In big election campaigns, it's important to keep techniques fresh. Holding babies for photo ops is tired. Doorstepping? Old. But I'll tell you what is generally under-used: the campaign song. Usually, pre-existing songs are re-purposed for political campaigns (you might remember that Tony Blair's initial bid for Number 10 became synonymous with D:ream's "Things Can Only Get Better," for example) but the group Conservative Friends of India have gone one better: they've written a completely brand new track which seeks to secure a Theresa May win on 8th June. Let's take a look at it, shall we?
"Theresa Ke Saath" (Hindi for "We're With Theresa") is described on YouTube as a "Hindi song especially composed for the General Election 2017 to promote connectivity with the 1.6 million British Indians to support Theresa May who will provide a strong and stable leadership for Britain and growth of the British economy," which is as good a mission statement as any. It's pretty good! Lyrics include May's "strong and stable" catchphrase ("For the pride of Britain / Let's join hands with Theresa May / For a strong, stable government!"), it's frustratingly catchy, and the video features this image, so for me it's a hit:
Will we ever know what is going on behind those eyes?
The rest of the video is a bit like the Best Bits montage that Big Brother housemates get once they're evicted, only it's all Theresa's Best Bits amongst the UK's Indian community (slightly worrying that this can be condensed into two minutes and twenty five seconds but never mind). Also featured is footage of some trips to India where she looks typically uncomfortable – whether she's meeting the Indian PM Narendra Modi or visiting a temple, our girl Theresa can always be relied upon to serve her signature human-equivalent-of-a-dishwasher-that's-gone-on-the-blink-oh-god-no-it's-spitting-out-water-fucking-hell-now-it's-flooded-the-kitchen look.
But impressively, regardless of May's many malfunctions, the song is an undeniable bop, and you will not be surprised to know that this isn't the Conservative Friends of India's first effort at campaign music. They've previously produced a song in favour of David Cameron, and unsuccessful London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith (same guy who said he 'loves Bollywood' and then failed to mention a single favourite film) was also honoured with a campaign song in a number of Indian languages including Hindi and Urdu by a group called Conservative Connect.
Of the three tracks, Goldsmith's "Zac Goldsmith Geete Ja!" is probably the weakest of the bunch. Because while it's jauntier than "Theresa Ke Saath!" it's somehow less rousing, and it does also unfortunately make some incorrect statements:
The big boy, however, is David Cameron's "Neela hai Aasma" ("Blue Sky"), also masterminded by Conservative Friends of India, and performed in Hindi. The group describes it as "A Hindi song especially composed for the General Election 2015 - a first in British election history. It encourages 1.6 million British Indians to support David Cameron and let him finish the job of turning around the British economy." It speaks, quite honestly, for itself:
This has everything: assured vocals, call and response, and the especially unforgettable refrain of "David Cameron, David Cameron, David Cameron."
It remains to be seen whether May's song will be a success, but it did seem to work for Cameron in 2015, so maybe the power of music will compel UK Indians to the polls. Anything is possible, I guess. Kind of hoping for Corbyn to follow suit and take his appeal to the youth vote to the next level, singlehandedly reforming Oasis before making them record a song where Liam Gallagher gives the word "socialism" eight syllables or something.
Lauren has still got "Neela hai Asaama" in her head. You can follow her on Twitter.
(Image via YouTube)