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Song Parodies -> "When I'm Out Of My Mind"

Original Song Title:

"When You're Lying Awake"

Original Performer:

The Chancellor in Gilbert & Sulliavan's Iolanthe

Parody Song Title:

"When I'm Out Of My Mind"

Parody Written by:

H Stephen Straight

The Lyrics

This parody is based on one titled "When You're Out Of Your Mind" written by Prof. William Watt of Lafayette College, circa 1957. It was revised into something close to the form below by Prof. H. Stephen Straight of Binghamton University (SUNY) in 1976 but was subjected to periodic minor revision by him over the ensuing 40 years.
When I’m out of my mind from the pitiless grind
Of continuous mental anxiety,
It's a bit of a bore to be treated once more
As the laziest drone in society
By a gibbering dunce who has never taught once
But who glibly and gaily conjectures
That a prof's only care is the simple affair
Of delivering one or two lectures.
For the fool never knows of the labor that goes
Into mixing perennial new pills
To be taken thrice weekly and swallowed down meekly
By unintellectual pupils,
Or the nights on my hams with a hill of exams
Imbecilic, inane, and illegible,
While I solemnly try with a blood-spattered eye
To dredge up all the sense that is dredgible,
Or the usual din when the grades are all in
And the campus's silence is sundered
By the grinds who are grieved that the scores they received
All make sums that are less than a hundred.

When I ought to be home in my ivory dome
Solitary, aloof, and above-life
I’m advising some students on how to be prudent
In handling their passionate love life;
Or I’m taking a beating in faculty meeting,
Or suffering in a committee
Where the lesser IQ's are expounding their views
In a manner presumably witty
They contrive to extend a momentous agenda,
Whose length is already enormous,
And they then all proceed to fulfill their queer need
To impress instead of inform us.
When I’ve weathered their broils I am caught in the toils
Of a local community vulture,
Who is crazy, it's clear, for that shallow veneer
That is freely confounded with "culture":
And they'd certainly whoop if I'd talk to their group –
Could I be there next Tuesday at seven? –
On a topic that's charming and not so alarming
As Watergate, Castro, or Heaven.

When it's finally June, and it's never too soon,
Oh it's then that the teaching profession
Would go fishing for perch but must do our research
Or instruct in the hot summer session.
If I do get some time in a pleasanter clime
I’m too poverty-stricken to fritter it,
So I sit in a nook with a serious book,
Trying hard to keep up with the literate.
I may possibly skip on an annual trip
To the City with seats in the gallery,
But I’m occupied next with composing text
To augment my inadequate salary.
And I never dare think of succumbing to drink
Though there's plenty of whisky and rum nigh
For the word might get out and get bandied about
By the more influential alumni.
Now I’m weak in the knees from a fatal disease
And I puff like a sorry old grampus,
They expect me to thank my emeritus rank
For preventing my dying on campus.

If you choose to inquire what abnormal desire
Keeps a scholar for years in this blood, sweat, and tears,
For such pitiful pelf; well, I’ve wondered myself,
But I'm telling you this, that I take it amiss
When I meet a buffoon who reëchoes the tune
That this horrible mess is a pleasant recess
From the terrible strife of a regular life
And that I have been living in clover.
Cyanide in his tea would be all right with me,
But since murder is wrong I have fashioned this song,
Which – thank Heaven! – is finally over.

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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
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 2   0
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 3   0
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 4   0
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 5   7
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User Comments

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John Jenkins - October 18, 2016 - Report this comment
Wonderful rhyming and very witty humor throughout with a clever conclusion. This parody makes me want to see the original Gilbert & Sullivan opus, which I am not familiar with. I am hoping that there will be more parodies from Professor Straight submitted to AmIRight. Are you a professor of English?

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