Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Quickie

The following simply rolled out, without a by-your-leave. How could it not? There's simply oodles of material to work with, and the only real problem is deciding what to omit.

A thought of parodying Gershwin's Strike Up the Band! has been rolling around in the noggin for years (as well as the 1900 song, Strike Up the Band [Here Comes a Sailor]). The thought never got further than a Spoonerism of the title. But I ask you: who bikes up the Strand? I'm not even sure that it's possible to do so; perhaps one bikes down.

Last night, though, a hook occurred to me, followed by the release and the punchline, and this morning throwaways for the beginning suggested themselves without the trouble of thinking. With only 85 syllables to the song, though, there's no room for conjunctions and dependent clauses, so it requires a lot of scenery-chewing to put across. What's wanted are the facial muscles of a Rich Little or a David Frye. And one must start out slow and build up to it:

Every cross-town bus . . .
Is a rattle-trap.
Take a tip from us : . . .
Hike up the fare!

On the subway train
Is a pile of crap—
And an unknown stain.
Hike up the fare!

See the mud and the crud and the blood;
Note the grime and the slime and the crime;
Here a rat went 'n' shat; and is that
Pubic hair?!

If it is—well, hey!
We’re the MTA!
We simply hike up the fare!

Lyric © 2006 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov


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