Happy Al-O-Ween!

Halloween is a conflicting time of year for me.  I love keeping the spirit of the holiday alive as much as possible, but there’s only so much I can do.  I’m single with no children.  If I did have kids, you’d better believe I’d be escorting them from door-to-door demanding bite-sized treats with a zero per cent chance of tricks (unless one of them goes as a magician, then I’d permit them).

As a reluctant basement apartment dweller saving for a house, there’s little I can do to decorate my own place, so I often visit my parents after I’m done work every October 31st.  Having raised four children, they know what to expect that evening, and do their best to make the neighbourhood children welcome.  Sadly, it gets more discouraging by the year.  Last year, my parents’ exhaustively decorate their place for Halloween for the great reward of having a grand total of two children visit them.  If I can express my feelings using out-of-date slang, that’s lamesauce.  I’m referring to the lack of kids, not my family, who are definitely honey mustard on popcorn chicken.

If the kids aren’t showing up, what’s to stop a man four times their age from dressing up, swooping in, and taking that candy?


No, I’m not Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. character, but I can understand how my overt ruggedness led you to that conclusion.  I settled on spending my Halloween as “Weird Al” Yankovic on the 13th of September.  I’m not sure if that qualifies as a personal record for me or not.  It seems as I gave about as little a shit as one can give when choosing my costume when I was a kid.  I remember going out as a devil, a pirate, a clown, and a ghost.  I think I wore each costume at least twice, but when you factor in the winter clothes my mom made sure I wore underneath, I essentially had the same costume every year.

My moustache was one out of six from a package I bought at Dollarama.  I actually bought a more realistic prop moustache for around eight bucks before, but I couldn’t find an appropriate way to attach it to my face.  I could have used spirit gum, but I feared it may be too strong and immovable. I want the option of taking a break from the moustache, enjoying it’s benefits while avoiding all the soup-straining nuisances.  I worry too much about minor costume details that nobody would notice or care about.  I could have grown a decent moustache myself, but I went to a concert the night before Halloween.  I didn’t want to make a rush job of shaving a beard down to a moustache the following morning, and I didn’t want to my fellow Meshuggah fans to spot my upper lip hair and think that I’m stuck in the 80s.  It’s a metal show, so there’s enough of that going around already.

The last few Halloweens, something seems to have snapped in me to go the extra step, going the way of Robert De Niro or Daniel Day-Lewis with my level of method when it comes to my chosen costume.  Last year, when I dressed as Beetlejuice, I lived in a stranger’s attic, didn’t bathe for weeks, and tried to pick up chicks at wakes and seances.  When I dressed as Spock two years ago, it started with a bad hair cut and it escalated quickly from there.  The next thing you know, I was injecting copper into my bloodstream and desensitizing myself to Monty Python through electro-shock therapy.  All that considered, I kind of lucked out this year.

Silly songs can spring out of anywhere.  It often starts over misheard lyrics, like interpreting Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”  as “excuse me while I kiss this guy.”  Once I chose the whole Weird Al getup, I couldn’t stop myself.  I guess you can say that I Dared to be Stupid.  I tried desperately to turn the words in any song I can think of into something completely different.  Eventually, it lead to spending some of my down time to invest in a bit of a Weird Al experiment.

For your enjoyment, here’s a small collection of parodies of Weird Al parodies.  Don’t be so harsh on the quality of my work.  Keep in mind that I’ve only been Weird Al for six weeks.

(Note: Forgive my formatting. I can’t figure out how to fix the spacing in the lyrics.)


(to the tune of “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam)

At home

Blowin’ smoke out my window

Trying not to set off the alarm

Leaning back in my seat

Thinking I’m as cool as James Dean

If only I had read the labels

To notice the impact on my health

That picture on it looks sickening

It spoiled my dinner

Laramie smokin’

A pack a day!

Laramie smokin’

A pack a day!

Clearly I remember

Picking up a butt

Seemed like a harmless bit of fun

Remember the native crying?

It is litter

But it’s so much more than that

Chronic bad breath

Morning cough as I clutch my chest

Symptoms alerting

Me that smoking

Has led me astray

Deep down the ashtray

Daddy made me learn my lesson

He made me smoke carton after carton

I’ve had enough for a lifetime

Or maybe longer

Laramie smokin’

A pack a day!

Laramie smokin’

A pack a day!

Laramie smokin’

A pack a day!

Oh it’s contagious (Oh’s it’s contagious)

Quitting’s courageous (Quitting’s courageous)

Health’s the reward

Laramie smokin’ smokin’

Laramie smokin’ smokin’

Laramie smokin’

A pack a day!

(smokin’)(smokin’) etc. etc.

Weird Al dabbled in plenty of alt rock and so-called grunge music of the early-90s, but never took on a Pearl Jam song to the best of my knowledge.  Yeah, that’s right.  I don’t know every single song in his back catalog.  You can like something without knowing every single detail about it, you know!

This may seem like a tasteless choice for parody, considering the original deals with a boy’s suicide.  But I tried not to make this one too goofy, and instead made it a bit of a light-hearted PSA.  Pearl Jam’s music is nothing more than the medium through which the message is delivered.  A bit of levity on something so potentially destructive could bring this topic to a new audience.  Is there anything funny about someone trying to give up a tobacco addiction?  I never had that problem, so maybe this isn’t even funny at all.  Does that make me 0 for 1?

Of all brands of cigarettes, why did I go with Laramie?  They haven’t made those since the fifties unless you live in the Simpsons universe, which we all desperately want if we’re completely honest.  I could have picked a more popular or contemporary cigarette brand , but I’m limited to what happens to rhyme.  I can’t even think of names rhyming with brands such as Camel or Marlboro, so it certainly wouldn’t be a common name (at least in North America).  To make it work, Pearl Jam would’ve instead had to write a tale about a man who sells counterfeit handbags at the flea market, but then they’d be doing Al’s work for him.


(to the tune of “Shout” by Tears For Fears)

Pout! Pout!

Cry it all out!

There’s plenty of things I shed tears about

Oh yeah

Boy, I’ve got the blues

Oh yeah

In trying times

Throw tantrums in department stores

Don’t dry your eyes

The sympathy will net you more

Victim-less crime

I see it as a harmless ploy

What’s twenty bucks

To keep you from an awesome toy

To keep you from an awesome toy

Pout! Pout!

Cry it all out!

There’s plenty of things I shed tears about

Oh yeah

It’s sad but it’s true

Oh yeah

You nag your wife

And even though you mean her well

You would be nice

If she could bid her folks farewell

If only she could…

Pout! Pout!

Cry it all out!

There’s plenty of things I shed tears about

Oh yeah

Pessimistic view

Oh yeah

And when your ego has been scarred

You’ll want to show that punk

The business end of your crowbar

The business end of your crowbar

Pout! Pout!

Cry it all out!

There’s plenty of things I shed tears about

Oh yeah

A boo and a hoo

Oh yeah

Yet again, this is probably at best a middle-of-the-road affair in terms of laughs, but I had the music video completely in mind when I thought of this one.  It lends itself so well to a shot-for-shot parody.  It contains plenty of tight close-ups in the beginning of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. They naturally will be crying about something.  They walk along a beach, so the tide coming in to destroy their sandcastle may not be a bad place to start.

The outro of the video can easily have the clapping motion of the band replaced with animated wiping away of tears, with fists directly beneath their tear ducts and elbows swinging in the comical manner which nobody actually cries like in real life.  Of course, the gleeful children surrounding the band are swapped out for a bunch of crybabies.  Some will have dropped ice cream cones, others with spilled milk, and I’m sure the rest of them can find ways of showing unhappiness without any further involvement of dairy products.

Enter Santa

(to the tune of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica)

Snow will fall from above

Sign that winter has come

It’s getting slippery – don’t run

Decks the halls, trim the trees

Whatever that even means

If you’re good, I will come

Sliding down your chimney

Stuffing your stockings tight

Reindeer flight!

Christmas night!

Spreading mad

Christmas cheer across the land!

Mistletoe, at great height

Yule log’s burning bright

No creatures stirring tonight

Fresh cookies, not expired

I’ll get enough milk tonight

So instead, leave me Sprite, yeah

Ran out of Nintendos

Make due with the Lite Brite

Reindeer flight!

Christmas night!

Spreading mad

Christmas cheer across the land!

Jingle bells, Batman smells (Jingle bells, Batman smells)

Robin laid an egg (Robin laid an egg)

The Batmobile lost a wheel (The Batmobile lost a wheel)

And The Joker got away (And The Joker got away)

Rudolph with your nose so bright

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

The sleigh’s headlights have gone dead

So I need your freakish head

Reindeer flight!

Christmas night!

My route’s all planned

Reindeer flight!

Christmas night!

Spreading mad

Christmas cheer across the land

Christmas cheer across the land

Spreading mad

Christmas cheer across the land

Spreading mad

Christmas cheer across the land

Christmas cheer across the land

(fade out)

I think I’m getting warmed up now.  Weird Al has done a few Christmas songs in his career, so why not add another into the mix?   I love impersonating James Hetfield’s distinct growling delivery, and so will my version of Weird Al.   With this being Metallica’s most popular radio hit, this is really the only song I gave serious consideration from Metallica’s discography.  I will admit that “Disposable Batteries” did have some potential (yes, that’s a voltage pun).

Battery power fades

Emptying the cell

24-hour charge

Drains as fast as hell…

And, no, none of the lines in the song were intended to be euphemisms for sex acts. Though sliding down a chimney is rather smutty no matter what your interpretation.

Love The Police!

(to the tune of “Fuck Tha Police” by N.W.A.)


May I have your attention! Welcome to Career Day!

Miss Crabtree, and I’ll be your teacher as always (annoying giggle)

Why don’t we shake things up a little here.

Alfred Yankovic, you’re last in alphabetical order.

Do you want to go first today?


You’re goddamn right! Errr.. I mean.. no problemo!


Why don’t you tell the class what you have to say!


I love the police, and I’ll yell it from the mountaintop

There’s no doubt that I wanna be a cop

Right from the cradle, my mom can attest

My first words were “You’re under arrest!”

I’ll be a quick study, play by the rule book

I look up to Serpico, not a cop that’s crookt (crooked)

Oh the pride that I’d feel when I pin on my badge

The colour blue suits me, and so does my moustache

A man in uniform makes the ladies go nuts

And I’d get free coffee and donuts

But it aint all about the perks of the job

Gotta get up early to take down the mob

Driving downtown with a felon in the back seat

I took him in for impersonating parakeets

Now that may sound like an obscure crime

But in Wyoming, it happens all the time

Sometimes it’s kinda hard to chase down a villain

It pays to do cardio, it’s literally a livin’

Hard work pays off – it makes a lot of sense

Workin’ on my vertical so I can vault a tall fence

Some prefer the gun, but I like the baton

When I fly coach I can bring it as carry-on

Always have one on me while I stroll down the street

Use a pair for air-drums while I’m on the beat

All the good citizens will smile at my sight

Knowing that I’ll keep the city safe at night

And if you put that safety into question

Guess who’s patience you’ll be testin’

When I’m in pursuit, I can switch on my siren

What a cool sound it makes – it’s inspirin’

To make sure that the kids can all play safely

Gonna roll with the P-O-L-I-C-E

I don’t know how rappers do it.

Were Donald Trump to chime in on my hip-hop skills, he would rightly note that I don’t have the stamina.  I barely got through Ice Cube’s verses, and there’s still M.C. Ren and Easy-E to go.  That’s the exact reason why I went against doing Wu Tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck”, plus I’d need to name them all (WZAD? LZAD? Ol’ Dirty Booger?)

I know that all the issues surrounding cops and Black Lives Matter movement make this parody seem slightly distasteful, but this seemed like a natural place to go.  This song is written through the character of a young child around six to ten years old talking about what he wants to be when he grows up.  He’s too young to have an informed opinion to take either side of that debate.  He has a hard enough time deciding what cereal he’ll eat for breakfast.

The lyrics have no root in reality.  I can’t speak for what young Alfred Yankovic wanted to do when he grew up. I don’t think I wanted to be a cop either.  I do recall telling my kindergarten teacher that I wanted to learn the saxophone, but that was only because it was a big word to me at the time, and I wanted to impress her.  I never followed through on trying to become the next Coltrane, and that aspiration quickly lost steam.  Much like my efforts to complete this song.  How appropriate.

I Think I’ve Ate Enough

(to the tune of “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode)

When I’m out for dinner

I overextend

I think I’ve ate enough

I think I’ve ate enough

All the pasta you can eat

But I fill up on bread

I think I’ve ate enough

I think I’ve ate enough

That cake looks like it was baked with love

But now I just can’t stand the smell of food

We eat together

I sneak bites from your plate

And I think I’ve ate enough

And I think I’ve ate enough

This risky behaviour

Might cost me a second date

And I think I’ve ate enough

I think I’ve ate enough

I brought this on myself

Digestion is rough

As I realize I’ve had enough food

My stomach aches

For the love of God, help me!

Oh I think I’ve ate enough

Oh I think I’ve ate enough

Just one more mouthful

To please the maitre d’

But I think I’ve ate enough

But I think I’ve ate enough

My pants unbutton

I’m unpleasantly stuffed

And now I know I can’t fit in more food

I got pretty heavy into Depeche Mode a few years ago, particularly their Violator album, which I’d now say is one of my favourite albums of all-time.  I’m embarrassed a little to admit that it took me over a year until I realized that “Just Can’t Get Enough” was one of their songs.  I’d known of that song since I was a little kid, and it’s as innocent sounding as a lullaby.  It was as if I learned “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was written by Ronnie James Dio (it’s not).  I’m used to the band having a much darker sound.

By this point, you may be wondering why I’ve been choosing nothing but older songs.  First off, I don’t expose myself to enough current pop music.  Secondly, did you not see the photo I posted earlier?  I dressed as what is affectionately referred to as “Classic Weird Al”, which ended once he got eye surgery to eliminate the need of eyeglasses.  He ditched his third and fourth eye when he no longer required them.  He’s not one of those hipsters or NBA basketball players who’ll wear them for fashion despite having 20/20 vision.  I can appreciate that, almost to the extent that I considered matching his prescription to put my own eyesight into jeopardy in pursuit of the ultimate costume.

Food is probably the easiest place to go when coming up with a Weird Al parody.  It’s his penchant for doing PG-level humour that keeps his subject matter rooted (for the most part) in things we all experience.  From the top to the bottom of the age spectrum, everybody can relate to food.  You can relate to loving it, relate to hating it, relate to tasting it, relate to wasting it.  But before I go too Seuss on you, let’s proceed to the next track, which also happens to be food-based in nature.


(to the tune of “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel)

You can hit some apples

But it doesn’t make much sauce

Or a sack of oranges

But the citrus burns the eyes

Right now I’m just looking

For the proper grocery

You could stomp some grapes up

But we’re making laughs, not wine to drink

You could grab banana bunches, peel them

But monkeys might protest

Oh have you seen

My Sledge-O-Matic

I’m squashing things all day

Oh yes indeed

My Sledge-O-Matic

I can’t find the right fruit – guide me

Watermelons have a cool shape

With a size that can’t be beat

Not as if size matters, right?

But it gets you off your seat

And now you see

My Sledge-O-Matic

A mallet of great fame

Oh you will see

My Sledge-O-Matic

It’s sure to impress

It can’t be beat

My Sledge-O-Matic

It’s not a gimmick nor is it phony

It’s my Sledge-O-Matic

I never leave my home without it

Sledge! Sledge! Sledge-O-Matic!

Don’t need a baller

Let the mess begin

This is the new mush

I go smashing things, we go smashing things

If you don’t mind the seeds

They will shower you

Mind the rind, it could hit you too

Yea, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, but don’t sue

Never sue

Read the disclaimer through

The show lasts an hour

A shame it’s just an hour

I could feed a village

With my produce spillage

I said it lasts an hour, never two

Encore? Encore? Don’t mind if I do!

(fade out)

Here’s a bit of a tribute to an oddball thing that I really have no connection with.  I know of comedian Gallagher for two things: his watermelon smashing routine in his act, and his awkward appearance on Opie and Anthony with the late, great comedian Patrice O’Neal.  I can’t even tell you a single bit he ever performed on stage.  This incarnation of Weird Al doesn’t do his homework.

Can you pay proper homage to a celebrity that you’re only vaguely familiar with?  It’s one thing to send a respectful tweet when Abe Vigoda passes, but this?  Probably a bit over-the-top.  That being said, I still won’t cancel my Gary Busey rock opera for the world.

Sleeping Mask All Day

(to the tune of “Sunglasses At Night” by Corey Hart)

I wore my sleeping mask all day

I could not

Could not see

My friend who glued it across my eyes

Yes I wore my sleeping mask all day

I could not, could not see

My Spongebob sheets when I woke at sunrise

Why’s he deceiving me?

I did eat his mac and cheese

But he angers easily

I turned to him – which way?

I’t’s not for debate – need a new roommate, oh yeah

Better yet, why don’t you move upstate, oh yeah

(Though I admit it)

Your joke today gets a passing grade, oh yeah

I wore my sleeping mask all day

What’s a man, what’s a man

To do if he’s caught up in twisted games?

I wore my sleeping mask all day

How’s a man, how’s a man

To dodge a waste-filled bag that’s set in flames?

Why is he leaving me?

It’s impossible to see

What if I need to pee?

Who leaves a pal this way?

There goes my day, this is getting lame, oh no!

What of our plans to go cruise for babes, oh no

(What would I do then?)

There goes my chance for naked charades, oh no

Finally victory

He gave me the remedy

Brought the light back to me

I didn’t think he’d cave

Maybe some day, I’ll buy thicker shades, oh yeah

Investing in better sleeping aids, oh yeah

(I won’t regret it)

Made him pledge – no more pranks come my way, oh yeah

(That includes voodoo)

Or three month’s rent I’ll make him pay, hell yeah

I said

I wore my sleeping mask all day

I wore my sleeping mask all day (etc. etc.)

I based this song off a similar premise to one of my favourite Weird Al tunes, “I Remember Larry”, which tells a tale of a practical joker who ends up getting his just desserts in the end.  In my song, there is no revenge to speak of, and they end on relatively good terms.  In spite of this, my mind keeps tracing back to the old proverb “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” meaning they probably laughed this whole incident off over a hearty bowl of gazpacho.

I feel that I’m taking a risk on this choice.  I think that Corey Hart is slightly too obscure for Weird Al to feature in as a selection. In that case, don’t think of me as Weird Al.  Think of me as his Canadian cousin, “Strange Dan” Spankovic, which can instantly explain away any perceived flaws in my costume.

To those not up to speed with the Canadian sensation known as Corey Hart, I tend to think of him as a poor man’s Bryan Adams.  A Bryan Adams with a face permanently stuck in the shape of a child’s who has been told to kiss an elderly relative against his will.  I can’t tell if he’s looking all pouty in a baffling attempt to drive up his sex appeal, or if he really can’t help it.  Personally, I think it was put there after his rejected application for Hart Foundation membership.

Never Tell It’s My Fart

(to the tune of “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS)

We’re stuck here

In this crowded room

Nostrils are overwhelmed

It’s about time we depart


Gas was passing

Through the air

Bad scents colliding

But you can never tell it’s my fart

If you knew the truth

It would draw your tears

That potent gust was mine

The deepest of your fears

I’ could tell you

Everything is fine

There’s not another on deck

Don’t give me that look – it’s no lie


Screams commanding

“Give me air!”

The guests divided

But they could never ever tell it’s my fart

This may be new terrain for Weird Al.  Has he ever tackled socially-taboo bodily functions of any sort?

This song was like me taking a breather as there were so few lines of lyrics to be concerned with.  I know, that doesn’t seem like something Weird Al would do.  I’m not fit to carry his accordion, thus why mine is a computer print-off, glued to foam boarding, and attached to a dollar-store lanyard that reads “I’m unique, just like everyone else.”  Ideally, I was looking for one saying “My other accordion’s a Borsini”, but what can you do?

As a special treat, I’d get Eric Nagler to do a Sewerphone solo.  If I’m going to do toilet humor, I may as well get the man with the rightly-named tool for the job.  He seems like an approachable man, but highly doubt a childhood icon would reduce himself to being the exclamation mark on a fart joke.

Pumpkin Crush

(to the tune of “Orange Crush” by R.E.M.)

Halloween, Oh Halloween)

I’ve got my bag

I’ve got my costume on

(Trick or treat, Oh trick or treat)

It took some time to put my makeup on

(Give us something good to eat)

I’m at your door and now you’ll need to

(Anything but shredded wheat)

Hand your candy over please

Make it fast, my arms are getting tired (tiiii-errrrrd!!!)

(Halloween, Oh Halloween)

I’ve got my bag

I’ve got my costume on

(Trick or treat, oh trick or treat)

You can’t ignore me much longer than this

(I don’t need your O’ Henry)

Tomorrow they’ll be half-off, but if

(Or your homemade wrapped taffy)

You think you can out-wait me

I’ll be back and you’ll regret it

OOOO! OOOOOO! (ghost howls and haunted house sound effects in the background)

(Spoken through megaphone)

Let’s go through this list one more time. Three dozen expired eggs, not pickled eggs like last year, Mark. A 36-roll family pack of toilet paper. Don’t forget the stink bombs, Steve. We spent all Sunday making those things. And grab your favourite instrument of destruction. Hockey stick, baseball bat, whatever. Those pumpkins don’t smash themselves. Am I missing anything? No? Okay, let’s go make this a Halloween to truly remember!

(Halloween, Oh Halloween)

I’ve got my bag

I’ve got my costume on

(Trick or treat, oh trick or treat)

My perspiration wiped my makeup off

(You made a monkey out of me)

We gave up, now it’s time to protest your

(Throw that T.P. up a tree!)

No-candy policy

Pumpkin crush, time to flee

OOOO! OOOOOO! (ghost howls and haunted house sound effects in the background)


Caught read handed

Jimmy bailed

Never liked him

Too old for this crap

Next year a new plan

Better time management

R-rated horror flicks

And raid my parent’s liquor cabinet

It’s only fair that I end this entry with a seasonally-appropriate song, and bookend my little experiment by making light of another song about a serious topic (Vietnam). “Orange Crush” just sounds so bouncy and happy musically (that bass line!) that I felt it appropriate to take the lyrics to some kids trying to have a fun on what is one of the most fun holidays of the year. Such uncertainties over using the song are the exact reason why Weird Al seeks permission from the original songwriters before proceeding with his work.

R.E.M. could be okay with it. Contrary to popular belief, Michael Stipe has been known to crack a smile or two.  Look no further than their video for “Stand” from the very same album as he struggles to hold back laughter near the very end.  I don’t think they’d mind the song being used in a different context, considering the fact that I’ve heard it used as bumper music during NFL broadcasts.

Or they may just not think I’m funny.  No biggie!  It’s not the end of the world, at least as I know it.  I feel fine 🙂

That seems close enough to an album’s worth of Weird Al songs, so I’ll leave it at that.  He did throw a polka styled medley of popular songs in as one of his tracks, so I’d need to figure out how I’d replace that.  Maybe a heavy metal-mashup of his songs? Polka versions of some underground Canadian bands?  A dubstep tribute to the unrelated Frankie Yankovic?  I’m not going to record any of this anyway, so there’s no point in fretting over it.

I’ll admit that, for whatever the quality of my work, it was a struggle.  It was so easy for me to get the chorus of a song, and dust off my hands thinking I’d be good for the rest of it.  My difficulty in completing the above lyrical exercise only gave me a deeper appreciation for what Weird Al has accomplished with his music.  His career has spanned four decades, and he still finds ways to reach new generations of fans.  I’ve come to accept it.  I’ll never be Weird Al.  I should put aside these lofty aspirations of making these Halloween metamorphoses once and for all.

After next year.  Something tells me I’d like to be Leonardo Di Caprio, and I’d do anything to try.


One thought on “Happy Al-O-Ween!

  1. Pingback: Childhood Car Tunes – Bad Hair Day by “Weird Al” Yankovic | Armchair Maestro

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