Kitty and I watched Young @ Heart for the first time last night. If you haven't heard of it yet, it's a documentary about a geriatric chorus from Northhampton, MA, that tours the world singing beautifully strange and moving versions of rock songs. In the film they cover Sonic Youth, Hendrix, the Ramones and the Clash.
These folks have some incredible spirit and they really enjoy what they do. In fact, many of them claim it's what keeps them going. The problem is: they're really old, so they have a tendency, as all of us will someday, to die.
In the documentary, the chorus is preparing new songs for an upcoming tour. One of the songs reunites a couple of ex-members who left the chorus due to health issues—one had recently been read his last rites before recovering. The two are tasked to sing a duet of Coldplay's insufferable ballad, "Fix You". But, interpreted by these men, the song takes on a whole new tone. Unfortunately, before the performance, one half of the duet passes away. To honor his memory the song is performed by the surviving singer, Fred Knittle.
Put simply: It's devastating. I knew I was done for when I heard his oxygen clicking like the saddest percussion in the world.
"No darling. I'm not weeping like a little girl. I've got a huge fucking piece of dust in my eye. And allergies. DON'T YOU LOOK AT ME!"
You can buy the mp3 of this performance here.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!