Host's Diary
2:42 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

We Just Don't Do This Song Thing Very Well, Do We?

A kazoo must be played with enthusiasm.
Credit Stefan Westhoff / Wikimedia Commons

We're trying to gather up some Connecticut State Troubadours in our studio later this week, so it occurs to me to ask: Which is more ear-splittingly bad?

This Hartford jingle, which was -- from the sound of it -- recorded in a corrugated aluminum hangar? And features the kazoo-driven panache of a we-couldn't-afford-a-real-ensemble one-man jug band? And hinges on the unlikely scenario of some dude packing up and leaving New York to come live in Hartford? (I love Hartford, but this is not really a market segment it can easily tap into.) And is part of the city's image campaign handled by a Canadian firm? And of course did not involve anything so radical as having a Hartford-based musician write about his or her own city? (The video itself, I hasten to add, gets a lot of things right.)

CORRECTIONS AND EMENDATIONS: Maybe I'm being a little harsh. I spoke to Kristina Newman-Hartford-Scott, the delightful marketing and cultural affairs attache for City Hall, and she informed me that the creator of this song essentially donated the tune to the city. He wrote it as a result of his many visits here. So it's organic, as opposed to commissioned. (She also pointed out that the Canadian firm has been out of the picture for years, and that the slogan "Hartford Has It" was also arrived at organically and not as a result of pricey outside work.) I affirmed to Kristina Newman-Hartford-Scott that the right to kazoos is guaranteed in the Second Amendment. She likes this song's authentic youthful feel. I feel a little guilty for hating it as much as I do.

Or this high-gloss but completely unintelligible song, part of our $27 million state tourism campaign, which does not contain the word "Connecticut"? (That campaign was designed by a New York agency.) You may vote for one or the other by sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming.