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What we really think about the Rob Ford rock song

Mayor Ford arrives at the 13th Annual Ford Fest being held at Thomson Memorial Park in Scarborough on July 5, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Some people call him a cost cowboy.

Only if an AutoTune-abusing Saddam Hussein sang My Way in one of his torture chambers could a campaign song be more unbearable than the abomination that made it onto the Internet on Friday. Mayor Ford (The World Will Remember), co-written and sung by the obscure Toronto singer-songwriter Jenny James, is a riff-rocking homage to Toronto's battered leader, promotionally described as a "cost cowboy and rollback viceroy."

It's a line that only Steve Miller and the Ford Nation faithful would approve of, but James is only getting started. In her mind, the thrifty Rob Ford is "Toronto's defender" and "economic mender." As well, it is emoted that the mayor is a fair man who "keeps things square."

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The track, a cheaply produced bar-band rocker for those with less than refined musical tastes, is rendered in the relentless, ardent manner of something like Pat Benatar's 1979 hit Heartbreaker. "You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasy," Benatar sang in full throat back then, "the invincible winner and you know that you were born to be."

A YouTube video pairs the song with an assortment of images of the "big and grand" Ford looking that way. One shot has the beleaguered chief magistrate topped in a regal crown, while holding in his hand a pipe of some sort. (Recently an alleged video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine triggered unflattering international toward his way.)

James is expected to perform the song at the mayor's Ford Fest, which is scheduled to happen Friday evening at Thomson Memorial Park in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.

Mayor Ford (The World Will Remember) includes a squealing guitar solo and a touch of background synthesizers, both well out of fashion. James closes with a defiant line, "blatant attacks won't make him collapse." And on that, she might be right.

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