This post is directly related to the one beneath it. First you must understand that before I met my husband one of the men I wanted to marry was Howard Keel as he appeared in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. I love big men, large and strapping like trees. Howard was a big man with a bigger voice and giant smile.
Since the movie was already about thirty years old I figured I’d best give up on that dream and live in the now so I met and married my husband, occasionally stumbling across Howard in things like Fargo.
But now today as I’m listening to him cover “This Nearly Was Mine” I decided to see if there are other Howard Keel performances on iTunes. And of course there are. There’s the usual stuff–showtunes from all the great golden age films and musicals including the song I love to hate (“If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot).
But there, mixed in among the rest are two things so hideously horribly wrong as to make me wonder if I should be crying or crying harder. Or wetting my pants with laughter.
For some reason unknown to me, poor Howard decided to include on his 1996 album “The Great Songs” two covers of songs that are not only less than great but also patently ridiculous.
MacArthur Park and…yes…I’ve Never Been To Me.
So here’s this gorgeous voice booming out whinges about his cake being left in the rain
and running out of places with friendly faces because he had to be free. Since I’m not paying for these I’m not going to know more than 30 seconds’ worth of what’s happening in those abominations so I have no idea how he’s going to handle the lyric about the chick’s abortion in “Never been…” So far he’s changed “took the hand of a preacher man” to “stole a woman in Tennessee”. This makes me wonder what planet he is living on. Because if I were single and Howard came to Tennessee and wanted to make love in the sun I’d go with him willingly. But even though I am married (happily), I am no one’s property short of God’s and am therefore not something to be stolen like a lipstick from Woolworth’s. I mean, come ON!!!
Oh, Howard. Poor Howard.
Edited to add that yes, I know technically Howard is dead. But in Kathland such men live on. Howard, Robert Shaw, Rex Harrison and Abraham Lincoln are all still alive to play poker with me on Saturday nights.