BACK in the 1990s, which as I understand it is a decade today’s young people are irrationally and romantically obsessed with (seriously guys, put the chokers and floral prints away), it was customary after a relationship breakup to make the other party a mix tape.

For those of you whose only experience of the ’90s was being born into it, a mix tape is a homemade cassette featuring a compilation of songs carefully hand-picked and lovingly recorded (often badly, from the radio) by the creator.

It was sort of like the iPod shuffle of its day. Wait, even that sounds dated now. It was like putting Spotify on random and somehow being able to carry it around in your pocket, and occasionally stick a pencil in it to make it work properly again. You get the picture.

Even though you’d usually only make a mix tape in the event of a mutual and amicable split, not in the sort of breakup where one person announces to the entire country that they think the other person is a dud and then dumps them on national television, I thought it might be nice to make one for our former prime minister.

So here’s my list of songs for Tony Abbott, to help ease the pain of rejection and act as a reminder of some of his finest achievements.

The Pixies — Tony’s Theme

I wonder if, when Boston rock band The Pixies released their seminal album Surfer Rosa in 1988, they knew how prescient their lyrics would turn out to be after an Australian Liberal government spill 27 years later.

Probably not, but in track nine, Tony’s Theme, we have the perfect farewell for the former PM, an “evil chasing” weirdo who rides a bicycle, to whom we’re “waving bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.”

It doesn’t mention anything about budgie smugglers but hey, they were mostly right.

Anything by Built to Spill

Stop the Show would be an appropriate choice, as would Never Be the Same, but given the current state of the Liberal Party anything by this American indie band would work.

Taj Mahal — Malcolm’s Song

What better way to get through a breakup than with a song by one of the world’s best blues musicians? This chilled out instrumental is from Taj Mahal’s 1977 album Brothers. Ah, the irony.

Split Enz — Six Months in a Leaky Boat

Meant more as a comment on his last six months in office, but Tone will probably take it as praise for his asylum-seeker policies. That’s OK, it’s normal for people to be a bit delusional after a breakup.

Prince — Controversy

Even though it doesn’t include any lyrics about making Prince Philip a knight, I’d like to think Tony is smart enough to grasp the subtext here.

Survivor — Broken Promises

He’d probably prefer Eye of the Tiger but given Tony’s “no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS” speech before the last election, as well as the dumping of his paid parental leave policy that helped to get him in office in the first place, promising a submarines build for SA and then moving them offshore, promising $16 million to Cadbury’s in Tasmania and then taking it back, and his as yet unfulfilled pledge to recognise indigenous people in the constitution, this one seems far more appropriate.

Booker T and the MGs — Green Onions

For obvious reasons.


First published in The Advertiser, September 17, 2015. Click here to read the original article.