The book of the mimicry of the living

High Fri-delity – Top 5 songs about language

Leave a comment

I’ve been a Wierd Al fan all my life. Ever since I learnt The Saga Begins and Amish Paradise word for word and was therefore never able to remember a single line from the originals.


Now that Wierd Al is releasing his 14th, and possibly final, full album he has published a song a day in the lead up to it’s release. My favorite is definitely the Robin Thicke parody ‘Word Crimes’ (or should that be #wordcrimes? (which would be ironic (yes, this is a nested bracket (yes, that is also ironic)))).

UPDATE: Wierd Al just released Mandatory Fun,  and immediately hit the top of the charts with 104,000 sales in the US. I suspect he’ll use his new-found riches to finally move to Alberquerque.

It also made my High Fidelity style “Top 5 songs about words mixtape” I have been compiling relevant. So, in no particular order:

“Quit Arguing! You need your verbs to agree!”

MC Frontalot is a Nerdcore Rapper who writes about cryptography, cryptozoology, and bridge building. Having seen him perform this song ‘Tongue-Clucking Grammarian’ live, I can never get rid of image of the crowd shouting ‘Tut tut!’ at me whenever I’m proof-reading my work.

“Going hard on that tetrameter”

MC Lars is a regular rapping buddy of MC Frontalot. In this solo track he takes a Poe-faced look at different feet. No this isn’t the rap equivalent of a Tarantino movie, but a catchy and deeply technical look at prosody, the rhythm, stress and intonation of speech. I can’t imagine a better way to learn the difference between an iamb and a trochee.

“Our generation sounds like a bunch of dumb kids, who grew up, but still talk like a bunch of dumb kids”

Schaffer the Darklord prefers to be referred to as a rappist, though ‘there are some similarities’. This bile filled track attacks the ticks that are prevalent in common speech and writing. I fully agree with his ground rule of deleting people who continually confuse there, their and they’re.

“He’s the one they all know, he’s the star of the show, and he goes by TIMES NEW ROMAN!”

I did debate the legality of two songs by the same artist, but I’ve decided dual-wielding is allowed. In this track (from the same concert), Schaffer describes the gladiatorial combat between all the fonts you are familiar with from the drop down menu of Microsoft Word, fighting for the prize of being your default typeface. Arial,  Comic Sans and Impact all have their moment, though the moment Wingdings leaps into the fray…

“I thought swag was dead way before this. I thought swag had been buried in the forest”

George Watsky doesn’t need an MC name. He also doesn’t need a thesaurus, as he bought one at the start of this track, and proceeds to find 100 words that are better than swag. Don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes since this pale kid raps fast.


To all my straight writers, and aspiring rappers, inspire your work, and use your words.


Author: davergp

Environmental Geoscience BSc. Environmental Design of Buildings MSc. Bonsai Hobbyist, Woodland Enthusiast, Environ-mentalist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s