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Song Parodies -> "If Barry McGuire Sang 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald'"

Original Song Title:

"Eve of Destruction"

Original Performer:

Barry McGuire

Parody Song Title:

"If Barry McGuire Sang 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald'"

Parody Written by:

Patrick McWilliams

The Lyrics

"Eve of Destruction" is perhaps the ultimate protest song. Originally written by Phil Sloan, it has been covered by artists ranging from the Turtles to Tiny Tim. The Dickies version adds an extra verse and comes it at just over two minutes, while Tiny Tim's monstrosity runs over 25 minutes! I've never used this song for a parody, because I couldn't think of anything but just another rehash protest song. Then I realized, yes, I do have a story that will fit. It's a story that will fit almost any melody.
November night, the skies were gloomy
Giant ship on Gitchee Gumee
They loaded her with ore, her hold was roomy
The ship and crew a bone, they dared the lake "Come chew me"
The captain wired in vain, "Please send assistance to me!"

As the waves broke, over and over and over the rails again,
The Edmund Fitz was on the brink of destruction

Now they understand what the Chippewa say
They all feel the fear and some begin to pray
When the life boat is lost, there's no sailing away
There'll be twenty-nine men in a watery grave
Lookout saw no signal buoy, waves tossed them like a toy

And the storm surged, hours and hours and hours, the wind -- no end
Upon the deck, then came the wreck of Fitzgerald

A storm so rough, the old cook's consternation
Galley is swamped, he left his station
He can't feed the crew, no stew and no libation
He bids all the guys farewell, his last salutation
The friendships he made, his one consolation
The Fitz breaks apart, its disintegration
The Coast Guard will search, in complete frustration

They keep trying, over and over and over again, they send
There's no reply, no word from Edmund Fitzgerald

Think of hurricanes, that hit Carolina
Then look at the debris in Joplin, Missouri*
You can search for a refuge to stay
But you'll never achieve your Whitefish Bay
The pounding of the waves, the fires and the quakes
Nature buries her dead, and leaves not a trace
Ain't a safe spot nowhere, She's gonna catch you some place

And the bells toll, over and over and over again, Amen
They recall once more, the men of Edmund Fitzgerald
* A recent disaster, last year's tornado, a couple hundred miles from Kansas City. You can sustitute the latest natural calamity of your choice. The original lyrics are frequently updated by McGuire and other singers: "Selma, Alabama" becomes "Columbine, Colorado", etc.

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 9

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   9

User Comments

Comments are subject to review, and can be removed by the administration of the site at any time and for any reason.

Calmelennie - November 20, 2012 - Report this comment
You inspire me to press on with a couple of my own Edmundian efforts.
AFW - November 20, 2012 - Report this comment
Great match up...with many fine lines
Rob Arndt - November 20, 2012 - Report this comment
555! Have you reached 40 yet???
Lifeliver - November 20, 2012 - Report this comment
Good stuff, Patrick. I sang this to myself in a rough approximation of Barry's gruff baritone and enjoyed myself. It read well, but I doubt if I sounded well - fortunately I was alone. 555s
Lifeliver - November 20, 2012 - Report this comment
Forgot to add, kudos for the informative bookended notes on this one.
Meriadoc - November 20, 2012 - Report this comment
Another great one to add to your growing repertoire!
Leough - November 21, 2012 - Report this comment
I like the way you worked the choruses! 555! Have you done any of these to other Gordon Lightfoot songs yet? I looked online for the Tiny Tim version of the OS, but didn't find it. Any help you can offer me in that regard?
Patrick - November 21, 2012 - Report this comment
Glad everyone liked this. I haven't counted my Fitz parodies lately. I'm thinking somewhere around 35. Barry McGuire's raspy voice was perfect for the original lyrics. Just imagine it being performed by The Anita Kerr Singers! It was! Along with the answer song "Dawn of Correction". I've got some more Gordon Lightfoot lyrics in stock, just haven't used them, yet. Tiny Tim's version of Eve of Destruction appears on a rare CD titled "Rock". I paid a small fortune for one, many years ago, and lost it to a tornado. The next copy cost even more. It also contains "Highway to Hell" in his strange falsetto voice. "Eve of Destruction" I timed at 25 minutes, 49 seconds. Put it in the car stereo and drove all the way from Kansas City to Lawrence, Kansas on the Turnpike. It's mostly repetitious choruses. I feel sorry for the engineer in the recording booth. Wish I knew some way to send you a copy.
Michael Pacholek - November 21, 2012 - Report this comment
Well, you've still got a ways to go before your parodies of the actual song catch up to mine... but there's no waves in your way. I could hear the waves matching the original EOD's drums, and the crashing on the deck matching the harmonica. Good work.

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