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Song Parodies -> "One Weak Chord (And They Sued Ya!)"

Original Song Title:

"My Sweet Lord"

 (MP3)
Original Performer:

George Harrison

Parody Song Title:

"One Weak Chord (And They Sued Ya!)"

Parody Written by:

Red Ant

The Lyrics

George Harrison got into a fair amount of trouble over this song. Read about it here.
[intro, which sounds *exactly* like
"Venus" by Shocking Blue. ;-)]

Whoops for sure
Oh, poor George
Done before

You'd written a new 'rock' tune
Really was a hit for you
But then you wound up in court
'cause you took their song - that chord

Chif-fon's chord
Done before
Woe for George

And then there was that lawsuit
Was big and messy for you
Really should have known it, George
That you can't take songs - for yours (plagiarism)

Stolen chord (plagiarism)
Took that chord (no permission)
Heard before (and they sued ya!)

They really want to see you
REALLY want to see you!
REALLY WANT to see you, George!
REALLY WANT TO SEE YOU, GEORGE!
'cause you took their song - that chord (and they sued ya!)

One weak chord (wallet's through ya!)
Took that chord (no permission)
My, my, my George (repetitious)

Years and years for this lawsuit (litigation)
Really wasn't worth it dude (litigation)
Really hate to tell you, George (aaah!)
That your little song's a bore! (awful lyrics)

Mmm..mmm...mmm (mumbled lyrics)
Good grief George! (repetitious)
Just 6 words! (like Weird Al said!)

[short solo, which sounds *exactly* like
something Eric Clapton did first. ;-)]

Hmm I'm bored (boring lyrics)
So when you're bored (make up lyrics)
Just like George (orange soda)
Stole that chord (Dunkin Donuts!)
Good lord (mumbled lyrics)
Hmm...mmm (made-up nonsense)

[just keep humming the main line and random,
nonsensical, and undecypherable background
lyrics for a minute more, then sing this last line:]

Song is done! (HALLELUJAH!)
copyright 2006+ Jack "Red Ant" Fletcher. Thanks to TT for the inspiration.

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Voting Results

 
Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 21

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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 2   0
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 3   0
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 5   21
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User Comments

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Ravyn Rant - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Your replacements for the various praises of Hindu gods that we find in TOS just cracked me up. What cracked me up at the time of the case was the defense asserting that you could take the notes to just about any song and make them sound the same. His examples were "Rock of Ages" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Personally, I like taking "Amazing Grace" and singing it to the tune of the theme from "Gilligan's Island", but I'm sure that's just me. In short, your "My Sweet Lord" parody was..."so fine, so fine..." :)
Stephen Harrington - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
This isn't the song that Weird Al did the parody to, is it? If it isn't, then I don't think I've heard before. Was it called "Set on you"?
alvin rhodes - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
wonderfully witty...doo lang doo lang doo lang
Tommy Turtle - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
So, my wish is your command? I'll give you all my excess ideas if you'll execute them this well!!
What Ravyn Rant said, also.... OS is every bit as bad as you said, so stealing the tune adds to GH's bad Karma.... Well done! I'm giving you Fives, but the truth is, I plagiarized them from Ravyn and Stephen.

BTW Red Ant, a personal favor? I submitted a second parody last night on the gender-gaffe on Royce M., and it didn't post. I could have screwed up in the submitting, but, as you're an editor, could you find out if CG thought it an "attack parody", or otherwise offensive? It was all in good fun; great plugs for Royce, and I'm sure he - I mean, she - would enjoy it.
John Barry - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Good one, Red Ant. 5s
Peter Andersson a.k.a K1chyd - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
”There are eighty-eight notes. One hundred and seventy-six, if your ear is good enough to pick out quarter tones. Add in rests and so forth, different time signatures. Pick a figure for maximum number of notes a melody can contain. I do not know the figure for the maximum possible number of melodies - too many variables - but I am sure it is quite high.

I am certain that it is not infinite.”

That was a central quote from the short novel “Melancholy Elephants” by Spider Robinson. It’s set in the future, but it’s definitely not science fiction in the Star Trek or Wars sense. The author takes the idea of copyright and runs away with it to a future situation where basically every combination of notes that can be used has been and copyrighted, and too what would be the political complications of such a thing, in both the musical and other areas. I read it 20-25 years ago, and I guess it’s closer to reality today.

There are not many reading experiences that I can look back upon to say that they did alter the way I look upon things in life (who can, huh?), but for me this is one of them. I wish it was required reading for anyone taking cases like this to court, or politicians trying to legislate the area, but don’t just take my word for it, it’s easily found on the net, like here:

www.baen.com/chapters/W200011/0671319744___1.htm
AFW - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Acchording to my read, this is very good..fives
TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
K1, if you take only the twelve notes in one octave, and only a seven-syllable line, e.g. "We gotta get together" (OS) or "I really wanna know you" (PS, or Plagiarized Song), then there are 35,831,808 possibilities, plus timing, rests, etc. as you say. If you take all 88 half-notes (no quarters), and a melody of, say, 30 notes/syllables, which is about what "He's So Fine" has, not counting repeats and doo-langs, then the number of possibilities, without even taking timing into account, is about 2 + fifty-eight 0s, or
20,000 billion billion billion billion billion billion possibilities.
That is definitely not infinite, but it should hold us until the Sun burns out, or ,at least, should have until "My Sweet Lord" was written. -- TT
Rex - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Hmmm... George Harrison puts new words to an existing melody and is sued. Good thing nobody here on AmIRight is doing that. Enjoyed this!
Stuart McArthur - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
VERY funny, Red, esp "REALLY WANT TO SEE YOU, GEORGE!" and "repetitious" and "dunkin donuts" - haven't heard Weird Al's (altho "Just 6 Words" is already funny) but it couldn't be much funnier than this - 555
LucidLupin LeeBee - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Brilliant! 5 Hare Krishna's! ;-)
TT - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Can't speak for Rex or anyone else, but if one of my parodies took in the $ that this OS did, I would be very happy to split the credits and profits with the OS writer! :) :)
Rick C - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Boy, Jack, since I've been around here (almost a year now) you have got to be the winner of the most improved author award. Very impressed with this one. Excellent job.......high fives.
Dirty Hairy - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
Hmm, Donuts! Doh! You hit a Barry Bonds, steroid enhanced Homer here, Red Ant. Boring and repetitious would be praise compared to how I felt about this OS. All 5's
Michael Pacholek - March 14, 2006 - Report this comment
This parody is so fine, doo-lang, doo-lang, doo-lang.
Red Ant - March 15, 2006 - Report this comment
Thanks Ravyn Rant, Step-chan, Alvin, Tommy T, John B, Peter, AFW, Rex, Stu, LLLB, Rick C, Dirty Hairy and Michael P.

Step-chan:That song was called "Got My Mind Set On You".

Tommy Turtle: I have no input over what parodies are approved/disapproved but I see your tribute to Royce is up so all is good there.

Peter: I read the chapter you linked. I thought this particular lawsuit was a bit strange since A) I don't see/hear much resemblance to "He's So Fine" and B) "He's So Fine" reminds me of half a dozen other early 60s tunes. It isn't like the "Ice, Ice Baby" plagiarism of "Under Pressure" which was obvious to everyone except Vanilla Ice.

TT: Mathematically the possibilites approach infinity (especially with guitar as there are also slides, tapping, beding of notes, harmonics, etc) but the number of those combinations that are pleasant to the average persons ears is extremely low. Also, keep in mind many of those combinations sound nearly identical (the bass line from "Ice Ice Baby" has one extra note than the one from "Under Pressure" (8 notes vs 7 or 15 vs 14 depending on how you count it)). I think proper crediting is more important than the money aspect, but I agree with you.

Stu: WAY's parody is very good, you ought to check it out sometime.

Rick C: Well, I had a long way to go. You should see some of what I posted before you got here (Feb, early March 05). On second thought, don't look.

Dirty Harry: Well, I did use "awful lyrics", which is still a compliment for TOS.
Larry Hensley - March 15, 2006 - Report this comment
Sweet parody, so many funny lines.
TT - March 15, 2006 - Report this comment
In addition to the site you linked, try 3w.benedict.com/Audio/harrison/harrison.aspx, which has an analysis of the musical structure of the two, and music files side-by-side so you can hear and compare.
If credit is given to another's melody (as it should have been here), then it is (legally) automatic that some share of royalties is due to the OS writer.

I have far more ideas than time to execute them , as I'm sure many AIRs do, so happy to suggest them when someone's song provides me with one. Thanks for doing such a great job with this one!

BTW Red Ant, it was a second Royce tribute, entitled "Royce Miller", that didn't appear. I might try to resubmit it.
Peter Andersson a.k.a K1chyd - March 15, 2006 - Report this comment
TT: As for the legal parts, I find most of these court cases eery because taking someone to court implies that you think that the combination of notes was stolen, when in most cases both sides just happened to discover them separately and unknowing of each other. Music isn’t really about creation (unless you count those who first invented the instruments and never got any credit for it at all) but about the discovery of something (a combination of tones) already existing that no man’s hearing has been presented to before. If someone finds a new fruit in the uncharted jungle and brings it to you he’s not the creator of that fruit, he’s the discoverer, and whatever pay he deserves is for the (repeated) delivery process, on each delivery, not a 50 year income guarantee. If he’s smart he takes the seeds of that fruit and starts a farm on his own land etc, but if it was created by God/Darwinism (whatever your point on that is) it shouldn’t be one man’s property.

Mathematically you can probably prove that there are so many combinations of notes that they might as well be infinite. Mathematically that is. In reality too many of those combinations we wouldn’t be able to tell apart, and the vast majority wouldn’t be pleasing to the human ear. Heck, most of what is consider a new hit song (and a new set of tones combined) today isn’t pleasing to the ears of the seasoned majority. We basically ran out of naturally pleasing combinations of notes 10-15 years ago, and have had to learn to like rougher music like rap, death metal and stuff like “Hollaback Girl” just to keep fooling ourselves that there’s still possible to create new hits.

And let’s look at another of our senses. Sight. The number of colours a well trained person can tell apart is approx the same as the number of tones. So why aren’t we copyrighting things like flowerbeds. If I was an artist sued of copyright infringement I would send my lawyer to the estate of the head judge with a camera to take pictures of his garden. Then I would plant something as seen there the same way and make sure I get copyright for that specific combination. The existing numbers of flowers are certainly higher than the number of instruments/tones the human ear can hear, it’s certainly closer to infinity, so why do most people prefer combinations of roses to ditto of cactuses, and why aren’t having roses in your garden a copyrighted thing you have to pay for?

Finally, why do YOU (whoever you are) come here to Amiright? With an infinite number of tones still left uncombined, as you say, it would sound to me that spending time listening to new songs, all the time every day, would be a far more interesting and mind-expanding way to spend your time than looking at new texts to songs that are (in most cases) yesterdays news! Could it be that you like to home in on those (in relation to alleged infinite) actually rather few combinations that you find enjoyable, and that looking at newer and funnier texts for those are actually the (possibly unconsciously) preferred choice?

For me the answer to that question is yes, but partly because I, like you and everyone else, like to think of myself as a creator even though I deep down inside realise that I’m much more of an explorer. Let’s face it, when was the last time you saw a truly unique idea, here (not even Spaff invented Shakespeare parodies or funny names for ice cream) or anywhere else, when was the last time you heard a politician say/promise something that hasn’t been said elsewhere and mocked over already a thousand times, when was the last time a parodist newbie heard Avril’s “Complicated” and didn’t first thought that “Hey, this could be done as “Constipated”?” :-)

But the upside for us all if I’m right is that the parody genre can only get bigger when more and more people get tired of not really hearing anything new on the lists. There may be nothing new under the sun, but as the English language has as much as maybe up to a million words that can be combined (compared to music or flowers) in really infinite combinations, there are still infinite improvements to be made on the already discovered subject and songs. :-)

Red Ant - March 15, 2006 - Report this comment
Tommy Turtle: I don't know what happened with the second tribute to Royce.

Peter: First: There are a few cases where a previous song is directly sampled for a new one; in those cases the artist(s) doing the sampling knows very well that what they are creating is not wholly theirs; that said, a small, one-time payment to the original artist and crediting is all that should be allowed. I think the main difference between copying a song and copying a garden flower arrangement is money and the number of people likely to see/hear such things. Home improvement shows often duplicate a very expensive looking (or 'famous') room for a fraction the price of the original, however such a duplicate (or 'plagiary') isn't likely to make them any money nor be noticed as a replica by anyone who isn't a interior decorating nut (same with the garden flowers).

Yesterday I had a better (and much lenghtier) response type out before a power blip kicked me off-line, but I agree with you wholly, especially this:

"We basically ran out of naturally pleasing combinations of notes 10-15 years ago..."; this is why IMO music today either sounds the same as older stuff or sounds like "Hollaback Girl" (ie, crap). Of course, there are exceptions, but unless Klingon Opera-type stuff become popular those nearly infintite note combinations are not really infinite in a practical or pleasing sense.

Finally, it's the money that promotes these lawsuits. Very rarely (maybe even never) in the music world does a melodic similarity/ borrowing/ sampling/ theft/ plagiarism ever result in competition of sales with TOS. I would like to think that if I had umpteen million dollars (something the Chiffons did not have) from recording music and someone copied my work my responses would be (assuming crediting):

A) Wow, my music was good enough to be copied.
B) Too bad that guy doeesn't have enough talent to write his own music.
and NOT C): Get my lawyer on the phone.
Chris Bodily TM - April 07, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) Oops! I commented on the wrong "My Sweet Lord" parody, which is also about chords. Anyway, this chord stuff has been doen before (http://www.amiright.com/parody/70s/georgeharrison13.shtml and http://www.amiright.com/parody/70s/georgeharrison8.shtml). And I am not going to paraphrase what I said on georgeharrison8, so just check out that link to see my comment that was supposed to go here; and excuse the atrocious spelling I used on that comment. 555
Chris Bodily TM - April 07, 2006 - Report this comment
Oops! I meant georgeharrison13, not georgeharrison8. Or... I am so confused today! I went to school only to find out that there was no school today. So I woke up to a crazy day today. So please excuse any goofs I have made today. And plus, I have been reading parodies all day in preparation for SOTM voting (which begins tomorrow), and I'm not sure if I can tell two parodies apart anymore.
TT - April 09, 2006 - Report this comment
Red Ant, OS came on the radio today. Normally, I would have changed channels immediatley, but with this parody in mind, it was really funny to listen to GH's inanities. "Dunkin' Donuts," indeed!... How about doing a Lennon inanity, "instant Karma"? There have been a few parodies, but if you stay on the topic of OS stupidity, you have "Inane Garbage."
Red Ant - April 09, 2006 - Report this comment
Thanks CBTM (x2). Tommy Turtle: I'll d/l that and see if there is anything I can do with it. I hesitate a bit though on that theme, after all I've already done 4 (I think) songs poking fun at The Fab Four's music: "Boring Tune" (Love Me Do), "Imagine" (Imagine), "What's The Meaning?" (Come Together), and this one.
DJ Blaze - August 22, 2009 - Report this comment
(ABC5O) Wow, plagiarism in music is something we do NOT want to happen, but this made it hilarious! 555
Agrimorfee - August 23, 2009 - Report this comment
Shoulda seen this years ago...very good stuff, still holds up! (Better than Weird Al's This Song's Six Words Long!)
Timmy1000 - August 23, 2009 - Report this comment
(ABC5 O). This one was funny, with good subject matter that stuck to the theme. I especially liked the many changes in lines that Harrison just repeated, especially the inane ones near the end. Great rhymes and phrasing throughout. Well done, Ant.
Guy - August 24, 2009 - Report this comment
(ABC5O)

Oh my word - Hate this wrecked-cord. I never cared for the OS but you Jack made it worthy in parody. Holy Crisco - Hairy dismal. Well done Jack - High fives.
Mark Scotti - August 28, 2009 - Report this comment
(ABC5O) Great Re-telling of that touchy situation that befell poor George!
Matthias - September 01, 2009 - Report this comment
I haven't heard this news story before, but I have heard of the "Ice Ice Baby" Vanilla Ice and "Under Pressure" Queen/ David Bowie controversy.... I liked a lot of the references you made in this one like the Weird Al one and the Eric Clapton one...
Melanie Lee - September 03, 2009 - Report this comment
(ABC) Great start...didn't like the turn you made in the middle (because I like the OS)...but it made me laugh, and you can't argue with that! 5-5-5 (Hallelujah), 5-5-5 (Hallelujah)...!
bobpiecheese - September 03, 2009 - Report this comment
(ABC5) I'm all for songs re-using parts of old songs, it makes for a new sound that's pretty cool. They just have to get permission first, which is a tricky business. Anyways, great parody here, liked the ref to "This Song's Just Six Words Long" which is one of my fave Weird Al songs, 555!
Leo Keough - September 04, 2009 - Report this comment
ABC5(O) This was an inspired idea - using the OS to relate the lawsuit story!!!...Great in every way!!!...555!!!
Below Average Dave - September 04, 2009 - Report this comment
Being honest here, this round was filled with songs I didn't know, topics I wasn't familiar with and things I just didn't get. . .until the last two songs I read, I love obscure, but sometimes it's good to read a good ole scathing, something everyone can understand, even if I do loath the OS

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