It seems obvious to me that Dennis Shannhan, the Newspoll entrails reader at The Australian, needs a soundtrack.  What long-running soap opera can survive without one?  Every fortnight, the tireless Den is wheeled out to cast his Betty Davis eyes over the results of the polling-they-own and come up with a few hundred words that suggest/assert/contend/ pray/plead that, no matter the actual result, the figures are indeed good news for the Coalition and that the hot breath of political mortality is on the neck of Kevin Rudd and his government.

Of course, of late, his job has been easier than usual, as the government’s figures have actually slipped, down the scale from “greatest lead ever in the history of polling” and back to mere “assured victory” territory.   You just have to be thrilled for them when, like today, they can report that the PM is losing popularity.  It really does put a song in your heart.

But what song?  Which tune best captures the essence of News’s Newspoll prognostications?

The obvious one that came to mind was this:

But maybe that’s too obvious.

The Abba catalogue throws up a few possibilities: Super Trouper is a nice description of Den and his work, though The Winner Takes It All is probably more generally appropriate.

If we’re looking in classic catalogues for inspiration, the Beatles can probably provide a bit. Carry That Weight would’ve been good through the long, seemingly endless years of the Rudd ascendancy: “Den, you’ve got to carry that weight…”   And you can easily imagine him walking around the office of late singing Getting Better.  Helter Skelter also has nice polling overtones.

genewilderReally, the whole thing should be turned into a musical, and there is inspiration in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which, now that I think about, was pretty obviously written as an allegory about The Oz and Newspoll, right down to having Gene Wilder in the Dennis Shanahan role.  The big hit from that show was Candy Man, and again, once you think about it, this is an obvious reference our Den’s method du polling. Sing along…

The Shanahan

Who can take a Newspoll
Dip it in a deam
Seperate the sorrow
And collect up all the cream?

The Shanahan can
The Shanahan can cause he mixes it with love and makes the Libs look good

Anyway, feel free to offer any more song suggestions.

IN fact, there is a bunch of Crikey merchandise available for the person who comes up with the best suggestion.

Hit us with your best shot: Newspoll needs a soundtrack……………..

AND THE WINNER IS: Jack Robertson for his rather inspired re-working of the Monty Python classic, that captures exactly what a soundtrack for NewsPoll should be all about.  Buzz me or Crikey with contact details, Jack, and the prize will be on the next carrier pigeon to your place.  Congratulations!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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