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15 October 2008

Oh no. Oh dear God, no. Please, not this. [More:]
Confession: I had the original record. It was my Christmas present when I was ten. I was thrilled. I did not know any better. I do now.

For those of you who don't know the full horror of which I speak ...
That song is what people who don't like Belle & Sebastian think they sound like.
posted by BoringPostcards 15 October | 07:06
OMG he's still alive??
posted by gomichild 15 October | 07:16
I would rather eat cilantro than listen to that.

You have my sympathies.
posted by bunnyfire 15 October | 07:25
Not only is he still alive, gomichild, but he's a fucking superstar in Britain, given unwarranted retro-credibility by an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival a few years ago.

Still, it could be worse. He could re-record it as a duet with Sir Cliff Richard.
posted by essexjan 15 October | 07:27
I listened to exactly 12 seconds of that. Eeesh.
posted by Specklet 15 October | 07:40
It's bad, Specklet, very, very bad. But you cannot appreciate just how bad unless you listen to the full mawkishness of the whole song.

Still, you'll be in for a treat at Christmas, if it's Number One in the chart because there'll be No Escape. Everywhere you go you'll hear it played. No. Escape. Be warned. Leave now before it's too late.
posted by essexjan 15 October | 07:52
Hm, with lyrics that sappy I think it would be better with a starker arrangment to counterbalnce. That's pretty syrupy orchestration, and it doesn't help things. But I don't think it's an irredeemable song.
posted by Wolfdog 15 October | 07:59

I loved this song when I was a kid, and cynicism be damned. I going to love it now. And if I don't love it, then that's a loss.
posted by seanyboy 15 October | 08:16
Although Cliff's only got a year and a bit to get his 2K Deccanial Number one. If he doesn't get it this year, I'm off down the bookies for an early Xmas 2009 bet.
posted by seanyboy 15 October | 08:20
Cliff's biggest hurdle to achieving more Number One hits is that he's now so old his fanbase is dying off. But he might just do it this year, it's his 50th anniversary in Show Biz, and he has a new album out.

*shudders, remembering Clifftmases past*
posted by essexjan 15 October | 08:28
As an American who knew a few numbers by Rolf from Dr Demento and K-Tel novelty song collections I had a slight fondness for his songs. Enough so that I bought a greatest hits album, and it still occasionally has some charm. But I can't imagine him getting that retro-cool appeal with "the kids". Hopefully we don't see Ray Stevens at next year's Pitchfork Festival.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 15 October | 08:32
amen BoPo. I mean I get why people hate Belle & Sebastian but underneath all the twee and cheese, they really are pretty talented. Same goes for Sufjan Stevens, but then that's either your thing or it ain't.

Seanyboy's got it. We all could use some unironic glurge-worship now and then. Life would be so much less complicated if one didn't feel the need to be dissing the schmaltz.

I personally go all melty when listening to George Michael ham it up on "This Christmas"; without any trace of irony, even.
posted by lonefrontranger 15 October | 08:40
I'd much rather listen to this at Christmas than, say, "The Christmas Shoes."
posted by initapplette 15 October | 08:42
That is a massive tragedy. Why, why, why?

The only half-decent thing Rolf Harris ever did was guest on a Kate Bush album.

(Oh, and BP, I love you.)
posted by mykescipark 15 October | 10:35
Didn't he do "My Two Little Boys Won't Come Back," or some such thing?
posted by danf 15 October | 11:37
Six White Boomers is an okay kid's Xmas song.

And, hey, at least it's not Gary Glitter doing Two Little Boys.
posted by ROU Xenophobe 15 October | 11:39
I'm sure I'd read somewhere that Gary did do that song, but it was an Asian-market-only release. He had tried to record it in Britain, but people didn't like his performance and the harassment got bad enough that he took it to Vietnam where he could continue the recordings unmolested.
posted by Zack_Replica 15 October | 12:59
Confession: one of my favorite pop records growing up was Harris' "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport", complete with the morbidity and borderline racism toward "Abos" (hey, I thought he was referring to some little-known Australian animal). Oddly, this Californi-American had never HEARD of the "Two Little Boys" song until just now and forced himself to sit through it.

Still, I have to give the guy some respect for his 1992 version of "Stairway to Heaven" (part of an All-Stairway compilation) in which he reverted to "Kangaroo" style with excellent results, opening with "There's an old Australian stockman... er, rock band..." YouTubey, and I'll upload an mp3 if you'd like an antidote for Bad Rolf.

And upon a little Rolf-Googling, I've discovered his version of "Bohemian Rhapsody". It is ironicawesome!
posted by wendell 15 October | 13:03
Oh you guys are talking about the "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport"-guy!? I love(d) that guy.
posted by danostuporstar 15 October | 13:16
I've never heard of this. I gather that in this case, ignorance might truly be bliss.
posted by King of Prontopia 15 October | 13:43
Lots of little rolfs, with a free cornflake!

In primary school we used to snicker about 'Jake the Peg', whose father couldn't put his nappy on due to him being a tripod, and it was in our primary school songbook! Totally aside, but is there a program like ABC Sing anywhere else? We got a songbook with like 90 songs, a tape and sometimes other stuff every year, and we would all sing along at least a couple of times a week to 'Locomotion' and 'Solid Rock' and 'The Volga Boatmen' and 'Jake the Peg'. Produced by Australia's publicly funded broadcaster, ABC, and with er, quite a bit of Rolf Harris.
posted by goo 15 October | 13:51
Hmm, I just watched that clip of Scatty Safari and the voiceover says "And now a word from an anonymous queen" then cuts to a silhouette of QEII with the caption THIS IS NOT ROLF HARRIS underneath. He's always pinged my gaydar just a smidge, but his wikipedia article says he's been married to his wife since 1958. Hmmm.
posted by goo 15 October | 14:05
Before this, I never thought that "Anglophilia" was creepy.
posted by stilicho 15 October | 15:58
I used to love this when I was little. Now, not so much, but there is still a tiny soft spot in one of the darker corners of my head heart for it.
posted by dg 15 October | 16:42
We all grew up with Rolf ("can you see what it is yet?"). I really think that his Stairway To Heaven is the nonpareil version.
posted by Susurration 15 October | 20:26
I finally listened to the boy one. . I am very disappointed. . .no racism, no crappy humor. . .I had expected another debaucle, I guess. . .
posted by danf 16 October | 00:00
Lie through your teeth just to stay in the race || I loved this one.