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World

AFP
September 17, 2019

French election song hits bum note for Canada's Trudeau

World

AFP
Tue, Sep 17, 2019

Canada's Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, admitted Monday that it would re-record its official campaign song after the wording of the French version was ridiculed as inaccurate.

Bilingualism is a sensitive political issue in Canada, which goes to the polls on October 21, with Trudeau facing a tough fight to retain power.

On Saturday, his party released an English version of the song called "One Hand Up," and a French version called "Une main haute" -- both sung by English-language band The Strumbellas.

But the French lyrics were immediately criticized for being poorly translated or incomprehensibly mumbled.

"We thank (The Strumbellas) very much for interpreting their music in our two official languages," a Liberal Party spokesman said in an email to AFP in French.

Official campaign song 'One Hand Up', of Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party in Canada.

"However, we realize that the French is not perfect, so we will no longer use this version and will re-record it."

The songs were used on two 30-second Twitter videos showing Trudeau meeting supporters.

"I have listened to it about 15 times and I have not yet understood all the words," said Gaetan Barrette, a Liberal member of the provincial legislature in majority French-speaking Quebec, on Twitter.

"Very, very, very embarrassing," he added.

Elected by a landslide in 2015, Trudeau and the Liberals are battling to hold onto a majority in parliament, with the main challenge coming from Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservatives.