John Farnham‘s manager has urged anti-lockdown protestors in Melbourne to stop singing Farnesy’s 1986 classic ‘You’re the Voice’ at rallies.
Over the weekend, a smattering of protestors began collectively belting out the anthemic Whispering Jack hit at a shopping centre in Chadstone. With its themes of empowerment and taking a stand for what’s right (“We’re not going to sit in silence / We’re not going to live with fear,”) it’s understandable how the song’s lyrics could be repurposed to align with those who feel isolation measures are an attack on their freedoms.
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However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit Victoria the hardest, Farnham’s manager Glenn Wheatley says this particular usage of the track goes against the singer’s wishes.
“I’m personally concerned people will hear the song and think John Farnham is personally endorsing these protests, and in this case it’s not right,” Wheatley told The Age on Sunday.
“It’s something that John and I do not condone, the use of that song, particularly in a time in Melbourne where we are in stage four lockdown. Really, the last thing we should be doing is protesting, no one should be hitting the streets en masse, endangering people’s lives and livelihoods.”
Wheatley clarified that while both he and Farnham support people’s right to protest, they don’t think taking to the streets of Melbourne to rail against lockdowns – largely without socially distancing or wearing masks – is appropriate. The manager also acknowledged the song’s cooption for far-right rallies, something Farnham also doesn’t approve of.
“It was not meant to be a protest song, it was meant to be used as an inspirational song for nations and for people, not in a situation of what was an illegal protest,” Wheatley said.