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Song Parodies and Adaptations

Page history last edited by Sarah Underhill 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Songs adapted or parodied by Sarah Underhill, plus one unrecorded original melodramatic ballad


Donald Trump's Lament


This goofy topical song was written in celebration after I heard a news item on the radio which made me laugh aloud. The song tells the story of the news clip. It must have been back in the 80's, when Glasnost was happening and the old Soviet Union ceased to exist. Trump had invited Gorbachev to meet with him, but the Soviet leader did not fit this request into his schedule.   The tune is from Bessie Smith's "My Sweetie Went Away". True to form, Trump responded to the ensuing prank by insulting Gorbachev's wife. 


I'm gonna tell you a story from New York town

It's very sad to relate

'Bout how the poor little rich boy, Donald Trump

Got stood up by a head of state

  Trump was floating one afternoon

   In the swimming pool in his living room

   And as he checked his watch for the hundredth time

   He began to cry:

Oh, Gorbachev's in town but he didn't stop by,

He didn't say hi, he didn't say why

I'm such a wonderful guy

How come he wont see me?


There was an out of work actor walking the streets

Who was a Gorbachev lookalike

And he borrowed a limo and a big fur hat

When he heard about Trump's terrible plight

At the Trump Towers gates a crowd gathered round

Trump heard the news and came running down

But when he went to shake the actor's hand

Folks began to smile 

   Oh, Gorbachev's in town but he's just passing through

   Got too much to do, it's strange but it's true

   You may own this town but

   He ain't got time for you


Because he's bringing the word to the old UN

He's got a Christmas gift for our G.I.'s

He's going to send them home, so tell the Pentagon

To cut back on their orders for new war toys

   Instead of drinking champagne with Donald Trump

   He sent the defense industry into a slump

   Now Don he made you look like a jerk

   And some of your friends may be out of work

Yes, Gorbachev's in town and he's doing just great

He's looking for peace 

Not for real estate

So try and understand Don

We know it's hard for you.....



Lullaby For the Inexorable March of Technology

[based on the traditional lullaby "Hush Little Baby."] 7-4-2013


Hush little baby, don't make a moan

Mama's going to buy you a gramaphone


If that gramaphone is jive

Mama's going to play you a 45


If that vinyl record does crack

Mama's going to buy you a new 8-track


If that 8-track player does break

Mama's going   to play you a cassette tape


When that tape player becomes passe'

Mama's going to buy you a CD to play


When that CD is obsolete

Mama's going to play you an MP3


If that MP3 is much too loud

Mama's going to put it up in the cloud


And if that cloud falls from the sky

Mama's going to sing you a lullaby





Blueberry Picker's Reel  8/6/2011

Thanks to Larry Hanks  on, whose "Apple Picker's Reel"  this song is based. Used with permission.



Hey ho, don't you feel so fine

Looking out across the mountain in the bright sunshine

Hey ho, don't you feel so free

Picking the highbush blueberry


Well long about August or late July

Tomatoes are ripe and the corn is high

That's when we head up the Shawngum Trail

For highbush berries in the blueberry pail


Well low bush is fine but it takes all day

And you break your back if you pick that way

Highbush grows like grapes in a bunch

You can pick half a bushel 'fore it's time for lunch


Sun's so hot that my head's half baked

And I almost stepped on a big rattlesnake

Bears and coyotes and the gnats and bees

But it's worth it all to get berries like these


Well it's permaculture like a thousand years ago

Berries are free up on the Smiley Road

And long about December in the snow and ice

Blueberry pancakes gonna taste mighty nice


Ballad of the Corona 5/6/2020

Based on "Ballad of the Boll Weevil"


Oh the first time I saw the Corona

It was floating through the air

Next time I saw the Corona

It had the whole family there

Just lookin for a home

Just lookin for a home


Oh the next time I saw the Corona

It was riding in a subway car

Corona said to the conductor

I'm gonna travel near and far

Just lookin for a home

Just lookin for a home


Oh the warden took the Corona

Put it in a prison cell

Corona said to the warden

You're treating me mighty well

I've got a home

I've got a home


Oh the doctor took the Corona

Put it in the ICU

Corona said to the doctor

What a neighborly thing to do

Now I've got a home

I've got a home


If anybody ask you 

Who was it sang this song

Say it was just an old prison nurse

With a reused facemask on

And it's full of holes

It's full of holes


Holy Ground

Alternate/adapted lyrics to the Shape Note Hymn "Windgate"


The circle we are gathered round

This ground is holy ground

Love is waiting to be found

This ground is holy ground

All the fields and mountains high

Valleys green and river sides

Far across the ocean wide

This ground is holy ground


The people we are singing with

These souls are sacred souls

Saints are walking on the earth

These souls are sacred souls

Loving spirits reach their hands

Touching hearts in every land

Heart to heart and hand to hand

These souls are sacred souls


The music we are singing here

These songs are sacred songs

Love is rising in the air

These songs are sacred songs

Heart to voice and voice to air

Joy is ringing everywhere

Bringing love and ending fear

These songs are sacred songs


The music ringing all around

These songs are sacred songs

Singers gathered on the round 

These souls are sacred souls

Mark the tune with joyous beat

Earth a drum below our feet

Echoing the music sweet

This ground is holy ground



Ghosts of Bannerman's Island  10/2/2005


In the year 1900 a wealthy young man

Had built up a fortune both ample and grand

He was a shrewd merchant in New York did dwell

To kings, kaisers and  sultans munitions did sell

And he bought himself Bannerman's Island


Says he a great fortress I'll build on this isle

A stronghold, a castle, a grand domicile

For my bride and my pride and my arms and my store

Shall be safe and secure on this island's proud shore

In my arsenal, Bannerman's Island


So with seven score workmen all at his command

With bricks stone and mortar the towers did stand

In the midst of the Hudson this fortress did lie

With arms in its keep and its flags to the sky

The proud arsenal Bannerman's island


But just as the castle was nearly complete

A spark from the builders gunpowder did meet

And the merchant's proud dream of his stronghold of power

With explosion and fire was destroyed in an hour

The men died fleeing Bannerman's Island


A thunder of fury, the devil's own ire

As the arms and the gunpowder raged into fire

As smoke filled the night and the walls tumbled down

In the glare of the flames and the terrible sound

Twas the ruin of Bannerman's Island


A century later the island remains

On the crumbling walls the word "ARSENAL" stays

So people take warning hark well to the words

If you live by the sword you will die by the sword

Say the ghosts of Bannerman's Island


Volcano 1983

adaptation of the song by Jimmy Buffet 


Ground she's moving under me

Tidal wave out on the sea

Sulfur smoke up in the sky

Pretty soon we learn to fly



Oh, I don't know, I don't know

I don't know where I'm a gonna go 

When the volcano blows 


Oh my sugar say to me

Mon, you better watch your feet

Lava comes down soft and hot

You better love-a me now or love-a me not

Refrain x 2


No time to think what I'm worth

Cause I just left the planet earth

Where I go, I hope there's sun

Not to worry, mon, soon come


Refrain x2



But I don't want to land in Fukushima

Don't want to land in Los Alamo

Not in Chernobyl, not in Three Mile Island

Don't want to see my skin aglow

Don't want to land in Seabrook, New Hampshire

Don't want to land in Kerr McGee

Don't want to land on the Bikini Atoll

Not in Oak Ridge Tennessee

Refrain x2

But I don't want to land on Indian Point

Don't want to land on Rocky Flat

Don't want to land in no Love Canal zone

What you gonna do about that?


Refrain  x2 with callouts  [ "How about you? What are you gonna do about it? Where you gonna go? etc.]



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