Goodbye Cruel World (James Darren song)
|"Goodbye Cruel World"|
|Single by James Darren|
|James Darren singles chronology|
"Goodbye Cruel World" is a song written by Gloria Shayne Baker, who also wrote the well-known Christmas carol, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and several songs for singer Lesley Gore. The most famous recording of this song is by James Darren. Released as a single in 1961, Darren scored his first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when "Goodbye Cruel World" peaked at number three. It would prove the biggest hit of Darren's career on this chart, as well as on the UK Singles Chart (#28).
Darren, playing pop idol "Kip Dennis," performed the song on a late 1961 episode of "The Donna Reed Show." (He had previously played a different character in a 1959 episode of the sitcom.) The song was also used in a film on Pop Art directed by Ken Russell for the BBC TV series Monitor which aired in March 1962; its context here was the escape from the dying culture of the British Empire.
According to disc jockeys at the time the song was released, the calliope (music)-like riff used in the song based on the "Entrance of the Gladiators" theme, was a synthesized recording of a woman's voice rather than a musical instrument.
The song is about the man, who's heart was broken by a "Mean fickle woman", who plans to join the circus to be playing a brokenhearted clown, and says that he does not mind being shot out of a cannon, and he plans to tell the world that the "Mean fickle woman made a crying clown" out of him.
- Fox, Margalit (2008-03-11). "Gloria Shayne Baker, Composer and Lyricist, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
- Noland, Claire (2008-03-15). "Gloria Shayne Baker, 84; helped write 'Do You Hear What I Hear?'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
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