Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SHG: Skeeter Davis: "The End of the World"

Skeeter Davis: “The End of the World”
Entered the chart on: 2/16/63
Peaked on: 3/23/63
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & the Romantics

Mary Francis Pennick, known professionally as Skeeter Davis, has already had a bit of a hand in Second Hand Goods, having written lyrics for Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date,” which she sang the first vocal version of. Another SHG alumna, Joni James, also covered the Davis version and had her last Top 40 chart entry with it.

This is a very incestuous entry, speaking in #2 hits terms.

Anyway, I remember this song as being very overwrought. Let’s see if it lives up to my memory of it.

Well, her voice is less whiny than I recall. This song lays it on pretty thick, though. Lyricist Sylvia Dee reportedly drew on sorrow from the death of her father for inspiration. Which comes across as a bit heavy for a song about heartbreak. I mean, as a poor, lonely soul who’s never known love (see the “You Don’t Know Me” review), I imagine being dumped can feel pretty apocalyptic, but still, the glurge-y string orchestration (Chet Atkins again) and see-saw piano arpeggios (almost certainly Floyd Cramer yet again) make this feel awfully manipulative.

And let’s not even get into the spoken word couplet someone insisted on talking Skeeter into putting in there. The whole thing comes across as a cake made entirely of icing, and that’s just not a dish I want to devour.

I feel like someone’s trying too hard to make me feel a certain way, and I hate that!

Rating: 2

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