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More popular and loved than his unpublished “Anti-Matter Song”;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. 

Saturday 1 February 2014


POST #21
ORIGINAL SONG#1: "Funiculì, Funiculà" Music - L. Denza, Lyrics -  P.Turco, composed for the opening of the Vesuvius funicular 1880. 
PARODY #1 COMPOSED: Allan Sherman , 1964 (minor modifications by G.C.)
With this offering you can sing this old enchanting melody with hilarious parody lyrics by Sherman. See also other posts in this blog, "Ukulelì, Ukulelà", G.C.'s spoof of the original song, and "My Tenor Uke", G.C.'s spoof of camp-song simplifications  e.g. "My Tall Silk Hat".  
ORIGINAL SONG#2: The Mexican Hat Dance , traditional Mexican theme, no previous lyrics.
PARODY #2 COMPOSED: Allan Sherman , 1963. 

KEYWORDS: classicparody, traditional, classicsong, multicultural


 (lyrics by Allan Sherman to the tune of  Funiculì, Funiculà") 
Allan Sherman, in a TV role

Co[F]lumbus was a nice Italian fella;
He [C] had no [F] boats. He [C] need some [F] boats.
He's a-[F]fool around with Queen Isabella;
She [C] hadda three [F] boats; they [C] all would a-[F] float. 
 The [Am] Queen she [E7] said, "Co[Am]lumbus [E7] pootchy-[Am]wootchy, 
If [E7] you should [Am] land in [E7] some new [Am] land, 
Please [C] name it [G] for A[C]meri[G]go Ves[C]pucci,  
'Cause [G] he's a [C] nice I[G7]talian [C] man." 

[C7] Nina, Pinta and-a Ste-Marie,
Fourteen ninety-two they sailed the [F] sea,
They found the [A] land, and it was [Dm] grand,
And then Co[A]lumbus he's pro[Dm]claim,
     Bb                       F              C7                F 
"I [Bb] call this land A[F]merica, a [C7] nice Italian [F] name."
(And [Bb] that's-a why A[F]merica's a [C7] nice Italian [F] name.) 

Columbus and Queen Isabella, 1910 film

The Original: Funiculì, Funiculà

If you prefer, you can use the following lines to sing along in the same key with the YouTube videos of Pavarotti and Bocelli. In order to pronounce  the lyrics: ignore the double consonants, pronounce the "j" as y, "(c)ch" as ck, but "ce" or ci" like church; swallow syllables that get in your way. Slightly differing versions of Turco's Neapolitan lyrics and of the translations are found at Wikipedia and at Vesuvioinrete, Vesuvius-gateway. Enjoy !!!


Aieressera, oi Nanninè, me ne sagliette,
      C           F          C           F   
Tu saie addò, tu saie addò
Addò 'stu core 'ngrato cchiu dispietto
      C             F
Farme nun pò ! x2
      Am    E7      Am     E7      Am
Addò lo fuoco coce, ma si fuie
      E7        Am
Te lassa sta ! x2
    C          G                  C       G           G     
E nun te corre appriesso, nun te struie, 
      G              C       G7             C
Sulo a guardà,  Sulo a guardà, !

Jammo, jammo, 'ncoppa jammo jà,
Jammo, jammo, 'ncoppa jammo jà,
            A             Dm
Funiculì, funiculà x2
Bb                         F
‘ncoppa jammo jà,
            C7            F 
Funiculì, funiculà.
Nè…. Jammo da la terra a la montagna!
       C            F
No passo n'ce ! x2
Se vede Francia, Proceta e la Spagna….
     C            F
Io veco a tte ! x2
    Am  E7        Am      E7       Am   
Tirato con la fune, ditto 'nfatto,
     E7         Am 
'ncielo se va x2 …
      C               G       C              G         C
Se va comm' 'à lu viento a l’intrasatto,
           G         C 
Guè, saglie sà x2

Se n’è sagliuta, oi Nè, se n’è sagliuta,
      C          F
La capa già,  x2
È gghiuta, pò è turnata, pò è venuta,
       C              F
Sta sempe ccà ! x2
      Am    E7     Am         E7              Am
La capa vota, vota, attuorno, attuorno,
      E7            Am  
Attuorno a tte !  x2
       C       G        C           G        C
Sto core canta sempe nu taluorno
          G              C
Sposammo oi Nè !  x2



(to the traditional Mexican tune)

traditional Jarabe Tapatio