The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95605   Message #1861789
Posted By: Joe_F
17-Oct-06 - 09:27 PM
Thread Name: John Brown's Body-parodies
Subject: RE: John Brown's Body
When I was a kid, and we sang "John Brown's Baby", we substituted appropriate gestures for the missing words: John Brown's [rock baby in arms] had a [cough] upon its [thump chest], and we rubbed it with [hold nose] oil.


There is also a rockclimbers' "Gory, gory":

"Will it go around the chockstone?" called the belayer, looking up.
Our hero feebly answered "Yes" and slowly inched on up.
He was trying to drive a piton when his foothold crumbled out,
And he ain't gonna climb no more.

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die, etc.

[7 stanzas omitted; they are in _The New Song Fest_]

There was blood upon the rucksacks, there were brains upon the rope,
Intestines were entwined across the green and grassy slope;
We picked them up in a lunchpail after salvaging the rope.
Oh, they ain't gonna climb no more.


While I was an undergraduate at Caltech in the '50s, the anthem of my student house began:

On Caltech's dreary campus mid the iceplant and the smog,
There are things that often happen not found in the catalog.
Not everyone's a genius or an introverted queer,
For Fleming House is here.

Fleming House is here to stay, boys,
Just for college fun and play, boys.
To the Institute's dismay, boys,
Fleming House is here to stay.


In 1954, a skit performed to celebrate Linus Pauling's first Nobel Prize contained the following, probably by Kent Clark:

Caltech's money comes from individuals not the state --
A litle from the Navy, maybe half, but nothing great.
It's really private enterprise that's made the place so great,
So make the Associates smile.

Gather up a lot of money (3x)
And watch Dr. DuBridge smile.

Intellectual eminence won't get you very far.
You need a research contract if you want to be a star.
45% for overhead will make you popular
And make Mr. George Green smile.

Strive to get yourself a contract....

From the history of science, there's a lesson to be learned:
Every chemist needs his patrons; filthy lucre can't be spurned,
But don't forget that Galileo very nearly burned,
So make those Associates smile.

Strive to save department money....

We turn out all the buarner when we leave the lab at night,
We close up all the windows, and we turn out every light.
The undenatured alcohol is safely out of sight
Just to make the Associates smile.

[Sung by one of the few female graduate students:]

To win a happy housewife, you must not pitch woo at me:
To be a student here, I had to promise faithfully
To give my all to science and forsake felicity,
And make those misogynists smile.

Strive to rise in your profession....

[4 stanzas directed at Prof. Pauling omitted]


Summer camp, ca. 1946:

I wear my silk pajamas in the summer, when it's hot,
I wear my flannel nighty in the winter, when it's not,
But sometimes in the springtime, and sometimes in the fall,
I jump right in between the sheets with nothing on at all.

Glory, glory, what's it to ya?...


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school.
We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule,
We have battered down the office door and killed the principule.
The brats are marching home.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I hit her on the bean with a rotten tangerine,
And the juice came trickling down.


Pankake & Pankake's _Prairie Home Companion Folk Song Book_ has an appendix listing the most-used tunes. Sure enough, the one we are discussing has the most (14).