Sunday, September 28, 2008

PDQ Bach's "Art of the Ground Round"

(Portrait of PDQ, from wiki)

I'm sure that there are people out there that know of PDQ Bach, but I haven't met any of them. So, I'm hoping to spread the infection a bit. PDQ Bach was one of the many sons of Johann Sebastian Bach, but not one of the talented ones. Composer Peter Schickele has made a career of "discovering PDQ compositions on commission", and he presents a number of these so-called "works" in live concerts. If you like classical music, you probably already know of PDQ, and if you hate classical, you'll love PDQ.

One of my favorite pieces is the "Art of the Ground Round", a parody of the style of music known as "a round". When people sing "Row, Row Your Boat" in turn, that's a "round". The "Art of the Ground Round" completely destroys this style of music. Check out the lyrics below and try to see what happens to them when they're sung in "round" style.


Loving is as easy as falling off a log, a cattle of a cat and a doggle of a dog, dog.
When you're hot you know you're hot, and when you're not you're not. Hot.
Cold, cold loving is hard but hot, hot.


Please, kind sir, that portrait I see, if that's your daughter present her to me.
Look! Her face could launch a thousand ships, thousand ships, thousand ships.
Very well, it can be arranged, if you please, sit you down, make yourself at home,
While she's up dressing she'll be down in a jiffy,
she's up dressing she'll be down in a jiffy, jiffy, jiffy, jiffy.


The next one's not a real round, but it's the one I like the best.

Jane, my Jane. You are my queen.
For your hair is your crown.
And your breath is like down.
With your eyes black as nuns,
And your face like the suns,
You are my queen.

That you remove when you retire.
Wind of a compost heap on fire.
Like nuns they cross themselves each day.
Set over Pittsburgh USA.
For a day.


There's other pieces in the set, but I'll let you discover them by yourself. If you like this music, please support Peter by buying his albums. If you don't like this music, then let's talk "Weird Al"...


acsiren said...

Kinda hard to figure out how the rounds turn out if you don't know where the pauses are. I listened to the YouTube link and found them quite amusing. :)

TSOTE said...

Yeah, that was kind of intentional. The lyrics themselves have strange timing that's had to type up, so it was easier to just try to convince you listen to the songs directly. Glad you liked them.

So, does anyone here know of PDQ?

Kathy said...

Is there any way you could get the rest of the lyrics? I am having a hard time figuring out what they are saying, and I can't find the lyrics anywhere else.

TSOTE said...

Yeah, this is one of those songs that Peter S. really doesn't want to promote on his own website. I'll post what I've got so far, but there's one line at the end in French, and I don't know French. I'm hoping that a friend of mine can help me out with it, but no promises.

Golly, golly, oh - my gosh.
Golly, golly, my oh my.
Golly, golly, goodness sakes alive, can you beat that.
Did you ever hear of such a thing?
Oh, that really takes the cake.
Well, I never ever saw the likes of that.
Holy cow, jeeze Louise, man alive, I declare,
now I've seen everything, Well I'll see, can you look at that.


Nelly is a nice girl, but Hannah is a horrible prude,
Paul is a policeman, but Peter is a pimply and rude young man.
Sully is a singer and good one too, doobie doobie doo
show it to him once and he'll sing it do,
doobie doobie doobie doobie doobie doobie
He will do his duty and his duty is a doobie doobie doo.
do-doo, do-doo, doobie doobie doo
bump b-bump bupbupbupbupbup bupbupbup (something in French)

TSOTE said...

Turns out that the final part in French (which I thought was from the national anthem but couldn't prove) actually is from the national anthem. It goes:

"allons enfant de la patrie, le jour de gloire est arrive, est arrive!"

maw maw said...

I'm assuming that the lyrics of the first one are "A cat'll love a cat, and a dog'll love a dog."

TSOTE said...

That's the intent, but not how they're pronounced.