An internet campaign has begun to make Mrs Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel number one in the charts.
It follows the scandal surrounding homophobic Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson’s dalliances with a man young enough to be her grandson.
Posters have also been placed around Belfast encouraging people to download the song and it is currently at number 45 in Amazon’s download charts. The Official UK Charts Company told AFP yesterday that download sales of the song in Northern Ireland last week were up 1,200 per cent on the week before.
The song was made famous in the 1960s film The Graduate, in which a much older woman seduces a young man. Robinson, 59 at the time of the affair, reportedly took 19-year-old Kirk McCambley into her marital bed while her husband Peter, Northern Ireland’s first minister, was away.
It contains the lines: “It’s a little secret, just the Robinsons’ affair. Most of all, you’ve got to hide it from the kids” and “God bless you please, Mrs Robinson. Heaven holds a place for those who pray”.
Robinson, an evangelical Christian, said God had forgiven her for the affair. She said in 2008 that gays were an “abomination”.
The Facebook group currently has more than 12,000 members and states: “Lets get the iconic song Mrs Robinson – made famous by the 1960s hit The Graduate – to number one in next Sunday’s chart in honour of Northern Ireland’s disgraced first lady.”
The campaign follows a similar Facebook effort to unseat Simon Cowell’s X Factor prodigy Joe McElderry from the Christmas number one. Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name clinched the top spot after unprecedented downloads.
Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for HMV, told PinkNews.co.uk that it was possible for Mrs Robinson to reach number one if enough people downloaded it.
He said: “Any piece of music that’s digitally available can get into the charts now if a sufficient number of people come together to download it – new releases or old catalogue.
“We saw with the Rage Against the Machine Christmas number one campaign that if music consumers organise themselves effectively by using social media, they now have the power to get any song into the charts.
“On the hand one this seems a particularly democratic and engaging development that is to be welcomed, but such a move also has the potential to effectively and irrevocably change the nature of the charts, so that, over time, they will become less a reflection of the music that is the most popular at any time – which, presumably, is their primary purpose, and more a barometer of how people feel about a wide range of issues. ”
He added: “Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs Robinson is a wonderful song that deserves to be heard and enjoyed at the best of times, but if it were to make it back into the upper reaches of the charts as a result of this campaign it would, undoubtedly, be a further example of the growing power and influence of music consumers and their use of music and the charts to make a political point.”
A spoof version of the song has also been recorded. To hear it, see below.
As PinkNews.co.uk revealed last week, gay magazine Attitude has offered McCambley the chance to appear on its cover.
Attitude editor Matthew Todd said McCambley, now 21, was “incredibly hot” but said the magazine had not been able to contact him.