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Song Parodies -> "Smoking Is Not Wise (in NYC)"

Original Song Title:

"Smoke Gets In(to) Your Eyes"

Original Performer:

Hoagy Carmichael

Parody Song Title:

"Smoking Is Not Wise (in NYC)"

Parody Written by:

Barry J. Mitchel

The Lyrics

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is recommending to City Council that smoking of tobacco cigarettes be banned in public parks and outdoor pedestrian malls. But his city, as well as state and federal governments, rely on tax revenue from cigarette sales in order to fund health-care and anti-smoking-education programs. It's a Catch-22. Where will restrictions end?
They asked me if I knew
Smoking's bad for you.
I, though hoarse, replied,
"It's been codified;
"I can't smoke inside."

They said, "Someday you'll find
"All who smoke are fined."
So I smile and say,
"When you start that pyre,
"You must compromise
"Underneath the skies."

So I laughed,
And said, "How come they're af-
"ter me with the clout of GOV?
"Yesterday, no GOV could say me nay,
"Or damn with shout and shove."

Now, craftily I hide
When I smoke outside.
I'll just smile and say,
"When their revenue dies,
"I won't sympathize."

It's time for a Marlboro-Man smoke-in protest! Don't call me; I never smoked. ;-(!)...

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Voting Results

Pacing: 3.9
How Funny: 3.9
Overall Rating: 3.9

Total Votes: 7

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

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

User Comments

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Gra'm' Marian - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
To keep consistent tenses, "So I smile and say" should be "So I smiled and said", and "Now, craftily I hide" should be "Soon, craftily I'll hide" (the law is pending). Also, the colloquial "How come they're" should be "Why are they". To give locale, "Underneath the" could be "Under New York". Sloppy work, looks hasty.
Old Man Ribber - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
BJM - The city has already "banned" transfat, is working to regulate the use of salt in restraunts, and plans to tax or criminalize soda. I'm not saying anything, but it APPEARS that Mayor Bloomberg sees government intervention as the answer to EVERYTHING! I'm truly surprised smoking has lasted as long as it has in the Big Apple. Good job here. ;D
Ohio "Ribber" - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
Lest my Gotham friends think I'm picking on them, staid Cincinnati has been in the forefront of that wonderful "Can't Do" spirit that made this country great. For years (and for better or worse), such activities as yard sales, outdoor grilling without a license, and walking a dog without a pooper scooper have been criminal acts. ;D
Barry J. Mitchel - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
GM: Points taken, thanks; I struggle to be timely on news (weak excuse).
OMR: I agree; it's surprised me that a former businessman (Bloomberg News, once the premiere market source) has turned so pro-government. BTW, the Left Coast had similar ambitions 18 months ago:
OH"R": Maybe a name change to "SinSinNanny" is in order. ;-(!) .. . .
John Barry - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
GM: technically, yes. But said changes would diminish the parody's sense of immediacy, IMO. Consistency of tenses is the hobgoblin of. . .oh, never mind.
Michael Pacholek - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
It's not wise anywhere, and this is about the only area where I agree with Mayor Moneybags. Maybe we could trade him to Cincinnati for ex-Mayor Jerry Springer. But as Cincinnati's own Pete Rose would say, I wouldn't bet on that.
Barry J. Mitchel - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
OMR: Oops, San Fran's ban was 30 months ago, not 18. The calendar flips fast at my age.
JB: Thanks for defending me; but GM's other suggestions might be adopted.
MP: If smoking is banned totally, Mayor Moneybags may need to fill the tax gap from his stash.
Hizzoner would be stymied completely if Imam Rauf and his disciples took up smoking. ;-)!(.. . .
Grammar Parody WriTTer - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
@ Gra'm' Marian: Actually, the first "So I smile and say" is superfluous - doesn't belong there at all -- unless it's made as a sub for the echo, "Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh", as in moi's takes. But no other echoes were done.

"Underneath New York"? Now it's *you* who are way off base, and not grammatically. If the ban were on the subway, OK, but it specifically says "public parks and outdoor malls. "Skies" is totally appropriate, and "Under NY" makes no sense at all.

Poetic license is widely recognized, and yes, this famous nit-picker has changed tense for exactly the reason JAB said, as in this one, where a reader asked the same question:

Colloquialisms are widely used in parody, comedy, and everyday speech. This is not a scientific research paper or formal presentation of one. Lighten up.

Sloppy criticism, looks hasty. (How come -- I mean, "why" -- didn''t YOU catch the superfluous line, if you're such an expert parser?)

Barry: Don't back down so quickly if you've a valid explanation or refutation. ... Normally, might dock a point for the extra line, but since GM waaay over-did it, and possibly unibombed, will compensate with a free pass on that one.

555, and hardly had time to say how clever overall, or what a good point about Gov playing Nanny to us all. (I've never smoked and never will, and despise second-hand smoke *indoors*, but banning outdoors is ridiculous. When cigarettes are outlawed, only outlaws .... Well, you might soon be able to go to CA and smoke something else, heh!

P. S. : 111 to Gra'm' Marian, and for my resume (aside from having done a good bit of copy-editing and proofreading), here are the Grammarodies:

They've been used by a schoolteacher to help kids get the stuff more enjoyably. Find something else to criticize unfairly, preferably at some other site. .. and don't worry if you want to unibomb my songs; I've had so many, a couple more will make absolutely no difference - and have absolutely no effect. (Why do I think this is someone who disagrees with Barry *politically?)
Patrick - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
New York cigarette taxes for decades have provided entrepreneurial opportunities for folks with trucks to run down to the Carolinas. Maybe I can pay for a trip to the Big Apple with a van full of Big Macs. Organized crime has the protection racket, Government has the income tax and property taxes. The Mob sells drugs, the Government taxes liquor and tobacco. The Mob has the numbers racket. Every state just about has the casinos and horse tracks. The Mob has prostitution. The government is full of whores, but they don't deliver the goods for what they are paid.
Fiddlegirl - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
FG is not a smoker and prefers not to be around it; however, she finds it difficult to endorse government intrusion into areas which ought to be matters of individual conscience. 555 to BJM.

@ Gra'm'Marian: "Sloppy work, looks hasty" contains an error in comma usage. I also detect some confusion over adjectives and adverbs in your remarks. BJM's parody would never "look hasty", although it might appear to be "hastily written". Please correct your work and return it to my "in" basket for a grade.
Grammar Parody WriTTer @ FG - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
You go, Girl! :)   I was too busy picking apart the false slurs on Barrody to bother with parsing GM, so instead, just mimicked his/her own words. I'd give GM several hours' detention, but would just as soon that he/she/it be expelled. :)

Do you realize that between us, we covered it all? Maybe we should team up some day..... ;)

(For anyone who doesn't get the inside joke, we have: 91 times, at last count:
Quick CorrecTTion - September 17, 2010 - Report this comment
"Tense" wasn't changed in the parody linked; rather, "person" was: Written mostly in first person, with a few from third person, then back. Reason: syllable-match to TOS, which trumps grammar any day. Same principle, though.
  You should see how this writer mangles *words* -- you'd probably have a hissy fit. Oddly enough, others find it quite funny.
Barry J. Mitchel - September 18, 2010 - Report this comment
TT: Gra'm' Marian did not delete "skies", so the line would be "Under New York skies." I "hastily" wrote this from memory of TOS (not my normal way), ergo the extra "So I smile and say" line.
Tommy Turtle - September 19, 2010 - Report this comment
Barrry: The song had already been thoroughly localized, both in the title itself and in the intro. So, given your explanation of GM there, OK, it's not wrong, but the "improvement" is very, very minor. If TT were to start suggesting where every parody could be "improved" ... let's not go there. ;) It was fine as-is.

Grammarcoward: Why not sign your known nick, so that we can go nit-pick your songs? Afraid of what we'll find? I *promise* you that I can find far more than you did here, if you've posted any. And have the guts to sign your name, as this writer did in engaging you.

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