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Song Parodies -> "We Romans Needed Caesar's Rule (Mark Antony's Funeral Oration)"

Original Song Title:

"I Only Want To Be With You"

 (MP3)
Original Performer:

Dusty Springfield

Parody Song Title:

"We Romans Needed Caesar's Rule (Mark Antony's Funeral Oration)"

Parody Written by:

Fiddlegirl and Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

From "Julius Caesar", by William Shakespeare. Mark Antony's funeral speech is about halfway through Act III, Scene 2; the assassination itself, including Caesar's last words to his (former, we think ;) BFF, Brutus, is in Act III, Scene 1, about 1/3 down.

OS video here.
MARK ANTONY:

My friends, dear Romans, countrymen, your ears; please lend
As off unto his final rest we, Caesar, send
They said he's a tyrant? Recall this thing:
Not once, not twice, but thrice refused the crown of King [1]
Assassins: dumb and cruel
We Romans needed Caesar's rule!

FG/TT:

Sooth-sayer said: that out in public, do not go
You've enemies in places high that you don't know
Metellus and Casca; friend Brutus, too;
And Cassius, Trebonius, have eyes on you
Becoming -rivals, arch- ;
You'd best beware the Ides Of March

They struck, and down, fell he
Sliced in half, stabbed through and through
Ceasar looked at his BFF
And said, "Brutus, even you?" [2]

Their daggers, bloody!

MARK ANTONY [resuming speech]

Brutus says that Caesar had ambitious ways
I come to bury Caesar, not to sing his praise
He wept for the poor, who ... had not enough
Ambition should be made, methinks, of sterner stuff
He won each war he fought [3]
By ransom: riches, Romans, wrought [4]

[interlude, as citizens ponder Antony's words and begin to disbelieve Brutus' assertion that the killing was necessary to preserve the Republic]

MARK ANTONY:

Oh, oh, let's look at Caesar's will
All his land: he leaves to you
Arbors, orchards, for public parks
Plus one thing none else would do:

A gift of money! [5]

Brutus, highly honored, justifies his act
But all of you loved Caesar once; he loved you back
What could Brutus say that ... could change your mind?
Methinks, perhaps, dear Caesar hath been much maligned
Your best friend stabs; you fall:
The most unkindest cut of all! [6]

It's sad: Your evil, all history bemoans
The good is buried with your bones! [7]




[1] Per Shakespeare, after Caesar's rise to prominence, Mark Antony publicly offered Caesar the crown of a King three times; Caesar refused each time, drawing applause from the crowd and winning their devotion. Apparently, it was a photo-op setup between Caesar and Antony (conjured up by PR flaks, no doubt ;), so that Caesar could look less power-hungry when he did indeed become a dictator in fact. Who says politics ever changes, from 2000 years ago to today?

Rome was founded as a republic, ruled by the Senate and not by any one man. (Not a democracy; Senator was an inherited office of the nobility, but carried obligations of responsibility, integrity, and dignity, all unseen today, of course). IOHO, Caesar's becoming Emperor was actually the first step from a government of laws to a totalitarian dictatorship -- sort of like today, alas -- and was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. (The assassination did not stop this trend.) Shakespeare makes Caesar a much more sympathetic character, as did Dante in "Inferno", noted in our parody of same.

[2] The famous line, "Et tu, Bruté?" (apparently with no historical basis, and probably in the wrong language): After the other conspirators stab Caesar, he is most "wounded" (emotionally), when his long-time dear friend Brutus shanks him. "And *you*, Brutus?" -- "Even *you*?"

[3] We should hire him today. And should have hired him for Vietnam.

[4] Common practice in those days was to turn POWs into slaves. If the defeated side was still standing and had any resources, they could pay a ransom to get back their POWs.

[5] In addition to leaving his land, orchards, etc. to be perenially public parks, Caesar left "75 drachmas" to each Roman citizen. A slight anachronism on Shakespeare's part, as the drachma was a coin of ancient Greece (revived in modern Greece until being replaced by the euro). It's difficult to compare worth -- their celll phone bills were much lower than ours -- but at an estimated equivalent of USD $50 today, that would be $3,750 per (male, undoubtedly) adult citizen.

We think that's a great idea. Every President should leave part of his fortune to the people who elected him. If the Kennedys had, we'd all be rich. When the Clintons go, with Bill making $50 millioin/year in speaking appearances.... and just think, the 2008 POTUS race would have been between John Edwards (worth ~ $30 million) and Mitt Romney (~ $250 million). But what a temptation, once they were inaugurated, for someone to ....

Instead, the current POTUS proposes to increase the national debt to about $43,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. We like Caesar's way better. ;)

[6] Verbatim (and classic) quote from TOS. We think it's one of the most bestest lines ever.

[7] I. e., people forget all the good things you might have done, and remember only the bad.
For example, take Bill Clinton (please!): Whatever good he accomplished, what is it about him for which he'll *always* be remembered? Hmmm.... we rest our case. ;)

© 2010 Fiddlegirl and Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved. E-mail: tomm...@yahoo.com.

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Pacing: 5.0
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Total Votes: 8

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User Comments

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Old Man Ribber - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Here is a parody! When comes such another! ;D
Mark Scotti - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Dusty's always dying to tell her Shakespearian tales. I only want to give you fives....
2Eagle - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
You won't have Caesar to kick around anymore.
Sissy Row - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
I hereby proclaim this parody 'Cutulous Aboveicus Quintium'!

(seriously, incredibly well researched and/or dredged from yer iDedic mem-and/or mam-ories!)
Chelonia Mydas (a/k/a TT) - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Old Man Ribber: Beautiful! :-D
Mark Scotti: And we're dying to Dusty-off Shakespeare.... thanks!
2Eagle: ROFLMAO! ... talk about political back-stabbing -- I say "nix"-on" that :)

Sissy Row (LOL!) a/k/a Commenticus Cleverus Maximus (should you change your nym to that, or does it sound too much like a species of coyote chasing a roadrunner?): It must be where FG stores facts -- certainly not in her head, from what I can tell (ducks yet another in a long series of flying frying pans) .. j/k. xoxox muah! (uh, that was to FG. Just "thanks" to commenter, sissy or not. ;-)
AFW - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Yet, another great production numbered parody
John Barry - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
A fine parody, but what have the Romans ever done for us!
TT - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
AFW: Thanks.

John Barry: Contributed to the development of Western civilization, art, and literature? Contributed greatly to the English language? etc. Thanks for v/c.

Fiddlegirl - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
My friends... the last thing you need is another speech. So I won't make one. A second curtain-call of thanks to OMR, Mark Scotti, 2Eagle, Sissy Row (ha!), AFW and JAB.

And @ TT (who thinks he's verrrrrry funny...) I believe John was being facetious... ;)
Phil Nelson - February 12, 2010 - Report this comment
I bountifully adore this parody with graciousness. Et tu, Phil? 5's
Tommy Turtle - February 13, 2010 - Report this comment
Yes, thanks to all, et tu, Phil. :-) The most kindest comment of all!
Andy P - February 15, 2010 - Report this comment
Top marks for the parody but, TT, have you never seen Monty Python's Life Of Brian? (JAB)

Have a quick read of this if you haven't

http://www.epicure.demon.co.uk/whattheromans.html
UnKnownRO - February 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Romans gave us 2 holidays: Saturnalia(Xmas) & LuperCalia (St Valentine's Day) . . I suspect there may be more . . .
Tommy Turtle - February 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Andy P: Did indeed see, and enjoy greatly, "Life of Brian". Rather a satiric blast at Christianity, no? Thanks for v/c.

UnKnownRO: Indeed, far more, in holidays, mythology/legend, etc. Thanks for v/c.
Bilbopooh - August 04, 2010 - Report this comment
Fantastic song! My brother played Mark Antony in a local production of Julius Caesar last summer so this speech is pretty fresh in my mind. You really nailed it! 8-)
Tommy Turtle - August 05, 2010 - Report this comment
Bilbopooh, you are too kind, Sir! :-D ... As per reply to your kind v/c @ "Inferno", will let FG know, so that she too may express her gratitude for your time, understanding, and v/c.
NEW LINK TO OS VIDEO - March 23, 2011 - Report this comment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osVaF4t-zFc

Old one was taken down for copyvio.

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