Perhaps it’s just because I spent 2011 dipping into Sondheim’s Finishing the Hat, which contains some of the most perceptive writing on lyrics I have ever seen, but I’ve suddenly become acutely aware of people writing in a poetical style when they really, really shouldn’t.
In the summer I blogged about some extremely dubious words written for a pretty dubious-sounding opera care of Lee Hall; more recently I heard an interview with Johnny Daukes, who (inaccurately) claims to have written ‘the first UK film written entirely in rhyming couplets’ – although I haven’t seen the film, the trailer has enough dodgy scansion, in addition to the half-rhyme ‘game I control’/’playing the role’ and the downright awful pairing of ‘beretta’/’peseta’, to suggest the depths to which the wordsmithery in the film probably stoops.
However, none of this prepared me for what my disbelieving ears heard over Christmas, the nadir of my whole experience lyric writing and possibly the very death of poetry itself.
But then, could anything prepare anyone for a couplet which rhymes ‘bland enamel one’ with ‘Andy Hamilton’?
Somebody ought to be very ashamed of himself indeed.