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Song Parodies -> "A Parodist's Dilemma"

Original Song Title:

"American Pie"

Original Performer:

Don McLean

Parody Song Title:

"A Parodist's Dilemma"

Parody Written by:


The Lyrics

If you've ever written an American Pie parody, this needs no explanation.
Not so, so long ago
I came on this website
Found on a page of Spin magazine
I crashed and burned on first few tries
But then I focused on the prize
Bronze medal, and I swept the Y comp clean...

But on my skills they made a wager
My brain went beeping like a pager
Gauntlet down they laid me
The "Pie" would surely slay me!

And then, when my ideas went "poof,"
They went out looking for some hard proof
And wanted me to try and spoof
This song on AmIRight

So...why, why do this send-up I try?
If the choruses do bore us
Repetition won't fly
Just eight or nine verses to go now, oh my!
This song's hardness I just cannot deny
Hoping that my brain it won't fry

Did you try some clever rhymes
And did you nail syllables and time
Just to try and score some fives?
Now did you try to mimic the gods
But only end with paper wads
While only caffeine sustained you alive?

But I know you'll surely get sone ones
Since of movie stars you made fun
And comments look a mess
Man, I hate D-K-T-O-S!
I was a burned-out teenage parodist
With a wit of razor and a mind of mist
But my talent ceased to exist
When this OS I tried

And I was thinkin',
Why, why do this send-up I try?
With the pacing I am racing
Hope it's done "fore July
Is grammar good, and will my humor be wry?
If you sing it, will it flow or tongue-tie?
Good rhymes I should have in supply

Now for hours I saw other takes
And wondered what of it I should make
But still not steal and plagiarize?
Spaff employed this song to skewer Shakespeare
While Arwen, spinsterdom she did fear
And their deftness took me by surprise

Oh, and while the big guys place their bet
I break into a nervous sweat
Will it succeed or flop?
And will my mind go pop?
So if I want to become the best
I'd better try and pass this test
I soldier on with my conquest
This song's a passage rite

Mind was freakin',
Why, why do this send-up I try?
If The Conqueror could conk "er
Then it won't make me die
This long song I attempt to demystify
On rhyming dic-tion-a-ry I rely
Looking for words that end in "y"

Sweat and swelter in a bedroom shelter
The Cat attempts what the pros had dealt her
Three hours in and nowhere fast
Ten water bottles on the floor
While one more down my throat I will pour
A bad migraine headache? Hey, this ain't a blast!

Now my parents beg me to descend
I haven't been out since Spring Break's end
I must finish this spoof
Although the room's smell sags the roof!
You may say I am insane or nuts
I refuse to stay in this rut
This open case has to be shut
"Cause this OS I tried

My head was spinnin',
Why, why do this send-up I try?
Tappin' keyboard's makin' me snore
And my mind's on standby
My clever mind that was once adept and spry
Now is withered up like an old french fry
Enthusiasm? Uh, goodbye!

Oh, my slug connection I must goad
Computer's gone on overload
My hard drive now is a wasteland
Come on now, Mac, be nimble, Mac be quick
Mac crashed–well NOW I'm in a fix
And now I have to transpose this by hand...

And when I thought that without a doubt
I'm screwed, BZZAP! the lights went out
I trip over my chair
"Oh hell!" it makes me swear
And as I try to retrace all my tracks
My notebook's now dripping with wax
I just might have to give this the ax
This OS I had tried

Still was grumblin',
Why, why do this send-up I try?
Scene looks bleak and I don't speak
I only mutter and sigh
A hard, long night of work, will it qualify?
My metabolism I have defied
Only hope it hits a bullseye

I started off with easy songs
A simple meter, not very long
But those eventually grew dull
And now I test my sanity
With songs that make sure I'm not home free
And this trait, it makes me, to some, a numbskull...

But–ah! The tunnel's light comes close,
No longer do I need to be verbose
The finish line I'm crossing
Old rough drafts I am tossing!
And the three tunes that can make us pissed,
Major-Gen'ral, TWOTEF*, and this
Can all be added to my list
Of songs on AmIRight

But now I'm thinkin'...
Why, why did this send-up I try?
Will the ditties I make witty
All be easy as pie?
Just simple tunes, so dull they will make me cry
No challenges that are seen by my eye
Stuck with "Let It Be," you and I?

Why, why did this send-up I try?
Yes, the toughies may be stuffy
But they do satisfy
Don't wanna quit, so if you will please comply,
Are there any more hard songs I can try?!
*pronounced "too-teff"

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Matches Pace of
Original Song: 
How Funny: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.8
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 4.9

Total Votes: 22

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   1
 4   3
 5   18

User Comments

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

Paul Robinson - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Cat, you sure must have put a lot of work into doing this...I've backed away from trying "Pie" the few times I considered it...that's a rare thing for me - but I also need to find the 'right' subject to fit and make it worthwhile. I'll have to listen to this tonight when I get home to evaluate it - can't remember how the whole things goes by memory only. later...
alvin rhodes - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
you're a braver parodist than i...lovely job on this behemoth
PMS - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Any way you slice it, this piece scanned pretty well overall. Goodness me, Cat you pounce on some pretty big game. Have you done one to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" That's 13 verses long and might keep you busy for say... a minute or two.
AFW - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
I'd say you baked this pie very well...on a scale of one to six slices...I'd call this, at least, five..maybe five and a half slices..You mention wanting clever lines and rhymes...and I'd say you snagged quite a bunch..remarkable accomplishment..
Cat - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Thanks guys. Yes, PMS, I have, that's what the "TWOTEF" stands for. And it took me a week since I had some research on my topic (see "The Wreck Of That Dude Bode Miller" if you're curious) And now it appears as if that Simon Cowell guy is stalking me...I'm honestly not sure whether I prefer him or the 1 Guy.
Agrimorfee - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
"You are a better man than I, Gunga Din" the old poet once this case, a better woman, at least when it comes to tackling AP...don't know if I ever will...555
PMS - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Hee-hee! I figured out TWO-TEF about 2 seconds after I posted, (D'OH! Is me). I'd be delighted to check out your rendition.
Matthias - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Wow! I'm simply amazed! A parody of American Pie by dissing the length, and difficulty of American Pie! That simply, well not so simply since you've been working on this since Spring Break!!! i'll order you Five steaming hot American Pies
Adam B - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Welcome to the Pie club. We elect you our leader!
bobpiecheese - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Yes! All hail Cat! Let her AP parody rule above all of ours, inclding Spaff's Shakespearean Pie, Ethan's Mr. Miracle guy, and my Transformer pie...well, maybe not Spaff, but you get what I mean.
Michael Pacholek - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
Way to slice the Pie. Now try "MacArthur Park," and I'll really be impressed. And, at the risk of upsetting someone whose initials are PMS... "The Wreck" is 14 verses. Well, the 14th verse, same as the first.
krb - May 01, 2006 - Report this comment
i stumbled across this looking for lyrics to another song. i didn't even know this site existed! anyway, this american pie parody is awssome. very funny stuff. i sang as i read and you absolutely nailed this. i voted a perfect score!
Paul Robinson - May 02, 2006 - Report this comment
Well, Cat - the jokes on me here...I just played my OS version of "American Pie"...and found out the damn thing is an "abbreviated" version (it's on a collection that includes songs from Don McLean and Jim Croce). So I got totally lost part-way through it because my version DOESN'T HAVE all the damned verses...which your's OBVIOUSLY DOES....I am quite certain there is NO WAY you would have tried to blow smoke on this one, so I am totally trusting that this has the same number of verses the FULL OS does...All that said and out of the way, this is really a wonderful piece of qualifiers about age or anything else...anybody would be proud and happy to have written and posted this one. I happen to IMMENSELY enjoy pieces that write about the writing process with a touch of seriousness, levened with a touch of fun and manage to bundle it all together in a way that works. And this one does. BTW - the other night I was wandering around the site a bit and ran across some of your first posts here - which weren't bad at all...but you have come a tremendous distantce since then and it really shows here. Oh, since you seem to be a "fan" of parodies that go "inside" the process you might get a kick out of one I did last year (I think it was last year) to Fiona Apple's "Criminal" (if you are familiar with that song, this is). Mine is called "I Need Two Syllables". I won't post a'd have to hunt it out...I decided the link posting is too pushy for my own personal tastes these days...ok if other folks want to use it, but I'd just rather not at this time...You might see some general similarities in the TYPE of writing and thought processes that were at work...different, because they are the original works of two different writer's...but some of the parts here remind me of what I was thinking and where I was going when I was in the middle of trying to complete that piece....Ah...I saw at the end you were "looking for more tough songs to try"...LOL...OH...yeah..."5's" here ~ ~ ~
Stuart McArthur - May 02, 2006 - Report this comment
wonderful stuff, Cat - I too have climbed this mountain, and even have a recording of it (theme: Australian football) - but I'll never do it again - you put your unique stamp on this one, with lots of witty one-liners and maintained an interesting read until the end - bravo again, Catster - BoRap (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Blinded By The Light are the other majors you may not have tackled - 555
Larry Hensley - May 02, 2006 - Report this comment
This was amazing, 555
Cat - May 02, 2006 - Report this comment
Thanks everyone!!! And now I realize that I haven't done We Didn't Start The Fire, either, but I think that just might be too hard for me, probably because I can't think of any kind of long-list thing that someone else hasn't done already.
Stephen Harrington - May 02, 2006 - Report this comment
You did very well, 555. I've never tried this song myself, and I doubt I ever will, at least until I get internet at home. I don't think I can type fast and accurate enough to submit a parody of this in one hour.
Jeff Reuben - May 02, 2006 - Report this comment
An excellent send up (loved "If the choruses do bore us" for starters) from someone who's been around here quite awhile, but never done the Pie (or any of the "BIG THREE")
Johnny D - May 03, 2006 - Report this comment
Impressive! Cat, you're shapin' up to be a parody prodigy in the grand tradition of another brilliant young woman, EmiLoca.
Cat - May 03, 2006 - Report this comment
Additional thanks to Stephen, Jeff (wow, you haven't?), and Johnny D. I'm very flattered to be compared to Emi like that. Admittedly, I tackle songs that are a little harder than the ones she does-is it just me, or am I doing more and more of the songs she mentioned in her spoof "Songs I Cannot Parody?"-but I still find myself looking through her back catalogue and thinking, "Wow. I could never write like that." But thanks a lot.
Jeff Reuben - May 04, 2006 - Report this comment
Actually, upon further review, my statement about the Big Three isn't completely true. I did write an American Pie parody for a company newsletter for a former employer. It went over well, but it was so specific to that company that any meaning would get lost on here (and to be honest, there are petter American Pie parodies on this site). So, I still have my work cut out for me on that one =)
Cat - May 08, 2006 - Report this comment
I just realized that I made a typo in this song, "sone" ones, heh heh. And I'm usually such a stickler for spelling...anywho, do you know where I can find a decent karaoke version of this? If I can find a way to put it into Garage Band, I was thinking of possibly making this my first recording. (I think I have a decent singing voice, anyway!)
Chris Bodily TM - June 05, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) This monster of a song is very tough to tackle, and it will make your brain fry. I have doen two American Pie parodies (one was the lazy parody -- "Halloween H90: The Death of Muchael Myers" where the same verse and chorus is to be repeated forever -- and one that I made more of an effort on -- "American Pie" -- which became a parody about both the movie and the song.) The latter parody fried my brain to the point where I absent-mindedly submitted it as a 70s Britney Spears song! LMAO!! But this parody, "A Parodist's Dillemma," really takes the cake, or should I say the pie! The pacing wasn't perfect (it never is, is it?), but I had fun reading it. And this is one of a few songs that I can pace just from memory. 455
Agrimorfee - June 08, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) see above
Red Ant - June 09, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) Not sure how I missed this the first time around.... A lot of good lines in here, Cat. "And now I have to transpose this by hand..."; that's how I used to write parodies, by printing out lyrics and making corrections on the sheets. Writing American Pie in that fashion was a nightmare; I think I spent 10 hours making mine.

As for your last two lines, there are many other hard songs besides the "Big Three". Pick up an Eminem CD sometime, heh heh.
Max Power - June 10, 2006 - Report this comment
SOTM-8 minute epic
Rick C - June 14, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) Great work on this behemoth, Cat! Well-written and funny. High 5s.
Confission - June 15, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) neat parody about itself. this song is nothing if you've ever tried parodying this one (with different verses/choruses each time, of course):
Peter Andersson a.k.a K1chyd - June 17, 2006 - Report this comment
SOTM - "I was a burned-out teenage parodist" sounds like a good title for a movie, but a movie needs a bad guy and it seems you've effectively taken out the Ones Guy here. :-)
Cat - June 18, 2006 - Report this comment
Thanks everyone! And Confission...*groan* I know THAT song all too well, after all, I was a fervent watcher of Lamb Chop's Play Along when I was a toddler.
bobpiecheese - June 20, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) What I said before. Now that I've taken a more thorough look through it...OMG, I'm mentioned in a parody!!! w00t! My first shout-out (reminds me of your first shout-out in my entry...weird)! And as for what Red Ant said...damn, you're right there. I've only done 4 but they were hard as hell. One of them was my first ever parody! Boy, was I dumb then.
Rex - June 23, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) One of the best things about hanging around AnIRight for awhile is seeing new parodists with talent appear, and then watching that talent blossom. You just keep getting better, Cat.
Stuart McArthur - June 24, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) see above - great job, Cat - this must almost be the year of the self-referential parody-process parody - there's been quite a lot of them, but none better than this
Johnny D - June 25, 2006 - Report this comment
(SOTM) See above!
wannabemustangjockey - June 26, 2006 - Report this comment
SOTM - been there, done this ... twice (remember "Bye Bye Little Chevy of Mine" and "Japanese Rice"?) I know how you felt while writing this! It's tough... good job.
Arwen - June 27, 2006 - Report this comment
SOTM...what an honor to be mentioned in this gem! Great work, Cat.
Phil Alexander - June 28, 2006 - Report this comment
To be fair to the_conqueror_of_parodies, I feel I have to make the same sort of comment: this is a very hard song to make funny all the way through and although it's absolutely wonderful for a lot, it does get kinda tired in places... maybe I'm just an aggrieved old fart 'cause neither of my Pie offerings were mentioned ;-)

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