Archive for the ‘Music Humor & Verse’ Category

Fun With Song Titles

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Here are my entries in the Washington Post Style Invitational’s “add some words in parentheses” to a song title contest:

Let It Snow (Somewhere Else)

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (That Don’t Require A Restraining Order)

The Tide is High (Because You Over-Filled The Washing Machine)

(Optometrists Warn Us) Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes

(Why The Heck Would You Garnish My Martini With A) Peppermint Twist

(I Didn’t Say I Like You) Just the Way You Are (I Said I Like You Just The Way You Were)

I’ll Dance at Your Wedding (If You Guarantee Tips)

(Message) I Care

Guitar Polka (Has To Be Better Than Accordion Polka)

Bridge Over Troubled Water (In New Jersey)

It’s Time to Pay the Fiddler (Cuz He’s Threatening To Strike)

Livin’ on a Prayer (Cuz My Food Stamps Were Cut)

(I Have A Headache, So Don’t) Play that Funky Music

(How I Wish Our House Came With A) Handyman

On Second Thought (I Don’t Take You To Be My Lawfully Wedded Wife)

He’ll Have to Go (To The Bathroom)

Accentuate the Positive (If You Can Find Any)

(I’m Going To Hold My Breath) Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)

One Bad Apple (Will Ruin Your Pie)

Remember The Time (Our Wedding Is Supposed To Start)

What’s She Doing Now (And How Much Has She Had To Drink)

(You Don’t Deserve A) Good Hearted Woman

To All The girls I’ve Loved Before (I Have Some Really Bad News)

(Pay Your Movie Streaming Bill Or) Get Off Of My Cloud

One Way Or Another (I’ll Win This Contest)

You can find the entertaining winners list (which doesn’t include me) here.

Odes To Roger Ebert, Ed Koch, Van Cliburn, & “Dear Abby” Columnist Pauline Phillips

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

This week’s Style Invitational features the witty winning entries in its contest for poems that commemorate people who died in 2013. Here are my non-winning ditties about Roger Ebert, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, concert pianist Van Cliburn, and “Dear Abby” columnist Pauline Phillips:

Roger Ebert:

For films that were plums,
Way up went his thumbs.
When downward they’d roam,
You’d know to stay home.

*****

Mayor Edward Koch:

This mayor rescued NYC
From near-financial ruin;
Ed Koch his name, his fav’rite game
Was asking “How’m I doin’?”

*****

Pauline Friedman Phillips a/k/a Abigail Van Buren:

“Dear Abby” was her column
Telling readers what to do.
Give your friends that very counsel?
That’s an act you’ll surely rue.

*****

Van Cliburn:

In a world-wide Moscow contest
Van Cliburn sure impressed.
But this USA pianist
Had the piano judges stressed.

They felt that he deserved to win
And so with trepidation
They asked Nikita, “Can we please
Give Cliburn top ovation?”

Mr. Khrushchev gave an answer
That surprised them. It was wise:
“If Van Cliburn played the very best,
Then give that man first prize.”

So a classical musician
Helped achieve a cold war thaw:
An American in Russia
Playing piano past a draw.

Fun With Song Lyrics

Friday, November 29th, 2013

A recent Washington Post Style Invitational contest challenged us to “quote a song title or a line from a song and supply a question that that line might answer.”

I had a lot of fun with that contest, even though I didn’t win anything. Here’s what I submitted:

1) Yes sir, yes sir: Three bags full.
“Did you bring the cash?” — Congressman to Lobbyist

(Baa Baa Black Sheep)

2) Big Bad John.
Who’s the worst Speaker ever?

(Big Bad John)

3) Just Go Away!
“What do you want me to do?” — Obama to Republican leadership

(Just Go Away)

4) The candy man can.
Who can get me coke, quick?

(The Candy Man)

5) Get off of my cloud!
What message do you get when you’ve forgotten to pay your movie streaming bill?

(Get Off Of My Cloud)

6) Spacious skies.
What’s the upside of homelessness?

(America, The Beautiful)

7) Shady Lane.
What’s K Street’s nickname?

(The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane)

8) Doesn’t really matter to me.
How do Republican pols view unemployment?

(Bohemian Rhapsody)

9) Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
“What happens if I don’t find a husband?”

(Hush, Little Baby)

10) That’s what it’s all about!
Can’t you think about anything besides money?

(The Hokey Pokey)

11) All the girls I’ve loved before.
Why so many paternity tests?

(To All The girls I’ve Loved Before)

12) No more tears!
What do embarrassed Republicans keep saying to John Boehner?

(No More Tears)

13) Girls just want to have fun.
Why shouldn’t a woman be president?

(Girls Just Want To Have Fun)

14) It’s only make believe.
What do nay-sayers say about global warming?

(It’s Only Make Believe)

15) I’m leaving it up to you.
What do Republicans never say to women?

(I’m Leaving It Up to You)

16) I’m gonna be your number one.
What are your plans for 2016, Senator Paul?

(The Tide Is High)

17) I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha!
“What are you planning?” — Obama to Republican leadership

(One Way Or Another)

Lax Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner next Sunday, right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A fellow was terribly lax…*

or

A woman who longed to relax…*

*(Please note that minor variations to my first lines are acceptable. However, rhyme words may not be altered, except by using homonyms or homophones.)

Here’s my limerick:

Lax Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

When a man who’d been terribly lax
About practicing trumpet and sax
Was axed from his band,
He vowed that he’d land
A new gig and get down to brass tacks.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Limerick Ham (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner next Sunday, right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A woman was roasting a ham…*

or

A man was a terrible ham…*

*(Please note that minor variations to my first lines are acceptable. However, rhyme words may not be altered, except by using homonyms or homophones.)

Here’s my limerick:

Limerick Ham
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A chef who is rather a ham
Got a band to allow him to jam.
The guy is all thumbs
When he beats on his drums,
But their regular man’s on the lam.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Limerick Discord

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Limerick Discord
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If your scale is “C major” then fa
Equals F (the fourth note) and not la.
But those la’s turn to F’s
When the key by your clef’s
“A flat major.” Confused? La-di-da.

My Two Cents About The Voice (Limerick)

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

My Two Cents About The Voice
By Madeleine Begun Kane

On the Voice my fav entrants are out.
It’s Sasha and Amber I’d tout.
Danielle doesn’t phrase,
Yet they keep heaping praise.
I just hope it’s Michelle in a rout.

Musical Fictoids

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

One month ago, The Washington Post Style Invitational challenged us to create “fictoids — totally bogus trivia — about music and the music world.” Having worked as an oboist for many years, I couldn’t possibly resist such a contest. So I’m posting all my entries, one of which earned an Honorable Mention.

I’m curious as to which of mine is your favorite. And of course feel free to make up your own musical trivia in my comment section, and to guess which of my musical fictoids won that Honorable Mention. (I reveal my winning fictoid at the end of this post — upside down to make it harder to cheat. :)

Here are my entries:

  • Greedy J.S. Bach descendants tried to patent his Two and Three-Part Inventions.
  • Antonio Vivaldi once sued himself for plagiarism … and won.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” (from his Symphony No. 9) was originally entitled “Oy, Oy, Oy.”
  • The world premiere of Verdi’s “Aida” ended in tragedy when the lead soprano accidentally crushed an elephant to death.
  • Female harp players are so loathsome, that shrewish women are now referred to as harpies.
  • For several years during George W. Bush’s presidency, the Dallas Symphony’s concert programs id’ed its brass section as trumpets, trombones, tubas, and Texas shorthorns.
  • Composers George Frideric Handel, Georg Philipp Telemann, Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach were all so impoverished, they died of starvation. Hence, the name “Baroque composers.”
  • Famed French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal never appeared on stage without a chilled glass of champagne. That’s why flautists are now known as flutists.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven didn’t actually go deaf; he just pretended to be deaf because his wife and mother-in-law were so annoying.
  • In a 1980 New York Philharmonic April Fools’ Day performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp, flutist Julius Baker and harpist Ursula Holliger played each other’s instruments. The New York Times proclaimed theirs the best ever performance of the work.
  • The Eastman School of Music was known as the Polaroid School of Music, until Kodak’s George Eastman won it in poker game.

And my Honorable Mention-winning entry is:

˙ɥʇɐǝp oʇ ʇuɐɥdǝןǝ uɐ pǝɥsnɹɔ ʎןןɐʇuǝpıɔɔɐ ouɐɹdos pɐǝן ǝɥʇ uǝɥʍ ʎpǝƃɐɹʇ uı pǝpuǝ ”ɐpıɐ“ s’ıpɹǝʌ ɟo ǝɹǝıɯǝɹd pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ

Limerick Ode To Karaoke

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Karaoke isn’t my thing because my singing voice is lousy. (Alas, there’s no connection between being able to play the oboe and having a dulcet singing voice.)

But since it’s National Karaoke Week (celebrated each year during the 4th week of April) I couldn’t resist posting this silly limerick:

Limerick Ode To Karaoke
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are people whose singing is croaky.
Some are pitchy — too high or too low-key.
But no matter your voice,
Almost all can rejoice
In this musical fun: Karaoke.

Hashtag Madness (Limerick)

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Please relax Cher fans — Cher is still alive:

Legions of Twitter users were fooled into thinking the pop singer had passed after people began posting about late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher under the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead.

Hashtag Madness (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“Nowthatcherisdead” — hashtag blur
Has created one hell of a stir:
Dear fans of Ms. Cher,
Who’ve read “news” you can’t bear:
Cher’s alive. Thatcher’s dead. As you were!

Limerick Ode To Miserable Singing

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Many people were offended by Seth MacFarlane’s “Saw Your Boobs” at last night’s Oscars. But, at the risk of damaging my feminist cred, I’m not one of them.

Of course, I do understand the negative reaction. However, the song didn’t bother me because I viewed it as parody, rather than misogyny.

But what did bother me at the Oscars was everybody pretending that the Les Misérables cast can sing.

Limerick Ode To Miserable Singing
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are folks who appear up in arms:
For the “boob song,” they sound the alarms.
But to me, here’s what riled:
Dreadful singing gone wild
In Les Miz — kindly call les gendarmes.

Canned Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And since it’s Super Bowl Sunday, I’m offering you an alternative: In addition to your regular challenge, you may write a limerick related to the Super Bowl, using any first line. Next week I’ll present an extra award — one for the best Super Bowl limerick.

And now, getting back to your regular Limerick-Off challenge: I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner next Sunday, right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A man who’d been recently canned…*

or

A gal who’d been recently canned…*

or

A man who’d been served something canned…*

or

A gal who’d been served something canned…*

*(Please note that minor variations to my first lines are acceptable. However, rhyme words may not be altered, except by using homonyms or homophones.)

Here’s my limerick:

Canned Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A pianist, quite recently canned,
Was promoting his newly-formed band.
But his bucks now are fewer:
He bribed a reviewer
Who wrote for one K, “This band’s grand!”

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Curmudgeonly Limerick

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Curmudgeonly Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A curmudgeon was in a foul mood –
Even worse than his usual tude.
So his concert review
Read in bold letters, “BOO!”
He was paid by the word … so not shrewd.

Urbane Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner next Sunday, right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A man who was rather urbane…*

or

A gal who was rather urbane…*

*(Minor variations to my first lines are acceptable, but rhyme words may not be altered.)

Here’s my limerick:

Urbane Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A man who was rather urbane
Mocked pop culture as trite and inane.
He did it in song —
Twas a hit before long.
His disdainful refrain now makes rain.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

A Sax Tale

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

A Sax Tale
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A blowhard musician named Rand
Played sax (not too well) in a band.
He’d blow solos, yet boast.
Now he’s finally toast—
The leader, at last, took a stand.

UPDATE: November 6 is Saxophone Day, in honor of inventor Adolphe Sax’s birthday in 1814.

Mucked Up Music (Limerick)

Monday, October 15th, 2012

I swear that this limerick is based on an actual news item: Artist makes music with bird droppings in Liverpool.

Mucked Up Music (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Just what is a person to do
When creative ideas are few?
If your muse flew the coop,
Here’s an int’resting scoop:
Compose music by using bird poo.

Trying Your Hand At Limericks (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner next Sunday, right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse.

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A fellow was trying his hand …*

or

A woman was trying her hand …*

*(Minor variations to my first lines are acceptable, but rhyme words may not be altered.)

Here’s my limerick:

Trying Your Hand At Limericks
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A baker was trying his hand
At launching a rock and roll band.
He played the guitar,
And he hoped to go far.
But alas all his gig dates were panned.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Dear Conductor (Limerick)

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Three Word Wednesday asks us to use Beat, Pressure, and Substance in a poem. In substance, I’ve beaten them into submission, pressuring those words to fit into this limerick:

Dear Conductor (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear conductor, you think you’re elite,
But in substance, you’re always off beat.
You pressure musicians
With harsh admonitions.
To follow your stick’s no mean feat.

Macaronic Music (Limerick)

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

This is my second attempt at macaronic verse — a poem that mixes two languages in a humorous manner. While Latin is often the second language, this macaronic limerick uses musical terms:

Macaronic Music
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If you fiddle around while I speak,
Then I’ll trumpet your lousy technique.
If you flaut me, beware!
Your bass secret will air —
Broken G string and all, horny freak!

(Poets United prompts us to writing something about sound.)

Limerick Ode To Donna Summer

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

To this day, Last Dance is one of my favorite songs to dance to. RIP Donna Summer!

Limerick Ode To Donna Summer
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Alas we have lost Donna Summer
And her beautiful voice. What a bummer!
She was Hot Stuff, the Queen
Of a musical scene,
Who’s Last Danced to her own disco drummer.