Every now and then you encounter a piece of music so jaw-droppingly awful, you can only sit there open-mouthed and incredulous–rather like the audience for “Springtime for Hitler” in The Producers.
This is the popular music (published 1913) that they had when my grandma was a girl–a parade of dead and dying mothers, mortally ill mothers with ungrateful children, hopeless mothers resigned to endless grief… Grandma had a whole store of them, which she sang to her daughters; and my mother, in her turn, sang them to us. I think the purpose of these ditties was to make people feel bad. In this they succeeded.
Laurel and Hardy once got a lot of laughs out of this song, The Curse of an Aching Heart. Then in 1961 Frank Sinatra came along and revived it, this time with a Las Vegas-style upbeat. It would not be possible to find less appropriate music to accompany these lyrics, as you will hear if you have the courage to play the video.
What were they thinking? I’m sure I don’t know.