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Song Parodies -> "How Great Thy Art"

Original Song Title:

"How Great Thou Art"

Original Performer:


Parody Song Title:

"How Great Thy Art"

Parody Written by:


The Lyrics


Vincent Van Gogh,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the human hand hath made
I see your stars, I hear your rolling thunder
Throughout your fields, your vision there displayed

Then sings my soul, Michelangelo, to thee
How great thy art! How great thy art!
Then sings my soul, Carravaggio, to thee
How great thy art! How great thy art

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
I hear the bird sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, Albert Bierstadt, to thee
How great thy art! How great thy art!
Then sings my soul, O Fredric Church, to thee
How great thy art! How great thy art

And when I think Picasso in his daring
Challenged our eye, so hard to take it in
Rene Magritte, unusual objects pairing
Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Paul Gauguin

Then sings my soul, Henri Matisse, to thee
How great thy art! How great thy art!
Then sings my soul, Roy Lichtenstein to thee
How great thy art! How great thy art

When critics come with shouts of acclamation
And I go home, what joy will fill my heart
Then I shall bow in jealous admiration
And there proclaim 'You guys, how great thy art!'
music public domain, lyrics copyright D J Lowe

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.7
How Funny: 4.7
Overall Rating: 4.7

Total Votes: 15

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   14

User Comments

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Starry, Starry Fives - August 24, 2012 - Report this comment
Very nice tribute to some great artists. -- Tommy Turtle
Meriadoc - August 24, 2012 - Report this comment
Very nice! But you missed my favorite - Henri Rousseau. :)
lifeliver - August 24, 2012 - Report this comment
Thanks for the comments, you guys. Today the very first of my parodies appeared so I'm grateful for any feedback. Kindly check out the other two if you haven't already. This piece is probably only of interest to artlovers and it's not particularly funny, it just seems to work, which is my main criterion. I like to stick with the OS as much as possible and just tweak the original lyrics in an interesting direction. You'll note that I've even left a whole verse intact. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Rhyming 'in' and 'Gauguin' was a bit cheeky. I keep my poetic license on me at all times. Starry starry fives, your alias reveals you're a Vincent fan. Did you know about the new theory that he probably didn't shoot himself? Meriadoc, sorry about that oversight. I actually prefer that great father of naivism over Matisse, so Rousseau's name shall replace his in future versions.
Tommy Turtle - August 25, 2012 - Report this comment
"You'll note that I've even left a whole verse intact. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

It was overlooked because you're new (and because I DKTOS [1]), but in fact, writers here are expected to vary each verse from the original, even when the original merely repeats the same chorus. Think of it as an opportunity to give us more laughs or entertainment, and to display your creativity. Don't worry; everyone else does the same thing at first, self included.
    Note: Keeping an occasional phrase or line from the original, provided it's only two or three during the whole song, is OK if it fits, and is called "keeping the flavor of the original".
    Example: Many (not all) Am Pie parodies start with the famous "A long, long time ago" .. and often the next line as well. Some keep "But that's not how it used to be", if it fits their theme. But that's three lines in a 124-line song. Making any sense here?

Best of TT's kept-line forming double-entendre: "West Side Story" parody, in which Maria invites Tony to meet him at the red-light shop across the street, and says, "When you come, use the back door." (actual original line). ROFLMAO -- wouldn't change that for the world!

Actually, more of a fan of Don McLean's "other" song, the one that got overshadowed by you-know-what. Hadn't heard of the new theory -- what is it?

My ex and I had a signed, numbered Picasso print, not too high, double digits out of only 120 done. (A horse) Guess who got to keep it? :)

Poetic license is a requirement before you can drive here. LOL. Sometimes, quote marks can tip off a non-obvious stretch to a reader. But word-mangling in general is part of the fun! Ode to word-mangling and to neologisms:

[1] "DKTOS" -- if not familiar with meaning yet, here's a song about it:
lifeliver - August 25, 2012 - Report this comment
@Tommy Turtle The issue of how much to change troubles me a little, I must say. I feel it's an artistic decision rather than a percentage one. This piece is a very good example of the problems involved in that. The only thing that's been changed here is substituting artists' names for God, therefore putting a whole new focus on it. For interest's sake I did a count here. I changed roughly 80 of 130 words, surely sufficient, This song is public domain anyway so there would be no copyright issues. Another point is it's songs we're dealing with rather than poetry as such, and therefore repeated choruses and refrains serve a very important function. I see no need to come up with a different chorus every time. Often I prefer to just 'tweak' original lyrics rather than completely rewrite them. Just sharing some thoughts here. I'll take my chances with the editors and accept the umpire's decision as final.
lifeliver - August 25, 2012 - Report this comment
@Tommy Turtle - re.Vincent's death, there are several myths and anomalies. First, he wasn't crazy but is believed to have suffered from a mild form of epilepsy easily medicated today. He was almost certainly severely neurotic and compulsive-obsessive, behavior little understood then. He did not cut off his ear, but part of the fleshy lobe, which he mailed to a prostitute in a spiteful pique, who knows why? He took two days to die in agony from a gunshot wound to the chest, inflicted on a sunny midsummer morning in a field near Arles, doing the one thing he loved best in a place he loved best. Many years later, a local man voluntarily confessed to the killing as an accident, after he and a teenage friend had harrassed him with their 'toy'. The story is secondhand and uncorroborated. It's assumed the perps were known to him and he remained silent to protect them. The idea of martyrdom may also have appealed to him. He also knew a recent exhibition had generated great interest and he could have been on the verge of commercial success. I guess we'll never know, but the hearsay rings true. You actually owned a Picasso? Wow! I'd pay up to $10,000 for a decent Picasso, $1000 for a numbered print. Am I in the market?
Tommy Turtle - August 25, 2012 - Report this comment
Agree it's not a percentage issue per se, and the Courts have ruled exactly that. I used an extreme example -- keeping 95% of original.
    It's not *just* a copyright issue; it's a parodist-creativity issue. Someone once did a parody using Elmer Fudd's speech impediment of changing all "r"" to "w" (Wascally wabbit!) All 5'd, until TT pointed out (spoilsport! -- or true artist) that that took no creativity at all, and that we could go through the entire universe of songs, doing nothing but changing r to w, and have millions of "parodies" -- that are utterly worthless. Not to mention mocking someone's speech impediment.

Parodies that keep too much of the original are often deleted as plagiarism, public domain or not. ... On the "vary chorus" issue, you'll have to argue with Red Ant, who is/was a senior editor here, who initiated the noob TT into that requirement six years ago. Try one of TT's A Pies and see how, indeed, choruses serve an important purpose: they *add* to your parody, and continue or reinforce its theme, if varied. Copy/paste doesn't add anything.

Never heard that about VVG; haven't studied him much. Interesting. As for the offer to buy the numbered print, "Guess who got to keep it? :)" = the ex, and I doubt she'd sell it at all, much less for anywhere near that price, Probably paid more than that for it several decades ago. Check art dealers and web sites for current market value.
Rob Arndt - August 26, 2012 - Report this comment
Love your choice of OS and topic- 555! I once did "Amazing Grace" as "Amazing Kate" (for Kate Middleton) and thought some might take it as blasphemous. It was very well-recieved. Same for your parody. As for art, I prefer photographic and my fave is French photographer Robert Doisneau whose photo Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville (Paris, 1950) is his most famous:
lifeliver - August 26, 2012 - Report this comment
@Rob Arndt Why thank you kindly, sir. I just googled a Robert Doisneau gallery. I didn't know the name but some of these images I seem to recall seeing before. Human vitality and spirit just jumping off the page at you. I understand and share your admiration. As for blasphemy, that's my middle name, lol. I have no qualms about shaking up the old hymns and sacred songs, as you'll see elsewhere.
Rob Arndt - August 26, 2012 - Report this comment
TY LL! Pop Princess Kylie Minogue is also a Doisneau lover and used his photo The Last Waltz (Paris, 1949) for the video version of her song "Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi": Video capture (Kylie replicated the street, dress, and the dance moves:
AFW - August 26, 2012 - Report this comment
You're quite an artist, yourself...but with words, instead of easel and brush
lifeliver - August 26, 2012 - Report this comment
Nice compliment AFW (blush). Cheers for that.
Dave W. - August 27, 2012 - Report this comment
..It has... one would say... a certain... je ne sais it
lifeliver - August 27, 2012 - Report this comment
Je ne sais quoi quite what you mean, but I'll take that as a compliment too, lol.
Patrick - August 27, 2012 - Report this comment
Nice secularization of a familiar religious hymn. A good beginning.
lifeliver - August 29, 2012 - Report this comment
@Patrick I neglected to acknowledge your apt description so thanks for the encouragement. 'Secularization' was exactly what I had in mind rather than strong parody as such. That's partly why I left a substantial part of it intact, as the original lyrics are very good and the substitutions I made seem to do the job. It seems it's not the way things are usually done here and I've been having a stimulating ongoing debate with Tommy Turtle about it. Unlikely we'll resolve it but worthwhile. Cheers.

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