Annie Lennox clashes with Tzipi Livni

By Marcus Dysch and Michal Levertov, January 29, 2009
Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox

Pop star Annie Lennox has clashed with Tzipi Livni over the use of one of her hit songs in a YouTube film which promotes the Israeli Foreign Minister’s election campaign.

The Eurythmics singer objected to the song, I Saved the World Today, appearing as a soundtrack to a film endorsing Ms Livni’s bid to become Israel’s next prime minister as the leader of the Kadima party.

Ms Lennox was a leading campaigner against Israel’s action in Gaza and joined demonstrators on a rally in London three weeks ago.

The singer, who is divorced from Israeli film-maker Uri Fruchtmann, has since clarified her views, issuing a statement saying she was not taking sides in the conflict and calling for a peaceful resolution.

Despite suggestions in the Israeli press that Ms Lennox might take legal action, Eyal Arad, Kadima’s campaign manager, said the party had not been contacted by her lawyers.

He added: “Kadima only creates material with full copyrights but we have no responsibility for clips that were created by web users, either for their content or their copyright.”

The two-minute clip has been seen by more than 600 people and features the song being played over images of politicians including Hillary Clinton, George Bush and Tony Blair condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.

It ends with a screen showing an Israeli flag and the phrase: “Israel: We’re all behind you.”

A representative for Ms Lennox said the Aberdeen-born singer would not comment on the video.

The song was released in 1999 and reached number 11 in the UK singles chart. It includes the lines: “Hey hey, I saved the world today/ Everybody’s happy now/ The bad thing’s gone away/ And everybody’s happy now/ The good thing’s here to stay.”

It is not the first time the use of music in a political campaign has caused a broiges.

Last year, British rock group Whitesnake and US singer Jackson Browne protested against US presidential candidate John McCain’s use of their songs in his pre-election adverts.

And in 2000, George W Bush dropped Tom Petty’s track, I Won’t Back Down, from his campaign events, after the singer-songwriter complained he did not want to be seen to endorse Bush’s candidacy.

Last updated: 11:43am, February 3 2009