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Song Parodies -> "The Directions That Left Us Imperiled"

Original Song Title:

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

Original Performer:

Gordon Lightfoot

Parody Song Title:

"The Directions That Left Us Imperiled"

Parody Written by:

Michael Pacholek

The Lyrics

When I was two years old, my mother, her best friend, and (between them) their four kids plowed into Mom's 1966 Ford Country Squire station wagon, and went from North Jersey (where we lived at the time) to Quebec City, stopping at a small lake in Vermont along the way. Mom took a wrong turn at Albany and went 200 miles in the wrong direction before she realized anything was wrong. I don't remember anything about it, but, as the old saying goes, the legend lives on. At the time, I was an only child. By the time my sister was born, we made another trip, to South Jersey, and the directions were so bad that she almost drove right into Barnegat Bay. (NOT her fault that time.) I combined the details of the two trips, threw in some ideas for poetic license and to fit the rhythm of the song, and put my fictional "evil twin Bernard" into the story. In this case, “Triple-A” is the Automobile Association of America.
The legend lives on from the Triple-A on down
of the big lake we almost drove into.
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
all those poor saps wish they'd never been to!

With a load of us kids, here's what my mother did
with her '66 Ford Country Squire:
She shoved us real hard, me and brother Bernard
and that station wagon's speed went higher.

The car was the pride of Detroit's Southwest Side
and was bought by my Dad in New Jersey.
We'd sit in the back and Bernard would attack.
Even then, he was evil, no mercy!

(Now, just hold a sec, I interrupt this "Wreck."
Bernard's writing this verse just to tell ya:
We were seven years old, and if truth will be told:
You should never let Mike try to smell ya!)

(Instrumental break, while Mike tries to remember what the hell Bernard's talking about.
Apparently, he inherited Mom's selective memory!)

(Who's got a selective memory, Mikey?)

(I remember it clear as day, Bernard! It was June '77!
School had just let out, we had just been promoted from 2nd to 3rd grade,
the Mets had just traded Tom Seaver to Cincinnati...)

(Oh, yeah, that's probably what you were teasing me about. Now, I remember!
And that was the weekend that Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin
had that near-fight in the Fenway Park dugout! Your Yankees, the Bronx Zoo!)

(Right. Can we please get back to the song now, Bernard?)

(Fine, 'cause if we agree on nothing else,
we agree on Mom's sense of direction. Go!)

The engine of car made a tattletale sound.
Mom pulled into an Exxon for service.
But directions she read couldn't get to her head.
That got me and Bernard really nervous!

Destination we want was a lake in Vermont
but her sense of direction sure messed her.
At Albany, durn, Mom made very wrong turn
and we ended up out in Rochester!

So she turned us around and I-90 she found
and was pointed back toward Massachusetts.
But Bernard and I fought, pulled over as she ought
and yelled, "Stop it, or I'm gonna lose it!"

Route 7 she found and we're log-cabin bound.
But she burned gasoline by the barrel.
And she made big mistake, how we got to the lake.
The directions had left us imperiled!

(instrumental break)

Does anyone know where my mother's car goes
when her driving turns short trips to hours?
But on this hot night, we got terrible fright
as we almost got wrong kind of showers!

The sign said "ROAD CLOSED" and we later supposed
that the bridge was out, no cross for water.
All all that remains is the story maintained
that we told when Mom had a new daughter!

They say Lake Champlain has a monster that zings
on the New York State-and-Vermont border.
The creature, it steams like a young man's dreams.
And to feed it, no one can afford 'er!

And farther beyond, is river St. Laurent
in Quebec with the Customs inspections.
The Canadians said so, as Bernard and I know
Mom went too far with lousy directions!

(instrumental break)

In a musty old house in New Jersey we tell
of a trip that earned our Mom no laurel.
This story, we've chimed about 29 times
of the directions that left us imperiled!

The legend lives on, how we almost did drown
in the big lake named for French explorer.
Does a monster live there? Well, I really don't care.
Mom's directions, they did no good for her!

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.6
How Funny: 2.7
Overall Rating: 2.7

Total Votes: 24

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   2
 2   0
 3   0
 4   2
 5   20

User Comments

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alvin - April 14, 2007 - Report this comment
i thoroughly enjoyed taking this journey...took me back to my own dad loved long car journeys...and this man NEVER got lost...however..his idea of a fun day was getting up at 4...driving 900 miles...with one stop for lunch..and you'd better not have a coke....cause restroom stops weren't really on his agenda...then, we'd typically pile into the worst hotel in the worst town around for miles..around midnight...only to get up at 4 again..and repeat the process
Jonathan S. - April 14, 2007 - Report this comment
Truly wonderful parody with near-perfect pacing. Speed limit: 455.
PMS - April 15, 2007 - Report this comment
Your mother and mine must have gone to the same driving school
malcolm higgins - April 15, 2007 - Report this comment
5-5-5 from your biggest ( although 80 pounds lighter after surgery) could any idiot give this ones? brilliant
MasonR - April 15, 2007 - Report this comment
I love how you turned this bit of what's obviously become a family legend (along with sibling rivalry) into a parody. Nice job!
AFW - April 15, 2007 - Report this comment
Great job...My ex was known for getting lost behind the wheel..I bought her a car compass, once...but, she said, "It only points north, what if I want to go east, west or south?" (She was blonde)
stuart mcarthur - April 16, 2007 - Report this comment
wacky and hilarious MP - loved the off-camera dialogue bits - 555
Michael Pacholek - April 16, 2007 - Report this comment
Thank you, everyone. I had a blast with this. Or maybe that was Mom's old station wagon, now in that great showroom in the sky. PMS: While you have my sympathies, my mother didn't go to driving school. I wonder if it would have helped. Malcolm: I hope this means you can now fit behind the wheel. Mason: Just remember, Bernard isn't real, I just made him up for a parody ("My Evil Twin, Naturally"), but the getting-lost-at Albany story is all too real. I'm just glad I was too young to know about baseball then, because, apparently, we came within an hour's drive of Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame, which it took me 20 years to figure out! AFW: Perhaps you should have had a threesome, with her and Miss Clairol. Nah, wouldn't have helped... Stuart: I wasn't sure if that was going to work. To put it in Ozspeak, it was a walkabout within a walkabout.
Bernard Pacholek - April 16, 2007 - Report this comment
Hey, Malky, how come ya didn't allow comments for "Expected When Ed Became Carol"? You know it ain't an official "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" parody if Mikey doesn't at least comment on it! Well, he wanted me to tell you he really liked it, and was glad you found a good way to use the word "cauterize." What did I think of it? Reading it, the only thing I could think was... "Ow... ow... ow... ow..."
Meriadoc - April 18, 2007 - Report this comment
A Masterpiece Mikey! It left me howling! :-D

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