McKeever

Writer, father, runner, advocate based in Central New York.
This entry was posted in Irish Investigations, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Republican Convention theme song: ‘Look Out Cleveland’

  1. reocochran says:

    The Band and many of the rockers I saw while growing up must cringe to see how far backwards we have gone! Jim, I may be on the same page or very close to it, mascaras how the current political scene represents.
    Long way from the best convention rally(okay ONLY) I ever went to: Democratic Convention in Cleveland for George McGovern. Great musicians: S &G, Jame Taylor, Carly Simon, Carole King and “peace with progress” the prevailing theme. . .


  2. reocochran says:

    Oops, sorry! The silly cell phone took “as far as” and morphed it into mascaras. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ksbeth says:

    i love the band, one of my all time favorites and perfect pick for the upcoming storm.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. cat9984 says:

    I just hope they have enough horses. They’re good for controlling crowds and Trump may need more fertilizer.


  5. Mary M. McLaughlin, PhD. says:

    Ive read that some dt supporters plan to go there “heavily armed”

    Mary McLaughlin, PhD Executive Director Cape Haven, Inc. Website: Blog:


  6. chmjr2 says:

    As my grandmother said so many times “this to shall pass”. You know she was right. So find a seat batch up some popcorn and watch the show, or be an actor on the stage, or go hide under the bed. I survived the 60s in my teenage and young adult years. This must be my test as I get into my senior years. I know my core beliefs and I have great faith in this country. So while I am not a great actor I am still on the stage and will not get off. We have so many blessings we just need people to show them to us and help us move forward. That is what all of us should do.


  7. chmjr2 says:

    Oh yes I saw The Band in it’s farewell tour at Rich Stadium with Eric Clapton. Great show great music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim McKeever says:

      I’m envious, as I never saw them live (my oldest son saw Levon Helm with his band a year or two before he died). But I enjoy watching “The Last Waltz” most Thanksgivings.


  8. Angie Mc says:

    I’m reading “Bruce” by Peter Carlin and was reminded of Springsteen’s intersection with politics early in his career with Born in the USA and Ronald Reagan. Here’s another telling of the story from Politico . Hope your weekend is great, Jim 😀


    • Jim McKeever says:

      I remember the rampant cluelessness. A recent anecdote involves, I believe, an aide to Chris Christie wanting to use “Born to Run” in some rah-rah fashion about New Jersey — until they listened closely to “it’s a death trap, a suicide rap, we gotta get out while we’re young.” They went with Plan B, I think. Thanks, Angie!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Angie Mc says:

        Rampant cluelessness, that about says it all. Imagine how superior I felt at the time! I have more sympathy for CC who is a Springsteen fan, as he should be 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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