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Song Parodies -> "Cartesian Lapse-ody"

Original Song Title:

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

Original Performer:


Parody Song Title:

"Cartesian Lapse-ody"

Parody Written by:


The Lyrics

My fourth tilt at the 'Big Seven'. Three to go - aargh! I won't bother sourcing the OS this time. There are upward of a hundred parodies of it here, and this one will no doubt be buried with the rest

I give you a dualistic mind-body tale of life, the university and everything, inspired by that northern Renaissance man, René Descartes, who somehow juggled hard algebra with medieval Roman Catholicism. You can't get more dualistic than that.

But he was among the first to ponder a tangible reality that exists beyond the classic five senses, and common sense as well, hence 'I think therefore I am' (cogito ergo sum; je pense, donc je suis). His mathematical, deductive approach profoundly influenced Newton, Spinoza and others, and modern physics has borne out his notions of extra-sensory phenomena, so he's still a sure starter in many a history-of-philosophy and history-of-science course.


Is real life real life?
Fantasy fantasy?
Up on the downslide
No escape for escapee
Closing your eyes
Look down on the skies and see
I'm just a Portnoy*, tight'ning my tympani
Because I easily come, let it grow
Low is high, high is low
Anything Descartes knows doesn't really matter to me: I've me

René, I think I am …
It's the world against my head
I can't figure what I said
René, cogito ergo sum
But now I think I am not what I say
René, oo-ooh
It's true the eye can lie
I'm there and back again until tomorrow
Party on, all is one, it's unbirthday time, mad hatters

René, a thought has come
It's clever, so divine
Senses lying all the time
Think why, everybody, we've got to know
Gotta leave your eyes behind, and base the proof
René, oo-ooh (close the windows)
We live and think and die
Comes time when I won't think nor be at all

I see a little abacus of a man
Calculus, calculus and it's infinitesimal
Wonder is heightening
Algebra is frightening me
Calculay-oh calculay-oh
Mice will play-oh, cat's away-oh
Dim sum ergo cogito
Madden-y freak out oh oh

I'm just a Portnoy and I make love to me
He's just enjoy-boy from a weird family
Spare him a wife, not this monstrosity

'Tween my thumbs, what I know. I won't let it go
'My thriller? I will not let it go!'
(Let it go!) 'Pants filler? I will not let it go!'
(Let it go!) 'Joykiller! I wank therefore I am!'
(Let it go!) 'Away with your spy-cam!'
(Let it go! I will not let it go!
Never let it go!
No, no, no, no. no. no, no
(I'm not here. I'm not here) Think I'm here, cogito
René Descartes on the level , je pense donc, je suis, that's me, je suis

So you think you can think/be and therefore am I
So you think you can be what you think, we all die
Or may be, don't you think I just may be
I'm gonna freak out, think of a way outta here

It's what really matters
What the eye can't see
March hares and mad hatters
Pitchers facing batters agree

Go and wash your windows
* 'Portnoy's Complaint' was an acclaimed and controversial 1969 novel by Phillip Roth, notorious for its graphic desciption of male masturbation in a psychotherapy setting, at one point involving a piece of liver which was later served at dinner. It was banned from various libraries and banned completely in Australia for a short time. Since then the name Portnoy has come to represent anyone who indulges too much in, shall we say, menage-a-un.

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Matches Pace of
Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.7
How Funny: 4.7
Overall Rating: 4.7

Total Votes: 12

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   11

User Comments

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John Barry - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
Best BR parody I've ever seen! Coordinates: 5-5-5.
Lifeliver - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
Kind words from the master much appreciated, John.
Callmelennie - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
The day may come when JB will be saying those words to you, Lifeliver
Callmelennie - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
Oh, and nice play on the word "Rhapsody" in the title. Which bring us to this Descartian pun-alism: What would Descartes say to himself during his adolescent self loathing period -- "Cogito, ergo scum"
Onslaught - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
I give it 555, I also have just finished uploading my own parody of this song.
John Barry - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
I think that day is already here, Lennie.
AFW - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
Themed a bit beyond my normal midwestern muse...but seems to flow nicely
Jonathan - March 20, 2013 - Report this comment
wuh-oh looks like the 1's police struck again! "rolls eyes" oh well here's more 5's!
Lifeliver - March 21, 2013 - Report this comment
Thanks for encouraging v/c everyone. Not one of my favorite songs (or bands), but fun to tinker with. I would change a couple of lines on reflection:
I'm there and back again until tomorrow' to 'The day after today is still tomorrow'
Senses lying all the time' to 'Must have been that glass of wine'
What's it all about anyway? I think the music is actually some kind of simulated musical orgasm going through different levels, and the words are just throwaway high-camp melodrama. My version is no more absurd than the original.

@ JB - your co-ordinates reference was very subtle and shows a more than casual acquaintance with 'Age of Reason' thought
@Lennie - That's a whole new punning field you've opened up there. I'm sure you know Monty Python's 'Philosophers' Song':
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle; Hobbes was fond of his dram
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: 'I drink, therefore I am.'
@ Onslaught - thanks and lkg fwd to yours
@ AFW - thanks for dropping in once again
@ Jonathan - thanks for your support. Hmm, this was no random one-bomber, but someone deliberately targetting me, and who this time didn't cover their tracks very well. I have my theories, but who cares? I'm sure he feels worse than I do.
Al Silver - March 21, 2013 - Report this comment
The one-bomber is Till Eulenspiegel, and he has no conscience.
Lifeliver - March 21, 2013 - Report this comment
@ Al Silver - sorry, I don't get that; I'm German-challenged. ??
Al Silver - March 22, 2013 - Report this comment
Till Eulenspiegel is the mythical, medieval German prankster. His stock-in-trade was foiling communication by transforming the figurative comments of popes, rich men, and burghers into literal action. "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" is a magnificent tone poem by Richard Strauss. I was thinking of turning Rodgers & Hart's "Poor Johnny One-Note" into "Till Eulenspiegel" (same number of syllables), but I don't think it would get any views.
Lifeliver - March 22, 2013 - Report this comment
Thanks for the prompt elucidation, Al, and sharing your obviously extensive knowledge of music beyond contemp. pop. The site needs people like you. As for the prospect of no views, it doesn't mean it's not worth doing - you'd be surprised the number of esoteric themes that get a warm response here, for originality and technique alone. And even if they don't, you've got the personal achievement. Follow your own muse.
Phil Alexander - March 22, 2013 - Report this comment
Brilliant - I can only assume that the person who voted 1s on this simply doesn't have the brainpower to work out what you're going on about, and feels threatened :-)
Lifeliver - March 22, 2013 - Report this comment
Thanks, Phil - approval from another ranking AIRmaster confirms my feeling that I pulled off this tricky match. It's not perfect but then it never is. Speaking of 111s, I'm batting for more this weekend ...
Burrito Ergo Sum - March 30, 2013 - Report this comment
("I fart, therefore I am")
This was no dim sum of Rene's thoughts. (Yes, that great gag was caught. ;)

"Portnoy" was also notorious for stereotyping Jewish mothers most undesirably, although we're led to believe that Roth was being truly autobiographical there. If if was true, it wasn't a stereotype.

I'd never heard of TOS until mentioned as B7, listened once, couldn't stand it, did it anyway for the sake of B7, and the result stank. Nothing like this incomparable masterpiece. Vote: Σ (1, 2, ... 5)

Please don't read my embarrassing trashing of this OS. However, should you like, there's a trib to Descartes, much less intellectual than yours, naturally, thrown in at this quickie::
The usual no-obligation, double-your-money-back guarantee, of course. Congrats again on another fine "proof" of parody preeminence, of which the unabomber is simply more evidence. Take it that way. [1]

[1] Three parodies by Your Humble Servant about the 1-bomber. Already hit plug limit for now. You know how to find them if/when.
Lifeliver - March 30, 2013 - Report this comment
Nice to hear from you Tommy and thanks for the 'surprise return visit'. Glad you enjoyed this. I wouldn't go as far as 'masterpiece' though - if so, a rather flawed one.

I've visited that math parody you linked to before - on the contrary to your comment, it's out of my intellectual death. My knowledge of the magic of math ends in middle school, but the cleverness and the instructiveness is there which sets your work apart.

As for plugging old parodies, what else can we do to bring them to new readers? The site is now so vast that they disappear without trace once they go off the current board, and few of us have the time to rummage through even our favorite parodists' basements too often.
Tommy Turtle - March 31, 2013 - Report this comment
Lifeliver, please tell me that you meant "intellectual depth". 8-D   I'm a bit surprised given your overall level of knowledge and obvious intelligence, but I guess we all have our pluses and minuses, so to speak. (heh!)

Since you twisted my flipper:

Early, unevolved Turtle:
"'Ones'-Scribers" ("Back Stabbers")

"All-Ones Guy" ("Goldfinger")

Much later on the parodic evolutionary scale, and I'm sure you'll never guess the OS without going to the link, LOL:
"The Unabomber's Mental State Is Rotten, Hateful, Criminal"

Needless to say, all three were unabombed multiply -- proving that they hit a nerve. :)
Lifeliver - March 31, 2013 - Report this comment
@ Tommy - of course 'death' was a typo, an ominous one at that, though there are probably some here who think it was apt. I'll check out those 'one-bomb' parodies presently. In the meantime here's a return plug on the same topic:

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