Sarah McLachlan – Do What You Have To Do

It’s a small world after all, linking a melancholy love song written by a feminist icon to a womanizing ex-president?

Canadian chanteuse Sarah McLachlan heads a music school for disadvantaged children, in Vancouver. As a fundraiser, she put together “Voices in the Park” (September 15, 2012), a concert with herself and others, including Bryan Adams, Stevie Nicks, Hedley, Jann Arden and some lesser local acts. Oh, and Sarah had former U.S. President Bill Clinton give a talk.


The Starr Report from 1998 was a wide-ranging investigation into Clinton’s activities, both political (“Whitewater” land deals, the firing of White House travel agents, the handling of FBI files…) but also, sexual (a sexual harassment suit against the President by Paula Jones, and his extramarital promiscuity with White House intern Monica Lewinsky).

The Starr Report noted that when Lewinsky was hiding out in the Oval Office, she found McLachlan’s 1997 Surfacing CD there. And that when she listened to track five, Do What You Have To Do, that this was kind of like their song.

It’s a ballad about obsessive love, and not being able to give up on it: “I know I can’t be with you / I do what I have to do… I don’t know how to let you go.”

McLachlan is a big Clinton fan, she’s done fundraisers for the man, and perhaps sees no irony in her association with Clinton given the Starr Report (or has grace and forgives all that). Perhaps she’s right to separate the personal life from the political one.

But is there a political disconnect between women that seem to swoon over men in power that otherwise have a history of taking advantage of females? McLachlan founded the Lilith Fair concert series for women – a feminist tour, after all – reject patriarchy and all that. Or could Monica Lewinsky be feminism 2.0 that sees her relationship as some sort of empowerment? She wanted intimacy with a president, and supplied it.

Whatever… This is certainly a tremendous example of how politicians find themselves past their expiry date while still in office, but later become exalted and adored. No doubt George W. Bush is eagerly awaiting such a reappraisal!


One thought on “Sarah McLachlan – Do What You Have To Do

  1. Pingback: Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes | Political Tunes

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