Election campaign

One thing missing from the campaign so far

We’ve had the battlebuses, the party political broadcasts, even the photo opportunities with cuddly animals.

But we’ve now had well over a week of electioneering and I’ve yet to hear evidence of any official campaign anthems.

Maybe we’re not going to get them this time. Perhaps using a popular song or a familiar tune on the campaign trail has fallen out of fashion.

It wasn’t very long ago that they were very much all the rage. Tony Blair’s three election victories were each soundtracked by a (reasonably) contemporary hit: Things Can Only Get Better by D:Ream in 1997; Lifted by The Lighthouse Family in 2001; and Beautiful Day by U2 in 2005.

But in 2010 I’m pretty sure Labour ditched the idea of an official campaign song altogether – or if they did use something, it was nothing well-known.

The Lib Dems used the song New Beginning by the former Boyzone member Stephen Gately in 2001. In both 2005 and 2010 there was nothing.

As for the Conservatives, I’m pretty sure they’ve never appropriated a song for an election campaign, at least not officially. When they used a hit by the band Keane in 2010, one of the group’s members tweeted his horror and said the party had not been given permission to play the tune.

The Tories have instead preferred to commission instrumental pieces from composers, the most famous example being Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992 – though in truth all he did was rearrange a bit of Henry Purcell.

There’s still time for one or more the parties in this year’s election to unveil an anthem. We’ve yet to have any proper manifesto launches, for example. That could be an ideal opportunity for a familiar tune to burst forth suddenly from a set of speakers and become forever more associated with a triumphant electoral victory or a humiliating nationwide flop. I’m all ears.


3 responses to ‘One thing missing from the campaign so far

  1. I do remember a Tory song from the 1983 campaign, I think, with the refrain ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher – not a man around to match her’

  2. I disagree. I think there are some great songs out there vying to capture our attention with regard to focusing on the candidates in the upcoming election. they are just more of a social commentary than a compelling electoral rallying cry. Of all the hilarious renditions on offer right now my favorite has to be the short, but impactfull “Ballot Ballard” featuring all four leaders of the “major” political parties we are being so strongly encouraged to support.

    David Camaron, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband appear to be performing to the tune of the boy-band song “I Swear” as they earnestly make their pledge to the British public. Farage and then Camaron glance knowingly skyward to the words “by the moon and the sky up above.” Watch out for Nigel’s wattle to start wobbling as he belts out “I’ll be there!” Nick Clegg gives us his best contrite, naughty schoolboy look, no doubt still apologizing for his tuition fee u-turn. Last, but not least, to the words “till death do us part,” Ed Milliband gazes soulfully into the camera with his classic pleading, doe-eyed look demanding our sympathy and support. The song is so carefully matched to past footage of the four leaders that it is really convincing; check out this must see clip: Go To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH0K_XIIBow&spfreload=10

    Cassetteboy’s “Emperor’s New Clothes Rap” has Cameron putting his message across in a genre I cannot quite imagine him being too familiar with; perhaps he has been out there hugging hoodies after all? George Osborn chimes in with his full support in a video that patches the actual words of all performers, just not quite as they would want to see them strung together in front of the British public. Not to be outdone Nigel Farage chimes in with his all too familiar message: “blame immigration.” This is a real classic that ends with comments from Russell Brant. To watch this tell it like it is video Go To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLGG5UGEKw

    This is not the only hysterically funny mélange on offer. Among the older pieces available on the Internet there is UKIP Hop / Dan Bull / Mashed, which features a “Nigel Farage” character both singing and dancing to get that all important message out there, Go To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNC2uflf65Y Who could ever forget the autotune remix with Nick Clegg portrayed singing the apology song, “I’m Sorry” song? It will be a while before that one fades, but just in case you have trouble finding it: Go To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLGG5UGEKw

    Only just released, “Change the Tune” implores us to look in another direction for inspirational leadership as it casts those same four political heavyweights as a one-of-a-kind boy-band seeking “party political harmony.” The character likenesses of the stand-in leaders are not great, but I am sure Mr. Farage has had any of his clones sent overseas. Put out by the Green Party, perhaps the intent was to be less offensive than the negative campaigning of a more realistic portrayal. It is funny and worth watching so Go To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPgS7p40ERg

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