[lit-ideas] Re: Bolcom and Morris - a short digression

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 00:30:26 -0500

Weird Al Yankovic is a parodist and satirist of pop music and its stars.  He's 
quite often very fnnny.  I didn't find Donal's selection particularly funny, a 
bit, yes, but not up to Al's best work.  Ak was paroding a famous scene from 
Pennebacker's documentary film "Don't Look Back"  -- I once had a dog I named 
'Don't Look Back', but he not only didn't look back, he didn't look both ways 
before crossing the street and ended up as ground beef.  The song Weird Al was 
paroding was Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" -- (see below) and Weird 
Al's cue cards were a parody of Dylan's tossed aside lyric cue cards in the 
film.  That was the funniest thing about the parody -- that and the Ginsberg 
looking character in the background.

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
In the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D. A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out. kid,
You're gonna get hit
But users, cheaters
Six-time losers
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles


Those lyrics are quite different from Weird Al's parody lyrics.
Mike Geary

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andy" <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 2:31 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Bolcom and Morris - a short digression

>I heard of Weird Al but I'm pretty clueless.  I'll
> check him out.  Just wondering, what specifically do
> you disagree with that I said about Dylan?  That I
> used to think that he was a low life?  That was based
> on a comment I heard him say way back which I won't go
> into.  Over the years I've learned to feel sorry for
> people who do/say lowlife things because I understand
> that when people do/say low life things it's because
> they're hurting.  So, forgive and forget and I now see
> how good his music is.  I actually like Dylan.  I said
> he was magic.
> I like all kinds of music, except today's music.  I
> have tried, yes I have tried to learn to like it but I
> absolutely can't stand it for more than a minute. 
> Maybe I just need someone to walk me through it or
> something.  Somewhere along the line I did the old
> bumper sticker thing which is I stopped the world and
> got off and now can't or don't want to get back on. 
> Part of it is that I much prefer interviews and I
> hardly ever listen to music, not even when driving,
> except maybe for exercise and my collection is not
> extensive and I'm getting tired of it.  
> Anyway, I'm surprised that you don't stand up for
> Elvis.  He's in the pantheon somewhere too, toward the
> top of the list somewhere.  The Beatles are now
> cliches, that's the only thing that's wrong with them.
> They really did some brilliant things later on after
> they got past the I want to hold your hand junk.  I'm
> inclined to think that all this non-narrative type
> music has to be a trickle down from the earlier
> disjointed art and everything from the moderns.  I
> don't know where I'm going with that.  Maybe later. 
> And maybe not.  That's it.  Gotta go.
> --- Mike Geary <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Irene, you do know who Weird Al Yankovic is, don't
>> you?
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