Music of the spheres
A sentence on the front page of my morning paper caught my eye. The story was about the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un who greeted his visitor while “a brass band played the North Korean leader’s personal arrival song.” Arrival song? Has diplomacy taken on the patina of Major League Baseball where a batter gets to choose the stadium music played as he walks to the plate? For example, Justin Smoak of the Blue Jays takes his practice swings to the sound of Brantley Gilbert’s “The Weekend.”
Maybe Kim’s arrival song is simply the modern-day inheritor of campaign music that had its beginnings with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Happy Days Are Here Again.” To my mind, the best political campaign song, certainly the most ironic, was John McCain’s 2008 pick of Abba’s “Take A Chance On Me” when he sought the presidency with the inimitable Sarah Palin as his running mate.
To that end, I’ve come up with a few selections of my own, trying to match the right music with the right person in the public eye. During the NAFTA talks, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland should face the press scrum while playing Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Donald Trump conjures up many possibilities such as “I’m So Groovy” by Future, but my favourite is “Bad Boy for Life” by Puff Daddy.
From history, Charles de Gaulle’s theme song could be Edith Piaf’s soul-searching, “Non, je ne regrette rien.” As for Maxime Bernier, leader of the freshly launched People’s Party of Canada, his best call to arms is Paul Anka’s “Lonely Boy.” For Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, “Under Pressure,” by Queen. And for Justin Trudeau, who is no longer what he seemed, what else but Eric Church’s “Lotta Boot Left to Fill.”