Saturday, 15 February 2014

Thanks to Tom Lehrer#1: No Elements (a Latin Listing)

POST #26
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Elements", Tom Lehrer
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, April 2013.

You can view these lyrics and commentary (without images or chords)  displayed on a parody-lyrics website at Post "No Elements"


(to the tune of "The Elements")

Singable Introduction:
Tom Lehrer became a legend with his scientific patter-song,
More popular and loved than his unpublished “Anti-Matter Song”;
Enhancing humdrum discourse, just to quote his ode lends elegance
To conversation thrumming with the spectrum of the Elements.
We face this glum conundrum as alumni of Philology -
Lay-folk would like a list replete with Latin etymology
The possibilities for neutral nouns in -U-M loom awesome;
No need to invoke hokum terms like tantrum or opossum, chum.

Most names for elements are
 neutral Latin nouns

The Roman empire included England

A famous building in Rome



The Patter-Song Lyrics:
There’s atrium, asylum, arboretum, auditorium
Compendium and modicum and rostrum, crematorium
And coliseum, quantum, condominium, euphonium
And album, acetabulum, museum, pandemonium.
There’s maximum and minimum and optimum and medium
And opium, opprobrium, colloquium and tedium
Colostrum, serum, sputum, sebum, nostrum and meconium
And sternum, talcum, labium, ovum, spermatogonium.  

Caladium, nasturtium and laburnum and geranium
And sacrum, c(a)ecum, ischium and tympanum and cranium
Consortium, memorandum, and symposium and podium
Desideratum, datum, vacuum, ultimatum, odium.

There’s pablum, perineum, paramecium, petroleum
And locum and inoculum, lyceum and linoleum
A few English words ending in -UM
 are not of Latin origin
And tritium, deuterium, trapezium and trillium
Mycelium, flagellum, endothelium and cilium.

There’s quorum and decorum, mausoleum, moratorium
And premium, per-annum, honorarium, emporium
And pendulum and forum, fulcrum, speculum, bacterium
And cerebellum, plenum, sum, curriculum, delirium.

Gymnasium and stadium and magnum and terrarium
Solarium, momentum, myocardium, aquarium
And scrotum and factotum and postpartum and continuum
And duodenum, referendum, rectum and residuum.

Addendum #1
There's stratum, alum, allium, alluvium et alia,
And mom's pouch called marsupium, but mostly in Australia.

Addendum #2
To plural them, heads swirling them, “What single rule? - please answer, Pa”.
My dictum, “Don’t inflict ‘em with erratums or chrysanthema !” 

Playing Notes: 

Enjoy chord-charts and lyrics for this parody-song in the Parody-Song addendum to the Corktown Ukulele jam songbook:
Corktunes: No Elements 
Also note that you can play/sing Tom Lehrer's original patter-song The Elements,  by checking  out Corktunes, the songbook of the Corktown Ukulele Jam here.  The chord-charts have the alternate-line superscript format that many ukers find preferable.
Lehrer had adapted the melody from "The Major General's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance". There are 3 somewhat different melodies/chord-sequences used in alteration through the GandS song, and in Lehrer's derived take-off.

My suggestion for the first 3 verses of the patter-list portion of this parody are shown here, but adapt them as you like! Incidentally, the Eb7 chord may look formidable to some - just use the barred version of D7 one fret higher, than slide back for the D7 that follows!

There’s [G] atrium, asylum, arboretum, auditorium
Com[D7] pendium and modicum and rostrum, crematorium
And [G] coliseum, quantum, condominium, euphonium
And [D] album, acetabulum, mu[A7]seum, pande[D]monium.
There’s [D7] maximum and minimum and optimum and [Gm] medium
And [F7] opium, opprobrium, colloquium and [Bb] tedium
Col[D7]ostrum, serum, sputum, sebum, nostrum and me[Gm]conium
And [Eb7] sternum, talcum, labium, ovum, spermato[D7]gonium.  

Ca[G]ladium, nasturtium and laburnum and geranium
And [D7] sacrum, cecum, ischium and tympanum and cranium
Con[G]sortium, memo[D7]randum, and sym[G]posium and [D7] podium
De[G]sideratum, [C] datum, vacuum, [G] ulti[D7]matum, [G] odium.

et cetera!

Related Palindromes:  Latin examples found at Auxilium: Palindroma 

There seem to be no published examples of phrases based on the  neutral nouns !!! 

Ave, Eva.  (Hail, Eve !)

Sum summus mus. (I am the top mouse)

Et tiger non regit te.  (And the tiger doesn't rule thee).

Aures serua.  (Safeguard your ears).

Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas. (The famous  "Sator Square" - can be read either horizontally or vertically 

Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor. (In Rome, love will go to you suddenly)

No grasp, Alf, on no flaps -  argon.

No dare, elf - flee radon.

Adage of the Week   (Egad an adage!)

1."I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school, so I could converse with those people."   - attributed (incorrectly?) to Dan Quayle, U.S. Vice President. 

2. Semper ubi sub ubi.   Anonymous 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


POST #25. (Note that post #24 was deleted)
ORIGINAL SONG: "Over the Rainbow" Judy Garland, from "The Wizard of Oz"
PARODY-LYRICS COMPOSED: Al Silver, 2013, with permission. Al has been a frequent contributor to the AmIRight song-parody website.
You can view Al's delightful lyrics along with some commentary (without images or chords)  displayed on that website at Post "Somewhere Dwelt the Designer"

KEYWORDS: filmmusic, classicsong, environment, guestartist, math-and-science

RELATED PALINDROMES: collected/created by Giorgio Coniglio.

Second voyage of "The Beagle"


(to the tune of "Over The Rainbow")

Somewhere dwelt The Designer, I’ve heard so
Crafting each sep’rate species six thousand years ago.
Somewhere, fossils were planted, please believe,
And the scheme The Designer schemed, really did deceive.

Someday "The Beagle" will sail far to where the beaks of finches are evolving.
A ship for science, not the Ark, where data overcome the dark,
With myths dis-sol-ving.

Somewhere schemes the Believer, in a pew
“Sci-ent-ific Creation!” , and coins a lie brand new.
If separated finches grew an adaptation, just say it’s not true.

Schematic: the evolution of Galapagos' finches

Related palindromes: 

Madam, in Eden I'm Adam.

Even it felt left in, Eve.

Eve damned Eden. Mad Eve !

Red dates? Apple? - Help, Pa! Set adder !

Ned rages, "Reverse Garden."

Now, Eve we're here. We've won.

Spin?  T. rex exert nips.

We panic in a pew. 

So! Gap, a lag - Galapagos.

Ev, love did evolve.

Garden? mad as a damned rag.

Eh, cat! Tacit song at agnostic attaché.

Live hops abandon! Nod, nab asp! Oh evil! 

Adage of the week:  (Egad! an adage!) 

Struts truss; stirrups thrust; purists thirst; truth persists.   GioLio

Performing Notes

[A] Some[F#m]where [C#m] dwelt The De[Cm6]signer, [D] I’ve [Bm7] heard [AM7] so [Bbdim7]
[D6] Craf[Dm6]ting [AM7] each sep’rate [F#7] species [Bm7] six thousand [E7] years a[AM7]go. [E7sus]
[A] Some[F#m]where, [C#m] fossils were [Cm6] planted, [D] please [Bm7] be[AM7]lieve [Bbdim7]
[D6] And [Dm6] the [AM7] scheme The De[F#7]signer [Bm7] schemed, really [E7] did de[AM7] ceive. [E7sus]

Some[A]day The Beagle [F#m] will sail far to [Bm7] where the beaks of [E7]  finches  are [AM7] evolv[F#m]ing. [Bm7]  [E7]
A [A] ship for science, [F#m] not the Ark, where [G#7] data overcome the dark,
With [C#m] myths [C#m7]dis-[C#m6]-sol- [Bm7]- ving. [E7+5]
If [A] separated [F#m] finches grew an [Bm7] adaptation, [Esus7] just say [E7] it’s not [A] true.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Palindromic Song: "GNATS STANG; GNUS SUNG"

POST #23
ORIGINAL SONG: "Bob" 2003, by Weird_Al_Yankovic, itself a parody of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean_Homesick_Blues", 1965
PARODY COMPOSED: by Giorgio Coniglio, February 2014.

KEYWORDS: palindromes, word-play, goldenoldy

You can view these lyrics and commentary (without images or chords)  displayed on a parody-lyrics website at Post "Gnats Stang; Gnus Sung"

Weird Al Yankovic
Odd Al - Lad, do !

Weird Al took the lines of the original Dylan song, and made each one home to one or two PALINDROMES, i.e. phrases that can be read backward as well as forward. The  title "Bob" is a simple one-word palindrome, but his video satire of Dylan's song, (click the link for You-tube) with carefully selected palindromic phrases is masterful. 
There are a few hundred other examples of palindromic phrases; many are of the wrong length, grammatically bizarre, or seem politically incorrect. Strained, or even incorrect spelling is sometimes used,  e.g. pavillion, and may even enhance the humor.
With optimism, I assumed that there were enough good palindromes left over after Al had culled the most singable selection. I composed half of the palindromes chosen here for my own parody, took the others from published lists. My selection was directed by rhyming, admiration for the iconic Panama-canal classic, and  by freedom to pick more adult themes than those in W.A's opus. 

Can anyone suggest  other good palindromes??


(to the tune of "Subterranean Homesick Blues")

A man, a plan, a canal–Panama 
Uvula. A’ luv U;    Toronto–got no rot
Dennis, Madam, sinned;    Odd Al–Lad, do!
Amen, enema;    Wets dab noses on bad stew
Amor, a dab, bad aroma;    
1/38 palindromes in the "Bob" video
A Dan, a clan, a canal Canada?

Name tame mate, man;    Dog-doo! good God
To pseudonym enemy, no due spot      
A D-N-A, prefer panda
Wed on level, no dew;    Able ere Elba !
Drown in Word;    A yap, a Papa-papaya
Hair, a plain arc, cranial pariah

No ill, I’v a pavillion;    Llama, nix in a mall 
Diaper repaid;    Far again, Niagara F(alls).
Eh (Can.), a panache;    You boy! Yo, buoy!
I, Nina, place a caecal panini

Eh, çva, la vache!;     A lob, a rap-parabola
A dog, a plan, a canal - pagoda.
4 more years? Please no.

Flee to me, remote elf;    No levers revel on
Egad, no bondage;    Now, Roy, am I mayor won
Sex at noon taxes;    Elle, canal 
à nacelle
Lewd did I live, evil did I dwel'
Dammit, I’m mad;     A Santa deified at NASA
A tan, I plan a banal piñata.

Wontons–not now;  Trats stressed desserts, start!
Dr. of trams, smart Ford;   Draw eel leeward    
Zeus sees Suez;    Call–I’d a Cadillac. 
Came curt war, now I won raw truce, Mac
Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas
A Nan, a brat, a gnat stang a tar-banana !

Cadillac SUV, famous driver

Performing notes

[G7] A man, a plan, a canal–Panama 
Uvula. A’ luv U;    Toronto–got no rot
[C7] Dennis, Madam, sinned;    Odd Al–Lad, do!
[G7] Amen, enema;    Wets dab noses on bad stew
[C7] Amor, a dab, bad aroma;    
 A Dan, a clan, [D7] anal Cana[G]da

Goofy Palindromes:

All this fussing with palindromes brings some variants to mind, which are even more bizarre then the classic 'originals'.  See later post  - X66X for more ! You can search on the blogposts by using the search-function at the top of the right hand column. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

National Hymn Updated: The MAPLE LEAF AD INFINITUM

POST #22
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Maple Leaf Forever", by Alexander Muir, 1867
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, September 2013
PHOTOS: from GoogleImages, several derived from the wonderful blogsite TorontoThenandNow

KEYWORDS: history, Canadian, classicsong

  The original song proposed Canada’s national symbol, and acted for decades as the unofficial anthem of (English) Canada; it was officially replaced in 1980 by “O Canada”. The old tree which had presumably inspired the original lyrics was destroyed by a storm in July 2013.
   As pointed out in the blog "City in the Trees", the version we sang long ago in school evoked a Canada that extended from Cape Race in the east to the Pacific. In fact, at the time Muir created the song, Newfoundland and British Columbia were separate colonies, and the new country had only 4 provinces.  
   Research into the song's historic underpinnings, as portrayed here, as well as personal experience, evolved into the nostalgic piece "Canadian Reunion" - see my post in December which shows the chords you will need to play this parody-song.

"Maple Cottage" Leslieville,
(now part of Toronto)
Muir's residence  

1867: A fragile line

FURTHER SONGS ON THE SAME THEME: For other nostalgic takes on Canada's national hymns, you can view (and sing along with) ...
post #6 (December 2013) Canadian Reunion  
post #65 (January 2015)  Flight of the Loonie
post #181 (June 2018)  Something to Groan About


(to the tune of Alexander Muir's "Maple Leaf Forever")

In days less pure, the clan named Muir brought young Alex to these shores;
He breathed old T.O.’s Orangeman’s air, worked with skill his teaching chores.
He honored shamrock, thistle, rose, tall trees, and roots with Britain;
And second-prized our Founding Year a songsmith’s competition.

No copyright, no fleur-de-lys; of insight only traces -
His “Maple Leaf” excluded half our country’s founding races.

On days of pomp, when bands would romp from Lakes to FroBay and Sea to Sea,
The trick was to pick “God Save the Queen” from “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”.
The music-sheets for these two treats seemed equal when you scanned them;
We’d need decide in love and pride the True North’s national anthem.

Untwine the Line at Forty-Nine, les Ricains might endeavour;
Could we that fragile Line define with “Maple Leaf Forever”?

Robert Stanley Weir

Calixa Lavallee

St-Jean-Baptiste in Canada East resounded with Lavallée’s score;
R.Weir took on the daunting task - Theme O-Canada's breadth restore.
The over-zealed paroles part-spared, the English not so prominent,
Still women and newcomers griped, “It’s sexist and male-dominant.”

As reg'ments touted "Leaf" their tune, did Anglo journals shout and rant,  
But decades past, "O Canada" did Muir's time-worn chant supplant.
In time for our Centennial, new flag and hymn to savour, 
Still stuck with macho lyrics and a pinch of maple flavour ! 

Last year, Muir's ancient fabled tree was felled by stormy weather;
Still sometimes heard but seldom hymned - "The Maple Leaf Forever".


Related Palindromes

Eh (Can.)  - A panache.

Ton. Net. Forever. Often. Not.