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Song Parodies -> "Grave Is End Of Flight (2013 Annual 'Day The Music Died' Tribute)"

Original Song Title:

"Strangers In The Night"

Original Performer:

Frank Sinatra

Parody Song Title:

"Grave Is End Of Flight (2013 Annual 'Day The Music Died' Tribute)"

Parody Written by:

Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

Had actually planned several months ago to do this to "Major-General", something like "For Buddy Holly, Ritchie, Bopper: Rotten Day In General" ... but *where* does the time go? Maybe next year....

Lots of history and back-stories about the incident, and also about the song describing the era, "American Pie" itself, in previous years' tributes.

2012: "American Pie Explained"
2011: "Yester-Day, The Music Died"
2010: "Say Good-Bye, Holly? Ow!"
2009: "Music All Died"
2008: AWOL
2007: "Say A Prayer For Buddy Holly (2007)" (improved over noob version of 2006)
2006: "Say A Prayer For Buddy Holly"

Grave is end of flight
Clear Lake to Fargo
Make it? Not tonight
Became dead cargo
Wreckage: awful sight
Our grief felt through and through

Something in their stars
Must have been crossing
Rocked out their guitars
Today, of loss, sing
"Heaven, R'nR's"
Surely it must have you

Genre new, incite
Exciting trio
They helped Rock 'n Roll ignite
And sang con brio
Whether Country; Rhythm/Blues
Style was hot news
Pop, they did enhance their way
But sadly: end, perchance, that day

Ever since that night
What fate to weather
Shining stars so bright
We mourn forever
History, rewrite
Strange: whom Fate chose to smite

[instrumental -- "Taps"?]

Rock: a great advance, display
As ev'ry night we'd dance away

Since that fatal flight
We'll all remember
Legacy: delight
New sounds, engender
Blighted plight, alright
For singers in the night

Props for noticing that "Grave" in the title serves as both noun and adjective. ;) ... and sorry for stretching all the way to "Romeo and Juliet" re: "star-crossed" (i. e., ill-fated).

© 2013 Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved. E-mail:

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Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 8

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 5   8

User Comments

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Old Man Ribber - February 01, 2013 - Report this comment
TT - The is a truly worthy continuation of your noble (often Nobel) tradition. Your series helps to insure that the music will not die. I know that crafting a top-notch parody is a most time-consuming (shell-shocking?) undertaking. I and quite a few others wish you the time and inclination to create more of your most enjoyable works...and share them here with us. ;D
AFW - February 01, 2013 - Report this comment
A TT i C....nice work and tribute to those great R&R pioneers....sad,,,like the Patsy Cline crash a few years later
Tommy Turtle - February 01, 2013 - Report this comment
Old Man Ribber: Strange, Stockholm hasn't called yet. Are you *sure* that there's really a Nobel prize for parody? ;)   Thanks for the kind words... but judging by the v/c so far, apparently there aren't all that many others. xD .... Oh well, a few sincere comments are worth dozens of rote ones. Thanks.

AFW: And so many others.... It seems that Don McLean's tribute immortalized their tragedy above the others we've lost. Thanks for v/c.
John Jenkins - February 01, 2013 - Report this comment
Well written, particularly all the "..ights" in the last verse.
Tommy Turtle - February 01, 2013 - Report this comment
John Jenkins, thank you very much.
In Flight Mentortainment - February 02, 2013 - Report this comment
Wow—more MoFo'ing 'Takes on a Plane' than Samuel L. Jackson—seven of 'em!

Your creativity and obvious passion for the subject(s) are inspiring. I really admire (and attempt to emulate!) your terse style—nary a syllable's wasted in any TTProduction.

Your verbiage, too, is always interesting, and more importantly for me, fUnpredictable, with cool couplets like: trio/con brio, remember/engender, RnR's/guitars, ignite/incite and Fargo/cargo....

Right® on, bro, write on!
Tommy Turtle - February 02, 2013 - Report this comment
In Flight Mentortainment: (lol) Thanks for picking out many of the author's faves as well. (Predictable is boring!) Glad you enjoyed the inflight movie; if only the ending were better... thanks for v/c!
Lifeliver - February 03, 2013 - Report this comment
In sentiment, I echo OMR, and in technique IFM. I'm glad for all of us you could keep to your established 'in memoriam' date with that ever so sure flick of the flipper, forever fostering the feeling for that fateful flight. As they say in Australia on Remembrance Day: 'Lest We Forget ...'

Sneaky return plug on this subj., including a couple of turtlecalls (whatever they sound like) - not sure if you've seen this one:
Patrick - February 03, 2013 - Report this comment
And don't forget Roger Peterson, pilot of the ill-fated plane. So much talent lost that night, other lives spared by quirks of fate. I recall many years ago a "60 Minutes" expose on the alleged safety problems of the "V" tail Beechcraft Bonanza. Glad to see you continuing your annual series of tributes to some great musicians who passed on before their time.
Tommy Turtle - February 03, 2013 - Report this comment
Lifeliver: Always appreciate astute alliteration, aspecially applause. Don't think I've seen the shout-outs, but there's an (American) football game starting shortly that's supposed to be some kind of big deal. Will definitely check it out. Thanks for v/c.

Patrick: IIRC, one main issue was that being a more high-status plane than a Cessna or Piper, they tended to be bought by doctors, who, because they are authority figures in their day job, tend to think they know all else about all else. (No offense to any doctors in the house.) Hence, underqualified for the high-performance aircraft vs. the scooter in which they took their flight training. You got the money, they;ll sel you one.
  I don't think the plane was the issue. The pilot wasn't qualified for the weather conditions encountered,, and I think it was you and I who discussed that the horizon gyroscope in this plane read in the opposite direction from standard "artificial horizons", confusing the pilot. Thanks for the v/c.
Patrick - February 04, 2013 - Report this comment
The "60 Minutes" segment seemed to suggest that the problem lay with the "V" tailed version, which handled differently from the standard rudder and tail surfaces. I think there was a "Bonanza" with the conventional layout that didn't have as many problems. The "V" tail was "sexier" in appearance, greater sales appeal. "You got the money, they sell you one" reminds me of a legend I read of a wealthy Texan who wanted to dispose of his wife, who fancied herself a pilot. He bought her a restored WWII F4U "Corsair", an airplane with a notorious rotary engine requiring great strength and skill to control, especially on takeoff. She hopped into the plane, which immediately spun into the ground, accomplishing his purpose.
Tommy Turtle - February 04, 2013 - Report this comment
I still think that if the weather had been good and the pilot had achieved his Instrument Flight Rating, for which he was still taking lessons at the time, it would have been fine.

Other V-tail crashes seem not to relate to the tail:

On July 31, 1964, country music star Jim Reeves and his pianist Dean Manuel died when the Beechcraft Debonair Reeves was piloting crashed in the Brentwood area of Nashville during a violent thunderstorm. (d'oh)

In February 1981, Apple Computer cofounder Steve Wozniak crashed his Beechcraft Bonanza while taking off from Santa Cruz Sky Park. The NTSB investigation revealed Wozniak did not have a "high performance" endorsement (making him legally unqualified to operate the airplane) and had a "lack of familiarity with the aircraft." Wozniak later made a full recovery, albeit with a case of temporary retrograde amnesia..

On 19 March 1982, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads was killed when the wing of the Bonanza F35 he was riding in hit the band's tour bus and the plane crashed into a tree and a nearby residence. The pilot and another passenger were also killed. The NTSB cited the causes of the crash as poor judgement, buzzing and misjudged clearance as well as indicating that the use of the aircraft was not authorized by the aircraft's owner. (Steal a plane to buzz your band? D'oh squared.)

Straight-tail (36) Bonanza:
On 13 March 2006, game show host Peter Tomarken crashed his Bonanza A36 into Santa Monica Bay during climb-out from the Santa Monica Airport in California. He was en route to San Diego to pick up a cancer patient who needed transportation to UCLA Medical Center for treatment. Tomarken and his wife were killed in the crash.

So, stupidity can get you killed in any airplane.

WikiP lists both advantages and disadvantages of the V-tail desigh, which has also been used in fighter craft. However, SOP before flying *any* model of aircraft with which you are not familiar is to get a check-ride from an instructor familiar with that model. This is required before any rental service will rent you one (I know: been there, done that), but if you walk into the dealership and pay the price, you get the plane. Not their problem -- maybe you have a pro pilot waiting somewhere or whatever.
Okie Girl - February 08, 2013 - Report this comment
That'll be the day... when I don't immensely enjoy a TT lyric! Lovely tribute, as usual. :)
Tommy The Slowest Turtle - February 12, 2013 - Report this comment
Okie Girl: How did I miss your comment? Must have had head up wrong end of shell. ;)

Thanks for the kind v/c. You are "O-K" in my book! Okie-dokie? ;-D

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