Police officers from the Cordillera region recently released a video where they covered Taylor Swift‘s song “Safe and Sound” from the “Hunger Games” film trilogy.
The video posted on Facebook soon circulated on Twitter as well.
While some Filipinos were impressed with the cops’ musical talent, some online users noted the irony of it given the song’s meaning.
Based on the caption, the cover was sung by Police Corporal Mirasol Edchamag. The guitarist was Police Corporal Jumar Manzano.
It was released on the Facebook page of PNP Cordillera on September 9. It had since gained 388,000 views and 27,000 reactions on the platform.
Most comments under it were praises for Edchamag’s voice and Manzano’s guitar skills.
“Wow! Good singer, great voice ma’am. Galing din si sir mag guitar. Keep it up. Power on. Good vibes. I love this,” one user said.
A fan account of Swift called “The Swift Society” soon noticed the video cover and shared it on Twitter on September 12.
— The Swift Society (@TheSwiftSociety) September 11, 2021
According to Genius, a large database of songs and artists, “Safe and Sound” is a sad, haunting lullaby that was released at the end credits of the movie.
Swift wrote it with the duo The Civil Wars that was part of the album “The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond.”
The album was also not part of the trilogy’s official movie soundtrack.
“Inspired by the first Hunger Games movie, ‘Safe & Sound’ is a lullaby sung by Katniss’ character to her 12-year-old sister Prim. In the song, Katniss promises to protect her and keep them both safe, even though she knows she probably can’t,” read the website.
Missing the meaning
Some online users who saw the video on Twitter then viewed the cops’ performance as ironic.
“Some of you didn’t understand the point of Hunger Games and it shows,” one user said.
“But when I see this video, I don’t feel safe at all,” another user wrote.
“Safe and sound (capitol’s version),” another user quipped. Capitol is the ruling city where the wealthiest and most powerful citizens in Hunger Games live.
Another commented that the song was about going against an oppressive leader and system, but police by nature are usually protecting interests of that very system.
Activist Philip Jamilla also juxtaposed the performance of this song about keeping people safe to the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in Cordillera.
“@taylorswift13 bestie we’re so sorry (crying emoji #ACAB and stream Only The Young The irony here is this police regional office is literally gearing up to launch a murderous campaign against activists in the region,” Jamilla wrote.
The hashtag is an abbreviation for the allegation that “All Cops Are Bad,” according to GQ.
Last August 23, the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council (CRPOC) passed a resolution that suggested a “touch and plead” approach in dealing with leftist groups in the Cordillera region, indicating possible fatal shooting of suspects in police operations.
Under Cordillera police’s version called “Dumanun Makitungtong,” law enforcers are authorized to conduct house visits to alleged communist rebels or members of supposed communist front organizations.
The Philippine National Police had also been under scrutiny due to incidents of killings and police abuses committed by their members since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year.