“Riveting!” “Electrifying!” “Supremely Musical!” These are just a few superlatives that will never be used to describe Henrietta and Myrna Neudorf’s soporific, ostensibly live performance of the moving hymn “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” I don’t think I am overstating it when I suggest that this may be one of the worst musical performances I’ve seen, yet is so authentic as it wears you out with its awfulness that you realize it achieves a sort of excellence. I was so inspired by the counter-intuitive interpretation of such a joyful hymn as a dirge, that I myself felt the impulse to climb to the top of the highest mountain and scream, “Hey world! We don’t need Ambien anymore, we need Neudorf!”
Finding this video was, for me, a kind of holy grail of kitsch, and though the performance itself could hardly be described as “energetic”— rather more like a wispy apparition or something you only half remember—Myrna and Henrietta have gotten enough traction to inspire many parody videos. That seems redundant until you remember the Neudorf’s were dead serious; so much so they sing like they’re dead. Take a moment to kick it Neudorf-style and then tell a friend and they can tell someone and so on and so on…Before you know it, Henrietta and Myrna could be sleep-singing their way to a top-ten hit. Let the Night of the Living Neudorfs begin.