I was listening to the radio recently and heard Gordon Lightfoot’s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, an odious ode almost as tragic as the actual maritime disaster. Yet another Canadian giving proof that air pollution transcends borders. Which got me thinking about other songs that should never have seen the light of day. When you start to compile a list, these ditties rise faster than a corpse on the Walking Dead. For example:
Seasons In The Sun. If Terry Jacks thought dying was hard, he should try listening to his own contribution to crapulence. This piece of pre-disco detritus proves that Van Gogh might not have been too far off base when he cut off his ear.
Cat’s In The Cradle. Harry Chapin’s tribute to ungrateful children tells the sad tale of a man who (gasp) works hard to keep a roof over his family’s head, only to have the man’s son do (yipe) the same horrible thing to his own family.
I Am The Walrus. Beatles or no Beatles, any song that brings up dead dogs can’t be good. What if it was Old Yeller? Sounder? Wouldja be singing then, you hard-hearted meanies?
MacArthur Park. There are three tragedies here. The first is that Richard Harris recorded it. The second is that Donna Summer thought it a good idea to remake it. The third is the worst. A cake left out in the rain? I’m still wiping away the tears.
The Lady In Red. Chris DeBurgh’s tribute to hookers is punctuated by a wailing screech as he struggles in vain to hit the high notes, producing a sound that makes whales humping sound like Pavarotti.
True Colors. You would think it impossible to make Cyndi Lauper’s 80s blandfest any more insipid. Normally that would be true. It takes a certain je ne se qois to be able to infuse more malaise into a song than it already has. Fortunately, Phil Collins was up to the task. News reports say Phil lost part of his hearing from years of headphone use. His audience should be so lucky.
At This Moment. Billy Vera’s off-key singing makes Madonna’s musical stylings sound in tune by comparison. A song that escaped the confines of sitcom TV’s “Family Ties” and infested the airwaves, At This Moment features a mind-numbing shriek by Vera at the end, followed by a round of applause, presumably from a grateful audience that the torture is over.
Rock Me Amadeus. Falco deserves our scorn, if for no other reason, than that he provided provender for another song by Weird Al Yankovic.
Last but not least, any song performed by Evanescence. Amy Lee’s tortured wail sounds like she’s trying to pass something after an iffy meal. Lay off the music and try more roughage.
Of course, the music industry is replete with such auditory abominations, which begs the question: If Live Like You Were Dying is played in the middle of the forest and no in there to hear it, is it still execrable?