Friday, September 07, 2007

Inching Towards Modernity

Again, with the partial parodies. But this is what comes of spoofing material when I don't know the original. Yet a friend has written to suggest that I try parodying something more recent than Sonny Boy. And he's absolutely right.

So I bethought me of a Billy Joel song, For the Longest Time (hey, it's only twenty-four years old!). His tunes and rhythms frequently please my ear, and—this will sound odd—though his lyrics are as unintelligible as those of every rock star since Elvis was a pup, I have a sneaking suspicion that they actually approximate American English and fit the music. And those are qualities that I admire like billy-o, if you'll pardon the pun.

So here, in a rough order, are a few verses, set to the principal theme:

Broadway shows mean standing in a queue;
Hours and hours of nothin' much to do.
If all the waiting
Is rather enervating,
Then why not simply form a conga line?

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh—
Form a conga line.
Ooh, ooh, ooh—
Form a conga line.

Leap years bring a slate of candidates:
TV spots and tedious debates.
I think campaigning
Would be more entertaining,
If nominees would form a conga line.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh—etc.

British pomp is something of a bore:
Slow march; drum beats; pageantry galore.
With Princess Di dead,
The Queen has now decided,
"We are resolved to form a conga line."

Ooh, QE2! etc.

Someday, all will perish in the dust:
Pride, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust.
But never fear, eh?
We'll meet on dies irae;
And, when we do, we'll form a conga line.

Lyric © 2007 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Now, this points up the difficulty with rock songs as material for parody, even songs as appealing as Billy Joel's: the repetition is simply not a fit vehicle for comedy. Rock songs too often are in ballad form: verse, refrain, verse, refrain, and so on. Gotta go; the server's shutting down.

Meanwhile, I've made four abortive attempts to parody Windmills of Your Mind, in obedience to the suggestion of another friend. Easier said than done, Toots.


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