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  • Writer's picturepeter grose

Vote Him Away #2

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

You may well have already seen Roy Zimmerman's wonderful parody of Wimoweh, reshaped as Vote Him Away and aimed at removing guess-who from the White House. I wrote about it in an earlier blog If you've nothing better to do ... (16 April). Roy's original version was such a success, with 87 million views and counting, that he decided to release a new version every month until the US Presidential election on 3 November. So below you'll find August, and we can look forward to September, October and perhaps even November versions to come.

8 November update. Roy's parody has now had over 100 million views, more views than Donald Trump had Twitter followers.

I imagine there are some readers of this blog who are old enough to remember the original version of Wimoweh sung by a group called The Tokens, with Jay Siegel as lead singer. It was a No 1 hit in 1961. You'll see (much older!) Jay joining in with Roy on Vote Him Away #2.

You may also remember the Weavers' release of Wimoweh, with Pete Seeger's extraordinary voice soaring above the sounds of his fellow Weavers. Pete Seeger is no longer with us: he died in January 2014. Throughout his career as a folk singer he was highly political, to the point of joining that remarkable band of heroic American artists who defied Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist inquisition, otherwise known as the House Un-American Activities Committee. If you watch this video, you'll see Peggy Seeger named. That's Pete Seeger's sister, and no mean folk singer in her own right. When she heard Vote Hm Away #1 she wrote to Roy: HEY, VOTE HIM AWAY JUST HIT THE SPOT. I’m one of Pete Seeger’s two surviving sisters and can tell you Pete would have also loved the song. Keep on keeping on."

Pete Seeger has a special place in my memory. I interviewed him when I was a young journalist in Sydney, Australia, and he remains one of the nicest men I've ever met, and by a mile the nicest person I ever interviewed. Anyway, I'll stop and let Roy and friends do the talking (and singing). You can play the video by clicking on the usual 'Play' button on the bottom left of the picture below. Or, if you prefer and if you'd like to do Roy a favour, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here. That way your view helps to swell the ranks of the 87 million.

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