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Song Parodies -> "Modes I Shrilly Blow"

Original Song Title:

"Ode to Billy Joe"

Original Performer:

Bobbie Gentry

Parody Song Title:

"Modes I Shrilly Blow"

Parody Written by:

John A. Barry

The Lyrics

I can sure scourge a tune, you’ll cower, weeping, when I start to play.
It’s too loud, awful, rotten, like a bothersome wailin’ bray.
I ain’t the trillin’ kind; I’m not good on sax, got a lousy beat.
I got a godawful embouchure. . .squalling like cat that’s in heat.
You’re filled with dread—I play the blues; it’s mournful; I skip the bridge.
When I shrilly blow, a disaster; the hairs stand up on your spine’s ridge.

I start with Ionian with some passing notes bound not to please.
I’m shrilly blowing a lick that’s dense—out the sounds I squeeze.
Your ears are achin’ as I’m blowing 40 bars right now.
My listeners say that it’s a shame. . .it sounds like illness in a sow
that’s being dragged out from the pen to become ham in the fridge,
but still my shrilly blown sad disaster continues even past the bridge.

Dorian is the next selection that I elect to shrilly blow.
it falls flat, my attack, with no careful countin’—piano
is unknown to me—only forte in a noise that’s too bright.
There isn’t any peace when sax I ply—folks know it just ain’t right.
They wish that I’d tone down the intonation just a smidge,
but on I go, moving to the mode that’s abbreviated Phryg.*

I mangle that one; it’s vile and slapdash, and a nasty sight
is my fingers a-fumbling; I do not touch the octave key site.
I need a teacher, I’m a failure. . .dropped notes, my way.
I’m unappeased—next Lydian; I’m halfway through the mode fray.
Emerging from the curl that ends in the bell with a circular ridge—
the notes I shrilly blow will make you throw up or want to jump off a bridge.

That tier has come and gone—Mixolydian I shrilly blow
I bother, harry Beck Thompson; she thinks: “I wish this douche would blow—
as in, take vile sound out of town!” But Aeolian’s what I next bring
forth for a while before I next escalate to that Locrian thing.
This squeaking is a goddam crime, brings on glowers, but my locked-jaw bridge
won’t stop; soon my former buddies scatter to seek solace from the fridge.


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