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Song Parodies -> "At 33"

Original Song Title:

"At Seventeen"

Original Performer:

Janis Ian

Parody Song Title:

"At 33"

Parody Written by:

Susanna Viljanen

The Lyrics

Dream on, dream on, teenage queen, what are you at thirty-three?
I learned the truth at thirty-three
that fainted have the teenage queens
and high school girls who me then scorned,
and married young have now divorced
Those asshole guys who did me tease
have balded now and gone obese
while teenage was a total drag
- being thirty-three is not that bad

And those of us with ugly faces
lacking in the social graces
found our lives in the studies
and made our very own careers
we got our turn and married late
and while as teens we got no date
it is better now at thirty-three

That blue-eyed girl who wore just jeans
she studied hard at HUT
she learnt to love the geeky stuff
and like the guys who were not tough
the pompous airhead teenage queen
soon became a divorcee
with three nosy screaming brats
the best are always the last laughs

So like old Frankie I can say
that I did it my own way
the math may not be all that cool
but who says that you must be fool
while tech is hard to understand
it's nice to now make fifty grand
- I'm content now at thirty-three

And those of us who knew the pain
did later karmic reward gain
and we who knew we'll never be
married in rich family
we learnt to on our own survive
and go on with the career life
and husbands we got finally -
we ugly duckling girls like me

This life's a game and if you dare
you take life in your hands to steer
forget the woman's role so old
and seek your own pot of gold
It's risky thing to career make
but what you really have at stake?
It's my turn now - at thirty-three

(changing the tune to the Winter Wonderland)

And next week, you know, again we go,
Cruising on old El - Camino
HUT = Helsinki University of Tecnology, my alma mater.

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Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 8

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User Comments

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Know 1 can hear you dream - October 05, 2004 - Report this comment
DKTOS but I liked the clever reference about doing it Frankie's way.
Tim Hall - October 05, 2004 - Report this comment
This song is a great inspiration to all of us late bloomers!
Paul Robinson - October 05, 2004 - Report this comment
Susanna - great job, probably not too many on the site remember Janis Ian's OS, but I do - of course, I'm 54 now. Seventeen was a pretty tough age for me, too, as I recall. Vietnam & the draft, assassinations of Robert Kennedy & M.L. King (actually, I was 18 for those, those years blur together now). Oh, boy...hard days to deal with.
Susanna Viljanen - October 05, 2004 - Report this comment
Paul, I must confess I cried when I wrote this parody. The original is very melancholic and hurtful, and it touched me deeply. In my teens I practised swimming (on national level), and I was the ugly duckling - literally. The best years of my youth were spent in pool.

I realized soon the world of wealthy marriage and becoming homemaker was not for me and if I wanted to be well to do, I had to do it my on may own, in men's world, on men's rules, competiting with men, so I chose engineering. When my active swimming career was over, I went to HUT to study chemistry as I was always good on math and natural sciences. The geek world was initially a culture shock, but there I found out I was not the only one of my kind. In the end I realized the geeks aren't really that awful, and that the sci-fi and techie stuff is kind of neat once you get in. And, yes, I do run Linux on my home computer - I'm that geek myself too now.

But in a sense this song is also a sad farewell to the years long gone. Yup, the tables have now turned, but I wish I could have been like the others many, many years ago. That is what I wrote about in my previous song "Cruising in our old El Camino" that it feels like we'd still be teen girl and boy.
Stuart McArthur - October 05, 2004 - Report this comment
Susanna - I liked "And those of us who knew the pain did later karmic reward gain." I loved the autobiographical nature. When I wrote my "At 33" to "At 17" yesterday, little did I think it would strike a chord with someone who IS actually 33. It's very apporopriate taking the pain of the original At 17 and updating it 16 years hence - 555 from me
Paul Robinson - October 06, 2004 - Report this comment
Susanna - it's pretty amazing sometimes to look back and think about how we found our way in the world as opposed to what we thought things were like and going to be like. I was a pretty good athlete but way too small at the time, so I knew that wasn't going to work, pretty smart but I had come to feel very constrained by school and the educational structure, ended up in my family's business and then a number of jobs that just happened along after we sold that. Learned a lot from each one along the way and although not working now I'm doing OK at present. Stuart, I must have missed that number. I'm going to take a look at it now. Thanks to you both for writing these pieces.
Paul Robinson - October 06, 2004 - Report this comment
Susanna, Hey, I just realized in 17 more years you will be 50 and I will be 71 (or dead). Don't get depressed by that, 50 is not all that bad, at least from my experience. I don't know, 71 might not be bad either. Can't say either way about "dead", though...prefer to stay alive if possible and healthy.
Kristof Robertson - October 07, 2004 - Report this comment
Simply beautiful. Everyone should read this. 555
Michael Pacholek - September 12, 2005 - Report this comment
When I was 17, it was a pretty strange year. It was the year I went from thinking high school was hard work to being an unwitting victim of a violation of child labor laws (under 18 and working past midnight at a Jersey Shore boardwalk arcade). It was the year my school won its first County Title in basketball. It was the year people decided that Ollie North wasn't a traitor. It was the year Mr. Joel tore down more walls in Eastern Europe than Mr. Gorbachev did. It was the year a dome team won the World Series for the first time. It was the year a fully-stocked Dallas Cowboys got embarrassed by substitute Washington Redskins. It was the year U2 came pretty close to becoming the Beatles. And it was the year I heard Madonna's "Open Your Heart" so many times on Z100 (New York radio, 100.3 FM) that I disgustedly spun the dial and landed on CBS-FM (101.1), and rediscovered my love of "oldies." If it wasn't for that, I almost certainly wouldn't be on this site today. So Madonna did perform ONE great service for her (former?) country.
Jake - July 30, 2007 - Report this comment
I learned the truth at 555: this is the best thing I've seen all day.

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