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Cyrus Song Used By Bush Campaign

September 29, 2000

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ The George W. Bush campaign is giving the father of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus an achy breaky heart.

Ron Cyrus, a longtime Democratic Party activist and former state legislator, said he was stunned to learn that the GOP presidential candidate is using one of his son’s recent songs for its campaign theme song.

``We The People,″ by the younger Cyrus _ who is best known for his hit song ``AchyBreaky Heart″ _ was played at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia after Bush’s acceptance speech, and has been featured at campaign events nationwide.

``It’s a great hit for us and we’re very proud to have this as our official song,″ Bush spokesman Tucker Eskew said.

Bush staffers liked the song’s lyrics, which include: ``We pay the taxes, we pay the bills, so they better pay attention on Capitol Hill.″

But the elder Cyrus said the song doesn’t fit the Bush campaign.

``That’s a Democrat song _ that’s a working people’s song,″ Cyrus said he told his son.

The singer’s label, Monument Records, offered ``We The People″ to the Gore and Bush campaigns last summer, several months before its scheduled release. Only the Republicans expressed any interest, the label said.

``We The People″ was written by Monty Powell, Jimmy Lee Sloas and Anna Wilson and is featured on Cyrus’ disc Southern Rain, set for release on Oct. 17.

Billy Ray, a Flatwoods, Ky., native and himself a lifelong Democrat, said he has no plans to change party affiliations.

``I was born a registered Democrat,″ he said. He sang the national anthem at the 1996 Democratic National Convention and performed at the Clinton inaugural in 1997.

But he won’t say who he will vote for in the Nov. 7 presidential election.

``I want to hear what both men have to say,″ Cyrus said. ``I always pray that God gives me enough sense to vote for the right person.″

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