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Subject: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Leo Jay on 06/14/04 at 12:05 pm

Cite your favorite parody that you've written, and include a bit of commentary about what you like most about it (and/or maybe what you would have liked to improve about it).

Some things it might be interesting to hear you discuss are:

-Where the idea came from
-How long it took you to work on it
-What challenges you faced in trying to make it work

I'd find it interesting to learn how your 'favorite' reflects your approach to such elements as:

-Rhyme scheme
-Tone (humor, irony, etc.)
-Thematic continuity/cohesiveness
-Incorporation of original lyrics

Maybe we can learn something from each other. 

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: neminem on 06/14/04 at 1:23 pm

Well, I can't list just one, but I can list a few. I would say my favorite parodies are usually the ones where the idea floats around in my head for a couple days, and then as soon as I sit down to write it, the parody just comes right out, and I submit it that same day. For instance:
If I get stuck on anything for more than a few minutes, I generally leave it alone for a while. Sometimes, inspiration will hit me later and I'll finish it then, but even when that does occur they're generally not as inspired as the ones I do all at once ;-).

In any case, when I sit down I generally have ideas on a couple lyrics that were stuck in my head at the time. I then download the original and look up its lyrics, read/listen to them a few times, and then start switching the lyrics of lines as ideas come to me. If one line suggests a particular lyric and the line its rhyme is coupled to doesn't, then I go to the handy freeware rhyming dictionary I got courtesy of AnalogX and browse around for ideas there. (This program was particularly useful for the Good Vibrations parody, which required thinking of dozens of rhymes to the same word "vibrations"). In picking lyrics, my goal is generally to keep each line as similar to the original as it's possible to do while completely changing the meaning of the line.

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Mr.Je Ne Sais Quoi on 06/14/04 at 2:48 pm

Well I would have to say that my two favorites are...

I wouldn't change anything about my pirahna, But I thought of this verse for oh just buy it after I submitted it.

Why must women be this way
have you ever heard of this little thing called Ebay
We almost stay'd there 'til 12 at night
barely had time to submit this to AmIRight

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: 2nz on 06/14/04 at 3:28 pm

My parodies generally start with a song, rather than an idea. I listen to the song and figure out an idea to go with the song, as opposed to vise versa. About nine months ago, I submitted my first parody to this site, a Linkin Park song that bashes Linkin Park. When I first began, pacing was all I cared about. If you can't sing your parody like you sing the original song, then it's not much good as a parody. Once you get your pacing down, you begin to develop your rhyme scheme almost as a language of it's own. I think one of the highlights in my pacing and rhyme scheme 'training' as I call it, was the four-song challenge. Almost back to back, and specifically for the lyrical exercise, I did the following four songs:

'Blinded by the Light' by Manfred Mann:Because if you can make this pacing work, you can do anything
'American Pie' by Don McLean:Exercise in rhyme scheme, structure of writing and endurance of idea
'We Didn't Start the Fire' by Billy Joel:Because each and every syllable counts
'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot:Rhyming endurance trial

Believe me, after these songs, everything just looks easier. I'm sure there are harder songs, but these are the most prominent ones that are both hard and popular. Something else that I have become aware of is 'mood of original song'. For instance, my parody of 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' isn't too funny because I didn't feel it coincided with the mood of the song at the time. For the same reason, the last stanza in my parody of 'American Pie' where the music slows is also not intended to be funny. It is sad because the song itself is sad at this point.

As for choosing one, I think it's all just a bunch of opinions. A lot of my parodies were my favorite at some point in time, if only during the day or two that I was writing them. Comparing creative ideas to each other doesn't make sense because they don't start out the same and they definitely don't end up the same. So what then is my opinion? Today, I suppose it would be one of these two (What, if you wanted us to choose just one, you should have made it a tournament): - Billy Joel rules and Samus rules. Mostly I'm just happy how well Samus was able to fit into the original format of the song. Call it 'Happiness with creative idea'. - There are nice, long lines to fully develop each internal joke.

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Ansky1213 on 06/15/04 at 8:51 am

Out of my 30-some-odd songs, there are some that I have laboured over, and some that some that I have finished in a matter of minutes. Interestingly enough, almost all of my best are from the latter set. There have been a fewinstances when I'd laboured over a song, based on an idea that I'd thought about over and over again, and had it be just a total disaster. Two Paul Simon songs that I worked on for a very long time were so bad that I couldn't bring myself to submit them.
Well, as some of you know, pacing is the most important thing for me, especially when I'm actually writing. I find that when I have a great idea on a song that I'm committed to, pacing comes naturally and I only get stuck in a couple of places.  For now I'll submit:, which is "Have You Seen Dick Cheney, Baby?"
I love this song because I think the verses are some of my best ever, and the "Where's the location? Find the location!" bridge is really good. I also managed to sneak my political agenda in there. The only thing that bugs me is that a couple of works are stressed oddly.
I'm also going to submit "Testing, S.A.T.,"
I absolutely love this song. The original is a good, if lesser known song by the Barenaked Ladies. What makes my version of "Testing" so great in my eyes is that I was able to keep the spirit of the original alive, in terms of wordplay and such. "Is my future pending, or pre-penned?" vs. the original "Either we will succeed, or just suck." What bothers me about this song? Well, the fact that it only has 13 votes because nobody knows the original  >:(

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: SI-MAE on 06/15/04 at 12:02 pm

I think this is our group's best parody. It's the same idea as the original, but we've added our own ideas.

The idea came from hearing the song. Where else?

It took each of us about 3 days to write our verse. More if we sang in more then one. All in all, the total time was around 3 weeks.

The biggest challenge was rhyming. We knew what we wanted to talk about, we just had trouble with the rhymes. The actual song uses similar, but not necessisarily rhymed, sounding-words. We had a lot of trouble, but Crystal got the hardest verse of all.

Rhyme Scheme: We try to keep true to the pacing and rhyme scheme. We won't publish something unless we know the pacing is nearly perfect to the original. As a result, we've never recieved any lower then a 4 on rhyme, unless you count those jerks that gave us 1s because I accidentally posted our song on the wrong board. Cowards didn't have the nerve to let us know who they were, because we may strike back.

Tone: Most of ours are in humor, otherwise, your average looks bad when you write funny ones that get 5s and serious ones that get 1s. Although we use humor, sometimes we mix seriousness into it.

Thematic Continuity: We stick to our theme. We're not quitters.

Incorporation of Original Lyrics: We use them sometimes, but we're sure to change them at least slightly. Apricot had a lot of trouble, so much more of his were similar. He got a fairly hard verse to work with.

Aight, respond as you like.

Maya, SI-MAE

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: SI-MAE on 06/15/04 at 1:46 pm

You see, Leo Jay, we really care about the ratings because we had a perfect score before those 2 cowards showed up. We had nothing but 5s in Humor, and then they lowered that to a 4.1. That makes us mad, because we want people to see what kind of writers we truly are, not perspectives skewed by vindication or anger over a mistake. We had a parody that was considered hilarious by real voters, then 2 sissies who insist on hiding in the shadows instead of showing their faces showed up and voted out of spite. We always have kind of considered this a contest, because we want to be known as excellent writers. We want to build a reputation, and people like that make us sick. As a result, no one will see our work as it truly is, and may just bypass it.

Maya, SI-MAE

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: SI-MAE on 06/15/04 at 6:46 pm

Cool. Let me know what the new thread's called.

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: philbo on 06/17/04 at 10:59 am

My best stuff... now, that's a difficult one. 

I've picked up four very different kinds of parodies: a PC-based one, a science one, a history (well, mythology anyway) one and a somewhat reflexive amiright parody.  The one thing they share is a consistent narrative running through the song, with an appropriate winding-up at the end.

But I think I'll start with the easiest:

Mend My PC
(Under the Sea- from Disney's The Little Mermaid)
Why I like it:
It's got a combination of good wordplay and good imagery; it's accessible: most people can relate to it in some way (unlike quite a few of my techie parodies, which can be a bit overly technical).  There is also more depth to it than most parodies, in that there's jokes you probably won't spot first time round

There's only one line in it I don't like, but I had to leave it in because I couldn't think of another appropriate rhyme.

Homerian Rhapsody
(Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen)
Why I like it:
It worked much better than I was expecting: from "Carrion, carrion" to "Menelaus/Menelaus", the lyric fitted the original song while staying chronologically in order with the story.  Even "Timeo danaos et dona ferentes" fits at the end.

The Genome Song
(The Galaxy Song - from Monty Python's Meaning of Life)
This one's quite an educational parody in a way - rather like the original, except this goes smaller and smaller to a cellular/genetic level rather than on galactic scale.  I was also told that Eric Idle liked it and thinks it's "very cute".  There was probably more research done for this parody than any other I've written, the research itself I remember being rather interesting.

Script for a Jest In Here
(Script for a Jester's Tear - Marillion)
This was written and submitted in 2002, and has picked up a grand total of six votes... I guess there aren't that many Marillion fans on amiright.  But in many ways, this one has some of the best parody lyric that I've written, and definitely the most poetic: the wordplay especially when compared to the original is extremely tight, homophones with vastly different meanings abound.

This is the sort of thing I mean- the original:
So I'll hold my piece forever, as you wear your bridal gown
In the silence of my shame the mute that sang the siren's song
Has gone solo in the game, I've gone solo in the game
But the game is over

And the parody:
So I'll take the piss forever as I set my words to rhyme
Making fun of music, only one song at a time
Stooping so low, is the game, I've gone so low in the game
But this song is over

...even getting Chucky's byline for amiright in there too ;)

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Claude_Prez on 06/17/04 at 12:25 pm

I don't know that it's possible to get that many votes any more.  Until a few months ago, it was the top ten lists.  If your song got 15-20 votes the first couple days, that was usually enough to put it in the weekly top ten, which meant that it didn't just disappear into the archives by the end of the week.  A really good song (like Mend My PC) would gather momentum and 25-30 votes was usually enough to put it in the monthly top ten, where it could remain for weeks or even longer, especially back when Chuck had the top ten lists on the AmiRight front page.  There was also an all-time top ten, filled mostly with songs accumulating votes from 2-3 years ago (Napster Pie was #1; last I saw it had well over 500 votes), plus you could click on any top ten list and get the top 100.  Usually 60-70 votes were needed to make the all-time top 100, which meant a more or less permanent place of prominence on the site.  I understand Chuck's reasons for removing the lists (apparently he discovered some people were voting for the same songs repeatedly) but I hope that someday he'll again have a place of prominence for the very best songs on the site so that newer people can find them easily.  This is one of my ulterior motives for the SOTM contest.  Although Chuck did say he'd never do it again because people will always find a way to cheat, I do think the voting format of the messageboard contests makes it much more difficult and I don't think there's been a controversial vote yet.   Oh, and as far as e-mailing friends goes, that always has gone on and was seen as a good thing for the site although some people did seem to think it got out of hand sometimes.  I remember Phil saying that if he wrote a PC-themed song like "Mend My PC" he'd only e-mail it to computer-oriented friends he thought would appreciate it, which I always thought was a very reasonable approach. 

Anyway, good thread Leo; it's interesting reading about other people's processes.  I may do one but I've been a little limited on computer time lately. 

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: philbo on 06/17/04 at 6:03 pm

Just curious: how on earth does one get 80-something people to read a parody?  Do you email your friends and ask them to read it, or are those actually amiright people reading the stuff?

It varies... something so good everybody who reads it passes it on?  Maybe not - but Claude's right about the voting lists increasing visibility for the best parodies.  The downside of that was the abuse of the system in order to get that visibility.  I also recorded "Mend My PC", which helped garner a few more, too.

I remember Phil saying that if he wrote a PC-themed song like "Mend My PC" he'd only e-mail it to computer-oriented friends he thought would appreciate it, which I always thought was a very reasonable approach. 

That's pretty much it - if you're turning out a few parodies a week, it'd be a good way to lose friends, sending them emailed links and expecting them to vote all of them.  "Mend My PC" found its way to a couple of BBSs without me, which also helped add to the vote count; but my most voted-on parody (I Hate Britney Spears as a parody to I Love Rock n Roll by Joan Jett) which has acquired 237 votes (and 113 comments!) jumped to prominence after the poll which said that BS was "the most hated person on the internet"...and suddenly the votes, both good and bad, started to pour in.  When Chucky took the voting lists away, it was inside the top 20, heading for the top 10.  Sigh.  But it's by no means my best. It's a bit late, and I think I'm starting to witter on...

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Rick D on 06/18/04 at 10:13 am

I find it sad that around the time the top ten voting lists went away, Guy DiRito stopped contributing. I have no idea if one had to the other but he was always a vote-getter. If this comment of mine ticks him off enought to reply to me or start writing again, I'll be pleased, I miss him. Anyone have any news of him?

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: EmiLoca on 06/19/04 at 10:32 pm

I think that, throughout my short time as a parody author, my work has matured in these ways:

1 - Received better ratings.
2 - Received more positive comments.
3 - Contained more vulgarities.


You have my permission to fall asleep.

I will have been writing parodies for a year on July 10th.  My first was really an impulse parody that I composed during my first-ever junior high detention - "NRdy Boi".  Of course, the detention being my first, my friends all wanted to know what it was like.  So I whipped out the looseleaf scribblings.  Naturally, my friends having very low standards as far as good writing, they loved it.  Thinking I was pretty hot stuff, I soon spat out three more pieces of used Kleenex - "Malnutrition" (Intuition), "My Hair Won't Curl" (A Whole New World), "Paint" (Faint), and my personal snotrag, "Girls and Noise" (Girls and Boys). 
After submitting them, I learned quickly both from example and less-than-positive comments that I needed to raise the bar if I wanted to be considered "good" again.  Over the past few months, I think I've improved considerably.  That might be why my two "best" (in poor, indecisive mother's eyes) are two of my most recent.  Ironically enough, they are both about things I despise...

Wake up now.

My two favorites:
"American Idol Judges Panel" parody of "You're the Top", Cole Porter

How the heck did I come UP with this?
Our school did "Anything Goes" for our annual musical, and ever since I heard the song "You're the Top", I was determined to parody it somehow. 

How long did it take my abnormally slow self to finish this?
An abnormally long time.  It took about a month to actually come up with a fitting subject that could survive its rhythmic precision, difficult rhyming and gosh darn LENGTH.  After fiddling with titles like "Smell Your Socks" (stench is overdone), "You're the Boss" (had no idea what I was talking about) and yes, even "Uranus" (pronounced yer-in-us), I deemed it a hopeless cause and let it rot in my "Unfinished" folder.  After watching American Idol for what I promised myself would be the last time, inspiration hit me like an 18-wheeler driven by a drunk Latino. 

What, besides staying awake, were some challenges in writing this?
Firstly, it was hard enough trying to match lyrics to the meter of the original song.  It was also quite difficult trying to fit in what I wanted each judge to say, especially when I became set upon having Randy Jackson hit on Paula.  I was really pleased with the results, though.  Too bad no one knows the original song.
"Eat the Rest (The Fear Factor Song)" parody of "Be Our Guest", Disney

How the heck did I come UP with this?
I saw a plagiarized parody of "Be Our Guest" the day before and became inspired.  Not to plagiarize.  The other thing.  I had also been meaning to do a parody about Fear Factor because, frankly, it's the worst program on TV.

How long did it take my abnormally slow self to finish this?
Three hours, give or take a few interruptions.  Once I got started, I found that the lyrics were flying out of my fingers without any help from my brain.  Odd. 

What, besides staying awake, were some challenges in writing this?
Polishing, polishing, polishing.  I wanted to make Joe Rogan look bad, I wanted to make the contestants look malicious and bloodthirsty (no pun intended), and I wanted the viewers at home to be enthralled and amused - all to the nth degree.  (I also wanted NBC to interject.)  I guess if you hate something with a passion, writing something that bashes it is all the more rewarding.  With that in mind, this song may be my favorite because it smackdowns Fear Factor, not because it's written well. 

Thassit.  :) 

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Johnny_D on 06/20/04 at 11:19 pm

I find it sad that around the time the top ten voting lists went away, Guy DiRito stopped contributing. I have no idea if one had to the other but he was always a vote-getter. If this comment of mine ticks him off enought to reply to me or start writing again, I'll be pleased, I miss him. Anyone have any news of him?

Adagio told me recently that Guy's still around, and that he's thinking of posting parodies again... I miss him, too - Guy DiRito is highly skilled at making a parody's words rhyme closely to the corresponding words in the original song - which almost always produces a hilariously funny effect.  Guy, come back, dude, please, we miss you...  :-[

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Rick D on 06/20/04 at 11:32 pm

I hope he does, I did make that crack just to see if he'd react. I'm happy to sit near him in the 500's. I'd be happy to sit near him at our next convention.

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: agrimorfee on 06/22/04 at 10:16 am

My best ones are the ones that have suddenly hit me, a quirky turn of phrase or rhyme...and then have been allowed ot percolate in my mind for further ideas.  I used to exclusively write my parodies by listening to the recording, line by line--a chore, and useless if I did not own a copy of the recording.  Thanks to the 'net, I now print off a copy of the lyrics from whatever website is available and jot my scratchings of new words and concepts alongside the originals.

That being said, most of my personal faves were written before 2003, when I found  My personal faves tend to be the epics that took a lot of hard work, songs that no one had attempted to parody before, or the ones with a totally unique idea or wordplay. I am especially proud of the decade+ work that I gave to my The Pile of Bricks "opera".

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: STG on 06/22/04 at 10:30 am

I have two parodies that I am the most proud of..........
And singing them for people and hearing their positive comments is fun.
The original "Bong Song"

and my other favorite "Papa Roach"

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: lebeiw15 on 06/22/04 at 11:26 am

I've come up with some great stuff (well, people tell me it's great) and then there was the stuff that was absolute crap... these are some of my favorites, though:

Beware of the Christmas Shoppers (Bridge Over Troubled Water)

Dared to Drink Toilet Water (also BOTW)

Falling Down the Stairs Tonight (In the Air Tonight)

Get the Heck Off the Road (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)

Gonna Dive off the High Boad (25 or 6 to 4)

I Lost My Mother's Car Keys (You Lost that Lovin' Feeling)

Play Hooky From School (Be True to Your School)

Old Time Billy Joel (Old Time Rock & Roll)

Drops of Mountain Dew (Drops of Jupiter).. also, this was like, the fourth parody I ever wrote

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: lebeiw15 on 06/22/04 at 2:01 pm

Oh, sorry.  Guess I should read the original message from now on, huh? ::)

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: Joelle on 06/22/04 at 6:09 pm

My parodies usually start with a song, too. Usually it's a song I am sick of hearing, whether I like the song or not.

The best example of that would probably be:

But occasionally, that shifts and the idea comes first, and sometimes I use songs I like because they seem to make sense with the rhyme scheme, like this one:

Subject: Re: Your Best Stuff!

Written By: DoRitos on 12/24/07 at 10:06 am

Quote from: Rick D on June 18, 2004, 10:13:40 AM
I find it sad that around the time the top ten voting lists went away, Guy DiRito stopped contributing. I have no idea if one had to the other but he was always a vote-getter. If this comment of mine ticks him off enought to reply to me or start writing again, I'll be pleased, I miss him. Anyone have any news of him?

I'm back now and have been for about 2 months.  Taking a break now through the holidays.  Reason for my absence is explained in this parody:

I had to cut and paste the quote from Rick because the URL link shows broken when I attempted to "reply with quote".

So Johnny, you and Royce somehow came back on the same day as I did.  Quite a co-incident as the comments reported that day.  I think it was Sep 26, 2007.  Where are the two of you now?  I miss your stuff as much as you missed mine.  Anyway Merry Christmas to all and God Bless! 

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