Between the Headphones of the Publisher


Screw you, Jimmy Fallon! You’ve ruined that Bowie song for forever, now.

You know what? Now that I think about it, I like Fallon, and he was just doing his job by being topical and picking on Tebow. So it’s not really his fault. It’s got to be Tebow’s fault. Yeah, I take back my ‘screw you’ to Fallon and throw it right into the numbers of one Timothy Tebow.

For those of you that were living under a friggin’ rock last month and may not have seen it — or for those who had gotten to the point that anything with Tebow’s name sent you running out of the room to throw up — Fallon, dressed in some weird cross between Bowie’s alter-ego “Ziggy Stardust” and Tebow himself — “Tebowie” — did a parody of Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” He sang the line, “This is Jesus Christ to Tim Tebow. Please leave me alone,” as well as the gem, “Commencing fourth down, hut, hut hike.”

Now I’ve never been a huge Bowie fan, but damn it if “Space Oddity” isn’t one of Bowie’s best songs, and I fear that it will now, forever be ruined. It’s now going to be lumped into the list of songs like Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” — “Hold me closer, Tony Danza;” or like Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” — “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy,” songs that I can never listen to with any amount of sincerity, their lyrics forever overshadowed by parody.

Now, I change lyrics to songs all the time, but usually in very innocuous ways, that don’t last very long. Ninety-five percent of the time, I’m just putting the dog’s name, or even the dog’s nickname into lyrics. Sometimes it’s directed at the kids. Again, taking from “Space Oddity” I might sing, “Please clean up the dirty fucking kitchen, without yelling at your sister, or I’ll take all your cell phones away. Don’t you piss me off, I’m on deadline to-daaaaay. Oh please, won’t you just clean up the kitchen.”

My wife, by the way, fucking hates this about me. Sometimes, I’ll start to do it and she’ll quickly interrupt me and say, “Buh, buh, buh. Stop. I like that song. Don’t mess it up.” Usually, because I have the maturity of a sixth grader, I keep at it until she’s fled the room. I once started to change the words to a Sigur Rós song, one of her favorite bands, and I thought she was going to stab me. Sigur Rós, though, by its very nature could be one of the easiest groups to make up lyrics to, since lead singer Jónsi sings in a made up language that’s been called “Hopelandic.” “It’s all gibberish, uh, you know, bullshit,” he once told me in an interview.

But, where my wife was successful in keeping me from ruining “her” song — I wish for the life of me my brain would remember what I sang, so I could print it here; again the sixth grade maturity level —I have never been able to keep other people’s parodies from invading my brain, and then staying put.

So that leads me to an honest plea. Whether you’ve got a late-night television show, or just a really good YouTube channel, please, from now on, only destroy songs that suck. If you want to make a parody of “Funky Cold Medina,” I have no problem with that. You want to pick on James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful?” Go for it. I’ll never listen to that song again, by choice anyway. But lay off the classics, would ya?

See you at the shows.



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