Friday, December 31, 2010


Today, to celebrate the end of the year, I have something I consider very special. Truly horrible, mind you, but special nonetheless. Today's first song, a late-era Tin Pan Alley single by the awkwardly named group "The Melodiers", features what may be the most mind-numbingly bad lyrics I've ever heard on a song-poem.

There may be worse individual lines or verses, but this song, "We Like the Kentucky Hills", piles one poorly worded, incomplete, obvious, ridiculous and/or (particularly) inane line after another, for four and a half minutes!

I don't want to give all, or even many of the joys of this song away - there's too much pleasure in hearing this for the first time. But consider a few examples, such as the opening section:

Me and my woman met on a blind date
I can't remember her name
See I live in the hills of Kentucky
and she lives in another state
When I go to see her
I'm allllllll ways late
So weeeee don't haaave
much time to date

And another favorite:

So I went home and told my dad
Just... just what I had done
My dad said..... "son...
you know.... you're right!"

The song contains an abundance of lines which sound as if the writer, having come up with the last line (or word) for a verse, then worked backwards to figure out something - anything - which might rhyme, and built the rest of the verse that way. The subject matter meanders, never really focusing on the title concept for more than a moment, but not really staying on anything else to inspire a better title, either.

A plus for me is that the guitarist, who only has to be able to play three chords, regularly misses the correct fingering or fret, turning what could have at least been a nice do-it-yourselfy sort of backing track into just another layer of incompetence.

I hope you enjoy this record as much as I do!

The slip side, "Don't Shout, Just Get Out", written by the same wordsmith as the A-side, features some of the same on-the-fly lyrics and performance as its flip, but the results, while entertaining to a degree, can't match "Kentucky Hills".

Updates to older, broken links will return with the next post.


jim said...

Love it. Love it. Love it.


Zepp said...

I gave Kentucky Hills about 2:29 - then I had to quit, because my ears went numb... and, since I work, I have to sleep at nite.

Sammy Reed said...

Just what is the record longest song-poem, anyway? It's pretty rare when one is 3-and-a-half minutes long, but 4:26?!? Anyway, this stuff seems typical of Tin Pan's material during this time.