“Come On-A My House” by Rosemary Clooney

This song is now probably most notorious for its use in a disastrous musical fantasy sequence in the awful Madonna movie Swept Away, but frankly it almost deserves that association. This is one of those cases where the background information on the song is far more interesting than anything about the song itself. It was written as a collaboration between famed playwright William Saroyan and the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks (that is not a joke). Unfortunately, all that resulted from this bizarre combination was a very conventional Italian-stereotype novelty number. It’s possible to make this song work…Julie London, by using a slower tempo and her trademark sensual vocal stylings, managed to give it some dignity and sex appeal, and Louis Prima also did an interesting rendition…but it certainly doesn’t work with the frantic tempos and cartoony performing style heard here and in most other versions. It certainly doesn’t help that Rosemary Clooney sounds like she’s on the verge of homicide here, although to be fair, she probably was…she was point-blank forced to record this song by producer Mitch Miller, who seemed to have a fetish for bad Novelty Pop, and she hated it and hated being associated with it all her life. Fortunately, her career went in a much more respectable direction once she got away from Miller, and she wound up becoming one of the most legendary singers of the Great American Songbook ever. Still, the fact remains that this was one of her biggest hits and signature songs, and it dogged her for her entire career, and that’s more than reason enough to hate this song.

Verdict: Bad.

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