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Song Parodies -> "We Had To Ball, Us"

Original Song Title:

"I Am The Walrus"

Original Performer:

The Beatles

Parody Song Title:

"We Had To Ball, Us"

Parody Written by:

Lifeliver

The Lyrics

A somewhat backhanded tribute to those 60s 'beautiful people' The Mamas and The Papas. One of their first hits was all about Monday but it was all over by about Wednesday.

WE HAD TO BALL, US

I love she and you love he and you love me and why are we together?
Had a good run, we hit number one, see how we fly
Now crying

California dreaming, waitin' for the fans to come
Crooning Papa Denny, Monday bloody Monday
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your love grow strong
Face had some egg man, she never beg men
'We had to ball, us!' Go down the tube

By twelve-thirty pressmen sitting
Squirming Mamas, Papas in a row
See how they lie, like Mama Cass might fly, see how they're 'one'
It's dying, bye bye-ing

Papa John disgusted, tripping with a bloodshot eye
Mama Michelle dishwife, photogenic priestess
Boy you been a naughty girl, you let your husband down
Face had some egg, man, she never beg men
'We had to ball, us!' Go down the tube

Safe in Laurel Canyon garden, psychedelic sun
If the sun don't come, you get a tan
From bravely singing under strain
It's such a neg, man, now coffee dreg men
'We had to ball, us!' Go down the tube, go down the tube

Expert sexpert toking folkies
Don't you think muck-raker laughs at you?
See how hits dried like Mohave sky
See how they tried
I'm sighing

Mama Cass is bleechered, fleeing from the hair-worn flower
Dream a little dream of singing midnight voyage
Man she should have lived, not kicking after London show
It was inev' man, they were high-rev then
'We had to ball, us'
Go down the tube, go down the tube
Goofed, goober tube, goob goober tube, goob
Papa John-pa, stick it in your arm, pa… etc. etc.

Beatles orig. on YT.
Background info for those interested:

Papa John loved his wife Mama Michelle. Mama Michelle, as fatale a femme as ever feted a feller, returned the love of her bandmate Papa Denny. 300-lb Mama Cass loved Papa Denny too. Poor Cass. If you were Papa Denny, what/who would YOU do?

Michelle and Denny had an affair. Denny sang 'I saw her again last night'. John fired Michelle. The band is up Creeque Alley, but Cass was 'Dancing in the street'. Michelle and Denny ceased and desisted, Denny turning to the bottle. John rehired Michelle, who sang 'Dedicated to the one I love'. Mama Cass was left to 'Dream a little dream' of Denny.

After a 'Midnight voyage', they went their separate ways: Cass to a premature coronary in '74 after a London solo concert; Michelle to a moderately successful acting career (and later, lucrative tell-all memoirs); Denny to Canadian TV and stop-start band reformations; and John to a profligate life of drugs and instability, including claims of incest by fellow-drug-addicted teen daughter (by a prev. marriage) Mackenzie, still disputed by other intimates. Of the original four, only Michelle is still with us.

This group could have achieved so much more. John Phillips was one of the most gifted songwriters, lyricists and vocal arrangers of the 60s, and the band contained two fine lead vocalists in Cass and Denny. Their progressive final album, 'The Papas and the Mamas' (1968), produced in an atmosphere of high internal tension, gave a glimpse of what could have been if they'd had hormonal harmony as well as musical. Oh well, it's only ear-candy.

By the way, the story about Cass choking on a sandwich (variously chicken or ham, the one Karen Carpenter should have eaten) is a persistent urban myth.

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User Comments

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2Eagle - November 12, 2012 - Report this comment
I thought they were living near Benedict Canyon the night Sharon Tate was slain. They lived a nightmare.
Meriadoc - November 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Loved "Why are we together?" and "Monday bloody Monday". Also "fleeing from a hair-worn flower". And of course the references to Laural Canyon and the Mohave sky.

@ 2Eagle: Benedict Canyon, Laurel Canyon - they all look alike. They were probably living next door to Jim Morrison... :P
John Barry - November 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Saw the group in Boston in '66. And for trivia buffs: saw JP in '63 when he was in The Journeymen with Scott McKenzie and some other guy.
glen s - November 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Never knew their story. Thanks for the history and enjoyed the parody.
AFW - November 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Interesting and enjoyable...I liked their songs, but like you say, their career was short...Michelle was very sexy
Lifeliver - November 13, 2012 - Report this comment
Thanks people. I'm glad there are a few AIRheads who still remember them. I wonder if any of you picked up the hidden song references 'Twelve Thirty' and 'Safe in my Garden', two of their best. Other lesser known M & P gems worth seeking out are 'Dancing Bear' with a haunting woodwind arrangement, and 'The Potion of Passion', as deft a piece of alliterative wordplay as anything I've seen here. JP certainly had what it took. I can hear his lyrical touches in the Beach Boys' swan-song hit 'Kokomo', which he co-wrote.

@ 2Eagle: I'm pretty sure they were ancient history by the time of the Manson murders and living in various locations, but that event rocked all America, let alone West Coast hippie types.

@ Meriadoc: Thanks for picking up on most of my favorite lines too. It seems a lot of musicians and arty types were living virtually next door to each other in the canyon areas and probably still do, but I'm sure you know more about LA than me.

@ JB: Lucky you. You must have been quite the scenester in your day. John and Michelle were married by then so you might have spotted her in the wings somewhere. Speaking of whom, I later thought the line 'You let your husband down' was a little unfair, since I'm sure he let her down in fairly fundamental ways. Marital infidelity is often a symptom of something or other in a relationship already in trouble. I heard she also had it off with ... oh never mind.

@ Glen S, AFW: Thanks for comments and glad you enjoyed it.

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