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To the Tune Of…

Have a little fun and try your hand at writing or rewriting song lyrics.

Photo by naturegeak (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Weird Al Yankovic made his living from it, and for this week’s writing challenge, we’ll rip a page out of his songbook, by writing poetry, parody, or protest to the tune of a song.

Consider the first verse of Girls Just Want to Have Fun — an 80s song by Cyndi Lauper:

I come home in the morning light
My mother says when you gonna live your life right
Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones
And girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

Here’s the first verse of Weird Al’s parody song, Girls Just Want to Have Lunch:

Some girls like to buy new shoes
And others like drivin’ trucks and wearing tattoos
There’s only one thing that they all like a bunch
Oh, girls, they want to have lunch
Oh, girls just want to have lunch

Silly, yes, but good for a laugh and a bit of fun. Now, it’s your turn.

Weird Al? Not a fan. What else have you got?

As always, there are many ways for you to participate in the writing challenge. Here are a few ideas you can use, though feel free to adapt the challenge to suit you — the idea is to get you writing and to have a little fun.

  • Choose any song you like, and write your own lyrics or poetry to it. Your lyrics/poetry can be on any subject you choose.
  • Select a song from the list below, and write your own lyrics to it. Again, your lyrics can be on any topic that moves you.
  • Pick a song from the song list and write new lyrics, based on a topic you choose from the topic list below. For example, rewrite the lyrics to The Sound of Music‘s My Favorite Things as though it was a war protest song.

Song list

Here’s a list of sample songs to gently nudge your muse, or offer a constraint:

Topic list

Feel free to choose a topic from among this list:

  • Protest song
  • Story song (What’s a story song, you ask? Think: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot, The Kinks’ Come Dancin’, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band, Robert Earl Keen’s The Road Goes on Forever, or Quarterback by Kira Isabella.)
  • Love song
  • Parody song

Remember — you can choose to do anything you like — you can mix and match the songs and topics listed or do your own thing — anything goes!

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    1. Same here Bumble…. Plus I’ve already exhausted parodying nursery rhymes and commercial jingles too.

      Maybe you and I should collaborate to turn a Love Duet into a Divorce Court saga…. You write the husband’s lyrics and I’ll skip the the disgruntled wife part and just write the judge’s lyrics. The chorus can be, “Give her EVERYTHING and then give her a just little bit more.” We can title it “You CAN Get Blood From a Stone.” (Teasing of course but I’ve just dated so many men now who are in the poorhouse and still working hard to keep their ex-wife “supported in the style to which she’s accustomed.”)

      Like

  1. I love this challenge! But I must say that I think the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is just a parody in itself (or at least an adult version!) of that old children’s classic, “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands!” Ugh… Anyone else annoyed by this song and how often it’s played?? Can’t wait to see all the creative spins on lyrics!

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    1. I actually hate this “Happy” song so much that I’m thinking it would work for a “Getting Older” parody…..Something like this?

      It might seem Lazy what I’m about to say
      Menopause, she’s here, now I can’t stay awake.
      Plate of mashed potatoes, I fall into on my face.
      Up all night with hot flashes, someone’s gonna pay…

      [Chorus:]
      Because I’m Nappy
      Snooze along if you can relate to this exhausted spoof
      Because I’m Flabby
      Confuse along if you don’t know what happened to your youth.
      Because I’m Snappy
      Blow your fuse along with me, if rages overwhelm you
      Because we feel Crappy!
      Slap someone if you feel like that’s what you wanna do!

      Here comes more bad news – – the doctor’s results, yeah,
      Estrogen, progesterone, and so many hormones you lack, yeah,
      Well, he should probably warn you about your waistline, yeah,
      You turned 50, someone’s gonna pay for this crime, yeah.

      Here’s why:

      [Chorus]

      Hey, come on

      [Bridge:]
      (Crappy!)
      Bring me my size 6 gown
      Can’t nothing fit inside that gown!
      My cortisol levels too high
      Bring the bust way out & around…
      Can’t nothin’ push my Muffin Top down.
      I said (let me tell you how)
      Brings me a frown
      Can’t no diet bring my weight down
      My thyroid level’s too high
      Bring it down!
      Can’t nothing bring it down!

      Etc, Etc.

      Pharrell Williams should try being a menopausal woman for just a day and let’s see how happy he is!

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50 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More