Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pain I: have yourself a very Zimmy Christmas

I have two painful items to share, of which this is the first.

And oh my brothers, oh my sisters, these are terrible nose-twisters.

My thought is that, after enduring these, for the rest of the month you'll be able to relax and enjoy the festivities. Offered some peanut brittle or fudge, you'll be able to say, "After what I've been through? Sure!" — in good conscience.

The first was pointed out to me by reader Laura Kelleher. I knew of the existence of The Thing Itself, but I hadn't seen... this. In fact, we'd made brief note of the inconceivable (and I do know what that word means) news that Bob Dylan had done a Christmas album. I'd even envisioned Dylan's version of "The Little Drummer Boy":
Muhhh mih muhh muh
Muh mummina mum....
Not content with the concept itself, Laura pointed me to Amazon, where you can actually hear clips from the entire Dylan Christmas album. Go on, do it. You know you want to.

Now, I've often said that one of the pivotal moments in history has to have been when that first person said, "No, no, really Zimmy — you've got a nice voice! You should sing! Really!"

But this album... oh my gosh. What was anyone thinking? What was Dylan thinking? Doesn't he know he's just really, really bad? What did those carols ever do to him? Why does Dylan want to do such violence to them? I mean... heavens, if you only listen to the clips of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas"... you'll never be the same. You'll want to fill your ears with cement, to remove all risk of ever having to hear Dylan do this to them again.

How bad is it? You'll think it's a parody. It's that bad. You will look again and again at the URL, to make sure "onion" isn't in there somewhere. You will have to guard against flies buzzing into your open mouth. That bad!

Why does Dylan have such anger against these songs? Against his listeners? Or is it just contempt?

No clue.

But I do know this: if you listen, you've known pain.

PS - when it came to assigning tags to this post, I have "Music" available. But I just couldn't bring myself to use it.

49 comments:

Steven R. Robertson said...

He sounds like Louis Armstrong with a cold and sucking helium at the same time.

Al said...

He's a poet... hater.

al sends

SandMan said...

Okay... there are loads of ridiculous products out there. (Spend 10 minutes watching HSN sometime. The more hyper/enthusiastic/ecstatic the pitch-person, rest assured, the more junky the item is sure to be). But I digress...

Who was the marketing genius that said, "I know, we'll let everyone sample 30 seconds of each and every song? The only hope that this refuse had to sell was if someone somewhere thought..."Bob Dylan... Hark the Herald!... I wonder..." But now, through the marvels of technology, you can identify it for what it is: The musical equivalent of spray on hair.

JackW said...

You dare to diss Dylan!?

“I knew a man, his brain so small
He couldn’t think of nothing at all
He’s not the same as you and me
He doesn’t dig poetry
He’s so unhip
When you say Dylan, he thinks you’re talking about Dylan Thomas
Whoever he was
The man ain’t got no culture
But it’s alright ma,
Everybody must get stoned” - Paul Rhymin’ Simon

Ok, maybe he deserves it, though Blood on the Tracks …

“The best of men are men at best.” – unknown

Boy is that being proven over and over again lately.

J♥Yce said...

Christmas in the Heart album? Dear brothers and sisters ~ how wonderful that all things don't have to be perfect to be beautiful to many a folk??? Does it remind(and kinda grows on ya) of those dears in the family or pew that don't sing "having studied under so and so" yet God filters the good intent from their heart to His ears just so right. Tis the season, ya know?

Magister Stevenson said...

Ouch!
I may actually buy his Adeste Fideles just to let my Latin students hear his pronunciation, though. They can relate.

Fred Butler said...

Maybe it's just a generational thing with me, but I always thought he was one of the most overrated people in the business. Similar to the Stones.

We did sing "Blowing in the Wind" in my 6th grade class at the Methodist Church where I attended as a yut.

Al said...

Everyone is commanded to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Dylan was not commanded to sell his noise, joyful or otherwise.

al sends

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I can't.

I can't click on the link.

I dread it.

Brad Williams said...

I...I...

I don't even think they let him sing on the First Noel. Probably by the last song, someone had slapped him on the back and said, "Go spit it out already!"

Oh boy.

DJP said...

It isn't for the faint of heart, Julie.

In fact... I don't think it's for anyone!

Chris Anderson said...

Wow. I figured you were exaggerating. Nope.

Have a very phlegmy Christmas is more like it.

For the last 10 minutes I've been trying to clear my throat. Anyone have a cough drop? Something I can gargle? Maybe a giant cotton swab?

Brad Williams said...

Dan,

I think that...I think that I may be fascinated by this in the legitimate since. I've been saving the word for the right time, and this is it.

I keep listening to it. Over and over. Thinking, "Is someone killing him? Is he being strangled? This is what the "death rattle" sounds like?"

I blame you, Dan. I blame you.

DJP said...

If it isn't itself a death rattle, I'm sure it could cause a few.

MacWinston said...

I'm just glad he didn't attempt 'O Holy Night.' That would have been a fascinating train wreck.

SolaMommy said...

C'mon Dan. The polka number is epic.

Have a very phlegmy Christmas is more like it.

"Christmas in the Throat?"

The twangy, angelic-sounding ladies are the perfect touch! LOL

I think the biggest travesty is that Amazon is charging $1.29 per track as opposed to, say, $.02.

VcdeChagn said...

--Gratuitous comment thread deviation--

The more hyper/enthusiastic/ecstatic the pitch-person, rest assured, the more junky the item is sure to be).


This is the snopes corollary. The more emphatic an unwanted email forward states "VERIFIED BY SNOPES" the more false it usually is.

--/Gratuitous comment thread deviation--

If you can't get enough from Amazon, you can always listen to the full length drummer boy here..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcXW0Se4HMs

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Oh dear.

My sweetheart and I are thinking maybe he just needs money in this booming economy. I am sure there are some die hard fans out there who will buy it so they really do have every album he ever made.

My honey mentioned that there was a point at which Dylan claimed to be born again. When I queried Rabbi Google, he directed me to this article with this footnote: "Born Jewish, he became a Born Again Christian in the 1970s but is no longer such."

Apparently, the author (nor BD, for that matter) is not a Calvinist.

DJP said...

I don't think anyone knows what he is now. But yeah, he at least had a "Christian phase," and actually did some good songs.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Then we should pray that God will (if He hasn't already) bring him to the Truth and the peace that comes with knowing Jesus Christ.

Phil Johnson said...

Yeah. Nice gift idea. In fact, my niece (who works at Borders) overheard me listening to the clips and gave me the CD. I'll never be able thank you enough.

DJP said...

I'll never be able thank you enough.

Oh, er... please. Don't try.

.c8-

Joshua Cookingham said...

HEY HEY! My Dad loves bob Dylan! You Don't mess with bob!!!

*goes and listens*

Oh.....bob....

Dan, I know you probably don't want me to ask more advice from you but...should I get this for my dad for Christmas like he wants?
:P

SolaMommy said...

LOL!!!

Rachael Starke said...

I'm with Julie. I can't do it. My brain does this terrible thing where I can fill it all day long with beautiful Rutter arrangements, or fun but still good stuff by Harry Connick Jr.,

but five seconds of accidentally hearing "Melkeleke Maka" in the car leaves it running on repeat in my head all day.

It's not worth the risk.

Michelle said...

I thought you must be exaggerating, but you weren't! Hark the "heerald" angels sing? He sounds intoxicated. I loved my Josh Groban "Noel" cd before. Now I love it even more.

jmb said...

Dylan sounds like Pavarotti compared to Wing.

http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1260468176/ref=sr_tc_2_0?ie=UTF8&search-alias=digital-music&field-artist_id=pa300102831&field-keywords=Wing

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Paula said...

Fred Butler said, We did sing "Blowing in the Wind" in my 6th grade class at the Methodist Church where I attended as a yut.

What is it with the Methodists? Not only did we sing "Blowin' in the Wind" but also "Mrs. Robinson." After all, 'Jesus loves you more than you can know....woah, woah, woah...'

I finally got to the point where, in exasperation, I asked my Jewish friend which radio station the Jews listen to this time of year. I can't stand to listen to the fluffy, content-free Christmas fare on the radio anymore (and unfortunately, our new (to us) Jeep Cherokee came equipped with a cassette player).

And there's something that bothers me about overtly anti-Christian heathens singing overtly Christian songs at Christmastime. Singing along with them in my car just feels sorta dirty.

GZimmy said...

My last name is different from his, BTW.

CR said...

Is it me or did you miss the second thing you wanted to say?

I don't plan on listening to Dylan's album. Personally one of my favorite Christmas albums is from Mariah Carey. But I like some of her music anyway.

DJP said...

No, CR. The second item is yet another post, which perhaps I shall inflict... er, unveil next week.

LeeC said...

mMMMPhH, hEEY! mRBl, *snort* Yabadah hEEE!
Budebuduh, hephah heeeEY!
Heh.

NoLongerBlind said...

Great review of the old troubadour, shared by Phil J. on FaceBook via Twitter: Hark! The Heralded Dylan Sings (I think croaks is more appropriate.)

Best line from the scathing review:

"Oozing just beneath his asthmatic croak, the arrangements give an effect of overwhelming creepiness. His voice gets worse with every track. You wonder whether someone left the karaoke machine on in the emphysema ward at the old folks' home."

Terry Rayburn said...

I kinda worshiped Dylan before I began worshiping Jesus in 1976.

Here is the explanation for the popularity of Dylan:

He is a poet expressing profundities for the lost.

There is no limit to the amazement of the lost at what they think is profound.

Thus, "Once upon a time, you dressed so fine, threw the bums a dime, in your prime...didn't you? Friends call, say 'beware doll", you finally fall, you thought they were all, kiddin' you..." draws gasps of

"Oh, isn't that profound?!!"

He IS a poet.

A good one, IMHO.

But his "profundities" are not profound. They are foolish and empty and with no redeeming value.

Except when he stumbles into biblical truth, of course. "Christ is born is Bethlehem" is still pretty profound, even when sung like a nauseous sea lion.

Susan said...

1. I listened to all the clips...and laughed the hardest when he sang the traditional Christmas carols. He just can't carry a tune, sorry to say. But it could be worse....

...Imagine him singing the Gregorian Chants!!!

2. JMB said: Dylan sounds like Pavarotti compared to Wing.

Don't you insult my favorite (dead) tenor!! >:( (J/K. I really take it as a warning not to click on that link you provided, but here I go leaving your warning unheeded....)

Susan said...

All right, JMB, you win. I pasted the link you provided into the search engine...


...and started to convulse with laughter. And I haven't even clicked on any of the samples yet!!! (Now I'm laughing and crying at the same time....)

DJP said...

jmb... Wing... oh my gosh....

sem said...

Dan, I will never doubt you again! I figured you were just getting carried away. It's worse. The beginning of the Adeste Fideles clip sounds like the old Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat skits. Wow. I mean...wow. That was really bad.

DJP said...

Oh, that's good. Yes, that's exactly right: Murphy as Bu'wheat... only celebrated as a great troubadour.

sem said...

Exactly! Nobody does "Barbah ob Dabill" like Buckwheat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHiZ15x6Vt4

jmb said...

Well, it seems that only two people have had the guts to listen to Wing. Or there have been others, but they were too overwhelmed to record their reactions. What's amazing is how many CDs she's recorded. They couldn't only be bought by people who just want to laugh at her. Or could they? How can anyone stand to listen to more than one or two tracks?

DJP said...

Yoko Ono thinks she stinks. It's that bad.

jmb said...

Yes, she sounds like an even worse Yoko Oh-No!

SolaMommy said...

Both Dylan and Wing get me rolling with laughter :-D

Susan said...

See, the reason I was laughing so hard even before I listened to Wing's song clips was because her album covers and the songs she's chosen for them seem so incongruous!!! The Beat It cover is, ahem, just smashing! (Take that however way you want....) :D

Susan said...

(So click on those Wing samples already! You'll be sorry....)

SandMan said...

This is what happens when you don't visit a comment thread more than once at BibChr... I almost missed one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. Wing? Never, ever, heard of her. Is this William Hung's mom? http://popup.lala.com/popup/792915035412198960
Go to the link... you know you want to... It couldn't be so bad, could it? Yes, it could.

DJP said...

This is what happens when you don't visit a comment thread more than once at BibChr

You've learned a very important lesson, son. (c;

As to William Hung... ouch.

(He's actually better than Wing. Which, however, is like saying asparagus is better than squash, or Clinton is better than Obama.)

jmb said...

I feel proud to have introduced y'all to the inimitable Wing. Maybe we could start a fan club.