Page last updated at 18:39 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 19:39 UK

Introducing Newsnight's Party Anthems

Party Anthems - Danny Robins tries to get the campaign jumping

Newsnight has given comedian and writer Danny Robins the task of making this election more musical. Here he explains what his mission entails.


Back in 97 Labour won a landslide to the tune of Things Can Only Get Better - a slice of shiny disco pop seemed to perfectly sum up the nation's mood.

Fast forward 13 years and the mood has changed - voters are disillusioned and politicians are about as popular as a Cheeky Girls comeback tour.

But could music be the way for them to get back in touch with the electorate? Who could be the person to come up with 2010's answer to D Ream?

The answers are "Yes" and "Me".

In a series of three films for Newsnight, my challenge is to come up with three "election anthems"- one for each of the three main parties.

Government of all the talents?

In a journey that takes me across the UK, from DJing with a mobile disco outside the Houses of Parliament to rapping on stage in Exeter, from a blues guitar jam in the middle of a busy shopping street to unleashing a guerrilla barbershop quartet on inner city youth, I'll be looking at whether it is possible to use the power of music to change the way voters think.

Will the parties' manifestos sound better when set to music?

In the first film, I will be meeting politicians from each of the parties to find out what they want me to get across in their song.

For Labour, I am talking to Ben Bradshaw, Culture Secretary and keen clubber.

For the Conservatives, Grant Shapps, a fan of R&B whose cousin was in The Clash.

And for the Liberal Democrats, I'll talk to Sarah Teather, a bit of a singer herself, she's a fan of Coldplay and Snow Patrol.

And I will be asking them to boil down what they stand for - will they be able to give me a catchy soundbite for the chorus?

Battle of the bands

Then, in film two, armed with some policy ideas to turn into lyrics, I'll be hooking up with some of the UK's top musical talent - well known chart topping bands and singers who will help me turn dusty old politics into something rather funky.

And finally, in the third film, I'll be playing the finished result to the voters of the nation and, finding out if a song can really sway the way people think.

Also crucially, I'll be playing the anthems to the politicians to see what they think - will these three minute pop songs sum up their party's election pledges better than the speeches, billboards and manifestos?

Tune in to find out.

And if you have your own ideas about what lyrics should be in the three election anthems I would love to hear them.

E-mail your suggestions to newsnight@bbc.co.uk and please put "Party Anthems" in the subject heading.



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