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Song Parodies -> "Inferno, Canto#5A: Minos's Tail-Twist"

Original Song Title:

"The Mexican Hat Dance"

Original Performer:

Allan Sherman

Parody Song Title:

"Inferno, Canto#5A: Minos's Tail-Twist"

Parody Written by:

Giorgio Coniglio's Grandson

The Lyrics

Resuming at Canto 5 of “The Inferno” after a considerable pause.... Dante Alighieri, guided by the Roman poet Virgil is on a mission, presumably sanctioned by heavenly powers, that leads them progressively further downward into the Circles of Hell.
Oh! King Minos, his son was a Taurus -
A Greek legend whose details might bore us,
Yet old Virgil’s Aeneid implores us
To think Minos a judge of the Dead.

The next chapter is D. Alighieri’s
He conceived of a Minos more scary.
This huge reptile makes sinners despair-y
He’s Inferno’s vile Judge of the Dead.

Discesi del cerchio primaio
Dov’è dolor che piunge a guaio
A farmisi lagrimar pio
Stavvi horribilmente Minòs.

Our nice sojourn in Limbo had ended
To the grim Second Ring we descended
Where this gross snarling monster offended
With the verdict he gives with his tail.

Essamina le colpe nel’intrata,
Le confessa l’anima mal nata
Vede qual loco d’inferno è da essa,
Della peccata è conoscitor!

He examines the souls of transgressors
As a devilish father-confessor,
Assigns Circle of Hell, more or less, Sir,
With the number of coils in his tail.

Un atto di cotanto offizio -
Sempre dinanzi ne stanno molte
Vanno al giudizio,
E dicono e odono
Minos si cigne e giù son volte.

You’d done rapine and pillage and letching
You’d sinned quite a good bit in your youth
You thought you had hidden
Those bad things you did then,
But Minos will find out the truth.

Crowds pour in! To get dissed!
In turn each one gets judged
They’d prefer not to budge,
But they’re hurled downward in the abyss.

Disse Minòs a me quando me vide,
“Guarda di cui tu ti fide”
E’l duca mio lui “Perche pur gride?”
Vuolsi cosí colà si puote.

Oh, this tail-twister’s workflow was broken,
When he’d spied me and snarkily spoken,
Virge rebuked him with a poignant token
Of the Power that willed us ahead.

A pianto sentire or son venuto
In loco d’ogne luce muto
Da contrari venti è combattuto
Intesi - ecco dannati
I peccator carnali
Nulla speranza di posa
Ove Minòs manda colla coda*.

Now, there starts up such sad incantation,
And the roar of a storm’s emanation -
Wind-tossed darkness and sad lamentation
Cause by now you could guess
There’s eternal distress -
Lovers carnally sinned and confined
Here, where Minos’s tail-twist assigned.

* coda, the Italian word for tail, also implies a conclusion or ending.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.5
How Funny: 4.5
Overall Rating: 4.5

Total Votes: 8

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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

User Comments

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Rob Arndt - November 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Helluva parody- 555 torments!
Al Silver - November 11, 2015 - Report this comment
I missed this one, being away all day Monday. This is really good, giving a modern colloquial twist to a medieval classic. Technically, it's flawless. I must confess that medieval poetry (with the exception of The Decameron and Canterbury Tales) makes me shudder. As a pre-engineering student I was forced to take introductory liberal arts classes, and in a Literature class I was condemned to read The Faerie Queene. It was torture beyond the rack. As Cole said, "You're the great Durante/You're Inferno's Dante." If you want to read the most hilariously detailed description of Hell, check out Joyce's Portrait of the Artist... (I believe it's in Chapter 3.) Anyway, 5s. By the way, the Professor asked us what color Beowulf's hair was. There is no mention of it in the text and no student had a clue. He told us, and it was inevitably right. What do you think?
GC'sG - November 12, 2015 - Report this comment
Thanks for you comments and scorings. I find Scandinavian/Germanic epics daunting, even getting through their plots in precised Wikipedia versions. Perhaps R.A. knows the answer to your riddle. Scholars don't seem to know precisely when Beowulf 'lived' in an interval of several centuries; likely he was without hair for most of that time.
Al Silver - November 12, 2015 - Report this comment
According to the professor, Beowulf was blond, the hair color of literary heroes of that era.
Rob Arndt - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
Not so, he stood out with red hair turned white by worry! The Thanes typically had blonde hair.
Al Silver - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
It was Hrothgar, king of the Spear-Danes, whose red hair turned white with worry over Grendel. Beowulf, nephew of Hygelac, ruler of Geatsland, was himself a thane (warrior lord) to his uncle. Thanes had yellow hair and deep-set blue eyes.
Rob Arndt - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
Sorry for the wrong quote, but it also says that unlike the Thanes who did indeed have hair like wax (blonde), that his hair and body type was not the same, eg atypical IIRC. Meaning he had dark or red hair. I'm not a big fan of Beowulf. It's been a long time. Didn't the King's wife have red hair too?
Dr Giorgio Coniglio dec - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
This discussion seems a distraction from GCG's thread about the true Italian heroes of yesteryear. Picking up on that Tolkien stuff, you could do a Beowulf parody. Must be lots of words rhyme with "Hrothgar".......
Agrimorfee - November 13, 2015 - Report this comment
@DrG: Ms. "Othmar" was Linus' teacher for a time in the Peanuts comic strip.

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