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Song Parodies -> "A Shepherd Am I"

Original Song Title:

"American Pie"

Original Performer:

Don McLean

Parody Song Title:

"A Shepherd Am I"

Parody Written by:

Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

A long, long time ago,
I can still remember...
Mary's little lamb would make me itchy
And I knew if I had my chance
That on that wool rug, I could dance
And maybe, I would feel not quite so bi***y
When Christmas came, things got no better
My aunt gave me a woolen sweater
Bad thoughts from my stocking
Of sheep, all naked flocking
I can't remember if I cried
When I thought about their barren hide
But something touched me deep inside
The day my lost lamb died

So my, my, lonely shepherd am I
Drove my flock out to the pasture, where a lamb caught my eye
And this good ol' boy is pullin' down at his fly
Singin', "This'll be the day that I try"
"This'll be the day for some thigh"

Do you pine for ovine love
And do you have face in bod thereof?
Are you liable to play so?
Do you believe in flockin' roll?
Can ewes encave your immortal pole? [1]
And can a sheep-mate make romance zeal flow?
Well, she tells friends, "I'm in love with him"
And she knows I love her woolly quim
It's sheep, not cows, I choose
Man, I dig their bleating, not "moo"s!
I don't want girl, squirrel, moose, goose, mouse or duck
She's the only "dear" this stag-horned roe will "buck"
No other clam that I would shuck
Until my poor lamb died

I started singin',
"My, my, lonely shepherd am I"
Rub mint jelly on her belly if the well-y is dry
And good ol' girl, there'll be an endless supply
And singin', "This'll be the day to be spry"
"This is not the day to be shy"

Now, for ten years, I've been on my own
And wool grows thick on a lady's throne
But that's not how it used to be
When my lovely lamb had just turned thirteen
Had a fleece of finest gabardine
Soft as silk, of purest pedigree
Oh, and while the lamb is grazing ground
The shepherd mounts the matted mound
All other girls I've spurned
To lamb, al-ways returned
And while linen sheets can leave red marks
Lamb's lanolin lubes lecher's larks
And sheep-tang urges man to spark
Until my poor lamb died

I was singin',
"My, my, lonely shepherd am I"
Tried to hammer little lamb-er, catch her here in the rye
And flirting sheep were bleating, "Go for it, guy"
And bleating, "It's a splurge you cannot deny"
"It's a merge she'll surely supply"

Helter, skelter, sheep in summer swelter
So shepherd scrounges some shady shelter
A lot of trees, and find them fast.....
The flock all graze on the grass
While the shepherd feels for some furry a**
Gets his lambkin on the sidelines, 'lone at last
And Miss Mary's lamb was sweet perfume
While privates splayed to arching poon
Unveiled his massive lance
Oh, but he never got the chance
When the shepherd tried to cop a feel
The mangy band became a meal
Lamb chop and all were turned to veal
The day my poor lamb died

I started singin',
"My, my, lonely shepherd am I"
Drove my flock out to the pasture on the Fourth of July
With flag unfurled, and pointin' right at the sky
And wavin' patriotic pole up so high
Wave that flag at all who pass by

And there they were all in one place
A flock of sheep with mangy face
With rawhide raw from front to end
So come on, sheep be nimble, sheep be clipped
Sheep flock, into de-manging, dipped
'Cause mange dip is the rancher's only friend
And as I watched them on that range
My hands were clenched in fists at mange
No rancher from that dell
Could stand such stinky smell
And as the flock was fleeced in fearful plight
To bleach out their hides of beastly blight
I saw cotton farmers laugh with spite
The day my poor lamb died

I was singin',
"My, my, lonely shepherd am I"
Pulled the lamb in for some rammin', but my plans went awry
And poor ol' boy is left without a reply
Singin', "This is evil I must decry"
"This is evil I must defy"

I met a sheep who sang the blues
So I asked her for some happy ewes
But she said "baah" and turned away
So I went down to the Ranch Must-ang
To pull, till full of wool poon-tang
But the man there said the ewe's sick; wouldn't play
And on the range, the cowboys beamed
The shepherds tried: the fence knot-holes, reamed
No lambskin sheath to poke in
Nor furry coat to cloak in
And the sheep that I admire best
Bo Peep's, Miss Mary's, and all the rest
Became the wool for some guy's vest
The day the ewe, sick, died

And I was singing'
"My, my, lonely shepherd am I"
Drove my flock out to the pasture, where I sit here and sigh
And good ol' boys are laughin' hard as I cry
Sobbing, "Miss her till the day that I die"
"Miss her till the day that I die"

I was singin'
"Fly, fly, sheep, to Heaven up high"
Though He leads them by still waters, still I sit and ask "Why?"
In pastures green, though He maketh them lie,
In the shadow of this valley I cry!

[1] Trivia for fans of the OS: Although the usual transcription of this OS line is "Can music save your mortal soul...", IMHO, the correct line is "Can music save your IMmortal soul...", with "im" being elided (slurred over) by McLean due to pacing considerations. The song makes it clear that McClean had a Catholic upbringing (... "the three men I admire most: The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost... ), and it is a fundamental tenet of Catholicism that the soul is immortal: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part One, Section 2, Chapter 1, Article 1, Paragraph 6, Part II, line 366: "The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is ...immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection."

Therefore, the parody followed with "immortal pole".

© 2007 Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved.

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Matches Pace of
Original Song: 
How Funny: 
Overall Score: 

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.9
How Funny: 4.7
Overall Rating: 4.8

Total Votes: 15

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   1
 4   0
 5   14

User Comments

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

Jason - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
This is brilliant. I think this is your best parody so far. 555
Agrimorfee - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
"Tommy had a little lamb/And Amiright laughed in shock." 555
alvin - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
wild and wooly, alright....5s
Ann Hammond - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
I love it! I got some rapping Serta Mattress sheep in my head right now.
Phil Alexander - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
Holy cow... I mean sheep. Ewe've really done it this time. As the bible didn't say "and the Turtle shall lie with the lamb"
Kristof Robertson - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
The turtle reigns supreme! This was rude, crude and incredibly funny...BRAVO! 555+
Tommy Turtle - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
Jason, Agrimorfee, alvin, Ann Hammond, Phil Alexander (lol), Kristof Robertson, thanks much.
Rex - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
Mmmmm... mange dip. Amazing work, this.
TT - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
Rex, thanks.
stuart mcarthur - August 14, 2007 - Report this comment
ooh, that's a bit girl/squirrel/moose/goose/ mouse/duck-ist, isn't it? But a huge compliment to lambs - that's an amazing write TT - I'm sure you didn't toss that off in ten minutes - lines like "Lamb's lanolin lubes lecher's larks" don't just fall out of the sky - brilliant 555
TT - August 15, 2007 - Report this comment
stuart mcarthur,, about five months, here and there. and yes, the LLLLL line was one of the last to be added -- wasn't easy trying to alliterate "Quartet practiced in the park" while syllable-matching the following "dirges in the dark" line while keeping it on sheep. sma is very perceptive, as usual... thanks stu.
TJC - August 15, 2007 - Report this comment
Others may say, "Baaaah, Bumbug", but I say, "Fantastic, uber-creative subs & rhymes with brilliant narrative forming a 'natural glue' holding the whole writhing mass together through to the climactic, um, er... ending!"
TT - August 15, 2007 - Report this comment
TJC, long time, no C! Nice to see ya again... and that was one of the most, um, erudite exegeses ever seen in a parody comment.... Ya gonna teach a class on it? :-) Thanks much, friend.
Red Ant - August 21, 2007 - Report this comment
Great wordplay, ewe clever turtle!. Favorite lines were the alliteration of "Lamb's lanolin lubes lecher's larks", "sheep-tang", and "Pulled the lamb in for some rammin'", lol. 555
TT - August 21, 2007 - Report this comment
Red Ant, thanks for reading and for v/c.
Meriadoc - August 24, 2007 - Report this comment
Wow! Ewe wethered the attempt at this OS well...
TT - August 24, 2007 - Report this comment
Merry, thank ewe.
Stan Hall - November 29, 2008 - Report this comment
I s'pose that to say aynone reading this'll find him/herself -- myself included -- ovine ewe 5s woold be a pretty sheep pun.
And now on to shamefully shameless plug the ... nothing to do with sheep, but I, er, redressed this OS myself at and rather less ruthfully batted it around at :-)
Tommy Turtle - December 01, 2008 - Report this comment
Stan Hall: Surely no cheaper a pun than "Lenin/Lennon=Linen", "Marx=marks", or a desperate stretch at Holden Caulfield and "Catcher in the Rye" -- reaching like Spiderman, those. Thanks for VC, and will check yours out.
Mark Scotti - June 06, 2009 - Report this comment
Not baaaaaaaad.. Tom!! The pacing page is very helpful as well!!! Here's some fives for ewe....
Tommy Turtle - June 07, 2009 - Report this comment
Mark Scotti, thanks! Glad you found the PG helpful (Pacing Guide, not Pregnant, thank goodness [very old ref.] or Parental Guidance Suggested). ... btw, my friends usually skip the formalities and call me Tommy or TT (been called *much* worse, though lol), and since we still seem to be friends after the going-over I gave your AP, pls feel free...

Thanks for taking the time to read (song and Guide), vote, and comment, Mark. Looking forward to your rewrite, which I'm sure will be spot-on. If posted on Monday, it might be very late 'fore I get to it, but I *will*. Looking forward to it!
Peregrin - August 23, 2012 - Report this comment
There's no saying Baaaa humbug to this parody! Ewew better ewe bet!
Tommy Turtle - August 23, 2012 - Report this comment
Peregrin: Thanks for not being Scrooge-like with your comments!
Al Silver - April 06, 2013 - Report this comment
TT: I followed your link only to find bestiality, meaning that your parody is among the best. The point was to show me an instance of "sustained narrative" with justifiable punctuation, and so you have. I was also relieved to see no emoticons or other distractions. As for footnotes, I never use them. Footnotes are explanations, and I never, ever explain what I've written. Explanations are the death of humor. All of what the author wishes to convey should be in the parody. A footnote in a parody is, in my opinion, a crutch. If the reader doesn't "get it," it's either his failure or mine, and that's that. Of course, footnotes have their places, as in esoteric scholarly works, archaic poetry, etc. But in a whimsical parody? Not for me! If done well, the work should stand on its own. All readers of all works of art, especially poetry, tolerate a certain amount of obscurity and opacity. It's just the nature of the reading experience. I'll take this a step further: I dislike the italicized prologue, and I use it sparingly when I use it at all. An example of a proper use of the prologue is a quote from a news article. That sets up the parodist's humorous twist on the quoted material. But some writers here put more words into the prologue than into the parody. What nonsense to write an essay explaining the subject matter of the ensuing parody, which is usually doggerel that repeats the italicized information! That tells me that the author has chosen the wrong subject. As for the bottom space, it goes when the footnotes go, and good riddance. By the way, I invoked the name of Thurber because he is an esteemed writer whose opinion should be taken seriously. Yes, he had his style and you have yours, as you say. Yet, somehow, the comparison strikes me as presumptuous.
Tommy Turtle - April 08, 2013 - Report this comment
This footnote was only to justify that the pacing was exact, something that I take seriously, and wanted to forestall issues there. Other explanatory footnotes at other parodies may be there because not all of the audience is familiar with various things, terms, events, etc. Those who don't need them can skip them. But one hates for readers not knowledgeable about a particular item to miss the point or the gag.

Or use f/n to justify one's case, esp. in political parody. Political parodies at this site, on the whole, are notoriously devoid of facts. It's hard to fit a Grand Jury hearing into a parody, so rather than a mere diatribe, I/we tend to prove our case:

On occasion, I've used this site to explain current and past events from my background and experience (MBA in Economics and Finance), with a parody at the heart of the intro/footnotes/outro. This one had overwhelmingly favorable comments, with one dissenter. I'm sure you'll agree with the dissenter:

All of these issues, esp. footnotes, have been debated previously on this site. I tried a medical-related parody without footnotes, asking whether readers not medically knowledgeable found it better not to have them (would they look up the terms?), but the feedback wasn't definitive:

Presumptuous comparison? OK, then, "You have your style, and I have mine." The fact is, *all* writers have their own style, so all I did re Thurber was to state a simple fact. In fact, I've had one book published (not self-), and am listed in the acknowledgments of another as an early-draft reviewer/critic (many such suggestions incorporated in the later drafts) in a recent book by a world-class expert in physical and electronic security, a very hot topic.

I followed very closely the style of William Shakespeare (iambic pentameter, internal dialog/monologue, angst, etc.) in the most-viewed of my 443 parodies:

In closing, I don't really have the time or desire to continue debating, but please feel free to read or not read, like or not like, and comment or not comment, on my works. All comments will be read, usually within a day or few, and acknowledged. Thanks for the kind words in your opening remarks.
Al Silver - April 09, 2013 - Report this comment
I do agree with the dissenter, as I agree with the little boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes." I almost missed seeing the parody in that link; it was embedded in a mass of explanatory material. Is Hamlet's soliloquy a song? If not, then to my understanding you have violated the purpose of this site. Also likely ignored is a core question "How Funny?" if the content of a parody is about the dismal science of Economics. In the words of Sam Goldwyn, “If you’ve got a message, call Western Union.” Regarding the next appearance of one of your old magnum opuses, I will choose one of your options and not be present at the exhumation.
Al Silver - April 09, 2013 - Report this comment
I beseech you, one and all, to check out Pam Peterson's parody of "Memory" on YouTube. It is all that a parody should be. You will note its simplicity and the way she gives a new meaning to the title word.
Lifeliver - April 09, 2013 - Report this comment
@ Al - I checked out your YouTube link to Pam Peterson and it's very funny and simple, an excellent parody well performed, as evidenced by the laughs it got (a senior audience perhaps?). You effectively made your point there.

Often, the most enjoyable lines are the simple ones, even in a complex parody. The old maxim 'KISS' has great value in advertising, corporate marketing, movie box office and publishing, and this may also apply to light verse and song parody. But shouldn't we accept it's not the only approach, and not necessarily the most satisfying ? They don't have to be 'belly-laugh' funny per se. There's nothing wrong with being clever for its own sake. If that were not so, many enjoyable creations on the site wouldn't exist.

I think there are a number of highly literate contributors here (and TT is among the best) who like to use the site to flex their creative muscles, just enjoy expressing themselves recreationally in verse. OK, we like our egos fed, but if you're especially creative, who doesn't and why bother? For some the music is the main focus, for others the wordplay itself or a mixed approach (and Hamlet solilloquys I think are fair game too). The Turtle and I agree to diagree somewhat on this point. The relevant discussion my be found here:

As you've no doubt observed, I tend to bookend my works with preambles and footnotes. Somebody even based a parody on long intros, though I can't locate it now. To me, this is another avenue of creative expression, just giving people something hopefully enlightening, entertaining or instructive to read. There are many reasons for doing it,and just as many times it's unnecessary and redundant. But visitors here come from many backgrounds, ages and tastes, and may benefit from background information or instructive material about a genre, artist, or specialized topic. Intros and footnotes can be creative and entertaining in their own way. And reading them is purely optional.

Which leads me to my main point, I suppose. The site is all about sharing creative ideas and tolerating the approaches of others who submit their creations here for their own various reasons. As long as their intentions are genuine, we shouldn't be laying down the law about what parodies should be, though of course we may share candid opinions (your critical approach is to be commended). But always at the bottom there's 'You don't have to read it'. There's a lot of fine work contributed here, but also an equal amount of mediocrity and dross, and it's up to ourselves to decide when we're wasting our time.
Al Silver - April 09, 2013 - Report this comment
LL: Once again, you have proven yourself to be the doyen of diplomacy and the master of moderation. I'm just a pugnacious street kid from the immigrant slums of Brooklyn, circa the Depression and WW II. But 'tis Spring, and "the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of The #@*&@$ Turtle is heard in our land." Now I will read what I'm sure is a gentlemanly discourse between youse two.
Tommy Turtle - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
Someone once said that wit is the art of saying things cleverly. I like being clever, and enjoy this quality in others. From a dictionary discussion:

"Synonym Study: Humor, wit refer to an ability to perceive and express a sense of the clever or amusing. Humor consists principally in the recognition and expression of incongruities or peculiarities present in a situation or character.... Wit is a **purely intellectual manifestation of cleverness and quickness of apprehension** in discovering analogies between things really unlike... "

I have been given certain weaknesses and certain strengths, as we all have. I was gifted with intellect and wit. I don't see why I should not enjoy these gifts as much as someone enjoys having been gifted with being 7 feet tall and the ability to throw a ball through a hoop from 30' away, nor to display this skill for those who appreciate it -- except that the basketball player makes millions, while I -- seem to have been given the wrong gift, from that point of view. (facetious at the end there)

@ Al Silver: Civil criticism is fine. Cursing another writer or commenter, symbolically or otherwise, is neither funny nor clever nor intelligent, and in fact violates site Guidelines. Please apologize for that, or I may request that the above comment be removed. Thank you.
TT @ LL - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
"... who like to use the site to flex their creative muscles, just enjoy expressing themselves recreationally in verse."

Astutely assessed and expressed as always, Sir.
Al Silver - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
TT: The series of typographical symbols I used, which I have just learned is called a grawlix, was something I encountered as a kid reading comic strips. My interpretation of them, which was unchanged until this hour, was that they were expressions of frustration, exasperation, etc. Now my research informs me that they are "symbols of non-specific profanity." I had no reason to be profane, and I certainly had no intention to curse you. I regret the confusion, which was a function mostly of my ignorance.
Al Silver - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
TT: By the way, I looked through your catalog as you suggested. There was a several-month hiatus in your submissions, beginning in February, 2007. It turns out that you wrote a parody in which you resigned as a contributor. Several commenters found your action petulant and thin-skinned. But I found a topic for parody. If it is published today, I hope you are not offended.
Al Silver - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
TT: In my opinion, defining humor is a futile exercise. Like pornography, you know it when you see it. Many years ago, I laughed at a witty remark coming from a car radio. My female passenger asked, "How do you know it's funny?" Very sad. I think that a sense of humor is a leading indication of intelligence. Yet, no I.Q. test measures it, or ever will.
Al Silver - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
"I was gifted with intellect and wit. I don't see why I should not enjoy these gifts..." Please do not use your gifts to produce wretched excess. Temper your gifts with judgment.
Al Silver - April 11, 2013 - Report this comment
I did not write the comment re "Pacholek." It is a fraud, and I am reporting it.
Tommy Turtle - April 13, 2013 - Report this comment
Al Silver: Thank you for the explanation of the grawlixes, which I accept, and also for teaching me something new -- the term for them.

I am not necessarily proud of every single thing I have written, said, or published (or done, for that matter -- what about you?), including perhaps a parody or two. However, IMHO, it would be rather cowardly for me to ask to have that one deleted; it was posted (on a bad day, no doubt), and I accept the responses.

I will say only one more time that there is a considerable following for "wretched excess", as per comments from readers, and that all others are free not to read, as LL pointed out, or to express their discontent, as you have. Most dislikers probably choose the first option. I have no objection to your commenting as you will (in good faith) whenever or wherever.

Surprisingly few people accused Michael Phelps of "wretched excess" in winning eight gold medals in a single Olympics, a new record, nor did they think that he should have restrained his skills. I'm not comparing my writing abilities to Phelps' swimming skills, of course, but I think the analogy is still valid. IMHO. YMMV. (and I honored Phelps in two parodies)

You might find interesting Old Man Ribber's comment here:

I didn't see the fraudulent comment before it was deleted, but thanks for reporting. All comments that are fraudulent or in violation of site guideline should be reported immediately by anyone who sees it.

Your parody makes it clear that you haven't read the Submission Guidelines. You really need to read them, or a lot of your work may get deleted:
Paragraph 6.
TT P.S. @ Al Silver - April 14, 2013 - Report this comment
I saw elsewhere at the site that you're a fan of pre-Rock music. Perhaps also a fan of the Golden Age of Broadway? In which case, you might or might not find interesting that Fiddlegirl and I parodied the entire "My Fair Lady", sixteen songs in all, with running plot narrative somewhat parallel to the original.

They were posted 2/day for eight consecutive posting days, but you can find all sixteen on one page here:
Al Silver - April 14, 2013 - Report this comment
TT: I am indeed a connoisseur of the Golden Age of Broadway. That should be evident from my OS selections as well as my comments. "My Fair Lady" gets in under the wire at (I think) 1956. I will read your parodies, but I will tell you this: I have always considered this Lerner-Loewe confection to actually suffer from perfection. (You can see from my split infinitive that sometimes flaws are desirable.) As I think I wrote in my parody "My Favorite Flicks," "Pygmalion" is better without all the singing. I much prefer the knock-about quality of Rodgers & Hart's "The Boys From Syracuse."
Tommy Turtle - April 15, 2013 - Report this comment
Al Silver: Then you'll probably agree with me about what "West Side Story" did to "Romeo and Juliet". -- although I did enjoy WSS anyway; parodied several songs from it; and parodied R&J a few times, along with other singles from various Broadway shows (some under the team name; some solo).

I don't object to split infinitives, or occasional ending with prepositions, where not to do so would sacrifice euphony.

I/we look forward to your comments on MFL, but I must forewarn you that we followed the movie version rather than the play, because it's a lot easier to record or to get a DVD of a movie than of a play. (wink) As you can imagine, it was listened to (see?!) many times while writing and rewriting the total 250+ drafts, to ensure fidelity (unintentional pun, but take it anyway) to the OSs. Again, looking forward to your feedback as your time permits.

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