Rufus Wainwright’s latest music video has a message for Donald Trump

Rufus Wainwright, who will perform at Symphony Hall on April 22 2019, released his new, politically charged song “Sword of Damocles” on Wednesday October 31 along with a new music video starring Darren Criss. 

Through supernatural forces, the two roles are switched. The smug, inexperienced commoner becomes the king. But his joy is short-lived. He quickly realizes that being king isn’t all crowns and cheeseburgers. With great power comes great responsibility.

Drawing parallels between our modern political era and the ancient tale of the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power, the singer-songwriter opens with a note directly aimed at Trump.

Dear Mr. President, This ancient story from the 4th century reminds me of you. Love, Rufus

Framed as a kitchen table stare-down with Wainwright’s long-time admirer, Darren Criss, Wainwright is donned on regal attire, make-up and crown while Criss looks back in disgust. The titular sword hangs ever-present overhead. When the roles are switched and Criss is in turn, decorated, the images start to grow absurd – a paper crown, cheeseburgers wriggling with maggots and hovering golden orbs.

Release the sword of Damocles. Just release it to the authorities

Calling the song his “artistic response to what is currently transpiring within the American government and how its collapse is affecting every aspect of existence for us all. With the Midterm Elections around the corner, it’s important for everyone to take a stand and contribute in some way, whether it’s bringing awareness to issues in your community, protesting/demonstrating, watching the news to formulate your own opinions, creating, yelling – it’s all hands on deck. VOTE.”

You can watch Rufus Wainwright perform at Symphony Hall on April 22 2019 and Darren Criss at Arena Birmingham on December 8.