Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Politics of Parodies & Parodies of Politics

In my school days, i was a big fan of Devang Patel's parody songs. We have laughed to our hearts content at the guy making funny faces in parodies like "Aye Raju", "Bamboo No. 5" and "Chaloo Girl" from the PatelScope series of albums.

It's election time again and the new ones have just started floating in the air. The congress launched its 'Jai Ho' campaign for which they paid a whooping US $2,00,000 to the slumdog team for the exclusive rights of the song, just to make a spoof, hoping that would help it in elections, but it was quite disappointing to see the hackneyed Congress version which sounds more like a mockery of the original lyrics. They have plans to target young vote bank with this poll tune which is actually an "ear sore".

The BJP and the ShivSena launched a counter campaging with a parody-of-parody "Bhay ho" and "Kai ho" respectively, although it was too little too late.

The parodies of 'Jai ho' sound boring being serious in their tone, while the amusing and funny ones appeal more. The last gujarat assembly election has seen "M bole to modi, B bole to BJP" and "Kyonki soniya bhi kabhi Italian thi...", while the Delhi assembly election had the spoofs “Jee Karda bhai Jee Karda, Congress nu Jitan da Jee Karda, Desh Bachon da Jee Karda.” and “Kabara Kabara Kabara, Congress ne Dilli ka Kabara kiya”.

Before the US presidential elections a partyman of Obama had sent out a CD with a song called 'Barack the Magic Negro' - a satirical parody sung to the tune of "Puff, the Magic Dragon", which prompted a widespread negative reaction.

Robert Lund of the FuMP(Funny Music Project) with his recent album 'Politicked Off!' is well known for making politicial parodies which are rather meant for pure fun than political propaganda.

But, My favorite remains '99 words for boobs' from Robert Lund, which actually is a parody of a song with political overtone (Nena's superhit cold-war era protest song '99 Luftballons').