Blame Canada

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"Blame Canada"
Promotional single by Mary Kay Bergman from the album South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Released June 15, 1999 (1999-06-15)
Recorded 1999
Genre Satire
Length 1:35
Label Atlantic
Writer Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman
Composer Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman
Producer Darren Higman
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut track listing
It's Easy, MMMKay
(3)
"Blame Canada"
(4)
Kyle's Mom's a B**ch
(5)
Music sample

"Blame Canada" is a song from the film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, written by Trey Parker & Marc Shaiman. In the song, the fictional parents of South Park, led by Sheila Broflovski (Mary Kay Bergman), decided to blame Canada for the trouble their children have been getting into since watching the Canadian-made fictional movie Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire and imitating what they saw and heard in the movie. The parents refuse to accept that by not preventing their children from watching Terrance and Phillip in the first place, they are themselves to blame for their children's misbehavior. "Blame Canada" satirizes scapegoating, and parents that do not control "their children's consumption of popular culture".[1]

Reception[edit]

The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song (1999). This created controversy, because all nominated songs are traditionally performed during the Oscar broadcast, but the song contained the word fuck, which the FCC prohibits using in prime time broadcasts. Comedian Robin Williams performed the song with a chorus who gasped when the word was to be sung (Williams turned around at the crucial moment, and did not actually sing it). He included digs at Margaret Trudeau and Bryan Adams, partially taken from lyrics of Sheila Broflovski's reprise of the song in "La Resistance". He referenced Celine Dion as well. Mary Kay Bergman, the voice actress who sang the female parts in the song, committed suicide months before the performance, forcing the organizers to search for a replacement for her and Trey Parker, who did the male voices. Williams introduced the song by speaking with duct tape over his mouth so that his speech resembled that of Kenny McCormick, then tearing it off and finally saying Stan Marsh's trademark line, "Oh my god! They killed Kenny!"

There was also some concern about the fact the song referred to well-known Canadian singer Anne Murray as a "bitch", but Murray indicated that she was not offended by the tongue-in-cheek lyric (Murray was invited to sing the song herself on the Oscar telecast, but had to decline due to a prior commitment). When asked, the Canadian Consul General (and former Prime Minister) Kim Campbell said that she was not offended by the song since it was clearly a silly satirical piece and not intended to insult her country. This is made clear in the final line of the song:

We must blame them and cause a fuss
Before somebody thinks of blaming us!

Coincidentally, the Canadian Oscar telecast in which Robin Williams sang the song included the premiere of the "I Am Canadian" rant advertisement, which counters many perceived Canadian stereotypes.

The Academy Award was instead awarded to Phil Collins' song "You'll Be in My Heart" which was parodied on an episode of South Park released the following year, "Timmy 2000", as "You'll Be in Me". In the episode, Collins, who acts as the episode's antagonist, was always seen holding his Oscar statuette. At the end of the episode, it gets painfully stuck up his rectum.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock (11 September 2008). Taking South Park Seriously. SUNY Press. pp. 61–. ISBN 978-0-7914-7566-9. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Johnson-Woods, Toni (2007). Blame Canada. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.  ISBN 978-0-8264-1731-2

See also[edit]