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Song Parodies -> "Stalin"

Original Song Title:


Original Performer:

The Rascals

Parody Song Title:


Parody Written by:


The Lyrics

Yesterday Tommy Turtle lamented in so many words why Adolf should get such a bad rap while his even worse eastern neighbor gets off with the parodic equivalent of a community service order. I wish to remedy that.

Or at least begin to. Hard to fit Stalin's atrocities into four or five verses. Apologies to Poles and other Eastern Europeans - didn't get around to you. Or the gulags. Interesting fact: counting civilian and military WW2 deaths together, the USSR at 26 million represents more than the rest of the world's put together, including the holocaust. Can't blame Uncle Joe entirely for most of those, though.

Stalin - scheming, snowbound Kremlin goon
Trotsky couldn't get away too soon
I can't imagine any tyrant better
Destroying people talkin' bout the weather
There ain't a Russian I would be instead o'

Proving - guilt confessions, can't refuse
Using any means he likes to use
There's always lots of things that you can't see
It could be anyone, your enemy
All those threat'ning people, they're dead meat, yeah

Moving, all the peasants' hard-won grain
Cruelly, starve those traitors, all Ukraine
No, no no, Joe

Sta-a-arve, sta-a-arve, sta-a-arve

He kept on spending precious lives this way
Just went on purging every one, child's play
In millions disappearing, day by day
Paranoid fantasy, power to he, friendlessly

Stalin - in a snowbound room, Moscow
Trotsky wasn't safe in Mexico
No, no, no, no
Stalin, uh huh, uh huh
Stalin, Stalin

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.7
How Funny: 4.3
Overall Rating: 4.3

Total Votes: 9

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   1
 4   1
 5   7

User Comments

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Peregrin - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
May I be the first to say congrats LL. You nailed that. 30 minutes well spent, you Rascal :) Young Rascal? This always confuses me. Which is it ?
Lifeliver - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Thanks for the compliment Merry. If I'd taken 35 minutes, the last couplet wouldn't have been so lame. I believe there was an icepick through the skull involved which could have been easily worked in: room/doom, e.g.

Incidentally, this OS includes a famous mondegreen. For 'You and me endlessly', some people hear 'You and me and Leslie', i.e. a menage-a-trois.

About the Rascals, they had their first hits as teenagers as the 'Young Rascals', another name for the silver screen's 'Spanky and Our Gang'). Then they grew up and dropped the 'Young', so they're cited both ways. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this but I can remember when Stevie Wonder was billed as 'Little Stevie Wonder', a protege of Ray Charles. The Rascals had two fine singers in Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere, and were pioneers of 'blue-eyed soul'. They cut some fine singles and deserve to be better remembered.
Rob Arndt - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Nice parody-555! Yet your numbers are way off from actual Soviet losses in WW2. Using any "official" Russian number is inaccurate b/c they downplay the catastrophe of the Great Patriotic War. Contemporary historians using archive materials opened in the 1990s estimate that between 34-42 million were killed by the war, forced slave labor, POW deaths, starvation due to war in areas not occupied by the Germans, and Stalin's own relentless killing of his military and civilian population. In the 1930s Stalin also wiped out entire areas with artificial faminine and his endless purges of the military and intellectuals added more millions. It's too bad that Nazi Germany's "Operation Zeppelin" failed to kill the tyrant. It is sad to think that the oppressive Tsars killed less than Uncle Joe!.
Callmelennie - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Apparently, we have a fan of the Ukrainian Holdomor with us today. How else do you explain that 3-bomb
Meriadoc - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Hi lifeliver. That wasn't Merry above. I'm Merry. That was Pippin. :)

Anyway, nice parody!
Lifeliver - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Oh, sorry Merry and Pippin, that was bound to happen sooner or later. Blasted hobbits! And thanks.
@ Lenny Maybe someone doesn't find famines very funny, especially politically engineered ones. Can't imagine why. This kind of black humor is always a little iffy.
@ Rob I just got the figures from Wiki and I won't dispute your estimate, as you seem to be somewhat of an authority on C20 theatres of war etc. But the point about staggering numbers remains. Estimates in these areas are bound to have a 'ballpark' element. For example, do we count deaths in the labor camps from lack of adequate medical attention, malnutrition-related diseases due to shortages etc. as attributable to war or Stalin or the Nazis? It's a statistician's nightmare. Glad you liked the parody,
Meriadoc - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Anybody know how many died during the Thirty Years War? I do know that it decimated entire villages...
Diploma GranTTed - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
Sang it over the linked video, smooth as silk, thanks to skillful elision *and signal to the reader* (per our convos) of "threat'ning" (psst--- 'bout needs one, too, even though there's one at the end of "talkin' -- free pass). Props for using the ahh-ahhs to further your theme, and the stand-out sub was the huge 180 switch from "Life will be ecstasy" to "Paranoid fantasy".
    (opens envelope) ... And the Pacing rating is (audience on edge of seat!) Drum roll (how apropos, no?) ...... FIVE!
(Mr. Rogers chimes in: "I knew you could! ;-D)

The historical-educational/philosophical vs. funny has been discussed extensively elsewhere on site. No, this is by no means "funny", but it's a "clever, witty" use of an elevator-happy OS to tell tragic tales of treachery (For your next assigment: Alliteration ;). Perhaps the 3-4 voters may have thought it a bit close to TOS (other subs are always possible), but a solid 555 here.
    Truth: Was it worth it? (the criTTiques, etc.)?

btw, I had heard that Stalin himself had caused the deaths of as many as 30 million in just his massive purges of anyone who combed his/her hair the wrong way. As said, no way to get a true count.

(cough) About that world-famous mondegreen, [1] of which Your Humble Servant was a victim from the time the song was released until discovering the real lyrics by being at this site, said mondegreen itself inspired a parody of exactly that threesome with Leslie, tenth day on site:


[1] (optional mondegreenalysis, best skipped by all)

As Dr. Lifeliver, M. D. (Doctor of Meter) well knows by now, the misunderstanding by listeners was because the lyricist placed "endlessly" in a position where the singers' required stress on "End" made it easy to hear as "And"

YOU and me END-less-ly = correct, as is the line preceding it. But the first three lines of that verse set our ears up for alternating stresses:

i FEEL it COM-ing CLO-ser DAY by DAY

They're allowed to change, but it takes us by surprise, so we tend to expect the alternation to continue, and to hear:

YOU and ME and LES-lie

How to bullet-proof TOS?
"Endlessly, you and me"
------- who could mis-hear that?
TT @ Meriadoc - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
How about the Hundred Years' War -- you know, the one with the possessive apostrophe? ;-D
Lifeliver - September 11, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Turtle Tears of joy. Does that qualify me to be a punctuation Nazi now? A colon would have been better after the word 'video'. It's gone to my head already. Also, you need another comma after the appositive noun clause 'M.D. (Doctor of Meter)'

I enjoyed your mondegreen parody and the related banter. Strange word, that. Do you happen to know the etymology? The standard female spelling is 'Lesley' as in Lesley Gore, and Leslie as in Leslie Nielson for males. But you'll be relieved to know there are many exceptions, so you didn't unwittingly take part in a gangbang (unless that's what you meant).

Point taken re. 'bout. Back to humble self. One of my bad punctuation habits is the 'lazy hyphen' to save those 'broken-backed sentences', as I've heard them called, joined with a comma. Actually in publishing, the hard 'em rule' is used in those situations and the shorter 'en' rule for connecting discrete but related concepts in adjectives: U.S.-NATO relations, producer-consumer tensions. (They require special html commands). The hyphen is the shortest and should not be used outside a word, usually for standard two-or-more-word adjectives (like so).

Here endeth my valedictory speech. Thanks for feedback and I'll try and keep it up.
Lady Mondegreen - September 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Actually, "smoothly" would have been better, though sacrificed formal usage to common usage/metaphor. As a parenthetical clause, it should indeed be bracketed by commas, as it was. Your version implies a complete sentence: "Sang it ...; (it was) smooth as silk". Mine merely adds a parenthetical modifier to how it was sung.

As for the rest of the Turtle-bashing: (Revenge Of The Words? ;)
  1) Went to head? Wow, no kidding. Hinted at future steps: alliteration, syllable-matching, neologizing, etc. You have a Dr. of Meter, but only a Bachelor of Parody until those others are "mastered". :P
    We've always had "parody preview," but I'm amazed at how many of my existing parodies contain minor typos, despite typically proofreading and previewing extensively. Have you ever tried typing with flippers?
  2) If your intent is to go through TT comments looking for typos, and possible nits in punctuation, I hope you're living on a trust fund. This writer lobbied extensively, with support from others, *just* to get a "comment-preview" function added. It's only about a year old or so, IIRC.
  So .... you worry that I'm spending too much time on you, then pick nits because I cut the comment-review process so as to finish the comment in 45 minutes instead of an hour? ;) Ingratitude is the reward of all who share wisdom: Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Stalin -- oops -- Turtle. Hmph.

"Les***" as a male given name has practically fallen out of usage in the US. Leslie Hope changed his name to Bob Hope because it had more of a "one of the boys" nuance, and that was 70 or so years ago.

I care less about hyphens ("comma splice" is the formal term you were seeking) than about hymens.

From our e-mails, I thought you might agree. ; )

Viagra™ may help you to keep it up. xD
(correct usage is "try to keep it up' -- you can't both "try" to do something, and "do" it -- you either try to do it, or you do it. But let's not play this game --- *really*.)

And here I was, hoping that the comments could be much shorter without the pacing analysis. Silly me. ;)
Comma Splices - September 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Meriadoc @TT - September 12, 2012 - Report this comment
I consider "Thirty Years" to be one giant adjective... ;)
Lifeliver - September 13, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Meriadoc (know your hobbits): I consider 'Thirty Years War' to be a title, so it doesn't need any punctuation, or it's at least optional. If the literal meaning were used in a sentence, e.g. 'The incident led to thirty years' war between them.', then I would add the apostrophe. The adjectival form would be 'The Thirty-Year War'. That's my two cents' worth. I'm sure TT will want to stick his paddle in here. Dr Tommy?

@ Lady Mondegreen I'd like to respond to your last comment privately. Weekdays can get kinda busy but I should get back to you before the week's out.
Tommy Turtle - September 13, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Meriadoc and LL: "Two weeks' notice" = "Two weeks' worth of notice". .. . and since when do titles never require punctuation? Grammarians cringed at the movie title by that name. ("Two Weeks Notice"). Granted, Wikipedia is not an ultimate authority, but their articles put apostrophes in both "Thirty Years' War" and "Hundred Years' War".
  Last example of punc in titles: Proper name of US National Anthem is "The Star-Spangled Banner", because "star-spangled" is a compound modifier. The easy test: If each of them can be removed, while still leaving a coherent phrase, no hyphen needed. This one fails: "Star Banner" makes no sense, or at least, changes the meaning. "Spangled Banner" makes grammatical sense, although spangled with what?

"The Thirty War"? "The Hundred War"? "The Years War?" We go back to the implied "worth of": 100 years' worth of war. Or move the modifier to the end: "The War Of A Hundred Years". Then, no apostrophe needed, because "of" indicates possession by the war (of 100 years).

@ Lifeliver: Before sending your e-mail, please consider that while TT possibly may have given more constructive suggestions on *parodies* than any other reader/writer (or all of them put together, lol), I can't ever remember ripping someone's *comment* (or reply to my comment) for grammar, syntax, punctuation, etc., except perhaps if it offers a pun or joke opportunity, or if the commenter's meaning wasn't clear.

Finally: "Never look a gift horse in the mouth." You were congratulated on having nailed pacing, and in return ...

I forgot to mention "internal rhyming" as another skill possessed by the best. (That was one example. ;) Most readers enjoy it. It's pretty much required if TOS does it, though it's challenging to come up with new ones when TOS uses the same line seven times:
  "Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry". -- counts as only one internal rhyme, because "levee" was used twice. TT's APies try to do this when able. It's usually considered a lagniappe by the reader when TOS doesn't.

This song has a line in which all eight words rhyme with each other (or very close thereof), as does the first word in the subsequent line:

This one is much more complex, in iambic octameter, and while there is much internal rhyming overall, one line had six rhyming words, each on the stress point:

That one, like many of TT's "Major" parodies, also often rhymes the fourth and eight syllable in many lines, an addition to G&S that may have been a TT innovation, and has become a trademark. Haven't seen it in any others AFAICR.

No time now to comment on today's entry, esp. with the need to proofread comments so carefully. ;) - September 15, 2012 - Report this comment
a male or female given name.
Also, Les·ley.
Lifeliver - September 16, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Tommy: Your application of the grammatical rules applying to hyphenated adjectives and possessive apostrophes, both plural and singular, are as sound as usual. However, some publishing houses and newspapers are inclined to drop such punctuation from titles if the subject is absolutely clear or universally recognized.

As you mentioned, the Wiki entry for the Thirty Years' War includes the apostrophe, and that's the way I would certainly edit and write it. The Thirty-Year War would be correct but non-standard. But if you glance through the references, you'll note that some (not so many, but a significant number) drop it.

Similarly, googling Star-Spangled Banner (again, my preferred form) gives similar results. When people hear this term, they don't think of some banner of indeterminate color which happens to be spangled with an indeterminate number of stars. They think of the USA's national flag. There is no chance of mistaking its meaning, so the punctuation is regarded as redundant. That seems to be the thinking, anyway.

Same goes for the Thirty Years' and the Hundred Years' Wars (the latter was more like 130 years, apparently). They are universally recognized names for certain wars. One could argue that the Korean War became a thirty-year war in 1980, but no one called it that.

The same thing occurs with singular possessives, especially in place names: Harpers Ferry, Coopers Creek, Aireys Inlet, Coffs Harbor. Most newspapers certainly adopt this style, and sometimes the municipalities involved too. The point I'm making here is the correct way isn't the only way and stylistic trends have to be accommodated. Personally, the movie title 'Two Weeks Notice' doesn't bother me. But you can't fix the grammar, any more than you can correct the spelling of 'Inglorious Basterds'. Strict grammarians just have to live with such things

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