If one thing can rescue an otherwise tired and tiresome song from complete indifference, it's a humorous, slightly-mismatched rhyming couplet or two. 'To Die a Virgin' is a case in point - "Bird-Flu" and "I love you" is a couplet to cause laughs in amongst a song that hardly registers on the interest scale.
It's not the lyrics at fault - with these, Neil Hannon has written an archaic ditty of 1950s courting, equal parts sincere and tongue-in-cheek. Never relenting from the tightest of rhyme schemes, the snorts and chuckles arrive from smut-tinged lines: "Now every time that I see you / Your uniform becomes see-through / You don't know how much I need you / The 'Handy Andys' I've been through".
The reason this song promotes a kind of indifference lies with the melody - there barely is one. Over and over, the same chromatic line repeats with a reedy tone, never using the immediate possibilities of Hannon's voice. Although someone has attempted to pump up the whole affair with a brass section, a multitude of strings and cutesy sha-la-las, it doesn't matter what you ice the cake with if the cake itself is a soggy failure that never rose.
Not completely devoid of merit, then, but 'To Die A Virgin' is certainly no gourmet treat.
5Rachel Cawley's Score