Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tehran by Christmas!

On the way home last night, there came to my fevered brain an idea for a parody of van Heusen's "Personality," from "Road to Utopia" (there's a perfectly foul midi file, with verse, here). This morning's commute produced the following:

Before the Shah crapped out,
When he had all his clout,
He sat and sneered at the folks in D.C.,
Supported by his awesome

And when Khomeini scored
With the Islamic Horde,
How did he greet the Great Satan's decree?
He turned around and showed his

Now, what does everyone
Give to Uncle Sam,
When anyone
Is in a jam,
And we begin with J'accuse!?
You know.

So let's concoct a plan
To overrun Iran
And hold elections that truly are free—
They'll tell us we can kiss their

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov


Blogger sallie parker said...

Very nice to have a fresh, nearly spontaneous 'parody.' Two constructive criticisms:
1) Second line should be 'Before he lost his clout' or 'The day he lost his clout'.
2) Bridge is weak. I do not have it in front of me so cannot suggest rephrasing. But Mercer's trick was to repeat a construction within a stanza ('What did Romeo see in Juliet? Or Pierrot, in Pierrette? Or Jupiter, in Juno? You know--') and the same repetitive simplicity might work well here.

10:57 PM  
Blogger npetrikov said...

Thank you, Sallie. You're quite right about the bridge: a perfect idea (it seemed to me) imperfectly executed. I've been turning it over in my head since, but not solution yet. If I've learned anything in the past four months, though, it's that a solution will come.

I'm of two minds about the second line. It's not as good as it might be, but whether "lost" or "all," it's got to be a strong word, because it's the main stress in the line. Alas, "clout" tends to overshadow just about any other word.

The original lyricist, by the way, was another Johnny--Burke.

7:08 AM  
Blogger sallie parker said...

Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen, quite right. Why was I thinking of Mercer? Because I have a recording of him singing it with the Pied Pipers, that's why. It is definitely Mercerish when Mercer sings the bridge.

I now recall that I saw most of the Road pictures in early 1980, when Channel 13, our Educational Television station, did a Road Picture Fest as part of their pledge drive. The series was generally hosted by Mr. Kevin McCarthy (kid brother of critic and novelist Mary, and quite as fit and handsome as he was in both the first and the second versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Burke and Van Heusen definitely registered with me. Shame on me for thinking Mercer!

11:08 PM  

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