It now seems unlikely Winston Peters will get to croon ‘I told you so’, while Judith Collins’ theme song is looking less ‘Say a little prayer’ and more ‘Should I stay or should I go’. James Elliott breaks down politicians’ playlists.
It’s the final day of the election campaign and politicians the length and breadth of the country are summoning the last of their reserves of energy to get through the day. There will no doubt be excessive drinking, of coffee, energy drinks and whatever keeps Winston going, but don’t dismiss the motivating power of music. I’m grateful to Spotify for sharing with me what’s been on our politicians’ playlists during this campaign.
Let’s start with Winston who is not averse to harnessing the power of music. Remember his delight in playing ‘Burning bridges’ by the Mike Curb Congregation for a media gaggle in 2018 when Jami-Lee Ross was expelled from the National caucus? However, given NZ First’s parlous polling, on Sunday morning Simon might be suggesting the chorus of that song as an epitaph for Winston’s own political career:
“All the burning bridges that have fallen after me
All the lonely feelings and the burning memories”.
Winston however is still confident that NZ First will get over the line. All week the NZ First campaign bus has been swaying to ‘I will survive’, ‘I’m still standing’ and ‘Fool if you think it’s over’. Queued up for Sunday morning’s playlist, Winston’s got ‘I promised you a miracle’ and will be hoping his voice isn’t too hoarse so he can croon some Carrie Underwood lyrics down the line to Jacinda:
“I told you so, Oh I told you so
I told you some day you’d come crawling back and ask me to take you in”.
I reckon he won’t be getting that opportunity to croon and that it would be more realistic for him to queue up ‘The end’ by the Doors.
Queued up for Sunday morning’s playlist, Winston’s got “I Promised You A Miracle’ and will be hoping his voice isn’t too hoarse so he can croon some Carrie Underwood lyrics down the line to Jacinda: ‘I told you so …’
“I told you so, Oh I told you so
It’s a little too soon to know whether it’s also the end for Judith Collins. Last week her theme song was Aretha Franklin’s ‘Say a little prayer’. This week she was more combative, amping things up with the Beatles’ classic:
“Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her”.
And if she doesn’t “get her” – and she won’t – on Sunday morning Judith will be reflecting on how the National Party has always treated election losers as she tees up ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ by the Clash.
Jacinda has said that she’ll go if she loses the election, but I reckon she’ll be staying because she’ll win. All the polls have been belting out the Split Enz anthem ‘I see red’ and while she’s been wary about getting ahead of herself, those close to her have been hearing her quietly humming ‘Walking on sunshine’ all week. Come Sunday morning, Jacinda will no doubt assess that ‘We are the champions’ is a little too cheesy and opt for a leftfield choice, Britney Spears ‘Oops! …I did it again’.
‘Labour will do it again with the Greens’ is one of this election’s key imponderables. It hasn’t been a good campaign by the Greens, with mixed messages and a lack of visibility reflected in their playlist – ‘Help!’, ‘Remember me?’ and ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it’.
Meanwhile, slumped in a quiet corner, overcome by the Dettol fumes from deep cleaning his ZB studio, again, Mike Hosking is listening to an endless loop of ‘Me, Myself and I’.
The other key imponderable is how many new MPs the ACT party will take with him into Parliament. To this point, David Seymour’s theme songs have been ‘The passenger’, ‘Solitary man’ and ‘All by myself’ but that’s about to change. As many as eight or nine Act MPs are predicted to join David in Parliament to the accompaniment of ‘We are family’, ‘Let’s stay together’ and ‘Up where we belong’.
On the topic of belonging or more particularly not belonging, when Jami-Lee Ross created Advance NZ, the party theme song was the Bee Gees hit from 1968 ‘I started a joke’. But then Advance NZ merged with the New Zealand Public Party and a new song was needed, the obvious choice being ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley. Obviously. I also have a nagging suspicion that Radiohead made an eerie prediction about Jami-Lee Ross’s political career when they penned the lyrics to ‘Creep’ in 1992:
“But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here”
Continuing with the theme of not belonging, if you’re wondering why you haven’t seen much of Hannah Tamaki and Vision NZ during the campaign that’s because she’s been sidetracked by some classic Led Zep.
“There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”
And what of the pundits preparing for the live call on Saturday night and the analysis next week? Paddy Gower will be powering through with ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and John Campbell will be busting out some moves for the Pointer Sisters’ dancefloor filler:
“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it”
Meanwhile, slumped in a quiet corner, overcome by the Dettol fumes from deep cleaning his ZB studio, again, Mike Hosking is listening to an endless loop of ‘Me, myself and I’.