David Clayton-Thomas, the endlessly prolific singer, Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, and Canada’s Walk Of Fame inductee has released a “part-CNN and part SNL” Donald Trump tribute “Ode To The Donald”.
David Clayton-Thomas has released a statement with the video: “The 2016 US presidential race was the most entertaining television since the OJ trial. A daily sitcom of insult comedy and scandal. I watched in amazement as the most powerful country on earth chose its leader. It was pure Hollywood. Reality TV had become reality, although the most creative writers in tinsel town couldn’t have come up with a script like this.
The song “Ode To The Donald started off as a satirical poem. Just a little noodle on my laptop as I watched the circus unfolding south of the border. I sent it to a few friends and it cracked them up. They told me “this should be a song” so I gave the poem to my good friend, musician and producer, George Koller. He wrote the music and organized a recording session.
Things moved very fast after that. After one preliminary jam session in my living room we went into the studio and recorded the song. The whole process, from the writing of the poem to the mastering of the record took less than two weeks. Another friend, documentary producer, Joel Goldberg intrigued by the premise, arranged to have the session videotaped.
Now it was on the record and not just the private musings of a frustrated poet. Now it would become very public. I was very cognizant of NOT making this an attack ad on Donald Trump and of respecting the office of the presidency. Although I used many of Donald’s own words in the lyric it was not intended to demean him, but rather to point out the complete absurdity of the whole process. The Presidency has been called “the loneliest office in the world” and my Mum used to tell me “be careful what you wish for.” Those two themes merged to shape the final lyric for the song.
This was not intended as a record per se but as post for social media. When events are moving this fast, the process of making a record is just too slow to capture the moment. By the time a conventional record is manufactured and released, the subject isn’t relevant anymore. Today in this age of instant communication it’s possible to make a statement about the times we live in… post it on the internet and send it around the world instantly. A dream come true for political junkies like me.
“Ode To The Donald” is part CNN and part SNL. It’s a satirical and dangerously close to the truth look at the ruthless struggle to become the most powerful person on earth. How normal is that? Enjoy… and think.
David’s latest album, ‘Canadiana’ (ILS Group/Universal), paying tribute to Canadian songwriters such as Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, was released in October, 2016 to wide critical acclaim.