In the first entry of a new category for PM (JESUS CHRIST etc.), there’s room for a truly boggling amount of inappropriateness. The seven-year-old (although probably now at least fourteen and in possession of a rapidly increasing chemical habit of some sort) runner-up of the Britain’s Got Talent mediocrity pageant Connie Talbot has recorded a slightly sick version of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. Admittedly, this is not new news, but it is still slightly sick. Almost racist, actually. Enjoy, then digest below…
Obviously not all blame can be levelled at Talbot herself, she’s no idea of what’s going on apart from she’s been told to run and skip everywhere convincing her new friend that, truly, every little thing is going to be alright. But was it really necessary for her to have dreadlocks? As if in some way this aligns her with Jamaican culture? The whole video is peppered with these alignments (a horrific accent and cringeworthy head-bobs among them), reaching its zenith when we see a little boy in the final stage scene who is clearly there because he looks a bit like Bob Marley. They’ve even given him a little multicolour hat. Ahhh.
What’s equally bad is the surreal familial strife plot that dominates the first verse of the song. Talbot appears, in a strange way, to be mocking the other child with her incessant happiness – the juxtapositions between her easy-going and the other child’s hard-going is too much. What will Talbot do? Help her ring Childline? Supervise the visiting hours every other Sunday? To assume that Talbot can deal with these issues is another symptom of having management that continually tries to sell to the wrong audience. Why market her as anything other than entertainment for other children? Once the novelty of being a child singer has worn thin, adults don’t need cultural references to Bob Marley and social work from a seven-year-old.
In a wider context, though, it’s Talbot’s voice that is the most exploited aspect of the product. It’s undeniable that her voice is of a good quality for her age, she manages to stay in tune during live performances and has a knack for imitation. But there are hardly any songs in the popular canon that could ever be anywhere near suitable for her to sing, short of resorting to Grandma We Love You. It’s an equivalent of the scene in the paedophilia edition of Brasseye where the voice of a child is dubbed over a prostitute’s dialogue – unnerving.