Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tuli Kupferberg's Parasongs

Dave Marsh writes:

I just heard from Tuli (Fugs, general East Village intellectual zany, maybe the missing link between the Yippies and the beatniks if you don't count Ed Sanders). Anyway, he is redoing a songbook of his, Listen to the Mockingbird, which has been through many small press editions. He now wants to solicit contributions from others.

What he wants are "parasongs," which he defines thus: "a song using new and original lyrics set to an older (generally a popular) melody. Martin Luther set many of his religious hymns to the popular songs of that period. His reasoning: 'Why should the devil have the best of tunes?' And in our time the Wobblies repaid the compliment by resetting many old hymns to new
radical Labor anthems!"

(This marks Luther as a candidate for prosecution by the present-day music industry of course. )

If you know of any parasongs, or feel compelled to write one of your own, send them to Tuli here:

Tuli Kupferberg
Vanity Press
160 6th Ave
New York, NY 1001

And we'd love to hear about them here, too!