By Angela Gregory

WHANGAREI - It's not quite Jailhouse Rock, but a band of Whangarei protesters hope they have struck the right note with an anti-prison song.

Mangakahia Valley locals up in arms over two proposed prison sites in their area have produced the protest song for airplay on a Whangarei radio station.

They hope the country music song will get a few runs to set the tune for a protest march tomorrow. A protest spokeswoman, Jane Kennedy, said they would also send copies of the compact disc to the Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley, and the Minister of Corrections, Clem Simich.

Jane Kennedy said she had been roped in to sing with Impulse, the band of local musician Kevin Hunter, who had come up with the idea for the song.

"I've had singing lessons but for the first 10 takes I couldn't reach the high notes. Then we went to the pub at lunchtime and I found after that I could relax and do it."

The lyrics referred to the "boys from Corrections" and the "pain and suffering" a prison in the rural area would cause. "They want to build a prison upon our much-loved ground. The folk 'round here will live in fear until the day they die ... Bugger you boys who make the noise, don't build your prison here."

Jane Kennedy said the campaign also included anti-prison T-shirts, bumper stickers and a pamphlet drop.