Time to face the music Mr Prime Minister

Published: Mar 02, 2011, 05:54 IST | Prachi Sibal

That's the advice Palash Sen, lead singer of Indian Rock band Euphoria, has for Dr Manmohan Singh in Gumsum, a song dedicated to the Prime Minister

That's the advice Palash Sen, lead singer of Indian Rock band Euphoria, has for Dr Manmohan Singh in Gumsum, a song dedicated to the Prime Minister

Politics and music have always made for a heady cocktail. From providing hope to lost generations to encouraging citizens to strive for social change, politicians have managed to serve as the muse for several musicians.

Illustration: Satish Acharya

Right from The Byrds paying American President John F Kennedy a tribute with 'He was a friend of mine' and Neil Young's satirical 'Campaigner' for President Richard Nixon to 'Impeach the President' for George W Bush, the trend is not new.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh though didn't have to do too much to inspire Palash Sen, the lead vocalist of Indian Rock band Euphoria. "The man does not look in control of what is happening around him. He actually looks like a proxy PM," says the 45 year-old musician, who feels let down by Singh. "I feel cheated. I always thought of him as a hero and it hurts when a hero falls."

Palash has dedicated the song Gumsum to the PM in his as-yet-untitled album. "I want to urge him to wipe that sad look off his face and to smile for a change," he says, adding that the PM's lack of emotion can be unsettling.

Still undecided
Palash has not yet thought about which of the 11 tracks in the as-yet untitled album he would like to have made into a video. About the song, he says, "If I had to make a video, it would definitely have a glum-looking Manmohan Singh against the backdrop of different locations with the same expression on his face."
He adds, "I would use stock footage and perhaps approach all the news channels for it."

The resident of New Delhi however  doesn't fear a backlash to the song in the capital, as he quickly explains that he means no harm. "I am not too worried about the reaction I might get. The intention is not to create malice. It's like telling my dad to smile a little more," says Sen. "I'm sure his children would like to sing this song to him," he signs off.

History lesson
Satire was the norm during the term of US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush. Politically inspired songs include the 1993 track 'Paint the White House black' by artist George Clinton and 'God Bless This Mess' by singer Sheryl Crow, which talks about Bush leading the USA into the Iraq war. During Barrack Obama's presidential campaign, the mood turned lighter, and the lyrics a little less harsh, leading to songs like Will I Am's to 'Yes We Can'.

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