10 Times Martin O’Malley Broke Into Song – Rolling Stone
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10 Times Martin O’Malley Broke Into Song

The Democratic candidate has covered everyone from Johnny Cash to Green Day

Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley has been known to turn his campaign events into folk rock concerts.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Even if you know next to nothing else about Martin O'Malley, you're likely aware of at least two facts: 1. He's running for president, and 2. He plays the guitar.

In fact, for more than two decades, O'Malley's been the frontman of the Irish folk rock band O'Malley's March, which once opened for his musical heroes, The Pogues.

As far as the campaign trail is concerned, O'Malley's handlers have encouraged him to show off his musical talents to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, and to whip out his guitar and strum a few chords of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" on The View.

The former governor of Maryland's wife was apparently less convinced the View stunt was good idea, as she told Rolling Stone's Stephen Rodrick, "I think Taylor Swift and Ryan Adams have really done that song justice and it needs nobody else."

Enjoy these ten moments in O'Malley's musical history, in which he covers everyone from Johnny Cash to Green Day.

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“Hail to the Chief” Campaign Teaser (May 2015)

The day before O'Malley launched his bid for the presidency, his team released a video in which the former Maryland governor teased his campaign by playing a few bars from "Hail to the Chief."

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Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” on “The View” (2015)

Earlier this month, O'Malley did an interview with the women of The View, and he brought along his guitar to help counter the star power Hillary Clinton had enlisted for an upcoming campaign event.

"Katy Perry, I'm told, is doing like a benefit concert for one my opponents in Iowa, so in response I thought I'd offer this up," the Democratic candidate said before breaking into Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."

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“This Land Is Your Land,” Busking on Wall Street (2015)

Earlier this fall, Martin O'Malley teamed up with the Independent Journal for a little stunt: The publication had O'Malley sing and play the guitar on Wall Street to see how much money he could make, as part of an effort to highlight Wall Street's influence on electoral politics.

"We asked presidential candidate Martin O'Malley how much money he thought he could raise on Wall Street," the video starts. The answer, apparently? $1.74. (Most people apparently didn't recognize him, though his rendition of "This Land Is Your Land" wasn't half bad.)

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“Folsom Prison Blues” at Bill’s Music (2010)

During his stint as governor of Maryland, in 2010, O'Malley stopped by local guitar shop Bill's Music, and ended up playing a little Johnny Cash for the crowd.

Lest anyone be confused, O'Malley confirmed after he finished his rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues," "Everybody, I am not Johnny Cash." Noted.

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“Ring of Fire” and More, Fundraising Event (2015)

In this 40-minute video captured by Business Insider, Martin O'Malley plays a number of songs with his band, O'Malley's March, at a fundraiser for his not-yet-launched campaign in March.

O'Malley and his bandmates covered some of the candidate's favorites, like Johnny Cash ("Ring of Fire") and Woody Guthrie ("This Land as Your Land"), and also branched out into The Pogues ("Body of an American").

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“Thank You Kathryn,” Campaign Contest Video (2015)

Recently, the O'Malley campaign ran a contest: One lucky donor would receive a personalized song sung by the Democratic candidate himself.

The winner was Kathryn Touloumis, and the song O'Malley sang for her went like this:

"The quarter's finally over. We've got more gas in our tank. I can't tell you my excitement, because it's you I have to thank. It may seem like it's just money, but to me it's so much more. It keeps my staff door-knockin' in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and more."

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“Green Fields of France,” on an Annapolis Street (2014)

Last year, O'Malley was captured on video crooning the Irish folk song "Green Fields of France" on the street in Annapolis, Maryland.

Wearing casual shorts and a t-shirt, O'Malley ditched his trusty guitar for this sidewalk performance and instead picked up a banjo.

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Green Day’s “Good Riddance (The Time of My Life),” Band Performance (2011)

In this clip, O'Malley and his O'Malley's March bandmates start off playing The Pogue's "The Broad Majestic Shannon" at the Recher Theater in Towson, Maryland, in 2011.

Then the band switches to "Good Riddance (The Time of My Life)" by Green Day.

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“Scare Away the Dark,” Iowa Campaign Event (2015)

It seems one of Martin O'Malley's favorite ways to connect with voters on the campaign trail is by picking up his guitar.

In this video, the Democratic candidate leads a crowd of supporters in a sing-along of "Scare Away the Dark" by the British folk singer Passenger.

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