One of Donald Trump’s many claims from the 2016 campaign trail that got fact checkers scurrying to their records was that he’d built his massive empire off a small loan from his father. As it turns out, Fred Trump loaned his son nearly a million dollars to help him build New York’s Grand Hyatt hotel in 1978 — the move that put the younger Trump on the map. In a brand new song to kick off a multi-faceted anti-Trump initiative, Death Cab For Cutie has made the Republican candidate’s dubious claim its target.
It’s called “Million Dollar Loan,” and it’s the first installment of a Dave Eggers-headed series called 30 Days, 30 Songs. Every day through Election Day 2016, an artist will share a previously-unreleased song geared towards ensuring Trump never sniffs the White House. From Death Cab, we get the lyric video for “Million Dollar Loan,” produced by Simian Design. It’s actually a soothingly catchy song, as strong as anything off their 2015 album Kintsugi. It doesn’t sound outwardly bitter, but their point is clear:
“You reap what you sow / From a million dollar loan / Call your father on the phone / And get that million dollar loan.”
With gentle acoustics and percussive clatter behind them, Ben Gibbard’s vocals lament one-percenter excess in much the same way they’ve previously pined for lost loves.
30 Days, 30 Songs will also include submissions from Aimee Mann, Thao Nguyen, clipping., My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bhi Bhiman and a previously unreleased live recording from the still-broken-up R.E.M. All proceeds will go towards the Center for Popular Democracy (CDP), particularly its efforts to register all American citizens to vote.
Find Gibbard’s statement on “Million Dollar Loan” below:
Lyrically, “Million Dollar Loan” deals with a particularly tone deaf moment in Donald Trump’s ascent to the Republican nomination. While campaigning in New Hampshire last year, he attempted to cast himself as a self-made man by claiming he built his fortune with just a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father. Not only has this statement been proven to be wildly untrue, he was so flippant about it. It truly disgusted me. Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unworthy of the honor and responsibility of being President of the United States of America, and in no way, shape or form represents what this country truly stands for. He is beneath us.