Monday, November 14, 2005

Bruce v. Al



Yesterday, on CBS Sunday Morning, there was a profile of the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. "Jungleland," from that album, remains one of my favorite songs from the Boss. But this post is not about Springsteen. It is about a different musical genius who is extremely underappreciated and underrated. His name is "Weird" Al Yankovic.

The class clown never gets the credit he deserves. The parodist is the same. Weird Al made a cameo on last night's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and I just added song 7777 to the iPod: Weird Al's "Melanie" from his most commercially successful album, Even Worse.

Yes, I said that Weird Al is a genius. Few may agree, but I stand by that claim. Not only is he a master of mimicry, but he also writes original songs that pay homage to an artist's sound. It may not be a direct satire, but sounds like the genre. Not to mention his polka-medleys. My favorite, "The Hot Rocks Polka" is a fabulous medley of Rolling Stones' songs on the accordian.

Let me share some lyrics from one of my favorite Weird Al songs that is sung to the tune of "American Pie," and an homage to Star Wars:

The Saga Begins

A long, long time ago

In a galaxy far away

Naboo was under an attack

And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn

Could talk the federation in

To maybe cutting them a little slack

But their response, it didn't thrill us

They locked the doors and tried to kill us

We escaped from that gasp

Then met Jar Jar and Boss Nass

We took a bongo from the scene

And we went to Theed to see the Queen

We all wound up on Tatooine

That's where... we found... this boy

Oh,

My my this here Anakin guy

May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry

He left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye

Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi, Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Did you know this junkyard slave

Isn't even old enough to shave

But he can use the Force, they say

Ahh, do you see him hitting on the queen

Though he's just nine and she's fourteen

Yeah, he's probably gonna marry her someday

Well, I know he built C-3PO

And I've heard how fast his pod can go

And we were broke, it's true

So we made a wager or two

He was a prepubescent flyin' ace

And the minute Jabba started off that race

Well, I knew who would win first place

Oh yes, it was our boy

We started singin' ...

My my this here Anakin guy

May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry

And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye

Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi, Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

Now we finally got to Coruscant

The Jedi Council we knew would want

To see how good the boy could be

So we took him there and we told the tale

How his midi-chlorians were off the scale

And he might fulfill that prophecy

Oh, the Council was impressed, of course

Could he bring balance, to the Force?

They interviewed the kid

All training they forbid

Because Yoda sensed in him much fear

And Qui-Gon said "Now listen here"

"Just stick it in your pointy ear"

"I still will teach this boy"

He was singin'

...My my this here Anakin guy

May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry

And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye

Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi, Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

We caught a ride back to Naboo

'Cause Queen Amidala wanted to

I frankly would've liked to stay

We all fought in that epic war

And it wasn't long at all before

Little Hotshot flew his plane and saved the day

And in the end some Gungens died

Some ships blew up and some pilots fried

A lot of folks were croakin'

The battle droids were broken

And the Jedi I admire most

Met up with Darth Maul and now he's toast

Well, I'm still here and he's a ghost

I guess I'll train this boy

And I was singin'

...My my this here Anakin guy

May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry

And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye

Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi, Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"

++++++++++++++

Pure Genius

4 comments:

Benjie516 said...

Your poetry is better.

Jenise said...

Totally you! I can see this! :-)

Genius? Hysterical! Creative! ADHD! Entertaining! Genius? Ok, I'll give you genius!

Oxypoet said...

Thanks folks...I should also mention, I've had the pleasure of seeing Al in concert, at Six Flags Magic Mountain, with several hundred other adoring fans, including my little brother Seth, who is also a big fan. Somewhere I have his autograph and Seth I think was an extra in one of his videos.

mellomouth said...

Awww! And I thought you would have given us the lyrics to "Melanie". Isn't it about a stalker? "You make me wanna staple bagels to my face". Is Yankovic jewish? I must be a grown-up. I'm no longer embarrassed by you having played this at lunch on K-OXY. Ahhh sitting in the quad - everyone looking at me and laughing!