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Song Parodies -> "The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships (Helen Of Troy)"

Original Song Title:

"I Only Want To Be With You"

Original Performer:

Dusty Springfield

Parody Song Title:

"The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships (Helen Of Troy)"

Parody Written by:

Fiddlegirl and Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

Having trashed Shakespeare three times, it's Homer's turn in the barrel. (Not "Simpson", you silly fools! -- D’oh!) ;) ... If you, too, slept through High School Literature, the 2004 movie, "Troy", was vaguely in the ballpark... other than the fact that the (probably-mythological) Trojan War actually lasted ten years, a bit long for one movie. For once, footnotes are your friend :)

And who says nothing good ever comes of war? How many of us, male and female, have been saved many times by a handy Trojan™?

Just what in Hell was Helen thinking? Queen, no joy?
Go running off, the wife of King, with Trojan boy?
It must be a case of: got "Greece" in pants
All "juiced" at thought of Paris, and I don't mean "France"
What lovely, luscious lips;
The face that launched a thousand ships!

Athena, Aprhrodite, Hera: Hottie, which?
An apple thrown by Eris, Goddess of the B*tch [1]
Complaining, poor Helen, as women do:
"It's always been our fate: that Menelaus, too!" [2]
Such shapely, swiv'ly hips
Her marriage vows, she shreds and rips! [3]

Blew top, and asked his Bro: [4]
Agamemnon's a-go-ny:
"Helen: help back into my arms
"And Troy will belong to thee!"

The Grecian Army!

Launched a thousand ships 'cross the Aegean sea [5]
The heck with Hector; Ajax-off; so Odd-is-he [6]
The poor Trojans' fate, did Achaeans seal [7]
Flaw, fatal, fin'lly found, and killed: Achilles' heel
The Gods' ungodly tricks:
When dipped into the river Styx! [8]

[interlude -- lots of fighting]

Uh-oh; Two shtupped, and riled is he
Calls his allies all to war
Grecians armed; armored; arm in arm
Her heels: heel; Hellenic hore [9]

"War's Hell-en", Honey! [10]

Clytemnestra: quite the mistress; Mycenae [11]
The "Iliad": a silly lad: laid siege; her, lay [12]
Troy fooled: "war was over", but best beware:
Those gritty Greeks and grave, but grandiose, gifts they bear
Thought war had run its course?
We all should fear the Trojan Horse! [13]

Their world was shattered; all battered, ancient Greece:
No peace, for Paris' perfect "piece"!

[1] OK, here we go. Eris was the goddess of strife and discord. (B*tch, b*tch, b*tch! A woman, of course -- those sexist Greeks!)
The goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite had been invited to a wedding, along with the rest of the Olympus crew, but Eris had been snubbed because of her troublemaking inclinations. To get even, she tossed through the window of the party a golden apple, inscribed "To the most beautiful one". Naturally, Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera each insisted it was for them, and began quarreling.
To be continued....

[2] Helen was the most beautiful woman on earth. So many guys were after her that according to one version, they ended up drawing straws for her. So her marriage was not by her choice.
The winning husband was the King of Sparta, Menelaus, which leads to TT's all-time fave of his own *original* puns. The problem is that it's only about once every ten years that someone gets it. (Let it be a challenge to you.)

[3] Back to [1]. None of the gods wanted to get in the middle of this quarrel (no fools, they! -- unlike us mortals), so head god Zeus ordered all three to visit the future Prince of Troy, Paris, and let the mortal Paris decide. The three ladies stripped naked for Paris and batted their eyelashes, but he couldn't decide, so being goddesses, they offered him bribes.

Athena offered Paris wisdom, skill in battle, and the abilities of the greatest warriors.
Hera offered him political power and control of all of Asia.
Aphrodite offered him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world.

Guess which Paris chose.
(Hint: Think "Bill Clinton". Risk losing the most powerful position on Earth for a fling with an intern? Sure! Men haven't changed in 3200 years.)

So Paris went to Sparta and eloped with Queen Helen, which (surprise!) didn't sit too well with King Menelaus....

[4] ... who promptly asked his brother, King Agamemnon of Mycenae, to join him in a revenge attack against Troy for Paris' insult.

[5] Leading to the common compliment to Helen that is the title of this parody.

[6] Hector was the eldest Prince of Troy, heir to the throne, and their greatest warrior. He and Ajax (who isn't in the 2004 movie) fought several times to a draw and respected each other. Ajax survived the war, but later committed suicide, leaving as a legacy a household cleansing powder and an Internet technology to do jazzier things with your web browser. Horrible, rotten pun at the end - sorry! (not really ;).

[7] Achaeans = Greeks, the alliance against the Trojans

[8] According to a much-later source only (the first century A.D., vs. these legends being placed in about 1100-1300 B.C.), when Achilles was born, his mother tried to make him invulnerable by dipping him in the river Styx, the border between Earth and the Underworld (afterlife). However, the water didn't reach the part by which she held him -- his heel -- and thus, that portion was vulnerable.
From this, we refer to the one weakness of an otherwise strong person, institution, etc., as their "Achilles' heel".

[9] Turtles Gone Wild!

In English: On her heels (so to speak) with the "heel" (cad, dishonorable person), Paris;
"Hellenic" = referring to Greek culture, especially ancient, but not directly related to Helen (modern Greece is officially entitled the Hellenic Republic), and hence a pun on Helen's name;
and having alliterated the entire sentence, wasn't about to throw in the "w" at the end for the sake of accurate spelling. ;-)

[10] About 3100 years later, US General William Tecumseh Sherman, veteran of the American Civil War, was said to have made the observation that "war is hell". Doesn't seem like it's changed much from Helen to Sherman to now, does it?

[11] Review time, 'cuz even *we're* getting a bit foggy here:
Helen was wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta, right?
His brother, Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, married Clytemnestra, who was *Helen's sister*.
The plot thickens.... more reason for the two Kings to join in revenge for Helen's adulterous abandoning of the Achaean administration.

[12] In short, the whole ten years' siege, of which Homer's "Iliad" recounts parts, was all about one woman. Hey, they're like buses -- if you miss one, another will be along in ten minutes. In short. like most wars, complete idi-odyssey.
(Actually, these two lines were just the authors having fun with words -- isn't that why we're all here?)

[13] There are a lot of other, more likely, explanations these days, but the favorite myth is that the Greeks appeared to give up and sail away, leaving behind a huge wooden horse as a gift of tribute. It was full of Greek soldiers, and the remainder of the Greek army sailed back under cover of night. When the Trojans hauled it in as spoils of war, the Greeks inside sneaked out and opened the gates of Troy, allowing the rest of the army to enter the walled city, finally destroying it and ending the war.

This is why a malicious computer program that pretends to be a useful or entertaining program, often deliberately downloaded or clicked on in an e-mail attachment, is called a "Trojan Horse" (or just "Trojan") -- because it sneaks in with the victim's cooperation, as opposed to an active "hacking" attack.


The most fun fact of all: The 2004 movie version starred the guy whose first big break in the movies came in the same Oscar-winning flic as TT's first big break in the movies. Hey, check out the last two letters of the dude's last name! Coincidence? TT thinks not. ;)

The least fun fact of all: If TT looked like Mr. Achilles instead of being a little green guy with stumpy flippers and a sharp beak, he'd still be in Hollywood, perfectly happy taking sloppy seconds like J. Aniston, instead of burdening AmIRight with his presence. (Help a poor turtle and rent that breakthrough flic. The residuals still come in handy.)

Trojan condoms ® Church & Dwight Co., Inc.. (They have a special "stimulus package" offer that's probably better than anything the POTUS will come up with, but with the same result: You'll get ****ed. But you'll probably enjoy it more. - TT. :)

All else © 2010 Fiddlegirl and Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved. E-mail:

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Pacing: 5.0
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Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 10

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User Comments

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Andria - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Excellent as usual, and you two (as well as Tommy Turtle only) really do a great job on this OS. You do this one like I do "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan and "Fallin' in Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, that is, frequently and well-executed. I'd better get back onto those two OSes and wring more good ideas out of them both. (although I think I've gotten everything except "Failin' in Love" and "Bailin' from Jail" out of "Fallin' in Love".) 5s.
Steve K. - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Today, we still have (USC) Trojans and (Michigan State) Spartans. [10] As a Hawkeye Pierce (a fictional character set in the much-more-recent Korean War) put it, war is actually worse than Hell, because war is full of "innocent bystanders", while everyone in Hell deserves it.
& E.P. - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Excellent work fitting all that in. My fave of your Dusty's so far. I'm surprised that one of the top Gods got himself involved in the Trojan War, considering that he's a pollo.
Mark "Achilles" Scotti - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
"I wish I had a stronger shoe...." LOL
Old Man Ribber - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Another epic masterpiece. The two lessons to be learned are (1) Listen to your daughter...especially if her name is Cassandra, and (2) nothing good ever comes from "Paris". ;D
UnknownVotress - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Fact that cannot be denied: . . . Sophia Sciccalone, a face that could launch 1,000 ships! CatherineZetaJones another face that daily launches Mr D's ship ! !
John Barry - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
A parody odyssey. I'm humbled nearly every time you post, TT.
2Eagle - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Whew! Next up The Brothers Karamazv? I wouldn't attempt that. Thy something more simple like Romeo and Juliet.
TJC - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Genius (or more propperly, genii!)... absolutely top notch in every way...Although every stanza a winner, my fav line was definitely: "The heck with Hector; Ajax-off; so Odd-is-he"... BTW: With all your iterations of this great ol' OS, I don't think Ms. Springfield is 'dusty' any more!
Phil Nelson - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Christie Marie M - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Enjoyable parody, FG & TT! This is a lot better than reading "The Odyssey" and "Iliad" in English class in community college! Enjoyed those puns in your satire as well as your footnotes! I hope you do one relating to Odysseus' battle with the Cyclops someday, if you're up to it! Those footnotes are worth reading as always, T.Turtle! Take some epic 555's!
Tommy Turtle - January 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Andria: Yep, we all have our fave OSs. For you: "Stalin In Gov." about the brutal, bloody dictator's mass executions during his reign of the Soviet Union? ... thanks for v/c!

Steve K. And Spartanburg, South Carolina -- and about two dozen towns in the US named "Troy", including in Michigan and S. Carolina. You'd think the Spartans and Spartanburg would be fighting with their respective Troys, eh? ;) ....Loved the M*A*S*H quote -- sadly, true. Thanks for v/c/q!

& E.P.: Thanks from Tom E.T. for v/c. (E. T. tone poem!)

Mark "Achilles" Scotti: Woulda' changed the course of history! But at least he was safe where the rest of us guys are pretty vulnerable ... ;)

Old Man Ribber: Everyone should listen to soothsayers, but then look at all the plays and movies we'd miss: Julius Caesar, this one, etc... if only Congress and the Pres would listen to those sooth/truthsayers, FG and TT! ;-) ... thanks for the kind words. And agree with last comment -- except for Liberty Enlightening The World, which came from Paris (commonly known as just the Statue of Liberty.
hmmm... French kisses, French *love*, French fries -- the town is really quite an Eiffel! (Hey! I did it! An Old-Man-Ribber-quality pun! ;)

UnknownVotress: TMI on Mr. D! :-) DK Sophia, but sounds like I should get to K her -- so to speak! Thanks for your always-unique perspective!

John Barry: Thank you very much, but I must point out that this parody was co-authored and signed as such; I'd like to share that compliment with my co-author, if I may. .. Thank *you* for being an inspiration and role model when the noob TT arrived here four years ago this Saturday.
And don't worry, I have a low-brow parody waiting in the wings that should unhumble you in a hurry! ;) ... thanks again for the fine compliment from one of the best.

2Eagle: We *did* Romeo and Juliet!
And you v/c'd there, thank you, Sir. ... don't worry, my brain is rotting from OldTimers' also :-) Thanks for v/c!

TJC: She'll never by "dusty" so long as TT is around ;) Thanks for v/c, and for being equally maniacal as this writer re: fave line! :-)

Phil Nelson: Some day, we hope to earn an "excellent" from you, but we'll take "good" any day! Thanks for v/c. ;)

Christie Marie M: Our mission: To outdo Cliff's Notes in making classics fun, fast, and easy! (TT's fave women, too.-- OUCH!) .. and soooo nice to find a fan of footnotes! ...We'll be doing lots more classics, wethinks, given the positive support and encouragement of the AIR community, so the Cyclops might show up one day. Keep an eye out for it! :) :) :)
John Jenkins - January 29, 2010 - Report this comment
Homer is definitely conducive to good parodies, and this might be one of the 2 best AmiRight Trojan War parodies. I particularly like the puns on the footnote [6] line. But, although it was not a major role, Ajax was in the 2004 movie (played by Tyler Mane).
Tommy Turtle - January 29, 2010 - Report this comment
John Jenkins, thanks for the correction as usual. Ajax's movie role was so minuscule compared both to Homer and to the movie, which focused heavily on Achilles, Hector, Paris, the Kings, and the ladies, that it indeed slipped my pea-brain. Thank you for correcting me, and for the kind v/c.

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