Germany's opposition Christian Democrats insist they have the right to play the Rolling Stones hit Angie at leader Angela Merkel's rallies.
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The CDU leader is using the song in her battle to win next month's election.
But the rock band's agents, LD Communications, said no one had sought their permission and "we probably would have said 'no' if they had".
A CDU spokeswoman told the BBC News website the party did have the "performance right" for Angie.
"Today we got confirmation of the performance right from Gema," she said, referring to the German music distribution rights agency.
"We will continue using the song," she added.
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The controversy was first reported by Time magazine on Monday.
The conservative CDU - still enjoying a comfortable lead in the opinion polls - played Angie again at an election rally in Warnemuende, northeastern Germany, on Monday night.
The spokeswoman declined to comment on the suitability or otherwise of the song's plaintive lyrics, such as: "Angie, you're beautiful, but ain't it time we said good-bye?"
Another line might be deemed inappropriate for a party hoping to inspire voters: "All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke".
But many German voters, depressed by the country's economic malaise, might feel like singing along to the line: "When will those clouds all disappear?"
They might also agree with Angie that with "no money in our coats, you can't say we're satisfied".
Earlier this year Britain's Labour Party also used a rock song - Beautiful Day by U2 - without first asking the band's permission.