Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Schoolgirl Orla puts DUP MP in the mix with 'Valerie' cover

Listen to Orla's musical tribute here

By Claire Weir

Published 25/04/2008

Musical tribute: Gregory Campbell
Musical tribute: Gregory Campbell

Local MP Gregory Campbell has swapped politics for pop stardom after becoming the subject of an hilarious musical lampoon.

Listeners of BBC Radio Foyle have been clamouring to hear Co Londonderry schoolgirl Orla McElholm's thumping cover of Amy Winehouse's version of 'Valerie', with the East Londonderry member replacing the ginger-haired heroine of the original song by The Zutons.

Foyle journalists Paul McFadden and Eimear O'Call-aghan, Orla's mum, originally penned the jokey ditty at Christmas with Mr Campbell's blessing and have added references to the Causeway land row and the DUP sharing power with Sinn Fein.

Now the song is in big demand across the North West and there have even been calls to have it released as a single.

The Derry councillor has taken the satirical take on the hit song with good humour.

"Well I think it is a good laugh but I haven't heard all of the lyrics yet" he said.

"I am glad people are taking it in the spirit that I hope it was intended. I think releasing it as a single would be a bit much but it is nice to have a song written about you, it is better than being ignored."

Listen to Orla's song

Young songstress Orla (18), a pupil at Dominican College in Portstewart, said she couldn't keep her face straight during the recording of the track.

"I had no idea about it until everything was set up and ready in the studio so it was a bit of a surprise," she said.

"I have always been singing and that was the first time I had recorded anything... I never expected to be singing about Gregory Campbell.

"I'm pleased that people like it and I am pleased that Gregory is ok with it. The hard part was actually singing it.

"I couldn't get through the first few takes.

"I was singing away and Paul was doing voice-overs in the background and I just kept bursting out laughing. It took until the fifth take before I got it right."

Orla says she plans, fittingly, to study politics at university.

Co-writer Paul McFadden said: "We had the idea around Christmas and we told Gregory about it and he thought it was a good laugh.

"Every time he came on our show he asked about it so we decided to record it and it turned out really well.

"The lyrics have evolved since then and we've included all sorts of things about the DUP over the past few months."

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