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Song Parodies -> "The Motorcycle Song (The Significance of the Cop)"

Original Song Title:

"The Motorcycle Song (The Significance of the Pickle)"

Original Performer:

Arlo Guthrie

Parody Song Title:

"The Motorcycle Song (The Significance of the Cop)"

Parody Written by:

Michael McVey

The Lyrics

I don't want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I'm not bein' fickle
'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don't have fish to fry
Just want to ride on my motorcy...cle

It was late one night the month of May
I thought I'd go up and see Ray
Because, you see, Ray is gay
There was only one thing Ray could say, was:

I don't want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I'm not bein' fickle
'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don't have fish to fry
Just want to ride on my motorcy...cle

Just last week I was on my bike
I run into a friend I like
I like my friend though she's a dyke
She no longer has a bike.
She cries:

I don't want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I'm not bein' fickle
'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don't have fish to fry
Just want to ride on my motorcy...cle

You know, Arlo Guthrie has been singing his stupid song for about 40 years, and only in America can you get by with singing a song that dumb for that long. And only in America can you make a living that way. But Arlo never said anything about having a companion. Guess he didn't want to get me in trouble....

But you know, even when he explained the significance of the pickle, he still didn't tell the whole story. Besides not even mentioning that I was riding with him, he also neglected to explain someting else: the significance of the police officer. You'll see why in a few minutes.

This song is about the time I was ridin' my motorcycle. Going down a mountain road, with Arlo Guthrie right in front of me. He was playin' his guitar. I was talkin' on my CB radio. We was both doing about 170 miles an hour. Arlo thought we were only going 150, but that's because his speedometer only goes to 150. On one side of the mountain road there was a mountain, on the other side there was nothing, just a cliff in the air.

Now, when you're going down a mountain road at 170 miles an hour you gotta be very careful, especially if you're playin' a guitar. Or yakkin' on the CB. I wasn't payin' attention .. and neither was he.

All of a sudden by accident, a string broke off his guitar. It broke, wrapped itself around a yield sign, and he went off the road. Luckily he didn't go into the mountain, he went other way. And I wasn't paying attention, I was just following him 'cause I thought he knew where he was going, and I followed him one to many times and went off the road with him.

Now, Arlo says it was 500 feet straight down, but I got out my handy-dandy USGS Quadrangle map and calculated that the difference in elevation was 816 feet. That gave us a little more time, but not much. It also meant we would be a little more dead when we landed, but not much.

We were going 170 miles an hour sideways and 816 feet straight down. We knew it was the end, and Arlo wanted to write one last farewell song to the world, and I didn't have time to spoof it, so I just sang it with him: "I don't want a pickle, Just want to ride on my motorsickle. And I don't want a tickle, 'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle. And I don't want to die, Just want to ride on my motorcy ...cle."

Not the best song he ever wrote, but neither one of us had time to improve on it. We were comin' down mighty fast. But as you all know, and as fate would have it, he didn't die. Even more amazingly, I didn't die either. Arlo landed on the top of a police car, and it died. And I suddenly realized I would live to mess with his new song!

I landed right in front of him, where the road went downhill for the last time, and I hit it just right so I took one bounce, landed back on the road and kept flying smoothly down the ramp. Now Arlo was right behind me. He thinks he was going 175 mph, but I knew better. My speedometer only goes to 200, so I got out my stopwatch and my calculator, timed myself between two mileposts, just like I used to do at the Indy 500, and calculated that our actual speed was 210.557 miles an hour. That was back when Indy cars only did about 180.

We drove on down the road into town. We came into town at a screamin' 210 miles an hour, both singin' the motorcycle song. We came into town, Arlo jumped off his bike, but no, the bike didn't go around the corner by itself, get up on the stand by itself, or turn itself off. Back then they didn't make motorcycles that could do all that. They still don't.

I got off right after him. We were in front of the deli where his girlfriend worked. Outside the deli was a man standin' there with a pickle in his hand that probably would have made the Guiness Book of World Records if they found out about it. Just like we would have, because I know for a fact Arlo and I are the only two human beings on planet earth who have ever driven a motorcycle at over 210 miles an hour, let alone flown off an 816-foot cliff and lived to tell about it.

As for the four pregnant watermelons Arlo talked about, I asked him how watermelons get pregnant. He said he didn't know. About that time I noticed a cord hangin' from the long end of the pickle goin' up the man's sleeve, down his shirt, into his pants & shoes, out into a briefcase he had near his feet. So it wouldn't make the Guiness Book of World Records after all, because Arlo's guitar kind of disqualified it.

I said to the man, "Hi, what's happenin'? He walked up to me, he pushed the pickle in my face and started askin' me questions. But I didn't have time to answer any of them, because right then a 3 foot 7 inch cop arrived with a five foot gun. A cop that one time must've been around six foot three, but had his dimensions seriously altered by an accident with an Unidentified Flying Motorcycle. He walked up to Arlo, and Arlo said, "Remember me"? And the officer said, "Shut up, kid."

You see, this was no ordinary cop. Arlo was referring to a previous encounter he had with this cop about a year earlier over a half-ton of garbage Arlo and his buddies, not including me, had thrown off the cliff a few miles further up the road. I thought Officer Obie was going to arrest Arlo again. In fact, I thought he was going to jack up the jail and throw Arlo under it. I thought this was going to be like Arlo getting busted by The Sheriff of Boone County Kentucky. But Arlo was lucky. Apparently Officer Obie had had enough of that judge with the seeing eye dog and didn't want to deal with him again.

So Officer Obie walked up to the other man, and with one humongous hand, he grabbed the pickle away from the other guy. He threw it - a hundred feet straight up in the air, and while the pickle was half way between goin' up & comin' down he took out his, uh, very modified gun and put a 3 inch bullet hole right through the long end of the pickle. It started comin' back down.

He stuck out his foot, which recently had gone from a size 12A to a size 27EEEE. He caught the pickle on his big toe, which was a lot bigger than he was used to, and, balancing the pickle on his big toe, he reached his huge hand into his little pocket & pulled out a ten foot ticket. He borrowed Arlo's pen. He wrote it up. I will never know what all was on that ticket, but I am willing to bet the offenses included speeding, reckless driving and damage to state property.

But I will never know, because after Officer Obie wrote it up and rolled it up, he stuffed it in the bullet hole in the middle of the pickle, took the pickle with the ticket and shoved it down Arlo's throat. Was at that very moment that the pickle with the ticket was goin' down Arlo's throat that Arlo decided he didn't want a pickle. "I don't want a pickle," he said. "Just wanna ride on my motorsickle. And I don't want a tickle, I'd rather ride on my motorsickle, And I don't wanna die, Just wanna ride on my motorcy ... cle."

And Officer Obie said, "Shut up, kid. You're lucky I don't jack up the jail and throw you under it." And Arlo got the pickle anyway. And then Officer Obie walked up to me, and I thought I was in a heap of trouble. But since it was my first offense, Officer Obie said, "Kid, I'm letting you off with a warning this time. Don't EVER let me see you riding a motorcycle with Mr. Guthrie again, you understand me, kid?"

I looked Officer Obie in the eye and said ... nothing.

And you gotta sing it with that kind of enthusiasm. I mean, the kind of enthusiasm with which we went to Alice's restaurant and told all the folks there what happened! But Arlo did most of the talking, because contrary to what he has said previously about Alice's restaurant, you cannot get anything you want there. Peppermint ice cream for one.

I was next door at the Baskin Robbins eating away, and I heard Arlo's story through the wall and how different it was from what actually happened, so I left the Baskin Robbins with the cone still in my hand, stormed though the door to Alice's restaurant and bawled out,

"You can't get peppermint ice cream at Alice's restaurant (she doesn't stock it). You can't get peppermint ice cream at Alice's restaurant. Had to go to the Baskin Robbin's store, Lucky for me it's right next door, 'Cause you can't get peppermint ice cream At Alice's restaurant."

And Arlo looked at me and said ... nothing. And you have to sing the Motorcycle song with THAT kind of enthusiasm! So here goes... just waiting for it to come around with full orchestration ...

I don't want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I'm not bein' fickle
'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don't have fish to fry
Just want to ride on my motorcy...cle

2004 Michael W. McVeySpoofs and Parodies Yahoo Group

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Pacing: 3.6
How Funny: 3.9
Overall Rating: 3.9

Total Votes: 11

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User Comments

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John Barry - June 17, 2004 - Report this comment
Prodigious effort, Michael. Obviously a lot of work went into this. Congratulations.
Meriadoc - June 18, 2004 - Report this comment
And all this time I thought John Prine sang it... (ducks head in embarrassment)
the_got_mac - December 27, 2004 - Report this comment
Quite humorous and believable. Now, where does "The Pause of Mr. Claus" come in?
jimbo - November 01, 2006 - Report this comment
That was wonderful. I mean, y'wanna end war and stuff y'gotta sing loud, but even if ya sang that real soft and without the four part harmony it'd still be good. I'll listen to that next time I take the garbage out of this bell tower here...
Phi - June 25, 2016 - Report this comment
i heard a long time ago the song The Motorcycle Song (The Significance of the Cop) but never heard it again does anyone out there have the version of the song with the music i would love to get a hold of it again or is the parody one on one of arlo's albums or how can i find this one song some one help me please drop me a line thank you
Michael McVey - September 09, 2018 - Report this comment
Phi, I think you're thinking of "The Significance of the Pickle". You can certainly find it on Youtube. My parodies have not been recorded.

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