A New Zealand band has hit out at Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison for performing what they called a “cynical” rendition of their song.
Rock band Dragon said his cover of April Sun in Cuba was “an attempt to humanise [himself] come election time”.
He performed the 1977 hit song as part of a pre-election interview.
The segment showed Mr Morrison strumming a ukulele and singing the start of the chorus, before admitting he could not remember the rest.
Mr Morrison came under fierce criticism for vacationing in Hawaii in 2019 while Australia battled its bushfire crisis.
“Maybe if his trip to Hawaii had not been cut short, he could have learnt the lyrics to the rest of the chorus,” the band said in a statement.
Many Australians have also accused Scott Morrison’s government of inaction on global warming, with scientists warning that a hotter, drier climate would contribute to Australia’s fires becoming more frequent and intense.
The song – which became one of the band’s biggest hits – is an escapist fantasy about running away from a world fraught with political tension and its lyrics allude to events like the Cuban missile crisis.
Dragon said in their statement that the song was “about a long-ago diplomatic fracas on the other side of the world”.
Australian social media users mocked the performance, with satirical Sydney-based website The Chaser re-creating the performance to add someone off-camera intervening and smashing the ukulele against a desk.