Coverage of a satirical video by a Warrnambool brother and sister duo calling for One Nation leader Pauline Hanson to quit politics was The Standard’s most popular story online in 2017.
Caleb and Annabel Ziegeler posted the song, set to the Dolly Parton hit Joelene, on social media back in August and quickly went viral.
While more than 25,000 Standard readers clicked on the story, the song received more than 240,000 views and 1400 likes alone on Caleb’s Facebook page.
The song also attracted the attention of media all across the country and the siblings spent days doing media interviews. Stories appeared in The Age, Herald Sun, Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Mail, ABC, SBS and 3AW.
“We were incredibly surprised actually,” Annabel said.
“We sort of just did it as a bit of a laugh between us and then it blew up, so we were really taken aback.
“But it was great. The response was really good. Definitely more positive than negative.”
Annabel, who now studies and works in Melbourne, said the media attention meant she was often recognised on the tram or while at uni.
“It was really quite confronting, but it was good,” she said.
The attention died down after a few weeks, but there are still times when she meets people and they recognise her from the viral video.
“It was incredible, something we can tell the grandkids,” she said.
Annabel said she was surprised when the song went viral, and perhaps a little bit apprehensive at first, thinking “Oh no, what have we done?”.
“It was just all a bit of fun,” she said.
“The negative comments were just water off our backs.”
Annabel said the negative comments far outweighed the positive comments.
“They had no real valid arguments against the video so we didn’t really take much notice of them,” she said.
Caleb told The Standard this week that he was “absolutely gobsmacked” by the response to the video which took about an hour to create.
“We filmed a few takes because we kept getting the lyrics wrong,” he said.
“It completely came out of the blue how popular it ended up being.
“It was pretty insane.”
The lyrics of the song begging Ms Hanson to get out of politics ask “Pauline please go back to cooking fish and chips”.
“Your stance on science is a joke, think climate change is a great big hoax and coal mining is still the way to go Pauline,” the lyrics say.
“I think it’s time that you ‘please explain’ Pauline,” it also says.
Caleb said he had no plans for more videos just yet, but hasn’t ruled out doing another at some point in the future.
“There’s always people to make fun of I suppose, people like Donald Trump and Bob Katter,” he said.
However, he plans to wait for an “opportune moment”.
The Hanson video was the second one they had recorded.
Their first one, about American gun legislation, was recorded in March 2016 in the wake of the mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub and is set to Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.
They also re-shared it on Facebook in October in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting at a country music concert and it has been viewed over 35,000 times.
“That one was pretty popular,” Annabel said.
“It didn’t go as far. That one had a bit more serious connotations to it.
“It was more social commentary.
“Caleb just comes up with them out of the blue, so he hasn’t planned the two we’ve done. He’s just done it spur of the moment and brought me into it.”
The lyrics of that song asks: “Say there’s no gun problem, wake up for goodness sake. How many pointless deaths is it going to take?”
Caleb said he first came up with the idea to record a satirical song about Ms Hanson when the politician visited the Great Barrier Reef.
“Pauline went and visited the reef and said that it was perfectly healthy, because she visited a healthy spot on the reef,” he said.
But when Ms Hanson walked into Federal Parliament wearing a burqa, Caleb decided it was time to record the song.
At the time, Annabel said the video wasn’t really about changing people’s opinions.
“It was just a bit of satire,” she said.
“There’s so much doom and gloom in the world, it’s taking a light-hearted approach to everything I suppose,” Caleb said at the time.
The story edged out our coverage of the death of pioneering Maremma guard dog Oddball, which inspired the hit Australian movie of the same name, as the most read piece on our website. Oddball was the first Maremma to protect Warrnambool’s threatened Middle Island penguin colony and the movie stared comedian Shane Jacobson.