Capitol Steps We Didnt Start Satire Essay

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We Didn't Start the Billy Joel Parodies

Billy Joel wrote a song; history is going strong.
It was nineteen-eighty nine; and the song was doing fine.
Many copies of it sell; stuff about the past they tell:
Politics and culture, too; movies, war and what have you.

Other people came along; they do really like the song,
Realize it was a hit; want to have a part in it.
History is first to go, from nineteen hundred to 0.
Other topics soon include everything from nice to lewd.

We didn’t start the riffing
It was always with us
Since the song has hit us
We didn’t start the riffing
Oh no, we didn’t coin it
But we want to join it

Every singer has a version; can you really blame the person?
The song’s a really catchy tune; and you, too, will sing it soon.
Can't get it out of your head; you may wish that you were dead,
Sing it ‘til you cough up phlegm; then go back and start again.

You can make new lyrics too, so long as they fit the tune.
Do a List Song if you like; name the pieces of your bike.
If story’s your imperative, you could write a narrative.
Just be clever and enjoy; think of tropes you could employ.

We didn’t start the riffing
It was always with us
Since the song has hit us
We didn’t start the riffing
Oh no we didn’t coin it
But we want to join it

Change the genre if you're clever; grunge or funk or lounge — whatever:
Country Music, Reggae-vibe, Heavy Metal, suicide,
New Wave, Hip-Hop, Electronic, Punk Rock,
Soul and Ska and Disco too, but Jimmy Hart will also do

Or just like a bunch of dopes, make a song that’s listing tropes:
Filk Song, List Song, Stock Parodies come along.
Piano Key Wave, Piss-Take Rap, you can really list all crap;
God-Is-Love Songs, Ear Worm, Power Ballad, Seiza Squirm.

We didn’t start the riffing
It was always with us
Since the song has hit us
We didn’t start the riffing
Oh no we didn’t coin it
But we want to join it

As we said, it’s often done many times under the sun.
We will list examples here; austerity you need not fear.
The list is not complete of course, and this is our driving force,
So go add more, lickety-split, or you will soon be deep in shame.


    open/close all folders 
    Music Videos 
  • "We Didn't Start The Fighting", a.k.a "A MUSICAL summation of Metal Gear games!", summing up the series chronologically from Metal Gear Solid 3 to the then-recent Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • One based on the Internet, "We Didn't Start the Flame War". Different than most in that instead of a list of people or events, it's a list of internet comments (aside from the inevitable Rick Roll.)
  • The Simpsons did a Suspiciously Similar Song Version, "They'll Never Stop the Simpsons", at the end of the 2002 episode "Gump Roast". So far, they seem to be right.
  • San Franciscoa cappella group The Richter Scales did "Here Comes Another Bubble", winning the 2007 Webby Award and infamously getting its video taken down for briefly using a single copyrighted image. It was later rereleased as "version 1.1".
  • "We Love Barney Fife," Guns 'n' Moses (a side project of Richard Cheese)
  • Jib Jab did one of these for their 2007 year in review.
  • "Ryan Started the Fire" of The Office. Which is literally just the original with that one line changed.
  • Rich Alvarez has "Games Are Our One Desire".
  • Comedian Bruce Fine did a parody summarizing events from 2009-2010.
  • Amateur Transplants' "Finals Countdown", listing a bunch of medical conditions that medical students need to know for their final exam.
  • "We Didn't Find Osama", criticizing the Bush administration.
  • YTMND has "We Didn't Start This Website!"
  •'s "The Internet Stars Are Viral", a compilation of viral video stars.
  • "Facebook Anthem" aka "I'm Getting Bored of Facebook" about stupid Facebook games.
  • Gorden & Phirm - "We Didn't Start the '80s"
  • Putnam Pig did the "Swine Flu Song" (aka "Pigs Didn't Start the Swine Flu"), defending pigs against accusations of spreading the H1-N1 virus.
  • "Tom's Bushes are on Fire", recounting the true story of a guy who got his bushes burnt down by a stray firework.
  • LMcDuff08 did "Wall Street Meltdown" based on various Wall Street disasters in 2007.
  • "We Didn't Start the Crisis", about the subprime mortgage crisis.
  • "We Didn't Start the Star Wars".
  • An updated version of the song recounting events from 1990 to 2008.
  • "We Didn't Start the Fire 2", another updated version recounting events from roughly 2000 to 2010.
  • Another updated version.
  • The best of the updates (For one thing, this guy can actually sing and doesn't just cover memes).
  • "The Obama Song" criticizing the first two months of Barack Obama's presidency.
  • I Live in Singapura is kinda funny, even if you don't know much about Singapore's history.
  • Another Suspiciously Similar Song version: "We Didn't Start the Landfills", a (cheesy and Anvilicious) performance at Reseda High School intended to encourage recycling.
  • "We Didn't Start the Let's Play", from SlimKirby's Let's Play of "Yoshi's Island".
  • "We Didn't Start the Abridged", based on Naruto: The Abridged Series.
  • "We Didn't Start the Weekend", one bored college student's summary of his weekend activities.
  • "I Love New York", a short one about stuff in New York State.
  • "Who's Gonna Watch the Watchmen?", about Watchmen.
  • A Harry Potter version, "We Didn't Start the Fandom".
  • "The Wii Didn't Start the Fire". Holding true to the history motif, it covers the history of video games, from the 1950s to the present.
  • "We Didn't Start The Fire",The Literal Version.
  • "We Didn't Start the Awesome", dedicated to everyone at That Guy with the Glasses.
  • A unique one would be "We Didn't Start the Fire - Dangerous Women", because it lists the most influential women in history.
  • Everything Gives You Cancer from Russell Howard's Good News, essentially a Take That! against the Daily Mail. The greatest similarity is in the chorus, however.
  • "We PlayWorld of Warcraft".
  • "You Can't Fight theHomestuck" is sometimes used to introduce people to the series.
  • "Stuck In TheWorld of Warcraft."
  • "We Didn't Start the Turtle", a Discworld version that covered every story at the time of writing, but was sadly out of date almost immediately afterwards.
  • The YouTube comedy group Galo Frito made "RETROSPECTIVA 2013" which goes through some of the events, fads, and stories of 2013 in Brazil (Surprisingly, it sounds similar to the Jib Jab example above).
  • Impressionist John Culshaw does Simon Cowell singing "I DID Start The Fire" (also performed on The Now Show).
    With the crap we're churning.
  • Not even My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is immune to this. Behold, "We Didn't Watch The Seasons", a recap of seasons 1-4.
  • "We Didn't Start the Viral", a recap of YouTube's most viral videos by Dane Boedigheimer (the creator of The Annoying Orange).
  • "We Didn't Own an iPad", a list of stuff popular with those who were kids in the 70s and 80s.
  • In an October 2005 episode of The Daily Show, correspondent Rob Corddrydid his own version to discuss the Valerie Plame scandal.
  • Joueur du Grenier does a list of old pornographic games in French.
  • "We Didn't Start The SocJus" - Social Justice: The Musical, a video about Social Justice, Media Watchdogs, Moral Guardians and a bunch more crazies.
  • From the german satire magazine extra 3, there is one version ridiculing the soccer club FC Bayern Munich
  • German comedian Otto Waalkes did "Wir haben Grund zum Feiern" ("We have a reason to celebrate"), which lists off a bunch of alcoholic beverages.
  • The Tom Green song "Pet Names for Genitalia" (see I Call Him "Mr. Happy").
  • "We Didn't Start the Blitzball", about the Fictional Sport Blitzball from Final Fantasy X.
  • Fringemunks did "Susan Pratt Started the Fire" (lyrics) about the episode "The Road Not Taken" of Fringe.
  • The Star Wars podcast ForceCast featured "We Didn't Start the ForceCast" on their October 29, 2010 cast at 1:51:40 (lyrics).
  • "We Have a Strong Desire", by Shlock Rock. It covers the history of the Jews from the Bible until present day.
  • Following the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb from a collapsed mine in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, the radio team Hamish And Andy recorded a song to help them catch up: "We're filling in the miners. / They've been down there weeks, so they have missed heaps. / We're filling in the miners / So they're right across all essential goss." They concluded it by declaring that one thing hadn't changed: "Our songs are still half-assed."
  • Hamish And Andy made a song about a Bacon Number of 100 to this tune, going from Salma Hayek to Bacon.
  • Courtesy of WTAM 1100 (specifically The Mike Trivisonno Show), there's "We Live in Ohio", a good-natured tribute to all things Cleveland, as well as a gentle criticism of local politicians' tendency to focus on small or non-existent problems and ignore looming disaster:
    We live in Ohio,/And we goin' broke but we can't have smokin' here;
    We live in Ohio,/And our mayor's ramblin'; we can't get gamblin' here.
  • "We Set the Dog on Fire" by the guys at, enumerating dishes made from dog meat.
  • "We Didn't Start Satire", by the Capitol Steps, recaps political and media scandals since 1981.
  • Local Seattle show Almost Live! did a version in January 1990 based on then-recent history in Seattle.
  • "We Love You, Dr. Freeman", based on Half-Life.
  • "I Live Life On Tumblr."
  • Christian parody group ApologetiX has a parody called "We Didn't Start Messiah."
  • /v/presents "We Didn't Make the Roster".
  • JBO, naturally. Their rendition may or may not owe a debt of gratitude to Otto as well, though the fire (English) "Feier" (German for party) pun both employ is kind of obvious.
    Lyrics only 
  • The Discworld version, "We Didn't Buy The Hardback".
  • An early Baby BluesSunday Strip had "We Didn't Start Out Tired".
  • Gary Geniesse - "We Didn't Start the VAXing" (scroll down on this page for lyrics), dedicated to a VAX server that was the center of much social interaction at the University of Florida in the 1980s.
  • Editor James Broomhead at wrote "Motorsport In 2010 Review (Or We Didn’t Start the Car)" (lyrics).
  • Keydeck of Toytown Germany did one for the site's forums, "We Didn't Start the Forum" (lyrics).
  • Orderly Oasis LLC on Facebook did "We Didn't Start the Pile" about disorderly piles of papers.
  • There's even a We Didn't Start TV Tropes written by alone-in-the-rain on deviantART. The text of they lyrics is available here.
  • You read this page, right?
  • "We Didn't Want the Retcon", chronicling the events of X-Men from The Phoenix Saga to Age of Apocalypse. The site it was archived on is now defunct, but thankfully the song can be viewed via archive sites.
  • Originally from 4chan, somebody on /m/ posted a version chronicling the entire history of Gundam's original Universal Century timeline, which can be seen on the series' quotes page.
  • To "celebrate" 52 cancelled DC ComicsNew 52 titles, The Outhouse gave us this.
  • The Parks and Recreation episode "Leslie and Ron" has Leslie intentionally butchering the lyrics of the song in order to annoy Ron so he can finally talk to her and reveal why he let their friendship go sour during the Time Skip between Seasons 6 and 7.
     Puppet Shows 

Billy Joel, please do not sue us
It's a catchy song, that's why this list is long
Billy Joel, please do not sue us

Song Analysis: We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel Essay

1426 Words6 Pages

Every song has a story to tell, and some contain hidden stories or lessons, while others are completely blatant. In Billy Joel’s song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” he does not hesitate to be very obvious with what he tries to prove, which is how all of the events in his song contribute to one large fire. I chose to remediate Joel’s song because it spoke to me with historical context. When researching the song, I read a majority of the history behind it and decided to reflect upon it in a visual picture collage, combining a majority of the elements he mentions with pictures--all circled around a fire in the middle. I decided to also make red-dyed cupcakes reflecting the fire Joel speaks of and ice them with a flame, yet placing an X over it,…show more content…

Not all collages involve all of those elements, but any one of those can be used by itself. I found “by adding a ‘collage’ an artist can change the nature of what he or she is creating, providing a new dimension for a work of art” (Stern 1).
A collage, in my opinion, is a great way to grasp the concept of Joel’s song. Collages allow the viewer to see the art from a different point of view, and “seeing” a song can help the person to actually see what Joel was trying to prove. In this project, I used pictures of almost every historical perspective he mentioned in his song, and circled all of those elements around a picture of a flame in the middle. I chose to do this because the flame is the ultimate theme of the song, and all of the events and people he is singing about contribute to the large fire that begins to grow due to all of these events combined. Along with placing the flame in the center, I matted it on an orange paper, unlike any of the other pictures, to help it stand out, since it is the main theme of the song. For those who have a difficult time learning without pictures, this is a great way for them to see all of the aspects of Joel’s song together on one page. As well as making a collage, I also made cupcakes to help

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