Sunday 28 June 2015

Poem "The Chaos" Revisited: "CHAOS TALK" - A Singable Version

POST #79
ORIGINAL POEM:   "The Chaos" by Gerard Nolst Trenité, 1920. 
ORIGINAL SONG: "Limbo Rock", as recorded 1962 by Chubby Checker.
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, June, 2015.
WORDPLAY LINK: The updated complete poem by G. Coniglio can be found on "Giorgio's Weekly Wordplay" at post #32.

KEYWORDS: language, goldenoldy, wordplay

Original version of the poem "The Chaos"

“The Chaos” is a poem written by the Dutch writer and English-teacher Gerard Nolst Trenité as a comment on the difficulty of English pronunciation. The work was published by the author in various versions (of increasing length) over the period 1920 to 1944; it has frequently appeared unattributed with some re-editing.
I have made changes quite liberally in the poem in adapting it, including 1) removing lines with dated language, 2) giving priority to American rather than British pronunciation, 3) making it singable, including a touch of  Caribbean lilt in relation to the Original Song, 4) changing the politically-incorrect context with the implied female character now serving as the language expert as well as the inspiration,  5) creating some thematic stanzas based on the subject matter of the problematic words, and 6) adding a last stanza to emphasize the learner's problem of accenting the correct syllable.

Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité

(a singable revision of 'The Chaos')

(to the tune of "Limbo Rock")

Greatest creature God create -
Teacher, please enunciate.
Show how sounds should auscultate
Make my head to oscillate.
Heat up versions in your verse
Words like corpse, corps, horse, hoarse, hearse
Tear in eye, tear dress and worse
Tersely parse, or pierce your purse.

History of a billet-doux  -

Accent's hard to get correct
As in current or connect
Segment, portrait they portray
Moray, banquet and filet.
Insight, inquest and intent
Recent recipe, cement
Exit or exist, exude
Concert and request - conclude!

Performing Notes: 

The chord pattern is the same for all verses, and is quite easy. The trick is to clinch the Caribbean rhythm with heavy beats on 2 and 4. and the English lyrics ending just before the 4th downbeat for every line. Another nice trick is to to employ voicing versions for the C and G7 chords (5,4,3,3, and 4,5,3,2 respectively), which allow downward NewYork strumming (for percussion effect)  for the 4 and 4.5 counts in most lines (the F9 and G7 chords can also be adapted to do this for the last few line of each verse).

Fadd9 = 0010.

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