Saturday, April 14, 2012

Song So Wrong

The tone and melody are just wrong for the lyrics. Creepy wrong. I heard it for the first time today and still feel personally unclean.

There are ways to do over-the-top sentiment and have it still work. Country singers have done it for years. Early Rock 'n' Whine gave us "Last Kiss," and even after Woodstock, you had maudlin hits by Bobby Goldsboro, Art Garfunkel, and Vicki Carr*. You could go all the way to the angel choir with strings in the background if you wanted to.

I never much liked any of it myself, but I can see how folks might like to enter into a story that quickly and deeply, and be relieved when the little boy was given shoes for his mother, or the little girl said something inspiring before she died, or whatever. But there are rules, man. There are limits. The embedded song just doesn't belong in the style of "Beyond the Sea," or "Mack the Knife."

It got 264 likes and only 1 dislike, though. The comments are appallingly complimentary.

*That song was also written by Bobby Goldsboro, I learned. Figures. I can picture Vicki Carr singing "Watching Scotty Grow" before closing with "It Must Be Him," can't you?


Texan99 said...

I can see Steve Martin doing it on a banjo: "Doom, despair . . . ."

So weird -- that great voice, the dead eyes, swirling around the stage just drunk enough (?) almost to fall over a couple of times, and that zoop-zoopy-de-bop beat. Were people dancing to this? Was it a radio hit?

Sam L. said...

Just filling out his Vegas act.

Yes, this is too, too upbeat for the song.