Mark Dery on Bobby Darin

Over at Thought Catalog, Mark Dery ponders the darker side of Darin's "Beautiful Things." Touchpoints in the riff include Cupid and Psyche, Roland Barthes’s concept of the “punctum,” and Yeats. From Dery's essay:

Isn’t there something unsettling, a sly wink of Dean Martin existentialism, in Bobby Darin’s finger-poppin’ Vegas-hipster version of “Beautiful Things” (from the 1967 movie musical Doctor Dolittle)? A hint of nonchalant menace to that walking bassline as it slinks down a minor scale in the song’s opening bars? Subliminal whispers of memento mori amid the brassy blare of Roger Kellaway’s orchestral setting, which nails that sweet spot between suave and schmaltzy? Intimations of mortality between the lines of Leslie Bricusse’s lyrics about “beautiful days of sun-kissed showers” and “beautiful nights of moon-kissed hours,” right there in Darin’s breezy delivery of the lines, “Our lives tick by like pendulum swings/ Delicate things, butterfly wings?”

"Why The Nightingale Sings: On Bobby Darin’s 'Beautiful Things'"