Here are all the rock covers Stephen Harper has ruined forever

by Mark Teo

December 11, 2014






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Yesterday, when we posted a video of Prime Minister Stephen Harper ruining “Sweet Child O’ Mine” at a Conservative Party Christmas jam, some were surprised: Canada’s leader, who barely drinks, did his best impersonation of your weird, handsy uncle, armed with a keyboard and a few too many eggnogs. Or maybe Harper was channelling keyboard cat, as AUX writer Tyler Munro puts it.

Still, Harper doesn’t just wait until the yearly Tory Christmas party to unleash his pipes. Instead, underneath his cold, dead eyes and Lego Man-inspired haircut lurks a balls-out rocker—and he’s busted out covers on numerous occasions, even collaborating with classical music giant Yo-Yo Ma. To wit, The National Post even dedicated an entire story to Harper’s musical side, interviewing musical experts about the prime minister’s vocal range (limited, just like Ringo Starr’s) and song selection (it was hilariously called “aggressively normal” and “personality-less”).

So, which songs has Harper tackled? The list looks like something you’d hear at karaoke night at the Firkin—except only sung by a tuneless illuminati lizard-person (or something like that). Check the tracks below.

The Guess Who – “Share the Land”

“Share the Land” was the soundtrack to countless hippie communes, and accordingly, we still don’t understand why Harper covered it. Especially since, y’know, Canada was the only UN member to reject a landmark indigenous rights document last October. Bad optics? You bet.

Neil Diamond – “Sweet Caroline”

This cover, it seems, is a sore spot for the NDP. As MP Charlie Angus told the National Post, “Stephen Harper can do all the Beatles and Guns N’ Roses covers he wants but please give us back Sweet Caroline. It hurts to associate this song with the blue-eyed king of anti-soul.”

The Beatles – “Hey Jude”

“Hey Jude” was performed by Harper in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And while Netanyahu applauded the effort, it also seemed like a strange choice—”jude” is the German word for “Jew.” Interpret that as you may.

The Beatles – “With a Little Help From My Friends” (Feat. Yo-Yo Ma)

One thing that we’ve learned from this list: Stephen Harper is a giant Beatles fan. Here, he tickles the keys to “With a Little Help From My Friends,” along with his friend, Yo-Yo Ma.

The Who – “The Seeker”

Interesting that “People tend to hate me / Cuz I never smile / As I ransack their homes / They wanna shake my hand,” are part of the lyrics to “The Seeker.”

Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child O Mine”

Ah, “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Why, exactly, would a man with no vocal range attempt to cover Axl Rose again?

BTO – “Taking Care of Business”

“Taking care of business, eh?” your inner 16-year-old might say. “The multinational oil business, maybe. What a phony.” And your inner adolescent isn’t the only one who’s angry that Harper covered this song—Randy Bachman’s livid, too.

Rolling Stones – “Jumping Jack Flash”

“I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag, I was schooled with a strap right across my back,” Harper might sing. Guys, growing up in Leaside, an upper-middle class midtown enclave of Toronto, is damn hard.

The Proclaimers – “I’m On My Way”

The crowd reactions in this video? Priceless.

The Beatles – “Imagine”

Imagine how this song totally got ruined by Stephen Harper. This sounds like a janky Shreds parody video.

John Denver – “Take Me Home, Country Roads”

“Take Me Home, Country Roads” begins midway through this video, and Harper adds one small, but meaningful, edit to the song: Instead of “West Virginia,” Harper sings, “West Alberta / Mountain momma / Take me home.”

Tags: , Cancon, News, BTO, Guns N' Roses, john denver, Neil Diamond, Proclaimers, stephen harper, The Beatles, The Guess Who, The Rolling Stones






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