Friday, 6 December 2013

The Science Of The Parody Song

From Weird Al to…well…Weird Al, song parodies are a popular pastime for anyone weird who happens to also be called Al.  The man has created a staggering body of work and has made fun of some of the finest pop songs, from Beat It (Eat It), to Pretty Fly For White Guy (Pretty Fly For A Rabbi).

While these songs may seem like silly nonsense upon first listen, there is a very distinct science behind the creation of a parody song.  The rhymes have to conform to predetermined set of parameters in order to ensure cohesion.  In other words, there are staple words in every song that can be inserted.  As a man of science, with a demented psyche that always tries to think of alternative lyrics to any song I listen to, I have come up with a standard blueprint for any parody song.  These are easy rhyming words along with substitutions, and a few examples on how to use them.  You are welcome to add your own, or create entire songs using my parameters.


“You” is a common word that has no end of rhymes, but my favourite for parody purposes is to substitute it with the word “poo”.  This makes Phil Collins songs sound like a German sex den:

“When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do, is take a look at poo, then I’m not so blue”

Or we can go for a power ballad:

“And IIIIIIIIIIIII will always love poooooo!”

The possibilities for this substitution are endless, and always hilarious.  You can make your favourite pop singers sound like scat enthusiasts with minimum effort.


To grasp the scope of this one, just think of how many songs there are out there that include the word “baby”.  This is the word of choice for any loved-up pop song.  With this simple switcharoo, you can turn any lovey-dovey ballad into a gastronomic groove.  We all know that food-based parody songs are the best.  Just take this popular Justin Beiber track:

“Gravy, gravy, gravy, ooh!”

Or perhaps a bit of Ace Of Base with their smash hit:

“All that she wants is a little gravy”

Or even a little bit of The Supremes:

“My gravy love, my gravy love”

There are more permutations here than a superhero ensemble.


A lot of musicians are so passionate that they often threaten to die over trivial matters.  While we sometimes wish they would, it can actually provide some amusing song parodies.  Simply switch out “die” for “pie” and watch the whole meaning of the song change shape.  For example take this Bryan Adams song.  Combining this with the earlier YOU->POO switch, we can come up with something quite special:

“Yeah, I would fight for you, I'd lie for poo,
Walk the wire for you, yeah, I'd eat pie for poo.

You know it's true:
Everything I do, oh, I do it for poo.”

Don’t tell me that song parodies aren’t worth fighting for.  Anyway, I’ll hand the reigns over to you, my wonderful readers.  Can you suggest any?


  1. Damn you, now I have Ace of Base in my head...Well, at least it's with gravy, everything's better with gravy. Yes, even cake.
    Rock=Cock. Take Twisted Sister's hit, "I wanna cock! Cock!" Or Michael Jackson's "Cock with you," with the immortal lyrics "I wanna cock with you, all night." More creepy when you think of his predilection for children.

    1. Nice one. First thing that springs to mind is KISS:

      "I wanna cock and roll all night, and party every day"

  2. Hilarious posting and on the subject of parody's I am convinced that the reality show about the Amish Mafia is based on Weird Al's version of Gangster Paradise... Amish Paradise.

    1. There's an Amish Mafia? And there's a reality show about it? That's amazing.

  3. One of my favorites is substituting 'sweater' for 'better'. It usually requires a bit of adjustment, but the end result produces a parody for the ages. Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran's "Everything Has Changed" is a good one.

    "I just wanna know you better, know you better, know you better, now," becomes:
    "I just wanna wear a sweater, wear a sweater, wear a sweater, now."

    1. I like that one. That reminds me of one from my childhood. There was a band called Wet Wet Wet that we always used to call Sweat Sweat Sweat, because we were incredibly sophisticated 8 years olds and all.

  4. Gravy, thinking of poo keeps me up all night.

  5. These are some damn fine parodies. I used to respect Weird Al as a master of the parody song but now I've been shown how easy it is...I'm not sure I can revere him anymore. Now I can become him, take his throne, and be the Highlander of Parody Songs.

    1. Weird Al essentially does a paint-by-numbers job. You will CRUSH him!

      When you reach the top of parody songs, remember me and slip me a few quid will ya?

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  7. If you bite my body hard I can be your long lost PAL . . . . . . . . . . . (dogfood)
    I can call you Betty And Betty when you call me I can hear you Hoooooooowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . call me Al

  8. "Nice, Nice Gravy" has got to be my favourite x

    1. That is what I'm going to sing to my dad next time I'm round for Sunday Lunch.

  9. I am reminded of this website which, as it's name suggests, is rather good.

    There's literally HOURS of fun to be had listening to these - my favourite is the Alf Garnet/Destiny's child one.

    1. Oh god, I remember these. "She's got a chicken to ride, my baby donkey"


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