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Posted: 8:08 PM- WASHINGTON - Not content to sit on the sidelines, longtime senator and one-time presidential hopeful Orrin Hatch has penned a song for his Senate buddy John McCain in hopes of helping his White House bid.
Really, he did.
Hatch - a Utah Republican who won a platinum award for helping co-write lyrics for a song that sold more than a million records - crafted a tune called "Together Forever" for the presumptive Republican nominee.
"Forever together / America is the land we're fighting for / There's a time in history / for a hero's destiny / together forever more," says Hatch's song, co-written with composer Philip Springer, famous for the Christmas song, "Santa Baby."
"As everyone who reads The Tribune knows, I write lyrics, and I thought John would get a big kick out of a patriotic song written about his heroism and the sacrifices he's made for our country," Hatch said in a statement. "Plus, in the song, we express what he will probably have to endure while running for president."
But it's doubtful the McCain campaign is going to start playing Hatch's song at rallies or dub it the official campaign ditty. But McCain's camp thought the song was nice.
"We'll see Barack Obama's Bruce Springsteen endorsement and raise them an Orrin Hatch," a spokesman said.
Hatch's song brought a quick response from the Democratic National Committee.
"Once the voters get to see the real John McCain, we're sure Senator Hatch will get his wish, and he and Senator McCain can spend 'Forever Together' in the U.S. Senate," DNC spokesman Damien LaVera said.
Hatch says in his song that McCain's opponents are going to "hit you hard with ev'ry thing they've got," and that they'll call him "everything you're not." But, "sure as heaven, we're gonna win. Start celebrating, now let's begin."
The song may soon appear on the iPod of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who first played a snippet on Hardball on Wednesday evening.
"I will be singing it on the pillow tonight," Matthews quipped.
And, according to Hardball, while Hatch's office says he was aiming for an upbeat song that would appeal to the youth vote, the song doesn't mimic anything found on the Top 40 - or even the next 40.
Jason Mattera, spokesman for the conservative Young America's Foundation, says the lyrics are fine but the beats and tempo are "not appealing to young people.
"Hatch's heart is in the right place, but he has the wrong decade," Mattera says, noting that the message to attract young people is that liberalism oppresses people, stifles freedom and causes "pervasive destitution. I give him credit for trying, though," Mattera adds.
Nonetheless, Hatch says the song should get good reviews.
"It has been very enjoyable to write this song, and I think most people will like it."
Hatch's Senate office in Washington features the gold and platinum awards he won for co-writing the song "Unspoken," a tune recorded by Jaci Velasquez. The song was chosen for the album WOW Hits 2005, a compilation of religious pop songs that have sold more than a million copies.
Hatch took in $21,838 in royalties in 2006 from his music writing, he reported on his latest personal financial disclosure; that's about half the $40,000 he made in 2005.
Hatch, a former Mitt Romney supporter, has also co-written songs for other well-known people, including a song called "The Difference Makes the Difference," for Muhammad Ali and "Souls Along the Way," for Sen. Edward Kennedy and wife Vicki.