Song Parodies Manifesto

I’m here to tell you about song parodies

So sit back and listen to this sweet melody


Parodies date back all the way to Bach

Now all the hits are parodied, even Kesha’s “Tik Tok”


These songs take hits and turn them into goofs

Knowing that America is a sucker for a spoof


While keeping the music constant, parodies change the words

For centuries and centuries, this genre has endured


Anyone can take a hit and spin it in their own way

As long as it doesn’t use Rebecca Black’s Friday


Parodies give the people a breath of new life

No need to hide yo kids, or even hide yo wife

If you’re looking to provide some parodies for us mules

You’ve come to the right place, just follow these rules

1)      Find the latest and greatest song of the time

2)      Write new lyrics, and make sure they rhyme

3)     Make it something that’ll make the people laugh

4)    If you need it, toss in some tiny cats


In the future I believe that this genre will be just fine

Maybe even incline, as long as the rhymes are current with the times


So to finish, parodies exist to make us laugh

No science, no numbers, no line or bar graphs


So if you enjoy music, and a little poking fun

You’ll enjoy parodies, a genre second to none.


The Future of Song Parodies

Clearly, the genre of song parodies has evolved greatly since the times of Bach and Mozart. However, the style and message in which Bach and Mozart wrote their parodies is almost the same. Artists in this genre are still taking popular music of the time and giving it their own spin, whether it be a slight variation in the melody or their own personal lyrics. Weird Al has made a career off of taking the latest and greatest songs, not changing the beat necessarily, but altering the lyrics into a completely different and often ludicrous subject.

The genre of song parodies certainly has a future, as people will always be looking to poke fun at the most popular songs of the time. As long as pop stars are spitting out records, they will always have the trusty parody songwriters to counter their hits. However, the future might be a little bit different from the past. Lately, song parodies have also started to include not only popular songs, but popular videos on the internet. These parodies are the latest fad in the 21st century, as hilarious news interviews and quirky commercials are turned into legitimate songs.

I don’t think that the genre has to evolve too much to remain interesting. My genre is purely based off of other people’s work, so it all depends on the mainstream artists to keep producing hit records, which in turn will allow artists like Weird Al to keep producing song parodies. It’s hard to imagine people getting bored of song parodies, as they are always original and never the same. With each new hit comes a new parody, so there are never any duplicates or repetition. Whenever I notice a song getting very popular, I get excited to see what parodies will be made of it, cause there is bound to be at least one hilarious one.

Personally, I am very excited for the future of song parodies. While I hope the genre stays true to its roots (Bach, Mozart), I am excited to see what advancements will take place in the viral videos category. It’s not like only one of the two genres can exist, I believe they both compliment each other nicely and can coexist just fine. The future of of song parodies has nothing to worry about, for as long as music remains fresh, original, and creative, so will the parodies that follow them.

The History of Song Parody Videos

The first known use of the term parody originated in 1587 on the title page of a parody mass by the German composer Jakob Paix. What Paix did was borrow another composer’s musical material, and by stating that it was a parody acknowledged the fact that the music was not his original work, just the lyrics. Parodies became rare until the 18th century, when Bach released “Cantate Burlesque”, which humorously made fun of of the florid da capo arias then in fashion. Since this event, parodies are more humorous than serious. Later in the 18th century, Mozart parodied many lesser composers and songwriters of his day in his piece “Musical Joke”. Theatrical music also began to take on the parody genre around this time, which included satirical songs set to popular music at the time.

Definition of a Song Parody

For the most part, people tend to think of song parody videos as a 21st century phenomenon, only recently becoming a viral hit across the globe. In actuality, the history of song parody videos date back much farther than expected, and have very much influenced the works of artists such as Phil Collins, David Lee Roth, and others.

Song parody videos are truly a genre of their own. Usually, a song parody video is a video in which the music from the original song remains constant in both the original and the parody, but the lyrics in the parody are altered to create a more comical version of the song. One can only parody a song if the original song has truly become iconic, and almost universally recognizable. If one was to watch a song parody video without ever hearing the original song, it is impossible for the joke to be understood by the viewer. A great aspect of song parody videos is that there are no typical producers; anyone with a creative mind and a camera can put together a song parody video, ranging from the likes of Seth Rogen and James Franco, two highly wealthy A-list actors, to mippey5, a man who makes song parody videos for the fun of it.

While the genre of song parody videos might not have an extremely important purpose, society loves to see such iconic songs transformed into a completely different topic. Imitation is the funniest form of flattery. It is awesome when some jokesters can make an impact on the social media scene by poking a little fun at mega music stars. Very rarely do we compare pop star sensations with amateur comedians, but song parody videos allow that comparison to be made. The audience of song parody videos tends to mostly be the younger generations, as they are expected to be up to speed with the latest and greatest songs. Song parody videos can only relate to those who know what the video is parodying.  Perhaps the most famous creator of song parody videos is Weird Al Yankovic.

Weird Al is one of the few, if not the only artist who has made a living off of creating song parodies. His ability to take classics and twist them into something completely absurd is hilarious on two levels. One, it is already relatable to the viewer, as they surely know immediately what song is being parodied from the music alone, which allows for a side by side comparison in terms of lyrics. Two, the parody tells a completely different story and message than the original song, often hilariously outrageous that it sometimes even takes away from the original song. Weird Al has mastered this technique.