“Shannon” by Henry Gross

The primary problem with this song, apart from Henry Gross’ frankly terrible singing, is that it makes its subject matter…an elegy for a deceased dog…sound like a sniveling whimper by a sentimental idiot. Now, I’m not a dog person, but I’m aware that songs about coping with a dog’s death can be extremely effective if done correctly…indeed, the Elvis standard “Old Shep”, which deals with essentially the same subject matter, is heartbreaking. But “Old Shep” conveyed its sentiments with a quietly dignified stiff upper lip, rather than the soppy sentimentality of “Shannon”, and as a result was an immensely touching ode to a departed friend. And frankly, even funeral ballads about humans, from “Candle In the Wind” to “See You Again”, work best when they attempt some degree of subtlety and dignity…keening outcries about death are best left to the realm of operas and musicals, and rarely work in mainstream pop music.

Verdict: Bad

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