“All those sweet old love songs,
Oh, every word rings true,
Sham-a-ling-dong-ding means sweetheart,
And sham-a-ling-dang-dong does too.”
Wanna know the difference between a great singer and someone with a great voice? Watch this video. Jesse Winchester destroys all sentient beings with this performance of “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding,” a heartbreaking slice of nostalgia done earlier this year on Elvis Costello‘s Spectacle. The solitary tear cascading down Neko Case‘s face at 3:12 is absolutely priceless. Granted, I wish I could lop off the final :30 of this vid, but whatever. Listen and weep.
Jesse Winchester – Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding
Winchester can’t jump octaves like Freddie Mercury or an American Idol finalist. But, what he can do is use his limited vocal range to communicate fundamental human emotions like a surgical strike to your soul. Combine that with excellent fingerpicking and deceptively brilliant lyrics and you have an all-timer of a performance.
Buy Love Filling Station, Jesse’s most recent album (which contains the studio version of “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding”)
PS – I’m dedicating this post to my mom, who passed away 17 years ago tonight. I’m pretty sure she would’ve loved this song.