Is This Terrible Song A Sociology Experiment Or What?

Culture

There was a time when the internet was all cute animal videos and confoundingly overconfident people doing things they were obviously not very good at. Whether or not it was a better time, who can say — but it was certainly a simpler time.

In the spirit of those days, I present to you ... this music video from Oxford sociology graduate student Sarah Brand, for her song "Red Dress."

Sarah Brand - Red Dress (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

It is maybe one of the most wonderfully terrible things I have seen in a while and I'm not going to like, I've probably watched it like ten times since discovering it yesterday. I cannot look away. It's like she's singing notes that have never existed before.

Now, some people in my Twitter mentions, when I posted it, suggested that it had to be fake, on account of the fact that no one could possibly go through life and make it to Oxford of all places without realizing that they are that bad at singing. That perhaps, as she is a sociology student, this is merely a social experiment of some kind — perhaps to see how many people she could get to go along with her.

I disagree, and not just because I don't think that people who went to fancy schools are that much less likely to be more self-aware than anyone else. After all, Ted Cruz went to Harvard and Princeton. Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer went to Duke, although that did seem to prompt a lot of "But he's DAPPER!" confusion among people who for some reason couldn't fathom that a clean-cut, articulate, well-dressed Ivy Leaguer could be a Nazi. Oh, and you know who went to Oxford? Fox Mulder. Who, while correct about things on the X-Files, would be extremely wrong about them in real life.

As evidence that she is for real, allow me to show you the category tags on that video, which include things like "summer," "good time," "scandalous" and "seductive." Those don't pop up on YouTube, they only pop up when we embed the video ourselves.

Also — that is just not the face of someone who is taking the piss. She is clearly very sincere. And honestly, I'm happy for her. I am a very big fan of people who are terrible at singing and insist upon doing so anyway, from The Cherry Sisters to Florence Foster Jenkins to Mrs. Miller. It takes chutzpah I don't have, that's for sure.

OPEN THREAD! Talk amongst yourselves.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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