McLachlan: Remove Song From Columbine Video

Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan and folk singer Cheryl Wheeler are demanding the removal of their music from a grisly videotape that documents last year's mass shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

The videotape, which includes McLachlan's "I Will Remember You," was released to the public Wednesday by authorities in Colorado's Jefferson County.

"Neither Sarah McLachlan nor Arista Records were ever approached for the usage of her music or image within the video being released. In fact, we are demanding that her song... be removed from this exploitative videotape," McLachlan's record label said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

Wheeler also demanded, through a letter from her publishing company, that her anti-gun song "If It Were Up To Me" be removed from the tape, according to James Rouse, an attorney for the families of three Columbine victims. The letter says the use of the song is copyright infringement, Rouse said.

A spokesperson for Wheeler could not be reached for comment.

Columbine victims' relatives were shocked that the videotape, which reportedly combines footage shot by local firefighters on the scene with film from news helicopters, had a pop music soundtrack, according to Rouse.

"The families felt it was highly inappropriate. They were not happy with it," he said. "We can certainly understand why the artist would be upset by [the inclusion of her music]."

As McLachlan's song plays in the background, the videotape shows the high school library where several killings took place, with the camera lingering on pools of blood, according to the Associated Press.

Spokespersons for the Jefferson County attorney's office, which released the videotape, were not available for comment Wednesday night.

The music was added to the footage when it was used earlier as a training video for police and firefighters, according to the AP report.


county attorney's office made the tape available to victims' families to comply with a court order, and then decided to release the videotape to the media and the public as well, according to Rouse. The county is selling the tape for $25, the AP reported.

The video also includes the religious folk-pop song "Friend of Mine (Columbine)," Rouse said. The song, written by two Columbine students, garnered airplay in the aftermath of the murders.

Teens Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves in the April 20, 1999, massacre (see "Massacre At Columbine High School: An Update").

Some observers tried to link the incident to the dark music of groups such as Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, and Rammstein, but the artists disputed any such connection (see "KMFDM And Rammstein Speak Out About Columbine").


last release was the 1999 live set "Mirrorball," which included a version of "I Will Remember You."

Wheeler released "If It Were Up To Me," in which she sings "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns," on her 1999 album, "Sylvia Hotel."