Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Gloom Tune

I received an email yesterday informing me that the great old British comic Tony Hancock chose “Gloomy Sunday” as one of his 8 Desert Island Discs when he appeared on the classic BBC radio show in 1957.

A lifelong depressive, Hancock killed himself in an Australian hotel room in 1968, the same year the song’s writer Reszo Seress also took his own life. So.... another strike to the notorious “Hungarian Suicide Song” which, it has been claimed - with little hard evidence as backup - inspired a rash of self-inflicted deaths over the years due to its overwhelming sense of misery? Hmmm….

Anyway, though Billie Holliday’s 1941 version remains the definitive take, there have been loads of great interpretations of the song through the years. Here’s a young Elvis Costello singing it – proceed with caution!

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