When you’re in the mood for a good diva ballad, there’s no singer better to hit you right in the heartstrings than Celine Dion. However, you probably don’t want her songs blasted into your eardrums while you’re trying to sleep in the middle of the night, and that’s exactly what’s been happening to residents of Porirua, New Zealand, according to Agence France Press.
The town of Porirua is home to about 60,000 people.
It lies north of Wellington and is, in general, a pretty laid-back place to be. It’s got some beautiful scenery due to being located around the Porirua Harbor on the Kapiti Coast and is usually a pretty nice place to live.
However, over the past year, life in the suburb has taken a very annoying tone.
Drivers in the New Zealand town been blasting Celine Dion in the middle of the night for the past year.
From “My Heart Will Go On” to “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” drivers have been turning it all the way up to 11 when listening to Dion’s songs as late as 2 a.m. when most people are fast asleep.
Not only that, but according to Porirua mayor Anita Baker, the Celine Dion music fest tends to start as early as 7 p.m., so the drivers in question are able to fit in a fair bit of the singer’s discography.
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It’s all down to the “siren battles” trend.
If you’re unfamiliar, this trend has been gaining traction in New Zealand for years and is mostly practiced by indigenous people from the Pacific Islands.
It sees people from rival crews going against one another to blast out the loudest sounds from loudspeakers attached to cars to hopefully be crowned the “siren king.”
And because they’re doing all of this with the engines of their cars running, they scarper by the time police arrive.
So, why Celine Dion songs?
The Spinoff, a popular New Zealand website, claims that it’s because Dion’s music is very heavy on treble instead of bass.
Baker told AFP (via the New York Times) that the drivers “love” Dion because they’re into “anyone with a high pitch and great tone in their voice.”
“People are just not getting any sleep, because it’s all hours,” Baker added. “It’s really loud music. They only play a quarter of the song, so it’s like having a turntable and it comes screeching out.”
Residents have since launched a petition to stop the madness
The petition, which has 334 signatures at the time of writing, calls for city officials to “stop the car meets blasting excessively loud music and siren noises in Porirua.”
It’s unclear whether or how authorities plan to take action.