In honour of the 14th studio album released by Alfred Matthew Yankovic – better known as “Weird Al” Yankovic – we are listing five of our favourite tracks from this great man of parody, humour, and… human observation. Yes, the man is one of the finest sociologists around. While his songs are intended to poke fun at people, Weird Al has a knack for noticing trends and behaviours, and some of the five songs below are perfect evidence of this.
Let’s start the countdown.
Money For Nothing (Beverly Hillbillies)
From the movie UHF, this is one of Weird Al’s best done parodies. I never would have known that the lyrics to the Beverly Hillbillies theme could be sung over Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” so well. I find myself unable to listen to the original song without laughing because, well, how can you not when you watch the video below, which takes right from the legendary “Money For Nothing” video.
Not Hans Solo. Not Luke Skywalker. Not Darth Vader. Not Darth Maul. The greatest Star Wars character is arguably Jedi master Yoda. Who doesn’t love the little green man? And fortunately for us, Weird Al made a song to salute the iconic movie character. May the force be with you!
The Saga Begins
Weird Al is obviously a bit of a Star Wars nerd, as you can tell from “Yoda” and his ode to The Phantom Menace, “The Saga Begins”, sung to the tune of Don MacLean’s “American Pie”. The MacLean version of the song has become a bit of an anthem for my friends and I, but being the jokester I am I have no trouble singing the lyrics “soon I’m gonna be a Jedi”.
This song was recorded back in 1988, about a decade before the US started a campaign against obesity and nearly fifteen years before trends towards organic and healthy eating were established. In many ways, this song remains quite relevant today, especially the message early in the song about processed foods. Maybe the government should Weird Al to do their awareness campaigns.
Weird Al definitely lives up to his name with this one. “Albuquerque” was supposed to be an annoying song, which was literally his intention. Boy, that backfired, as the 11-minute spoken word epic became one of Weird Al’s most popular tracks. The doughnut part is the best scene. No, wait, the weasel part, no… “torso boy”… ahh just listen to the song and be thankful the lyrics are included in the video because the song was so long they couldn’t fit the lyrics in the album liner.
Bonus track: Word Crimes
We have to add Weird Al’s latest single because Ben gets annoyed with poor grammar and people incorrectly using words like your and you’re or there, they’re, and their. We hope Robin Thicke and Pharrell were paying close attention to this video.
PHOTO: ROBERT TRACHTENBERG
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