Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images
Joe Biden‘s inauguration had the music in it — specifically, the music of the New Radicals.
The beloved alternative rock band reunited for the first time since their 1999 breakup for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris‘ virtual “Parade Across America” on Inauguration Day. The band performed their hit song “You Get What You Give,” which has a deeply personal connection to the Biden family: it served as an inspirational anthem while the president’s son Beau Biden battled the brain cancer that ultimately took his life in 2015.
“During breakfast, Beau would often make me listen to what I thought was his theme song, ‘You Get What You Give’ by the New Radicals,” President Biden wrote in his 2017 autobiography Promise Me, Dad. “Even though Beau never stopped fighting and his will to live was stronger than most — I think he knew that this day might come. The words to the song are: ‘This whole damn world can fall apart. You’ll be OK, follow your heart.'”
The song was also the walk-on music for Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff on the 2020 campaign trail.
New Radicals lead singer Gregg Alexander (wearing an identical hat to the one he wore in the song’s music video) dedicated their performance to Beau Biden and to the new administration, saying in a pre-taped introduction, “When we heard that ‘You Get What You Give’ was a Biden family anthem, we pledged that if Joe won, we’d get together and play our little song, both in memory and in honor of our new president’s patriot son Beau, and also with the prayer of Joe being able to bring our country together again.”
The band altered the song slightly for their performance, removing the controversial rapped bridge name-checking Beck, Hanson, Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson. (The bridge’s lyrics “Health insurance, rip-off lying” probably weren’t ideal for the event, either.)
“For the inauguration and only four minutes to play, I couldn’t get to the rap part anyway,” Alexander told Rolling Stone.
You can watch the New Radicals’ performance in the video above.