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Song Parodies -> "Today Is When The Future Begins"

Original Song Title:

"Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young"

Original Performer:

Fire, Inc.

Parody Song Title:

"Today Is When The Future Begins"

Parody Written by:

Patrick McWilliams

The Lyrics

This has been a fiendishly difficult song to parody. There are numerous lyric sites, and all of them are wrong, including that of the author, Jim Steinman. In addition, there are two different recordings, one on the original VHS (or DVD) movie and another which appeared on a special VHS tape containing the four principal songs from the film. This is the version I have tried to follow as best I could. The song is the closing number of a concert at the end of the movie and is lip synched by actress Diane Lane and a put together group called "The Sorels". If you'd like to hear it (and it truly is a spectacular song) go to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCIrPJ6SBl4
They had a dream of a city on a hill
And its light illuminated the world
Cold and alone on an unfriendly shore
Defiant challenge to the wilderness hurled

They had a view of a lady on an island
The torch of freedom tight in her hand
With only their hopes and a strong pair of hands
They arrived to build an unfinished land

They were the ones who filled the streets of the cities
The ones who made the sledge hammers ring
Who broke the ground with their plowshares
Created abundance
Where every man was good as a king
Not one of them was an angel
A good man was the next best thing

He had a dream he could harness the lightning
He would turn the dark of night into day
And with the spark of his genius he toiled
We would follow when he showed us the way

He had a dream about words on a wire
That would travel to the ends of the earth
From then, no matter where, we were no longer alone
And his creation is still proving its worth

We've got a dream that the darkness is ending
And we'll take our place again in the sun
It was once just a dream, but today it's for real
We're not yet sure what it means
But we know how it feels
We're gonna get going (going)
Because the job has begun
(Yes, our job has begun)

Yes, there'll be a party tonight
Grab the reins and hold on (tonight)
And then we're gonna move on (tonight)
Today, today is when the future begins
(Today is when the future begins)

Let the labor begin
Let the job be started
No mission for the timid and the faint of hearted
Let the rebels disperse
The naysayers parted
We're draining out the swampland and we've only started

Let the draining begin
Let the work get started (Today is when the future begins)
There's hope now for the jobless and the broken-hearted
(Our job has only begun)
Let the draining begin
The crusade has started (Today is when the future begins)
We're gonna fix what's broken and we've only started (you know we've only begun)

Say a prayer for his safety in the danger to come
'cause we've all heard them say
That they'll never accept that he's won
They'll try to see that he's gone (Today is when tomorrow begins)
Today is when the clean-up begins (They'll try to see that he's gone)
Better take care or he's gone

(Long instrumental passage)

I've got a dream when this nightmare is over
There'll be common sense instead of PC
It was only a dream but then he made it real
You never heard what we said
Now you know how we feel
Your heyday is over (over)
And now a new day's begun (Before you knew it--begun!)

You know it's gonna start tonight
Stop you're cryin', Move On (we're right)
Just accept it, he's gone (that's right)
We won it, now the future's begun
We won it, now the future's begun

Let the tantrums begin
Let the hate be vented
The ravings of the losers and the malcontented
When the riots begin
And the fires ignited
They'll perish in the violence that their words incited

Now the glory begins
It's the revolution (Today is when the future begins)
Returning to adherence to the Constitution (The restoration's begun)
'cause he means what he says
There will be no confusion (Today is when the future begins)
He's gonna do what works and he will find solutions (His work has only begun)

Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings to come
Cause no matter what they scream
America is once again young (America is once again young)
No matter how they scream (America is once again young)
Today is when the future begins (Today is when the future begins)
No matter how they scream (Won't change us from the path we've begun)
Today is when tomorrow begins (America is once again young)
So let the snowflakes scream (A better future's only begun)
Tomorrow a new world has begun (We'll take our place again in the sun)
Our nation will be great once again (A giant swamp we're going to drain)
We'll put out country first once again (The future will be ours once again)


This is gonna be huge
And we're all invited (Today is when the future begins)
The ship of state was sinking but it will be righted
Let the labors begin
A complete revival (Today the mission's begun)
We're aiming for the stars and not just mere survival (Before you know it, it's done)

The things they're saying
'bout the things we'll do
Pay them no attention for they are not true

The things they're saying
That they're gonna do
We won't let them stop us 'cause our goals are true

The things we're saying
We are going to do
Nothing's gonna stop us 'cause our aim is true

We'll have freedom again
To the world a beacon (Our nation's what it means to be young)
We'll be that shining city that the world is seeking (This is gonna be done)
And the radiant beam
From the fire we started
Was kindled by the heroes who are long-departed (The best has only begun)

While not as lyrically sophisticated as "American Pie", "Chimes of Freedom" or "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts", "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" has some challenges, not the least of which is that there are multiple singers and they are singing over each other's lines. Years ago I issued, in jest mostly, a challenge to a better writer than myself, to come up with a parody of this masterpiece. Since no one else took up the challenge, I decided to try my hand at it. I hope I did it justice.

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

 
Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 4.7
Overall Rating: 4.7

Total Votes: 6

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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 3   0
 1
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 4   0
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 5   6
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User Comments

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Barry J. Mitchel - January 20, 2017 - Report this comment
Patrick, this is awesome; I'm blown away by the effort and skill you obviously put into this masterpiece. It sums up what about 150 million US citizens are feeling tonight but can't express so eloquently.
Billy - January 20, 2017 - Report this comment
I laughed so hard I peed in my girlfriend's hand.
True Believer - January 20, 2017 - Report this comment
Thrilling. It gave me stigmata.
Patrick - January 21, 2017 - Report this comment
Barry, I've had an idea about this song for a long time, but certain recent events provided the final impetus to finish it. From what I've read, the original was written in two days after Bruce Springsteen turned down the producers of "Streets of Fire" who wanted to use his song for the finale. I spent about two days writing this parody. I'm a bit surprised, and slightly disappointed, that the political commentators haven't figured this one out. Billy, were you reading this on a desktop or a smartphone. I'm trying not to picture that in my mind, but not having much success. True Believer. My song makes you bleed? Sorry about that. Unless you are trying to attract pilgrims to your shrine. In which case, could you split some of the donations with me.
Larry Hensley - January 21, 2017 - Report this comment
Don't know how realistic anything he says is, and don't know how we can be a beam since he's really controversial around the world. Although I'm critical of him, I will still give him a chance, and I think everyone needs to do so before passing judgment or praise. This was still a well written parody

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