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Ches Crosbie, Tories asked not to use Séan McCann’s “Victory Song”

PC leader Ches Crosbie. (Jeff Pelletier photo)
PC leader Ches Crosbie. (Jeff Pelletier photo) - Contributed

Former Great Big Sea singer tweeted that song is about his personal victory over substance abuse and not for political purposes

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

By Jeff Pelletier

Special to the Telegram

Ches Crosbie has joined the long list of political candidates asked by artists not to use their songs at campaign events.

Former Great Big Sea singer Séan McCann took to Twitter late Wednesday night to call out the Crosbie campaign for the use of “Victory Song” as the theme song at the PC campaign launch event in St. John’s. At the launch event, the song was played on repeat several times before Crosbie’s speech and after as he greeted supporters.

“My #VictorySong is about winning my battle over addiction and never intended for exploitation by ANY political party. My permission to use the song was neither asked for nor granted so please stop,” McCann said on Twitter.

This is not the first time McCann’s music has been used in political campaigns. In 2000, Great Big Sea asked Stockwell Day not to use “Ordinary Day” during the Canadian Aliance’s federal campaign.

Crosbie was quick to respond. He tweeted: “Sean, you’re an inspiration to NLers everywhere. Wasn’t intended to be a ‘campaign song,’ but was played at campaign HQ. It is a great song. No harm intended, keep making amazing music.”

Crosbie followed up Thursday morning after calls for an apology.

“To be clear, we’re sorry, we made a mistake in playing the song last night and it won’t happen again,” he tweeted.

The Crosbie campaign is not first campaign to be asked by artists not to use their music. Several other campaigns, mostly in the U.S., have also been called out for the exact same issue.

Then-candidate Donald Trump and the Republican Party were called out by Queen in 2016 for their use of “We Are The Champions” at the Republican National Convention. Trump was also asked by the Rolling Stones to stop using their song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” has been used by several American political campaigns, notably Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign. Springsteen has responded to politicians’ use of the song by suggesting that they look into the meaning, as the song criticizes American nationalism and the Vietnam War.

In 2017, Eminem won a lawsuit against the New Zealand National Party. The rapper was awarded $225,000 over the party’s unauthorized use of “Lose Yourself” in a 2014 election campaign video.

Other notable politicians who have been called out for the unauthorized use of songs in campaign events include Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich.

Premier Dwight Ball called the provincial election last light. The date is set for May 16.

Jeff.pelletier@thetelegram.com


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