- 3.04.10 - 1:30PM
- - by
- Nick Douglas
This headline is the only sound you'll hear for the next 24 hours. You will load up this microsite with one repeating video on it, and you won't close it until your ears are burning, and you feel something warm and wet trickling out over your earphones.
Five seconds in, a man lip-synchs to the words "Yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh."
You shouldn't ruin this with commentary or explanation. You shouldn't read on and see a YouTube video of the same performance, or find out who the hell this man is and why he's lip-synching to tra-la-la words for about three minutes. It will ruin the magic.
Oh god, you're going to anyway. I hate you.
Some things seem so odd, so completely insolite, that in coming across them one can only assume that they are completely without historical precedent, that they exist outside of all tradition.That's a blogger named Justin E. H. Smith putting this better than anyone else ever will. Smith says the singer above is named Edward Hill, or at least that's a translation of his Russian name (Eduard Khil). He's singing "I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home," a song written to be performed just like this, to a Russian audience in the 70s or 80s.
Let's walk through the highlights of Hill's performance:
- The first yuh-yuh-yuh. I don't believe this video would catch on were the yuh-yuh-yuh not so early.
- The oh-oh-oh-oh-ho. That's the last time Edward Hill will shape his mouth like the sound supposedly coming out.
- The arm-swings.
- Two open hands, then a sway side-to-side as if to admit the silliness.
- HIGH VOIIIIIIICE!
- Low voiiiiice.
- Pointin' and laughin'.
- Very specific hand gestures...
- A wave...
- And goodbye.
Smith says that this earlier version shows that the Hill version isn't weird because of the song itself, but because of "the hair, the eyebrows, the elbows... the set, the lighting, the quality of the color film."
The performance is weirder because it was shot in a time when everything looked and felt extra-weird, that era when the hair was foofed up, the performances were winky-winky, and the film was brash and bright.
Now that we've analyzed the whole thing (and there's plenty more analysis at Reddit if you like), let's go watch it over and over for the next day or two.
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