Brush Up on Parody


This is a parody of Brush Up on Parity by Arthur Roberts, which is in turn a parody of Brush Up Your Shakespeare, by Cole Porter, which I hadn’t heard until yesterday.

A lively part of society
thrives on musical comedy;
they’ll settle for nothing duller than
Python or Gilbert and Sullivan.
But the normals and the posers
don’t know how to hum along;
they’ll be looking down their noses
till they hear a popular song.

Brush up on parody;
fair use is allowed.
Brush up on parody;
bring the funnies to the crowd.

If a brain-damaged bully torments ya,
ease your pain with a dose of Dementia,
and if they overhear while they hit you
they’ll be laughing not at you but wit’ you.

When you’ve let what is left of your pride go,
let your own song beset the FuMP sideshow!
Brush up on parody
and they’ll laugh out loud (in a meeting!)
And they’ll laugh out loud.

Brush up on parody;
fair use is allowed
(but maybe you shouldn’t rely on a compulsory mechanical license if you want to protect your original arrangement from Glee’s plagiarists…)
bring the funnies to the crowd.

If you can’t tell a breve from a quarter,
you can borrow a tune from Cole Porter.
And if nuts try to shame you to stop it,
say they’ll just have to blame Arthur Roberts.

Lambast trends or concoct innuendo
and then send it to Dr. Demento!
Brush up on parody
and they’ll laugh out loud (tune’s miaowed!)
And they’ll laugh out loud (like a lolcat!)
And they’ll laugh out loud.

I wrote a full draft of this yesterday, but I’m glad I kept it around to touch up today. It still has a lot of dubious compromises between rhyme and reason, where I should have taken the time to find consensus. But it’s NaPoWriMo and I’m publishing a poem a day, so polish is scarce. I just noticed that the prompt for today is ‘let’s rewrite a famous poem, giving it our own spin’, so a song parody seems appropriate.

This is something I’ve wanted to write pretty much ever since I first heard Brush Up on Parity, because it’s such an obvious parody title, although I wasn’t sure what the lyrics would say. If I’d been basing this on Brush Up Your Shakespeare instead of Brush Up on Parity, I’d have made this longer and filled the extra stanzas with amusingly-contrived rhymes for the names of parody musicians. It’s not like rhyming Shakespeare plays, though; these are real people and I’d be conscious of which ones I was leaving out.

In case you’re wondering, the FuMP sideshow is a secondary podcast of the Funny Music Project, one which anyone can add a funny song to. Dr. Demento has been hosting a comedy music radio (now internet) show for decades, and if you haven’t heard of him you really need to brush up on parody. I have not actually listened, since his radio show wasn’t available when I grew up, and I haven’t figured out his website yet, but I met him at MarsCon!

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