Naming a cabinet, meeting his fellow world leaders, running the country—Paul Martin can get on with these mundane matters now that he has the really tricky challenge out of the way: choosing the right campaign theme song. It’s a test that past political greats and not-so-greats have failed. In the 2000 election, Jean Chrétien hit the hustings to a thudding beat that turned out to be (gasp) not even Canadian, but a European dance track. Worse still, Stockwell Day started out using Great Big Sea’s Ordinary Day, but had to stop when the band complained. Martin has danced around such miscues. He mounted the stage at the recent Liberal convention to a specially commissioned uptempo confection, a tune that got the faithful grooving and should carry him nicely through the election expected next spring.
The song is by Ian LeFeuvre, leader of Starling, a critics’ favourite power-pop outfit from Ottawa with a new CD due next year. The 34-year-old singer, guitarist and ace producer is a long-time pal of Martin spokesman Brian Guest. “Brian’s a friend of mine and I trust him and that’s as far as my affiliation goes,” LeFeuvre told Maclean’s, though he does like the sound of Martin’s Bono-influenced support for forgiving the debt of Third World countries. He said the lyric—Here we go now/On a roll now—was suggested by the Martin campaign. (And they say political pros lack soul.) But the still-untitled tune is being referred to by insiders as “The Hoo, Hoo, Hoo, Hoo Song,” thanks to its sunny background vocal. LeFeuvre says he’s still tweaking the sound in studio, but he’s happy with it. Hoo hoo. JOHN GEDDES
Paul Martin may be friends with Bono, but he called on LeFeuvre (above) to write his campaign song
Listing I A warm reception for Cold Mountain
World Literacy of Canada presents Cold Mountain on Dec. 11 in Toronto Ever since Anthony Minghella brought Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient to the screen in ^ PBB': 1996, the British director and the Canadian novelist have remained gfT jj Hftj, close friends-and send each other drafts of their work for comment. SÍ Wmh At t*ie Canadian premiere of Minghella’s latest film-starring Jude Law nê TSUÎ and Nicole Kidman-Ondaatje will moderate a talk between the 9É U, m Hr director and Cold Mountain author Charles Frazier, www.worldlit.ca
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