Adding itching powder to the main misery of G4S, the security company which has to ring up the army to help them out, was the discovery of the G4S corporate song. There was a video on YouTube, but it disappeared overnight; however, the New Statesman transcribed the lyrics:
You love your job and the people tooNow, even by the standards of Microsoft's Bruce Servicepack and The Vista Street Band, that's pretty poor stuff. Could it really be a G4S song, or was someone pulling our legs?
Making a difference is what you do
But consider all you have at stake
The time is now don't make a mistake
Because the enemy prowls, wanting to attack
But we're on the wall, we've got your back
So get out front and take the lead
And be the winner you were born to be
G4S! protecting the world
G4S! so dreams can unfurl
24/7 every night and day
A warrior stands ready so don't be afraid
G4S! secure in your world
G4S! let your dreams unfurl
We're guarding you with all our might
Keeping watch throughout the night
The disappearance from the web of the video overnight suggests that G4S are a little better at securing their own copyright than... well, apparently anything else they turn their hands to to judge by the Olympishambles.
If you feel you really must, you can - currently - hear the song on Soundcloud or buy it from Amazon.com.
Yes, buy it.
Yes, it's a genuine song, and Jon Christopher Davis is a serious musician - by which I mean he takes himself really seriously.
So, a genuine song, done with a straight face. But... on sale? To buy? What sort of deluded company sells its own corporate song?
G4S does. And explains why:
When the marketing team at G4S Secure Solutions (USA) enlisted the services of two Texan songwriters to write a song, the team never envisioned the reaction it would receive from company employees around the world. Best known for professional, integrated manned security services and technology solutions rather than music publishing, G4S is turning a corporate marketing campaign into a global fund raising effort.Notice anything strange there? There's talk about "raising substantial sums for charity", but it's incredibly vague about what that charity might be. Even when they get down to specifics, it's "specifically families and children", which is somewhat vague.
G4S is the world’s second largest private sector employer and executives at the corporation are hopeful that a large proportion of their global workforce will support the download of their new G4S song entitled “Securing Your World”. In doing so, the company hopes to raise substantial funds for charity.
Nick Buckles, Chief Executive Officer, G4S plc commented on this wonderful initiative: “The G4S song “Securing Your World” was such a hit with employees, that our management team thought it would be a great opportunity to use it to raise funds for people in need – specifically families and children. We are encouraging G4S employees worldwide to help make this charitable effort a success, and ask that they get their friends and families involved as well.”
Recording artist Jon Christopher Davis and record producer Sparky Pearson penned the words and music for “Securing Your World” to help G4S launch its new branding at the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) conference which was held in Dallas, Texas. The song was performed live at a reception attended by more than 650 customers, partners and G4S employees. Requests for the song started pouring into G4S shortly thereafter, and sparked the idea for the fund raiser.
Nick Buckles continued: “The proceeds from “Securing Your World" have the potential to make a real difference in people’s lives. This is a simple and fun way for everyone at G4S to be part of something special. I hope they all join in the effort.”
There's not even an indication if these specific "families and children" live in America, or if their need is urgent (beat starvation), or long term (educate a village). There's a muddy image at the top of the page:
You'll notice that none of the vague charitable images are anything like as large as the G4S logo in that.
There's a different page linked to where employees could buy the single, but that's vanished from the internet. Maybe more was explained about the nature of the charity there?
The G4S Rocks Facebook page makes no mention at all of the charity, nor does the Amazon page where money is still changing hands. the Twitter account has never tweeted.
For a supposed push to raise "substantial sums" for charity, they've not really put much effort in, have they?
If you search G4S's Corporate Social Responsiblity site for G4S rocks, there's four responses, all of which appear to be pointing to press releases:
All the links go to 404 pages, but at least from the snatch of text we can be reassured the money was going to go to "worthy" organisations. So that's alright, then.
There have been vaguer charities - George Costanza's The Human Fund, for example.
And given the shambles at London 2012, we shouldn't be surprised that G4S aren't very detail orientated.
But a company instructing its low-paid employees to buy a corporate anthem with a little bit of moral blackmail around a claim that it's for a charity of some sort? The song is more dreadful than a reading of the lyrics alone would reveal.