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Thread: A Pantoum and Four Parodies

  1. #1
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    A Pantoum and Four Parodies

    A Pantoum and Four Parodies

    by AuntShecky
    All Rights Reserved

    In the latest of Auntie’s Fairly Flailing Tales posted in the Short Story Sharing thread the other day, featured an allusion to Allan Sherman, who back in the early Sixties, was a wildly successful parodist. More about Allan in a little while, but listening to a few of his numbers on the Web brought to mind how I used to “enjoy” (if that’s the word) composing parodies of what is called “American standards.” The songs I’d choose were well-known, at least to yours fooly. But, alas, not to everybody.

    It finally occurred to me that there exists a musical generation gap. Even within the same generation! My musical taste tended to go backward to the two decades before I was born. The songs I loved were already “oldies” when I listened to them. I guess preferring Sinatra over the Beatles made the adolescent Aunt Shecky the oddball of the neighborhood.

    On the other hand, when James Corden does his Carpool Karaoke, the repertoire is completely foreign to me. And when Jimmy Fallon sings a couple of bars of some pop hit, odds are it’s a ditty ne’er before heard by neither me nor - assumedly -Doc Severinson. (“Google” him.)

    In any event, I love the old songs and will defend to my death their innate excellence:

    They don’t write songs the way they used to,
    do they? Ever wish the old songs were true?
    Whenever the guys play a sweet old tune -
    unlike the modern baying at the moon –
    do they ever wish the old songs were true?
    They don’t really write ‘em like they used to,
    unlike the modern bayers at the moon
    who almost cry for need of a still drink.
    They don’t really write ‘em like they used to.
    This way, it brings up hope and memories
    almost cried for. Need a stiff drink?
    For no one can tell me that I’m wrong to think
    this way. It brings up hope and memories
    whenever the guys play a sweet old tune.
    For no one can tell me I’m wrong to think
    they don’t write songs the way that they used to.

    Case in point, re the sentiment above. The Cole Porter tune, “You’re the Top” originally appeared in 1934, way, way before yours fooly’s time. (To reiterate: I’m old, but I’m not that old.) Nonetheless, the bouncy tune inspired the following parody six decades later. Around 1998 or so, it attempted to ask a musical question:

    Where’s a cop?
    Not around when you need ‘im.
    Where’s a cop?
    I promise to feed ‘im.

    He’s in Zanzibar
    or a coffee bar
    and entirely unfazed.

    Put a latte in his belly
    with a doughnut of jelly
    or even glazed.

    Where’s a cop?
    All I see are druggers.
    Where’s a cop?
    Here come the muggers.

    I’ll be on the ground
    if I’m still around
    when that Uzi loudly pops –

    But, if Baby, I’m a victim
    Where’s a cop?

    The music for of this next parody goes back even farther to 1930, when a still quite young Ginger Rogers introduced the Gershwin classic, “Embraceable You.” The lyrics of this particular parody also go back to 1998 (for real!) , though in this later version the subject has been updated for this penultimate day of 2017. No names were mentioned in either parody.

    Impeach me? I’m not impeachable. Gee–
    Impeach me, your most unteachable me?
    Just one tweet from me
    will make news about me.
    I and I alone
    Create fake news about me.

    Fans love all
    the bigly brands named for me,
    and That Wall,
    and these little hands you can’t see.

    I’m not a naughty baby!
    No collusion, no collusion, b’lieve me.
    I’m not impeachable, you’ll see!

    Next up is another ode to municipal employees, with a seasonable theme. The tune comes from “Send in the Clowns” by Stephen Sondheim for A Little Night Music, 1973.

    Aren’t the roads slick?
    Nothing’s been cleared.
    Snow keeps falling and falling–
    worse than last year.

    Send in the plows.
    There ought to be plows.

    We’re getting snowed in.
    Travel’s risky, I fear.
    No milk runs or quick trips
    to pick up cold beer.

    But where are the plows?
    Send in the plows.

    Just when I thought
    I’d could dash outdoors,
    I found that it’s our town
    the road crew ignores.

    The storm’s getting dense,
    another foot it will bring.
    Even a 4-wheel drive
    won’t mean a thing.

    No sign of a plow–
    we’re stuck anyhow.
    Stiffed by the plows,
    Till maybe next spring.

    And finally, here’s a little ditty first posted on the “Parodies Found” for the NitLet back in Ought Nine. As I mentioned back then, here’s a post-modern conundrum – a parody of a parody for a neophyte tourist in Sin City who learns that what happens in a parody should stay in a parody, namely the ageless “Hello, Muddah, Hello, Faddah by the aforementioned Allan Sherman.

    Hello Muddah, hello Faddah
    Here I am out in Nevadah.
    It’s exciting and amusing,
    And I think I’ll have some fun when I stop losing.

    Tried my luck at the one-armed bandit–
    Lots o’ lemons, I can’t stand it!
    I was getting a rotten deal
    With the run-around from the roulette wheel.

    I placed a bet, oh, Muddah, Faddah,
    on blackjack yet!
    I don’t know what to do –
    I keep hitting twenty-two!

    Now I’m losing five-star pokah
    and I’m going even brokah.
    Hope that we don’t become beggahs
    Wish I’d gone away to camp instead of Vegahs!
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 12-31-2017 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    OMG, laffing too hard!
    Send In The Plows? hee hee!
    Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
    ~Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I miss several references but the impeachment song is highly up to date!
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  4. #4
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    Thank you kiz paws and Danik for weighing in on this.

  5. #5
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    I remember Alan Sherman. I have a long playing record of a number of his numbers, one of which springs instantly to my mind as well as yours. But not in Camp Grenada... Nice to see yore keeping a brain cell or two active. I'm letting mine rot. The modern world is not one which I relish inhabiting...

    Live and be well. H

  6. #6
    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Very witty and had been rollin

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