Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Of pigs, penguins, Puccini and paper bags

A friend of mine recently drew my attention to this song in Happy Feet 2 which sets new lyrics to the tune of Puccini's "E lucevan le stelle":

Many reckon it has a good claim to be the worst shredding of a piece of classical music in a film for a very long time. While I feel their pain, for me it doesn't come close to the anguish provoked by the example below from Babe. After all, Puccini did at least write a piece intended to be sung. Saint-Saens wrote this one for organ and orchestra (the name Organ Symphony gives that away). Erik the penguin is a better singer than James Cromwell, has better lyrics to work with, and despite the title of the film it isn't the penguin who makes a prat of himself with a stupid dance.

Mind you, I gave up on the film of Babe (it's loosely based on Dick King-Smith's marvellous The Sheep-Pig) when I discovered that in the film the "password" which allows the pig to be accepted by the sheep had morphed into "Baa-ram-ewe! Baa-ram-ewe! To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true! Sheep be true! Baa-ram-ewe!" from the awesome original

I may be ewe, I may be ram
I may be mutton, may be lamb
But on the hoof or on the hook
I b'ain't as stupid as I look.

Listening to either of those songs makes me wish to emulate Mr Lambert in this Monty Python sketch and put a bag over my head. (On the LP it was a bucket - better sound effect - and for the same reason the singers had to climb into a fish tank rather than a tea chest to get him out.)


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