Obama Concluded Acceptance Speech with Brooks & Dunn’s “Only In America”

Brody Vercher | August 29th, 2008

  1. Chris N.
    August 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Kix Brooks just released a statement:

    “Seems ironic that the same song Bush used at The Republican Convention last election would be used by Obama and the Democrats now. Very flattering to know our song crossed parties and potentially inspires all Americans.”

    He doesn’t seem terribly upset.

  2. leeann
    August 29, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I think I remember reading in the Rednecks and Bluenecks book that the actual writers of the song lean left. Don’t quote me on that though.:) I think the theme is universal though. I will admit that it did seem a bit odd, since I associate the song with B&D and they’re no Springsteen.

  3. Kevin Coyne
    August 29, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for the link.

    Regarding Obama, I’d say that using the song “Only in America”, recorded by an act that is clearly associated with a Republican act (Brooks & Dunn) is an act of hubris, but given that he accepted his nomination in a stadium resembling a Greek temple, it’s one of his smaller ones.

  4. leeann
    August 29, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Well, I guess Kixx doesn’t lean left…

  5. Rick
    August 29, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Another slow news day eh? Well in that case let me give a quick summary of the “Desert Rose Band” concert I saw last night!

    The temporarily reunited Desert Rose Band was really having a great time on stage at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, so much so that Chris Hillman commented a couple of times the band was having more fun than the audience was. It was a real treat to see and hear legendary steel player J.D. Manus in action, and guitarist (actually multi-instrumentalist) John Jorgensen can pick with the best. J.D. first worked with Chris when the Byrds were recording “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” in Nashville, and they been working together off and on ever since.

    The set list included the radio hits from the DRB but it was the covers I enjoyed the most. Their cover of the old Johhny & Jack song “Ashes of Love” (that began life as a rumba beat song) nearly tore the roof off. Chris praised Buck Owens as an inspirational force that helped give birth to The Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and even the Eagles. Their covers of “Hello Trouble” and “Together Again” were a fitting tribute. For a Byrds song Chris chose Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” as a sing-along song. The Gram Parsons’ colloborations played were “Wheels” and the closing song of the second encore “Sin City”. Chris explained “Sin City” was Gram and himself expressing an opinion on Hollywood at the time and the last verse was to honor the memory of Bobby Kennedy. It was a great show and if it comes your way, GO! (lol)

    PS – Chris commented that he had a great band up there on stage, so why did The Eagles make so much more money? (lol)

  6. Brody Vercher
    August 29, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Another slow news day eh?

    What gave it away?

    I like the concert wrap-up, unfortunately they only have maybe four dates together and I don’t think they’ll be coming anywhere close to Texas. Bummer.

  7. Stormy
    August 29, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Matt asks if anyone else finds it odd that Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America” was played at the end of Obama’s acceptance speech last night in light of the fact that it was also George W. Bush’s campaign theme song in 2004.

    Also because there was no country listed on his favorite songs list.

    I doubt that Brooks and Dunn are disappointed with the free publicity.

    John Rich, however, is probably pissed that John McCain is making the rounds with Daddy Yankee.

  8. Kevin Coyne
    August 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    This year’s nominees just aren’t that into country. In 2000, both Bush and Gore had country-dominated musical favorite lists.

  9. leeann
    August 29, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Wasn’t Hillary’s campaign song originally going to be a Celine Dion song? I’m doubting that Hillary listens to much Celine Dion, at least I hope not.

    I think people’s campaign songs don’t always reflect their personal music tastes. “only In America” did seem to be a strange choice though, but mostly because I’ve never thought that song was very strong. I’ve never liked it.

  10. Stormy
    August 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Leeann: But just going off his favorite lists there were “Touch the Sky” and “Ready or Not.” Also, Lauren Hill’s “Every Ghetto, Every City” hits a lot of the same notes, only stronger.

  11. leeann
    August 29, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I don’t know those songs. Maybe he was trying to be ironic? I have no idea, really.

  12. Stormy
    August 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Leann: You might take a listen to The Miseducation of Lauren Hill. Its technically Hip Hop, but its very jazz oreinted Hip Hop with personal, spiritual and social lyrics.
    Much of contemporary music makes me think of this line of hers:
    Come on baby, light my fire
    Everything you drop is so tired
    Music is supposed to inspire
    How come we ain’t getting no higher?


    In fact, the whole Similar Artists thing there are the women in contemporary R&B and listen to if you don’t want to hate women in R&B.

  13. Rick
    August 29, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I’ve heard that Obama really wanted to close with the national anthem of the former Soviet Union but his advisers told him the connotation of “Change” that evoked might tip off the clueless voters of this country to his true intentions….. (how’s that for extremely inflammatory political rhetoric? You can’t see it, but I’m sticking out my tongue right now and saying: “neener, neener, neener”.)

    The Photocrap album covers are their usual perceptive hoot and a holler. After a week’s mind numbing news coverage of the dog and pony show otherwise known as the Democratic National Convention, I needed something to cheer me up! Thanks, Trailer!

    Wow, Kellie Pickler is dating a musician! I’m glad to see some country music news of earth shattering significance has finally been reported today! (lol) I’d like to see an interview with her new beau where they ask him what he thinks of artificially enhanced bosoms in general….

  14. Chris N.
    August 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    So sad. Fifty years after McCarthy, and calling Democrats “commies” is still the best they can do.

  15. Razor X
    August 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    What is it about Trisha Yearwood and planes? Wasn’t she the one who demanded a flight be stopped a few years ago because she heard some banging below her seat and it turned out that someone was trapped in the cargo area of the plane?

  16. Paul W Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    What is really sad, Chris, is that 15+ years after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the release of the Venona documents proving that McCarthy, while a boorish swine, was correct in nearly all of his assertions, the mainstream press refuses to acknowledge the truth. That’s sad, because ultimately, the only force for good is truth.

  17. Paul W Dennis
    August 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Photocrap really is a hoot !

    The Del McCoury idea is interesting – let’s see if it takes off.

    I’d love to see Desert Rose perform live. It is unusual to find superstar musicians as totally compatible as these guys were at their peak, capable of keeping their egos in check and work for the greater good

  18. Lynn
    August 29, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I was also surprised by the use of “Only in America.” Not because it was a country song performed by a couple of Bush supporters, but because it didn’t fit with the evening. It felt strange.

    However, I don’t care what side of the aisle you support, last night was awesome simply for the fact that over 38 million people watched Obama’s speech, which is more than the Oscars, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and the American Idol finale. I don’t know about some of you, but I was M-O-R-T-I-F-I-E-D that more people voted in the American Idol finale than in the last presidential election. (I know, you can vote more than once for AI, but still!!) That was an incredibly sad commentary on the state of our nation. Let’s hope the RNC is just as successful. It does my heart a lot of good to see people engaging in society. (Maybe it will inspire some songwriters to re-engage in reality, and stop writing cheesy cliched love songs!)

  19. Jim Malec
    August 30, 2008 at 5:06 am

    Paul, that is so far from the truth.
    There is no evidence that the 349 people “identified” in Venona were actually involved in any illegal spy activity, were actually a part of a vast “red spy” network inside America, or were, in any way, involved in illegal sharing of information.

    The problem is not that an individual wanted to weed out spies, but that an individual demonized anyone who associated with a specific strand of information (often when they didn’t), without regard for whether or not there was actually any espionage taking place.

  20. Blake
    August 30, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Razor X,

    Yes, that was indeed Trisha Yearwood–in 1996. In fact, that act of quick thinking saved the man’s life.

  21. Baron Lane
    August 30, 2008 at 10:02 am

    The DNC closing song was like the GOP using Bruce Springsteen. Don’t the Dems know that Ronnie Dunn is a hard-core Republican? They couldn’t find any Steve Earle or Dixie Chicks? Jeeez!

  22. Troy
    August 30, 2008 at 10:03 am

    If I was running for president i think my acceptance speech would end with our song

  23. leeann
    August 30, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Lynn, I’m with you. It’s really nice to see that people are so interested in politics this time around. I think you hit my problem with the song being used on the nail. It just didn’t seem to fit the feel of the evening. We hear this powerful speech, but it’s concluded with a less than inspiring song. The same sentiments could have been expressed in a less cheesy and more interesting way than the way this song did it. It’s just a crappy soundtrack type of song anyway. I always thought the Obama people should have used the Dixie Chicks’ “I Hope.”

  24. Stormy
    August 30, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Paul: The reason that the mainstream press ignores McCarty’s assertations because its not relevant that Kazan, for example, was a communist. There is no evidence that there was anything anti-American about being him being one.

    Baron: It wasn’t EXACTLY the same a Reagan using Born In the USA because it lacked the irony. Only In America is an actual patriotic song and not one that is basically against everything Obama stands for.

  25. leeann
    August 30, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Yes, that is the difference between the use of the two songs by the respective parties.:) However, the Republicans who accuse Democrats of being Communists probably suggest that Obama isn’t patriotic, which is absurd.

  26. Stormy
    August 30, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Actually, the people who accuse democrts of being communist probably think that Obama is a dangerly radical Muslim opperate. In which case he is just using Only In America to further his dangerous Mulsim agenda.

  27. leeann
    August 30, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Which is even more absurd.:)

  28. Dylan Gramm
    August 30, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I thought the choice of song fitted perfectly with the speech and one of the major themes of his campaign – that ‘Only In America’ could his personal life story happen. Bill Maher pointed out the line ‘One might end up going to prison, One just might be President’ as particularly relevant.

  29. Stormy
    August 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Dylan: Or, perhaps, Indonesia.

  30. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 11:46 am

    To me, the song just didn’t seem as powerful as the speech. It seemed anti-climactic….probably because the song bores me, the melody and production alone. It’s hard for me to get to the lyrics if I’m confronted by a dull melody and production. I like the sentiments of the lyrics, but not how the sentiment was executed.

  31. Brady Vercher
    August 31, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I think it’s funny that the song outshone the speech. I didn’t watch the speech and haven’t seen a single line from it in the press coverage. Everything has been centered around the use of the song.

  32. Jim Malec
    August 31, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Brady…Brady. Really. What news coverage are you watching? Outside of the country music blogesphere, I haven’t even heard a single mention of the song being used.

  33. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Me either, actually. I’ve only seen it here and CMT.com blog (I’m sure other country music relate sites as well), but Not MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN. I don’t watch Fox, so I can’t say anything about that channel’s coverage of it.

  34. Thomas
    August 31, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    the swiss papers were full of coverage of the democratic party convent in denver and barack obama’s speech was outstanding, according to the press here. “only in america” wasn’t mentioned, however. perhaps it’s “too country”.

  35. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    While I hate to quote Pat Buchanan (who happens to be among the most conservative people that I can think of and certainly not an Obama supporter), but he said, “It was a genuinely outstanding speech. It was magnificent. It is the finest – and I saw Cuomo’s speech, I saw Kennedy in ’80, I even saw Douglas MacArthur, I saw Martin Luther King – this is the greatest convention speech, and probably the most important because unlike Cuomo and the others this is an acceptance speech. This came out of the heart of America and he went right at the heart of America…”

  36. Jim Malec
    August 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    The speech was so great because it was so substantive. It was like he let his critics keep saying “he’s got no substance” over and over and then–WHAM! Now they look silly.

  37. Matt B.
    August 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm


    Exactly. It was a speech that even Bill Clinton would’ve been proud of. I think the ‘lack’ of coverage that Brady’s talking about might be more due to the fact that McCain chose to announce his running mate right after it.

  38. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Matt, Brady said that everything (the coverage) has been centered around the use of the song.

  39. Matt B.
    August 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm


    I know but I thought that by ‘everything’ covering the song that meant that the speech wasn’t covered.

  40. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Now, we’re parsing Brady’s words.:)

  41. Brady Vercher
    August 31, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Heh, I knew that’d get a response. I haven’t heard the speech, but I was joking about the song outshining it. I mainly get my news from CNN (most user-friendly major news site) and a few other sites, but hardly watch TV. There’s been plenty of coverage about the song, though.

    I just get tired of hearing how every Obama speech is historic and better than the last and all the comparisons to MLK’s speech. It’ll be historic if he gets elected and then maybe some of the lines will be quoted. To be honest, when Obama first threw his hat in the ring, I didn’t think he’d make a bad President, but I’ve read one of his books and though his rhetoric attempts to reach across party lines, his actions and plans don’t.

    Leeann, be careful assuming Pat Buchanan speaks for conservatives; it’d be just as easy to say Toby Keith or Michael Moore speak for liberals.

  42. Jim Malec
    August 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Obama’s Berlin speech was hammered. I explicitly remember CNN writing about how it was not up to his usual standards.

    Listen, Obama’s not a savior, and shouldn’t be taken as one. But what Obama is is an individual thinker. Does he reach across party lines? Well, Obama supports gun ownership rights, and he supports capital punishment. He even believes that the death penalty may be appropriate in cases of child rape, which is NOT a progressive or even ‘liberal’ viewpoint.

    What does it mean to “reach across party lines?” My question is this: if you’re looking for someone who is going to reach across party lines, are you going to vote for the guy who has voted with President Bush 90% of the time, or are you going to vote for the guy who has shown a genuine willingness to listen to the other side’s points?

    At the end of the day, you’re going to have to elect one partisan or the other. And you’re going to have a hard time telling me that McCain will be more willing to work with democrats than Obama will be willing to work with republicans.

  43. Troy
    August 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I don’t like Biden and and his speech about change in Washington then he picks someone whose has been there 30 years.

  44. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I actually think that Buchanan is more radical than most conservatives that I know. I certainly don’t think that he speaks for conservatives. That’s why I picked him; his rhetoric is usually even more extreme than any reasonable conservative. So, when he admits that Obama did something right, it’s surprising.

    I laughed out loud at your Toby Keith speaking for liberals comment though.:) Ick!
    I definitely don’

  45. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    What I was going to say before submitting prematurely is that I definitely wouldn’t claim that Obama is perfect by any means. I just prefer him to McCain and I prefer McCain to Bush.

    I love watching politics, but I actually hate to argue it, because I am not under the dillusion that I’ll change someone’s mind regarding politics. Cynical, I’m sure.

  46. Troy
    August 31, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I love watching politics, but I actually hate to argue it, because I am not under the dillusion that I’ll change someone’s mind regarding politics.

    I 100 percent agree with this comment.

  47. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    That’s why I choose to argue about country music instead.:)

  48. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Oh yeah, as far as praise for Obama’s speeches, I’ve definitely heard criticism of them, including on MSNBC. I remember thinking that his New Hampshire speech was good, but th commentators didn’t like the reliance on the teleprompter and certainly weren’t too impressed by the speech itself. And like Jim said, the Berlin didn’t go over too well at CNN.

  49. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Sorry for so many consecutive comments. I just want to say for the record that I will be watching McCain’s speech as well. I think it’s important to watch both sides, because while people like you and me won’t change my mind, the candidate himself has a chance of doing it.

  50. Brady Vercher
    August 31, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    My question is this: if you’re looking for someone who is going to reach across party lines, are you going to vote for the guy who has voted with President Bush 90% of the time, or are you going to vote for the guy who has shown a genuine willingness to listen to the other side’s points?

    There’s a difference between listening and actually taking those viewpoints into consideration. Obama has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate. The people he’s chosen to associate with have been highly suspect as well and can’t be entirely discounted. I’ll check out his speech, though, just so I can be enlightened.

    I also think it’s a pretty tough sell against gun ownership when the right is explicitly spelled out in the Constitution.

    Don’t mind me, though, I’m just a disillusioned voter sick of rhetoric from both sides. Which party supports a smaller federal government again? And a balanced budget?

  51. leeann
    August 31, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Brady, I’m with you there. Though I’m sure it’s for different reasons than you, both sides have ticked me off. While I tend to lean left on certain issues (I used to think I was squarely moderate, but have realized that I might have been kidding myself), the Democratic party can really disappoint me.

  52. Troy
    August 31, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I was thinking the same thing about Obama. I think Obama is more liberal then McCain conservative. When the first primary came of people the people that i wanted to win for parties Obama was overall at the very bottom of my list. I wanted McCain for republican and John Edwards for Democrats but that will never happened now

  53. Matt C.
    August 31, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Let’s get this whole “votes with Bush 95% of the time” thing straight because that number, while accurate, is dishonest.

    Most votes in the Senate are unanimous. That’s because most Senate votes are procedural or are about something that’s not the least bit controversial. Thus, even Obama probably votes with Bush about 80% of the time (to the extent that the phrase “votes with Bush” makes sense. Bush doesn’t vote.).

    Anyone who has paid attention to politics during the Bush Presidency knows that McCain has opposed Bush on more high profile legislation than any other Republican. That’s why a lot of conservatives don’t much like him.

  54. Hayda
    September 1, 2008 at 11:07 am
  55. Zach
    September 1, 2008 at 11:36 am

    McCain lost me when he picked Palin as his running mate. He’s 72 years old, has had multiple bouts with cancer, and now, if elected president, he’s putting the nation “one heartbeat away” from being run by a former Alaskan governor with only two years of state-level experience (and some controversy already plaguing her name). It’s a risky move for McCain, and it’s really not a risk that I’m willing to take.

  56. Matt B.
    September 1, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I’ve been for Obama since he decided to run but had Hillary beat him (as I expected her to do), I’d likely have voted for her. Of all of the republican nominees, I think McCain was the best chance to win. I primarily don’t like him because I feel he’s too old and thought his running mate was a key choice (when usually it isn’t as much). When Biden was Obama’s choice, I figured McCain would either pick a social conservative or a female or both (Which Palin seems to be). I think choosing a woman who would be of appeal to the social conservatives was the reason she was picked…

    The thing is: I’m just ready for a change and agree that Obama is a free thinker and while not 100% convinced of his ability to unite the country, I am sure he’ll lead us there. I like his speeches but am far from convinced they are all great. The Convention one was good though.

    OK, I think I’ll be quiet now about politics on this site (after starting the whole Brock one!)

  57. leeann
    September 1, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    By the way, I’m cool with political conversations, even when I differ from someone, but it’s just when they escalate to a certain level…and both discussions that I mentioned escalated to a place that made me very uncomfortable, a place beyond politics.

    Honestly, I support Obama, but I would have supported Hillary as well. When McCain first announced his campaign, I thought I would have been cool with him too and was looking forward to an election where either side would have been fine with me, but he’s changed from his “mavrick ways.” So, he’s not for me anymore.

    Okay, I swear that I’m done with politics on this site now.

  58. Jim Malec
    September 1, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I think Americans who say that they’d consider voting for either side haven’t thought a lot about the issues.

    There are fundamental differences–fundamental–between Democrats and Republicans. And while a person may have a certain degree of political independence, that person is ultimately going to support policies and appoint cabinet members and judges who adhere to their party’s fundamental beliefs.

    If a person votes for McCain because they think he’s the best to lead, they also have to realize they are voting for four years of an administration that is rooted in a certain type of social and economic thinking.

    Now, I don’t hate republicans. But I, as a Democrat (and a progressive one at that), would essentially never vote for a Republican. No matter how much I like or trust that person, no matter how “ready” that person may be to lead, he or she is still going to follow a line of thinking in general opposition to my own.

  59. Matt B.
    September 1, 2008 at 1:03 pm


    For the record, I have never voted for a republican, so even though I like McCain better than those he ran against, I also wasn’t ever going to vote for him.

  60. leeann
    September 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    For the record, I *have* voted for Republicans on a state level and I will continue to do so as long as my current two senators keep running. Furthermore, I couldn’t be more displeased with my State’s current Democrat governor. Jim, I can assure you that I’m an informed voter who immerses myself in “the issues.” I constantly read ews articles and watch the news itself, because I can’t get enough. Then again, I would never say that I’m proud to be a Democrat. While I identify more with the Democrat party, there are things about the Democratic party that tick me off beyond belief and often make me consider changing back to an Independent. Finally, saying that someone who would consider voting for either side isn’t thinking about the issues is unfair and somewhat nearsighted.

  61. leeann
    September 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Then again, Jim, Toby proclaiming to be a Democrat almost makes me rethink my position.:)

  62. Troy
    September 1, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I’m voting for John McCain but when the primary started if Romney won and John Edward won i would have voted for John.

    I don’t think its nearsighted because there are different groups where you could be Conservative or liberal. Southern Liberal that get elected tend to be more conservative in social issues in liberal in the other areas.

  63. Jim Malec
    September 1, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    My comment wasn’t really directed at you Leeann, or at anyone in particular.

    I take your point, though–poor choice of words on my part.

    What I would offer is this–if you’re a Democrat, and you’re unhappy with the job your elected Democrats are doing, don’t vote for someone who has fundamentally different views from your own–PRIMARY the Democrats who are in office. That’s the only way to make the point (for either party) that just aligning yourself with a party doesn’t give you electoral immunity.

    Voting for Republicans means voting for the things Republicans (substitute: Democrat) believe in.

  64. leeann
    September 1, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I take your point too. I think I know what you’re getting at.

    Troy, I’m a little confused by your point though. Are you agreeing or disagreeing?:)

  65. Troy
    September 1, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    disagreeing with the point because some candidates are more conservative or liberal in different areas

  66. leeann
    September 1, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Troy, okay, but I think that’s what I was basically saying.

  67. Troy
    September 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    srry i was agreeing with u but not with Jim

  68. leeann
    September 1, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Oh, I understand now. I was confused because you said “I don’t think it’s nearsighted…” and I had used “nearsighted” in my post.:)

  69. Corey
    September 1, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    The irony of using the song is that the essential message of the Obama Campaign, and the convention itself, was to move away change from the Bush Administration and the last 8 years. I find it comical that the last sound heard from the convention was the acceptance song of the very President that they are trying to move away from.

  70. Nashgirl
    March 13, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    obama should stick with hip hop where he belongs and stay out of country.

  71. Jon
    March 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    “obama should stick with hip hop where he belongs and stay out of country.”

    Whoa, nellie…

  72. northtexas
    March 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Nice job of stereotyping Nashgirl!

  73. Leeann Ward
    March 13, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Exactly what I was going to say, Jon.

  74. nm
    March 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I’m not surprised it would take someone six months to come up with a comment as insightful as that one.

  75. Kelly
    March 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Nashgirl…are you really Buddy Jewell??

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