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Song Parodies -> "The Ballad of Lifeliver"

Original Song Title:

"The Ballad of Irving"

Original Performer:

Frank Gallop

Parody Song Title:

"The Ballad of Lifeliver"

Parody Written by:


The Lyrics

My all-time favorite gunfighter-ballad parody is worth a tribute parody of its own, though I make no claim to match the hilarity of the original, which you can listen to here. From a comedy album 'When you're in love the whole world is Jewish', it was a big novelty hit way back in '66, and seems to be based on 'Big Bad John'. Many of the ethnic references were lost on me at the time. I still don't know what 'two cents plain' is (anyone help?).

He was old and he didn't even live in the West
With a modern laptop, chosen keys he pressed
With words meaning nothing, write clear through
Nerves were kinda steel, but could be jello too

They called him Liver
Life Liver
Short Life Liver
Short span Life Liver
The hundred and forty second toppest gun parodist

He came from the Shot Bar Fuji, spread
Prostrate on the ground, sake did in his head
He always followed his students' wishes
Gave 'em private lessons - if they were dishes

Big shot liver
Big enlarged liver
The hundred and forty second toppest gun parodist

A hundred and forty-one could write better than he
But Lifie was better than one forty-three
Posted Big Seven tune like heaven's refrain
And awarded three one-bombs, how can you explain?

Short shelf-life Liver
Grey spotted Liver
Schirrosis of the Liver
The hundred and forty-second toppest gun parodist

Some wrote hard times a-comin', some wrote of the gun
They were down, said 'Lifie, we need your fun!'
When the next batch posted at the break of dawn
All he could offer was some borderline porn

Injun giver
Lost-scalp Liver
The hundred and forty-second toppest gun parodist

Well, finally, 'Liver got three fives in the melee
They were from a Hindu priest in New Delhi
He was sittin' there surfing the new i-pad he 'found'
And the butterfingers swami scattered votes all around

Short Lifeliver
Life humdrum liver
The absolutely foremost toppest fun parodist

Kneel ye!

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 3.0
How Funny: 3.0
Overall Rating: 3.0

Total Votes: 6

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   3
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   3

User Comments

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Old Man Ribber - July 29, 2013 - Report this comment
Life - Highest compliments for knowing Frank Gallop's Ballad of Irving! A "two cents plain" I believe is a glass of plain seltzer water (without any booze). Oy...such a fine treatment! ;D
Patrick - July 29, 2013 - Report this comment
I thought it was a rootbeer float minus the ice cream. A poor kid in NYC would ask for "two cents, plain" and hope the soda jerk would add the ice cream anyway. OMR's definition matches one I found online. Harry Golden wrote a book about New York Jewish culture called "For Two Cents Plain". I believe Frank Gallup also had a sequel "Seymour, Son of Irving".
Lifeliver - July 31, 2013 - Report this comment
Belated thanks to Patrick and OMR, also for answering my query. The info is conflicting but the root beer minus ice cream account makes sense. The Jewish community in Melbourne is rather small, pious and insular, nothing remotely like the social impact of the New York subculture, which still bamboozles me at times. Jews in Australia are not even regarded as 'wogs' (anyone not northern European or Asian). OMR, I think this song was what first got me in to music parodies and novelty songs - that and Ray Stevens.
Patrick - July 31, 2013 - Report this comment
I have an interest in firearms laws. I recall reading somewhere that at one time non-Whites were not permitted to obtain firearms licences (I assume that basically referred to Aboriginals, who probably couldn't afford guns anyway). The law made an exception for persons of the "Jewish or Lebanese races", presumably shopkeepers, jewelers, businessmen who might wish to keep a revolver for protection. There are some (usually White supremacists) in the US who consider most Jews and Arabs to be part of the "Semitic" race. In today's world where people of various colors and cultures mingle more freely than in the past, such categorizations are becoming obsolete, and divisive.
Lifeliver - August 01, 2013 - Report this comment
Interesting what you say, Patrick. It's not my area, but AFAIK, licences for longarms have always been relatively easy to obtain for hunting/farming/sporting purposes, (more restrictive since the 90s due to some nasty mass killings), but handguns in the home and business premises are illegal and extremely rare and only available to bonafide law enforcement and security personnel.

You're probably referring to the 'White Australia' policy up to the 1950s, a law which severely restricted 'colored' and Asian immigration. Arabs and Jews (a very small group then) would be classified as 'white' under that law and were probably covered by a special clause. But you would have to be a naturalized full citizen to obtain a licence. And have a clear criminal record, of course.

As for the Aboriginal peoples, in those days they had no rights to anything at all, not even their own children, who were abducted by the government for 'assimilation' in mission stations. But I'm sure trusted stockmen on the vast northern cattle stations had some access to guns with no questions asked, on a case by case basis.
Patrick - August 01, 2013 - Report this comment
During the slavery days in the US, some trusted Blacks were allowed guns for hunting to supplement food supplies and perhaps for stock protection. The mass shootings in Tasmania and elsewhere led to a round-up of semiautomatic arms and any other weapons people were willing to turn in for money. Before that time, the way I understand it, certain offices, such as utility collections and railroad stations had revolvers locked in safes where they could theoretically be retrieved for "emergency" use. Forest rangers might carry a pistol to euthanize injured animals. I've seen ads from British gun dealers on line for "humane killers", six-shot revolvers modified to hold only two bullets for finishing off injured or sick livestock. Saw a story a couple years ago about an Australian security guard who was being prosecuted for shooting a man who attacked and beat her severely about the head. Not sure how that eventually was resolved. US culture on guns, vastly different.

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