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Song Parodies -> "Caretta caretta (Ode To The Endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle)"

Original Song Title:

"Corrina, Corrina"

Original Performer:

Ray Peterson

Parody Song Title:

"Caretta caretta (Ode To The Endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle)"

Parody Written by:

Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

Yes, the second "c" in the title is *NOT* capitalized. Latin genus and species names capitalize the genus, but not the species; e. g., "Homo sapiens" for you (allegedly wise) people; "Caretta caretta" For for The the Loggerhead loggerhead Turtle turtle.

Wow, this OS dates back to the 1920s, with probable roots in American folk music before that. Originally spelled "Corrine, Corrina," but both title spelling and lyrics vary from version to version. The list of artists covering it would be longer than the song. This version was of good sound quality; hence, easier to transcribe vs. the huge variations in Web lyrics -- figured it was best to work from an original recording.

The biggest turtle ... in the world of all
Three hundred pounds? Four? Seven feet, quite tall
If they could jump more, they *could* play basketball [1]

Caretta caretta
Don't make 'em much betta'
Get caught in fishnet: uh, --
It's down they go [2]

The broadest ranging, found around the Earth (beach: birth) [3]
Atlantic; Ind'ya; 'cross Pacific's girth
Med'terran'yan; Saving? -- I think they're worth! [4]

Caretta caretta
A loss we'd regret-ta [5]
Survived Nature's vet-ta
Since long ago [6]

[instrumental -- theme from "Jaws", as large sharks are about the only animal able to attempt to prey on a loggerhead lucky enough to not be eaten as an egg or baby and to make it to maturity. (Fewer than 1 in 100 eggs will become mature adults -- often, far fewer). Do-doomp .... Do-doomp....]

They tracked Caretta way across the sea (whoo-eee!)
The longest journey, and a "first" for "she":
Swimming, Adelita: puts to shame, Mike P! [7]

Caretta caretta
A sad operetta
Let's stop this vendetta
Tell whole world, "No!"

Caretta caretta
Don't ever forget-ta
Like Christmas poinsettia,***
Please breed and grow!

(New chance, bestow)
(For life below)
(People, now you know)

*** Dictionary allows both pronunciations: "poin-set-ee-uh" and "poin-set-uh". The second is used here, obviously, for rhyme and pacing. (Geek-note: Named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the US in 1828.)

[1] Largest hard-shelled turtle in the world. Average adult weight is 200-400 lbs, but the known record is 1200 lbs. (545 kg). Size ranges up to 7 ft. (2.1m), but that's *just the shell*. Add the head, neck, and tail, and ... the other reason they're not in the NBA? They run at, uh, a turtle's pace.

[2] The biggest threat to the loggerheads (and many other turtles) if they make it to maturity is fishing gear. Being air-breathers, turtles often drown in trawling nets and many other kinds of fishing gear. The US and some other countries have mandated Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) for shrimp trawlers and other fishing boats, helping to keep turtles out of the nets, or to escape if caught, while the shrimp still make it to your cocktail sauce. (A pox on the first person to suggest a TED for AIR! ;)

Plastic bags, tossed at the beach or from boats, resemble jellyfish, a favorite food of some turtles and other marine life. They choke on them. Those plastic six-ringed six-pack holders can also be mistaken for food, or many marine animals get their heads, neck, or body trapped in them. Their usage is declining in many areas for that reason. In any event, you wouldn't like it if a whale took a dump on your doorstep, so please throw the trash into a real trash container, which the ocean is *not*. Thank you.

The biggest environmental threat is loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development, dredging, etc. Females may be frightened away from nesting by bright coastal street lights, neon signs, building lights, etc., and the hatching babies, who use the full moon to guide them to the water, can and *do* go in the wrong direction if the coastline is lit. In some US communities, beachside residents must either close all blinds or shut off all lights (except maybe the bathroom night-light) from dusk to dawn from May through October.

Some conservationists have worked for two years to get the streetlights and parking lot lights aimed down instead of out; pushed local code enforcement officers to force businesses to comply with the lighting laws; rescued baby turtles who were crawling the wrong way, or had a bite mark on their right rear flipper and couldn't make it out past the shorebreak; and sat many nights on their balconies writing song parodies on a laptop computer with only a small headband-mounted light to guide their clumsy flippers on the keyboard.

[3] Florida is the largest single nesting grounds in the *world* for the loggerhead. One-fourth of *all* sea turtles nesting in the US, mostly loggerheads, green sea turtles (cough), and some leatherbacks, do so in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, a 20-mile (~32km) stretch of beach from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso Beach, Florida. Despite the fact that loggerheads don't reach sexual maturity until somewhere between ages 17-33, and green turtles, between ages 20-50, nesting females of both species return to the exact same beach from which they themselves were hatched, if the beach is still there. (Mom! Mom! T. T. phone home!)

[4] Largest range of any sea turtle on the planet, covering all but the coldest oceans and seas, as well as some coastal estuaries. They don't come ashore, except when the females nest.

[5] Regarded globally as Endangered, and in some locales as "only" Threatened, trade in loggerhead turtle products is internationally prohibited. Some peoples still eat loggerhead meat and eggs, despite the risk of poisoning from dangerous bacteria, and of being confronted by an angry, law-enforcing green sea turtle with a Smith & Wesson Model 10™. (You think The Hulk gets angry? Don't make The Turtle angry! You wouldn't like him when he's angry!)

[6] The first turtles arose about 200-280 million years ago; the first sea turtles, about 110 million years ago. The Loggerhead species is believed to be about 40 million years old. Then, in a few centuries.... in danger of becoming extinct, having survived everything that Nature could throw at them except Man.

[7] Nesting sites along the eastern Pacific Basin (e. g., US or Mexican West Coast) are rare; studies suggest that 95% of the population along the west coast of the Americas hatch on the Japanese Islands in the western Pacific. The turtles are transported by the prevailing currents across the full length of the northern Pacific, a migration route that is one of the longest of any marine animal. Evidence of a *return* journey came from an adult female loggerhead named Adelita, who in 1996, tagged with a satellite tracking device, made the 9,000-mile (15,000km) trip from Mexico across the Pacific. Adelita was the first animal of any kind ever tracked across an ocean basin. Top *that*, Michael Phelps!

Loggerheads have an iron compound in their brains that allows them to perceive the Earth's magnetic field for navigation. This iron in the brain also explains a lot about TT.

A nod to Warren Baker for indirectly inspiring this insipidness with our discussion of turtle taxonomy. (turtlonomy?) ... Since TT is an anti-tax economist, does that make him anti-taxonomy?

Smith & Wesson ® Smith & Wesson. ...kinda makes sense, huh? ... started in 1852, and still made in the USA. All else © 2010 Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved. E-mail:

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.5
How Funny: 4.8
Overall Rating: 4.8

Total Votes: 8

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   7

User Comments

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Old Man Ribber - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Good write. THIS turtle is endangering making me laugh my head off! ;D
Mark Scotti - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Ohhhhh, that's where you were during your last hiatus...LOL!!!
Schlockeretta A'fish'ianado - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Perfectly formulaTTed and uber-com'prehehensile premium parodyin' in the key of T sharp! OTOH, one might couch this opus as a 4 page, 1237 word, 7385 character (with s p a c e s) diatriabe glorifying how humongously *HUGE* certain Turtles are! (the medium is the message parlor!) PS: Til now, I didn't realize *anyone* could do 138 'lines' in one night! Now that's what I call 'nose' to the grindstone!
2Eagle - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Well, whatever. I just had to read a parody to that oldie. There are giant black jellyfish migrating to the San Diego Bay area. Can you make up a song about that one.
AFW - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Great parodical plea for one of your reptilian relatives
Tommy Turtle - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Old Man Ribber: And dang pleased to do so! Thanks for v/c!

Mark Scotti: Yep, swimming across the Atlantic (yeah, right...) LOL, and thanks for v/c!

Schlockeretta A'fish'ianado: I cannot tell a lie.... Well, actually, I can, and have, many times, but won't this time: This was multi-tasked, along with the rest of this week's subs, since the past weekend. Now, excuse me while I wipe my nose from all those lines .... On "certain" occasions, have in fact done that many lines, or more, in one night. Hey, why do you think they call it dope-amine?
            The flippers definitely aren't prehensile; surely ewe weren't referring to the pea-sized brain possessed by the entire family? .... I'd keep Al Gore away from your message parlor, if ya get my "drift" ("drift -- oh, TT!), and thanks for the comp(limentary)rehensive comment!

2Eagle: Thanks for the enthusiasm! ;-D ... Never seen black jellyfish; did they migrate from the Gulf of Mexico, lol? ... I guess I could, but probably won't. :) Suggestion: Pass a law like Arizona's, and don't let those illegal jellyfish get smuggled by the "black" market into Sandy Eggo Bay. (Don't bring waffles on a beach picnic.) Thanks for v/c.

AFW: Thanks -- hoped the underlying truth would balance out the other, uh, "sheepish" entry today.
WarrenB - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Once I heard the opening part of this song, I knew I'd heard it before. Inspired choice. Glad my lack of edumacation could shake loose a few rhymes. I feel enlightened, and now a little frightened of gun wielding reptiles.
Not sure if you knew this, but back around the turn of some century, two friends named Nick Smith and Willie Wesson opened a diner in San Francisco that was famous for turtlini. Seems they used a special seasoning when they made the accompanying sauce. People came from all over to sample it's flavor, till one day a gunsmith found it worked nicely when he needed to oil is revolver. Soon, Smith and Wesson Oil became a big hit. Smith eventually sold out to Wesson, leaving the business to go to DC. Of course, when Mr. Smith went to Washington...well...I'm not the only 'stewart' of that story.
Tommy Turtle - July 16, 2010 - Report this comment
WarrenB: Thanks for the inspiration and the v/c, and I hope you get the help you need soon. ;-D
Andy P - July 19, 2010 - Report this comment
Who cares! Let's carry on our human tradition of "if they taste good, let's kill and eat them all until they're extinct". Or, being that you're from the US, "if they look good stuffed and hanging on a wall, let's kill them all for the fun of it". Just kidding. I know you didn't mention trophy hunters in your notes, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a problem (they shoot just about everything else). Off subject - I saw a TV doc a while ago about the canned hunting of lions in South Africa. One of the sickest sights I've ever seen. Can't imagine how anyone would want to brag about doing that. PS sickest = worst. Nowadays, sickest seems to mean the best (which is all a bit confusing). There's plenty of letter combinations that have never been used so if the youth of today aren't happy with the already ample choices to describe something in English, why not just make up a *new* word. Right, that's enough of my waffling on.
Tommy Turtle - July 19, 2010 - Report this comment
Andy P: I agree with your (quite-evident) sarcasm. I don't *think* turtles are hunted as trophies -- sooo easy on scuba, there's not nearly the manly macho thrill of freezing a deer in your headlights, then blasting it at close range with a high-powered rifle. :-( ... Still harvested for shell products, though, as well as food. (Does hunting for trophies not exist in the UK or among its residents? They used to be quite noted for it.)

The lion thing is definitely sick -- in the traditional sense. I DK that "sick" now meant "best", but in fact, "bad" was adopted as "good' or "great" some years ago. "That's the baddest car I've ever seen". What's happening is that "urban inner-city" (read, "ghetto") slang is being adopted as "cool" by suburban white kids. I don't care to speculate why, nor hammer the fact that it might be easier to climb out of a poor neighborhood if one learns the proper language of the land, rather than making up your own words or meanings. [1] Same is true for *some* non-English-speaking immigrants, who want the US to make their language an official second language.

It might be a form of teen rebellion, a time-honored tradition through the ages, but with the tremendously-increased buying power of US teens, the media seem to cater to them, and our schools don't require competent English, for fear of "hurting their self-esteem". As Hobbes™ said to Calvin™, "So, self-esteem is achieved by remaining an ignoramus?"

End of soapbox. Thanks for insightful v/c.

[1] Actually, that was a plot of a GB Shaw play, called "Pygmalion", which was adapted into a tremendously successful Broadway musical, and then into an also-successful movie. In fact, Fiddlegirl and I -- n/m. ;-D
"FEATURED ARTICLE" On The Wikipedia Home Page Today - January 03, 2012 - Report this comment
From 0000 UTC Wed. 4 January 2012, which is 7pm Tuesday UCT (Usual Chucky Time), until 2359 UTC Thursday 5 January 2012 (6:59pm US East Coast; 3:59 Pacific).

WP Home Page:

After which, the article remains at its own page:

... which was a valuable resource for this parody
Patience and Piny - January 12, 2012 - Report this comment
Sending you high fives:
Tommy Turtle - January 13, 2012 - Report this comment
@ Patience and Piny: That was AWESOME! Thank you so much!

For this writer's personal experience of "high-fiving" a turtle, plus hanging out with him (her? So hard to tell!) for about twenty minutes, including having lunch together :D, please see this one when you have a chance:

"Pelagic", to John Lennon's "Imagine". Story is in the footnotes.

Thanks again for stopping by and sharing the video!
TJC - January 13, 2012 - Report this comment
Lexcellent advocatin' fer yer pelagic pals... as this is a parody site, I expected 'loggerhead' to have something to do with the sexual proclivities of lumberjacks---I guess even here one must occasionally take TT litorally! Flipperific!
Tommy Turtle - January 14, 2012 - Report this comment
TJC: "Litorally" LOLLLLLL!!!! (given the "sexual proclivities" thing, should the pun be "cli -- uh, n/m).

Kelly Bundy, of "Married ... With Children", once took a career aptitude test. Showed that the career for which she was best suited::
"Lumber camp playtoy".

And thanks for the vote, as well as comment! T(jc)erriffic!
Patrick - January 16, 2012 - Report this comment
Hard to imagine you watching "Married With Children". My sister's kids watched that show avidly when they were little. Compared to their "baby daddy" Al Bundy was an outstanding role model. I live about as far from an ocean as you can get, but have had to move turtles (smaller variety) off the road to protect them from being hit by cars. Possums can reproduce themselves quickly, but it is a shame to see something with such longevity potential winding up under a steel-belted radial at an early age. I'll check out the video as soon as I get some time.
Patrick - January 16, 2012 - Report this comment
I see that S&W is now the "Smith and Wesson Holding Company". I've been known to hold a Smith and Wesson every now and then. The link to Corrine Corinna was simply a visual of the cover of the sheet music. I was expecting at the very least a dancing turtle trying not to be lured by the lights of the big city, which have seduced many a boy as well as turtle to a premature doom.
Tommy Turtle - January 16, 2012 - Report this comment
Patrick: Try turning the volume up. ;) .... also, your employer may have some security restrictions in place in which you would have to give temporary permission for this piece of computer code to run. In any event, it does take a while to load, even on a fast connection. If you see the cover, it's there, but you may have to click the "play" switch (triangle/arrown).

The turtle video was cool -- did you watch it?

MWC is funny, silly, sarcastic, and racy. What's not to like? .... oops, forgot that you don't care for racy.
At times inane, but at times, some astute sociological observations. ----- much like TT. ;-D

Thanks for read/v/c.
Patience and Piny - June 13, 2012 - Report this comment
"She Bit His Shell In Zoo":
Tommy Turtle - June 14, 2012 - Report this comment
Patience and Piny: I did see that story, esp. when The Daily Show (or Leno, IDR which) did a bit on it. ...Maybe if they had been left in the Galapagos instead of being cooped up together in an unnaturally-small space, the marriage would have lasted another 100 years?

Calvin: "Mom wants to know if we want to go to the zoo."
Hobbes: "Ask her if we can tour a prison afterwards."
Calvin (to Mom): "Uh, no thanks."

(©: Bill Waterson)

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