For those of you who don't know, director extraordinaire/filmmaker/visual artist/musician/ actor David Lynch spoke to The A.V. Club for their HateSong feature about, well, the song he despises the most. Guess what the big winner was? If you guessed “It's a Small World,” you know, that annoying one that's played all over Disneyland then you win!
In the piece, Lynch describes the horrible, or in his own words “traumatic,” experience upon hearing the song for the first time when he visited the resort with his daughter. He writes that the 1964 song “got stuck in my head and it was like having a disease.” He later adds, “like the swine flu or something. Through music, you get the swine flu.” Not a ringing endorsement to put it mildly.
Yet Lynch admits that the song is “actually a masterpiece in some ways,” and that there “could come a day, in supreme enlightenment, when 'Flappy' would be absolutely fine.” But that day seems far off. For now, “Just the thought of it can start it going, and it's a torment.” Do you blame him? I sure don't.
As much fun as Disneyland is with all the rides and for each delicious turkey leg they nail, what Mickey can't get quite right are the musical options at the Happiest Place on Earth. Most of those songs are so good in the sense that Lynch described: Too annoying to forget. Once a song from Disneyland gets stuck in your head, look out. I remember the last time going to Disneyland and upon hearing “When You Wish Upon a Star” for the nine millionth time; I thought my head was going to explode. I can only imagine if that were “It's a Small World.” In fact, instead of torturing prisoners abroad with metal, it might not be a bad idea to inflict mental harm using this classic.
If that weren't bad enough, I couldn't get the song out of my head, even after heading to a restaurant and after that, the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. These are the horrible side effects of hearing these songs that are too catchy for their own good. That's the genius that Lynch describes and he's dead on. Those jingles are what defines the theme park and what makes it so enchanting for young kids. However, what attracts children to Disneyland is what makes it so horrible for adults who aren't able to block out these types of songs.
On one hand, David Lynch absolutely nails it when describing “It's a Small World.” Yes, the song is the pits, but will that prevent me from going to theme parks? No. Thankfully, some ear buds and an iPhone or an iPod are the perfect remedy for all of the horribleness that song inflicts. And that's how you avoid losing your sanity in an amusement park.