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"Rise Up" is a pop song recorded by the Canadianmarker group Parachute Club on their self-titled 1983 album. It was produced and engineered by Daniel Lanois, and written by Parachute Club members Billy Bryans, Lauri Conger, Lorraine Segato and Steve Webster with additional lyrics contributed by filmmaker Lynne Fernie.

An upbeat call for peace, celebration, and "freedom / to love who we please," the song was a national hit in Canada, and remains the band's most famous song, and was widely hailed as a unique achievement in Canadian pop music:


It won a 1984 Juno Award for Single of the Year, over fellow nominees "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Straight from the Heart" by Bryan Adams, "Sunglasses at Night" by Corey Hart, and "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats.

In 2005, the CBC Radio series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version, based on nominations by panelists and listeners, semi-final elimination votes among songs from the same decade and a final national vote to rank the top 50, selected "Rise Up" as number 44 of the 50 most essential songs in Canadian popular music history. It is also included in Oh What A Feeling: A Vital Collection of Canadian Music (MCA Records, 1996).

Use in advertising

In 1998, the song was licensed by EMI Music Canada to McCain Foods Limited for a television commercial for self-rising pizza dough. Members of Parachute Club publicly opposed this commercial use of the song and commenced legal action for breach of copyright against EMI Music Canada and McCain Foods. A spokesperson for EMI Music Canada stated that "the contract…allows us to license the song in all commercials and films except for political endorsements, religious messages and X-rated motion pictures, so we had no reason to believe that they would object."

While the position of EMI Music Canada was technically correct, the music publisher had overlooked the concept of "moral rights" recognized as being protected under Canadian and U.S. copyright law. While EMI Music Canada had been granted the right to license the song, band members had the moral right to prevent its association with a product that they believed brought their reputation into disrepute.

In a news release issued at the time of the commencement of the litigation, band members stated that "(a)s a result of its use on the ad...the song, the people who believe in it and the reputation of its creators have suffered damage within the sphere of public credibility and our personal reputations." The action was settled before trial, with the result that band members were able to recover from EMI Music Canada all of the band members' music publishing rights.

Use in politics

In his 2003 run for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party, Jack Layton asked Segato for permission to use "Rise Up" in his campaign. "Over the years," said Segato, "many political parties have either used or wanted to use the song 'Rise Up' for their campaign. Most of the time, they don't ask. They just use it until you say no. Well, Jack asked to use our song and I said, Forget it, we'll write you your own anthem."

Segato, with Richard Underhill and Lynne Fernie, subsequently penned a new campaign song, "Bringing All The Voices Together", for Layton. While distinct in music and lyrics, it was identified as something of a sequel to "Rise Up." "It's a new version of Rise Up, not the lyrics but the spirit," Layton said.


  1. Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association, Industry News and Updates, SaskMusic, February, 1998;
  2. Barry M. Robinson, A Simple Guide to Copyright and Other Intellectual Property (revised 2008), p. 6; Retrieved 09-02-18.
  3. Description of Parachute Club litigation;
  4. jack layton

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