Leaving out Yankovic’s polka medleys and any albums post “Running with Scissors” (I stopped relating to most of his songs/parodies after this point), here are my top five favorite “Weird” Al Yankovic parodies and originals (yes plebeians, Al writes some of his own stuff). Al is one of the very few musical artists of whom I pay real attention to the lyrics. These parodies I enjoy mostly for the cleverness/funniness of the lyrics and the originals I like partly because of the cleverness of the lyrics but also the pretty decent song writing as well.
5) One of those Days – Just a bunch of ridiculously terrible things that happen to a guy having “one of those days.” Played in kind of a rock n’ roll, swingy blues style.
“The bank called me up and told me I’m overdrawn;
Some freaks are burnin’ crosses out on my front lawn.
And I can’t believe it all the Cheeto’s are gone!
It’s just one of those days.”
4) You Don’t Love Me Anymore – A super slow, Jim Croce-esque song about a guy can’t take a hint when his girlfriend does a lot of creepy/slutty/ridiculous things including trying to murder him several times in outlandish fashion.
“I think it’s kinda cute the way…
you poison my coffee just a little each day.
I still remember the way that you laughed…
when you pushed me down the elevator shaft.
Oh if you don’t mind me askin’ what’s this poisonous cobra…
doin’ in my underwear drawer?
I gotta funny feeling, you don’t love me anymore.”
3) Buy Me a Condo – I think it’s his only reggae song. What would happen if Bob Marley gave up being a Rastafarian and moved to Manhattan to be a yuppie.
“Gonna cut off me dreadlocks;
Trow away all me ganja.
I’ll have a Tupperware party;
Maybe join me a health spa.
I’ll get a bowl of plastic fruit and a microwave oven too.
And I’ll have the neighbors over… for a weenie barbecue.”
2) This is the Life – Another awesome song mostly for its genre; ragtime (with insertions of hip-hop and metal). It’s also the song during the opening credits to one of my favorite movies from 1984, Johnny Dangerously. Just about a guy who is financially rich. Very rich.
“I buy a dozen cars when I’m in the mood;
I hire somebody to chew my food;
I’m an upperly mobile dude. This is the life…
One thing I can guarantee,
the best things in life they sure ain’t free;
such a thrill just to be me. This is the life.”
1) Dare to Be Stupid – Didn’t always get all of the lyrics to this as a kid but now I get it. It’s got a Devo-inspired musical sound (which is pretty unique) and the lyrics are just a series of living life in the opposite manner of what many popular cliches tell us. It also appears in Transformers: The Movie. Plus it’s the true nature of Al in that is plain and simply… weird.
“Burn your candle at both ends, look a gift horse in the mouth.
Mashed potatoes can be your friends…
Dare to Be Stupid.”
Honorable mentions: Twister, One More Minute, Cable TV
5) I Want a New Duck – Parody of Huey Lewis’ “I Want a New Drug”
“I want a new duck. Not a swan or a goose.
Just a drake I can dress real cute, think I’m gonna name him Bruce.
I want a new duck. Not a quail or an owl.
One that won’t mope too much, one that won’t smell too ‘foul’…
One that won’t raid the ice box; one that’ll stay in shape; one that’s never gonna try to migrate or escape…
or I’ll tie him up with ‘duck’ tape.”
4) (This Song’s Just) Six Words Long – Parody of George Harrison’s “I Got My Mind Set on You”
“Oh you gotta have music; you need really catchy music.
This song has got plenty of music; but just six words child.
And so I’ll sing ’em over. And over and over and over. And over and over and over. Mm-mm. And over and over and over and over and over and over again.”
3) Amish Paradise – Parody of Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” – Also one of the only (maybe the only) songs, that the original artist didn’t approve of or like after it was done.
“We been spendin’ most our lives livin’ in an Amish paradise.
I churn butter once or twice livin’ in an Amish paradise.
It’s hard work and sacrifice livin’ in an Amish paradise.
We sell quilts at discount price livin’ in an Amish paradise.”
2) I Think I’m a Clone Now – Parody of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”
“Look at the way… we go out walking close together.
I guess you could say… I’m really beside myself.
I still remember how it began (gan-gan-gan),
They produced a carbon copy man (man-man-man),
Born in a science lab late one night,
Without a mother or a father, just a test tube and a womb with a view.”
1) Pretty Fly for a Rabbi – Parody of The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”
“When he’s doing a Bar Mitzvah, now that you shouldn’t miss
He’ll always shlep on down for a wedding or a briss
They say he’s got a lot of chutzpah, he’s really quite hhhhhip
The parents pay the moyl and he gets to keep the tip”
Honorable mentions: Here’s Johnny, Taco Grande, Theme from Rocky XIII, I Can’t Watch This