21 July 2010


"Weird Al" Yankovic Song Smackdown!!! =D

And you thought I wouldn't be able to top the Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Smackdown. (Admit it!) Oh, you readers of little faith . . .

It took me a while to figure out that the only respectable route to take after sixteen Schwarzenegger movies was that which leads to seventeen "Weird Al" Yankovic songs. (Yes, seventeen! Read on!)

The most redeeming aspect of Shredded Cheddar is that many of the features are interactive (which means that I'm not just talking to myself . . . although it sometimes seems that way); so I'm going to bring more of that into my brackets by allowing my readers to vote in not just the final round, but also the first!

Round 1 -- No randomisation: I pick the songs and pair them up, and you get to be the boss of me and dictate which of the "Spam Sixteen" make it into the "Eat It Eight"!

(You have until next Tuesday, 27 July to vote--but you'd better make your choice by Monday, because unless you're my reader in South Korea or an old classmate from New Zealand, I see the sunrise hours and hours and hours ahead of you! And since I need all the votes in order to write the post for the next round, if I have to leave your last-minute ballot out, I will do so, no matter how much it hurts me!)

Round 2 -- Since I still love randomisation (and it's a tradition), I'll do my infuriating solo thing again and you can complain all you like in the combox. (Music to my ears, your griping!)

Round 3 -- I'll keep my top secret but very exciting plans for the "I'm Fat Four" to myself for now. (Translation: I have no idea what to do, but I'm sure it will be awesome!)

Round 4 -- The Finals!!! Your power to vote comes back. I'm a benevolent dictator here.

So let's do this thing! =D

Round 1
The Spam Sixteen

My Bologna vs. Spam


Here we pit Yankovic's first big hit (Listen to that the accordion!) against another inspired song about luncheon meat. (A tough choice, I know. But it was even tougher to reject Taco Grande and Lasagne.) The funniest thing about them is that Yankovic has since become a vegetarian. I kid you not.

Eat It vs. I'm Fat


It was either these two hit singles or "Addicted to Spuds vs. I Love Rocky Road"--so we're going with the tried and true classics. A few years later, sticking with the food theme he is always so successful with, Yankovic wrote a parody of another Michael Jackson song, Black or White; but Snack All Night (LOL!) was never released because Jackson thought the message of his original song was too important to get mixed up with the ideas in a parody. Fair enough, I suppose.

Jurassic Park vs. The Saga Begins


And it was either these two or Gump vs. Yoda--the latter of which would just be the worst sort of indulgence on my part. So I decided to make some sense instead. Next in number to all Yankovic's songs about food are all his songs about movies. Here he retells, with rhymes and refrains, the plots of two major blockbuster movies. (And I've just noticed: Steven Spielberg vs. George Lucas! Sweet!)

Another One Rides the Bus vs. White and Nerdy


Another early hit from a time when rap was still a cool experimental sound and a more genre-aware parody of what is now mostly Hip Hop's domain. (This pairing might not make sense, but I'm trying to show off as much of Yankovic's wide repertoire as I can.) Choose wisely! And then check out my Top 5 Rap Songs by Non-Black People!

Achy Breaky Song vs. Smells Like Nirvana


And now here is Yankovic going beyond parody into satire. Sometimes the original songs themselves are funny--and he's not afraid to say sing so. Here he takes on one of the most annoying one-hit wonders of all time and a Grunge anthem I suspect even the most devoted fans don't know all the words to. His sense of humour slays me.

Amish Paradise vs. Pretty Fly for a Rabbi


My Punk Catholic soul can't resist putting these together. I'm a little sad that there is no Catholic parody (at least none that I know of!); but then again, that sort of thing could get really sacrilegious, really fast--so it's probably just as well.

Don't Download This Song vs. E-Bay


The digital age changed the way we do a lot of things--and professional musicians know that best of all. Here we have a song about what happens when we download music for free and a song about what happens when we spend our money on weird stuff. (There's a related parody of Craigslist--which bears the straightforward title Craigslist--but I don't like it as much as these ones.)

The Carnival of the Animals -- Part Two vs. Harvey the Wonder Hamster & The Weasel Stomping Song

vs. &

Now we have a slight problem. I can find the spoken verses of the first recording online, but not the music. They're still funny enough for me to consider putting them in the smackdown, but I feel this penultimate competitor is handicapped. Which is why, in my usual non sequitur way, I'm handicapping it even more by pitting it against not one, but two songs about animals, giving us seventeen songs in the "Spam Sixteen" and possibly nine songs in the "Eat It Eight". The power to mess with math is in your hands . . .


There were lots of songs that didn't make it and that probably should have. I know I wanted to honour my two thousand Canadian readers with the Canadian Idiot parody . . . but when I saw that the only thing I could think to pair with it was I Think I'm a Clone Now, I realised that I might end up offending them. (!!!)

Anyway, R, I hope you're happy now. There's no way anyone can predict the outcome of this bracket.


Sullivan McPig said...

Before I forget:
I dropped by to bestow the Xxtraordinary Blogger Award on you.

Now on to my picks:
- Spam
- Eat it
- The Saga Begins (yes, I'm a Star Wars Geek)
- Another one rides the Bus (brilliant song in my opinion)
- Smells Like Nirvana
- Amish Paradise (this one was difficult as I LOVE them both.
- Ebay
- Weasel Stomping Song

And there's so may more cool songs!
Trigger Happy is a favourite of mine just as You Make Me

Belfry Bat said...

Oh, I've got to go with
-Eat it
-The Saga (because much as I love Don Maclean's song, the parody is worthy)
-here I must be controversial and say both options are blown out of the water by "all about the pentiums"
-Smells Like Nirvana, definitely
-Paradise, yes
-Don't Download! Subvert the PSA chorus, FTW!
-I love the poodle rhyme, so I'm voting for CofA II (have you heard them sung? there's a mention towards the start how he's *not* going to sing them... is that not really Al?)

That's all!

The Mike said...

SWEET. Last fall, on a roadtrip, a friend and I listened to his entire discography. Though I'm sad that my favorite song isn't represented - though, considering my blog, you may have just inspired me....

Votes go to:
Eat It
Jurassic Park
Rides the Bus
Smells Like Nirvana
Amish Paradise

Can't wait to see how this plays out!

Enbrethiliel said...


@ Sully: Yes, there are so many cool songs that didn't make it. At one point, I thought of having a bigger smackdown, starting with thirty-two songs instead of sixteen . . . but then I asked myself, "Why bite off more than you can chew? You don't have to be a Weird Al character, just write about them." (LOL!)

@ Bat: Fair enough on All about the Pentiums. =P

@ The Mike: I'm thrilled to have inspired you! And now I can't wait to finish this comment and get to your blog . . .

To everyone: Thanks for getting your votes in early!

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

My votes:
I'm Fat
Rides the bus
Achy Breaky Song
Pretty Fly Rabbi
Carnival of Animals

Too much fun listening to all those! My little boy was already a fan of the bus song but since he is mad for StarWars he really liked Saga-- the 'maybe Vader someday later but for now a small fry' made him hysterical.

Enbrethiliel said...


My youngest brother (eleven going on twelve--maybe the same age as Talon?) loves Weird Al and helped me make up this list. He's not a Star Wars fan, though. Poor kid! =P

And Weird Al is a rhyming genius!!!

Thanks for your votes, Lesa. =)

Paul Stilwell said...

Best Smackdown ever. So difficult!

My Bologna - Love this early Wierd Al too much to choose the funnier lyrics of Spam. It's like he just doesn't give a s*** in his parodizing - in a good way.

Eat it
The Saga Begins
Another One Rides the Bus - Just awesome, that video. BTW, for non-black rap songs, ever consider Numb by U2's Edge? It's...sort of...rappish - and Wierd Al did a parody of it too (Green Eggs and Ham)! And it deserved to be parodied.
Achy Breaky Song - This satirical parody is personal to me; I feel the loathing.
Amish Paradise
The last one is quite tough. The Hamster and Weasel songs.

Enbrethiliel said...


You should have seen what I had to go through, whittling a body of work spanning three decades into sixteen songs!

Thanks for your ballot, Stilwell. =)

Dauvit Balfour said...

Can I still get in on this? I started on Thursday but then got busy at work and haven't had a chance to come back to it (and yes, I was planning on it even before I saw the giveaway...).

My Bologna
Eat It
The Saga Begins
White and Nerdy
Achy Breaky Song
Amish Paradise
The Weasel Stomping Song

CMinor said...

Greetings; good to see you writing again! My picks:
1. Spam, mostly because of the harmonies.
2. Eat it
3. Definitely The Saga Begins, though we all owe Al for doing something intentionally funny with MacArthur Park.
4. Tough, tough, tough. I'm going with Another One Rides the Bus for nostalgia reasons, though White and Nerdy cracks me up!
5. Achy Breaky Song. It has a good beat, and if I could dance, I could dance to it!
6. Amish Paradise
7. E-Bay, though the reference to Lars Ulrich almost won me over. Personally, I love the Craigslist parody--Al does Morrison better than Morrison did, at times!
8. Carnival of the Animals II, partly because it hearkens back to Ogden Nash and Richard Armour, a couple of my favorite versifiers, and partly because I'm not crazy about the idea of stomping weasels.

DMinor said...

1. Spam is the better song (although I loved seeing the "classic" Al in the My Bologna video!)
2. Eat It takes it, but just barely. Wierd Al owed a lot of his early popularity to how well he (and his band) could do Michael Jackson songs.
3. The Saga Begins. He does justice to the original song, unlike some others who have covered it straight.
4. White and Nerdy. In a body of great work, this one stands above.
5. Smells like Nirvana. Great parody, great satire, and the music is better than the original.
6. Amish Paridise.
7. Ebay. All commentaries on Fads should have such tight harmonies. (BTW, I like Craigslist because it is such a great parody of Jim Morrison, but I agree that Ebay is better overall.)
8. Carnival of the Aminals, Part Two. Bad rhymes win over violence-humor any day.

Enbrethiliel said...


@ Dauvit: Yes, there are still a few hours to get in on this! And let me confess that the paucity of ballots I racked in until I announced the new contest/giveaway was the reason I made this part worth two entries/points! =P So even if you're only doing this for the prize, I don't really mind . . . though of course I'm glad to hear that you were going to submit a ballot anyway. =)

@ CMinor: Hi! =D What brings you over?

Thanks for your ballot. Interesting: you're the first one to vote for White and Nerdy! Until now, I had thought it would be completely ignored, despite its status as Yankovic's highest charting song!

@ DMinor: And thanks to you, too! =)

I'll be posting the results and the next round in a couple of days.

christopher said...

From the heart:

My Bologna

Eat it

The Saga Begins

ANOTHER RIDES THE BUS (hint, hint...)

Smells like Nirvana

Pretty Fly for a Rabbi


Carnival of the Animals

whew, that took a lot out of me, hope I got finished in time :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Yes, you got finished in time. Thanks so much, Christopher! =D

Now I see that you'll need time to recover from that musical onslaught, so I'll understand if I won't see you for a while. =P