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Song Parodies -> "Art Is Anything You Do"

Original Song Title:

"I'd Do Anything for You"

Original Performer:

'Oliver' soundtrack

Parody Song Title:

"Art Is Anything You Do"

Parody Written by:

John A. Barry

The Lyrics

Exchange between a promising young artist and a member of the rarified inner circle of international art and taste arbiters and authenticators. Prompted by a quote attributed to Andy Warhol and Marshall McLuhan: “Art is anything you can get away with.”
Art is anything you’ll do—
Smear anything:
Bright hues green, or might use feces
(Lose blues ’cause meaning is sketchy.)

You know that
Art is any fare that you make.
Then up there
Upon a pedestal you’ll be.

Pachyderm-dung hill?[1]


Break wind in a trill?[2]


J.C. jar, pee-fill?[3]


Will the critics shill?

They’ll build you up!!!!

Praises they will sing
For your shtik—anything,
They’ll kiss your sphincter ring

Crown me king?

Anything for you.

Once you’re in the ring
Of the art world, you’re king.
You can do anything—you’re free.

Splash paint on glass with lasses bare,[4]
Paint Campbell’s cans with flair,[5]
A concert with dead air:

Paint a single hue?[7]


Show bowl from a loo?[8]


Slop on chocolate goo?[9]


Drip my coffee too?[10]


Become King of Pop?[11]


Wrap a structure up?[12]


Get shot and then drop?[13]


Make a fur teacup?[14]


You’ll always win
Once the club you’re in—
You can do anything.


Anything we’ll woo!

[1] Chris Ofili (born 10 October 1968) is a Turner Prize winning British painter best known for artworks referencing aspects of his Nigerian heritage, particularly his incorporation of elephant dung.
[2]Le Pétomane was the stage name of the French flatulist (professional farter) and entertainer Joseph Pujol (1857-1945). He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to fart at will.
[3]Piss Christ is a 1987 photograph by photographer Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine.
[4]Can’t remember or find the name of the 1960s avant-gardist who daubed paint on women and had them roll around on large sheets of Plexiglas.
[5]Need I say more?
[6]Composer John Cage’s most famous musical composition is called 4'33". It consists of the pianist going to the piano, and not hitting any keys for four minutes and thirty-three seconds.
[7]“White on White,” 1918, Kazimir Malevich, Russion Suprematist painter.
[8]“Fountain,” 1918, Marcel Duchamp. A urinal mounted on a pedestal.
[9]“The Return of the Chocolate-Smeared Woman,” 1994, Karen Finley, in which the artist smeared herself on stage with chocolate.
[10]Action, or drip, painter Jackson Pollock.
[11]A hint: I don’t mean Michael Jackson?
[12]In 1994, Christo wrapped Berlin’s Reichstag (parliament building) in fabric.
[13] Chris Burden's reputation as a performance artist started to grow in the early 1970s after he made a series of controversial performances in which the idea of personal danger as artistic expression was central. His most well-known act from that time is perhaps the 1971 performance piece "Shoot," in which he was shot in his left arm by an assistant from a distance of about five meters.
[14]Meret Oppenheim (October 1913-1985) was a German-born Swiss, Surrealist artist, and photographer. Her best known piece is "Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure)," 1936. The sculpture consists of a teacup, saucer, and spoon that the artist covered with fur from a Chinese gazelle.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.0
How Funny: 4.3
Overall Rating: 4.3

Total Votes: 6

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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

User Comments

Comments are subject to review, and can be removed by the administration of the site at any time and for any reason.

Patrick - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Don't know the original song, so I can't comment on the fidelity of your parody. But I am aware of most of the 'art' works you describe. I have my own, negative definition: If I can duplicate it, it's not art. Last weekend I watched the original, uncensored "Blazing Saddles". The governor's name was "Petomane".
Old Man Ribber - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
(Singing from Oliver) " I don't buy this elitist drivel." I DO remember a surprising number of these artistic achievements (what musician doesn't know Cage's "Sound Of Silence'?). One man's art is another man's garbage, and the individual must determine its ultimate value...NOT a Soviet Committee For People's Art nor The National Endowment For The Arts. Whoever sits on these boards will always further their own values, beliefs, and prejudices. But, what do I know? I live near Cincinnati...remember Mapplethorpe? LOL...Good and VERY thought-provoking parody. ;D
2Eagle - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
That was the pet peeve of that certain newspaper colomnist in Florida who's name I won't mention for his own protection. An "artist" can leave a pile of trash in an art museum and call it art while the likes of Andrew Wyeth are pooh poohed as being mere illustrators although their work takes real skill. Have you noticed lately that the bigger the 'art' is the more recognition it gets? Behemouths on display are seen in the news.
AFW - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Interesting...your parody is art
MadameNorCAL - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Dear ~CaptainFartMeister~ . . . (f)Art is our most subjective claim to humanity, Sir !
John Jenkins - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Very well researched and executed, John. I know that art and beauty are in the eye of the beholder and can be very subjective, but what annoys me is that much of the stuff above, at least 1 and 3, is publicly funded. Paid for by American taxpayers whether we like it or not.
John Barry - August 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Than you, art lovers.

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