Sunday’s song parodies – boredom will do that to you…

In the wake of Stuck In The Nether With You, I took up a sizable chunk of yesterday writing more song parodies – all but one of which was Minecraft-related. I’ll take them in chronological order – which also happens to make the worst one the first one…

When the ever-charming WelshPixie announced her wakefulness to Twitter (which is always a welcome announcement, I hasten to add), just seeing her name reminded me of her recent video, Pixie’s Derp Chirp. It was then that my demented brain plucked out a song from the Earworm Library* for inspection and possible parody: Middle of the Road’s 1971 hit Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep – and the result was Derpy Derpy Tweet Tweet… Given that the original was classed as “bubblegum pop”, there weren’t many lyrics to fiddle with, and it’s not one of my best, as a consequence. It’s also the one which isn’t strictly Minecraft-related – but it does feature the names of several of my good friends from the gaming community 🙂

I can’t quite remember what inspired me to tackle Kenny Rogers’ classic 1979 song Coward of the County next, but I think I did a reasonable job of writing a story to a song, as well as making it related to my favourite computer game. So I present Griefer of the Server as my second song parody of Sunday.

From there, I wondered how many genres I could murder in parody, and joked that opera would be next:

Now… can I write a Minecraft opera? 😉 lol

(Erm… automatic conversion to a graphical smiley in EFX3 is automatic.)

But my brain, on some sort of demonic roll, suggested, “Why not?” First song which came to mind was Nessun Dorma, but then I remembered the perfect one: Verdi’s Anvil Chorus! (In case you’re not familiar with it, the work is replete with the sound of clanking anvils – or, in my case, the clashing of pickaxes on rock.) After eventually finding a translation from the Italian, I was stunned at how few words there were to the libretto (remember, music fans: regular songs have lyrics, while opera has libretto. The more you know). That ultimately made it easier for me – and I managed to use a nice little rhyming scheme within the lines, which didn’t exist in the original version. The Minecraft Chorus was the result (or perhaps, given the subject matter, The Zombie Chorus might be a more appropriate title). And I think the ideal singers for this would be the guys from The Shaft Podcast 😉

A comment from Nosirrah151 (known to us all as Nosi) about the burgeoning number of songs:

@AstragaliUSA geez astra, do you want us to change your nickname to The Minecraft Jukebox? hehe awesome… again

brought about this response:

@Nosirrah151 LOL… so, do you think I should do reggae next? *runs like hell*

to which Nosi suggested I try re-writing Red Red Wine (UB40’s reggae version, not the original Neil Diamond one). But I struggled, and instead went with a parody of Desmond Dekker’s Israelites from 1968, entitled Me House Is Alight! Perhaps slightly above DDTT in terms of quality, but not brilliant. Hmm.

By this point, you may have noticed a particular attribute about the songs I’d chosen to parody: None of them are recent! Thing is, I don’t listen to the radio, so I’m not up on the latest hippety-hop tracks. So all I had to do with the older stuff was re-listen to the song to get to grips with the rhythm and feel of the words. Not so easy when trying to help out Nosi with a re-write of his parody of Nickelback’s Rockstar. (Okay, so that particular song is apparently from the early Nineties, but still…) So, that one took quite a while to figure out, but I got there in the end, and Nosi liked the result.

Around the same time that Nosi had asked for my assistance with the aforementioned Nickelback song, MinecraftChick issued the following request:

@AstragaliUSA I want you to write a parody song for me 🙂

Oh, boy! I hadn’t anticipated the possibility that someone would actually ask for a song specifically about them – and I hoped I could do her justice… I sent a reply asking if she had a genre or particular song in mind, but it appears my hindbrain was already on the case, worrying away at the rhythm of “MinecraftChick”. The first thing that the rest of my grey cells knew of it was when the sounds of Lady Marmalade emanated from all the corners of my mind. My hindbrain is now grounded for a month.

Still, I figured I could do a story with it, and also keep it G-rated – the original Labelle version, and the later version featuring (amongst others) Christina Aguilera are rather closer to PG-13 (if not R). I didn’t want to sully dear MinecraftChick’s reputation! Fortunately, I think I managed to achieve all my intended goals, as well as having fun with re-writing the “gitchy gitchy ya ya” gibberish 😉 Although I’ve stated in the preamble for Lady MinecraftChick that it’s based on the Labelle version, the rhythm of the starting “Hey newbie! Go, newbie!” refrain is taken from the update 🙂 I was still rather nervous that MinecraftChick would actually like what I’d written about her – and was therefore very relieved when she told me she did… (and she’d also tweeted about it to her 3,262 followers):

Wow @AstragaliUSA wrote me a song based on Lady Marmalade… hmmm… 🙂 http://j.mp/jPo8uA

I then struck up a deal with HojjoshMC, who is an excellent writer of both parodies and original songs, and who can actually perform his own work:

Note to @HojjoshMC: BTW, I’m not muscling in on your parodying territory… You can have 1990 onwards, and I’ll take 1989 backwards 😉 (I already nabbed 1853 LOL)

And he seemed to be okay with that, going by this tweet:

@AstragaliUSA sounds like a plan!

So, be warned: There may be more parodies from me in the future! 😛

* “Earworm” actually is the proper term for a song which gets stuck in your brain. I didn’t make it up.

‡ Totally stole this from British comedian Jeremy Hardy, who used it on the excellent BBC topical comedy panel game The News Quiz.

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