December 31, 2011

Should “Auld Lang Syne” lyrics be forgot, sing a parody version…


You can read about the origin of the lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” on my ThisDayinQuotes.com blog. In tonight’s post on QuoteCounterquote.com, I offer some of my favorite alternative lyrics. Happy New Year!


THE GAY LOMBARDO VARIATION:

“When Socrates in Ancient Greece
Sat in his Turkish bath
He rubbed himself, and scrubbed himself
And steamed both fore and aft.
He sang the songs the sirens sang
With Oscar and Shakespeare
We’re here because we’re queer
Because we’re queer because we’re here.

The highest people in the land
Are for or they’re against
It’s all the same thing in the end
A piece of sentiment.
From Swedes so tall to Arabs small
They answer with a leer
We’re here because we’re queer
Because we’re queer because we’re here.” 
       Brendan Behan (1923-1964)
       Irish playwright, poet and novelist
       The best-known song from his play
The Hostage (1958)


THE SARDONIC WORLD WAR I SONG:

“We’re here because we’re here because
We’re here because we’re here
We’re here because we’re here because
We’re here because we’re here.”   
       World War I song of unknown origin,
sung by British soldiers to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”


THE DWUNK VERSHUN:

“If all the lyrics are forgot
Right after the first line
Don’t worry ‘cause alone, you’re not
That’s how you sing “Lang Syne”!

Now all the lyrics are for naught
We butcher “Auld Lang Syne”!
We drink a couple Jaeger bombs
(Now drunk out of our minds!)

Now awl the lyrics are forga
Wha-eva comes 2 mind (hic!)
Shoo awful lyr-er uh uh what?
Blah blah blah blah lang syne! (blaaarrgh!)”
       The parody song “Old Lame Song”
       Posted
on the AmIRight.com website by “Red Ant”


THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT VARIATION:

“Let drinking rum now be forgot,
And never brought to mind;
Let drinking rum now be forgot,
And cider, beer, and wine.

For rum and beer we pay full dear,
With rosy nose and eyes;
We'll take a glass of water now,
For sure we're growing wise.”
       Anti-drinking song
published in the Signal of Liberty newspaper (Ann Arbor, MI) in 1842


YOUR DAY-AFTER RECOVERY REMINDER:

“We’re Here Because We’re Not All There!”
       Slogan on a button sold by
the Wooden U Recover website, which sells “recovery” merchandise to people on the wagon.

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook page.

Related listening and reading…

 

November 22, 2011

“The shot heard round the world.”


THE ORIGINAL THING HEARD ROUND THE WORLD:

“The shot heard round the world.”
      
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
       American poet, essayist and lecturer
       This famous line is from Emerson’s poem
“Hymn Sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument.” It comes at the end of the first verse:
             
“By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
              Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, 
              Here once the embattled farmers stood 
              And fired the shot heard round the world.”

       Emerson wrote the poem in 1836 for a ceremony to celebrate the completion of a monument to the American “Minutemen” who fought at
the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. These skirmishes between rebellious Americans and British troops on April 19, 1775 are generally regarded as the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
       That morning, some 700 British Army regulars were marching through Lexington toward Concord to confiscate an illegal weapons arsenal stored there by the Massachusetts militia. When the “Redcoats” got to Lexington, their way was blocked by about 80 local militiamen. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the Americans to disperse, which they actually began to do. Then, suddenly, someone fired a shot. Nobody knew who it was. But, when it rang out, both sides started firing at each other and the American Revolution was underway. 
      
At the official dedication of the Concord Monument on July 4, 1837, Emerson’s poem was sung to the tune of a hymn called “The Old Hundredth,” a.k.a. “The Old 100th” or “The Old Hundred.” (Hence the use of the word “hymn” in the title.) His memorable phrase “the shot heard round the world” created a phrase formula that has since been used to refer to various other things that generate wide attention or notoriety. For example…


THE CELEBRITY “NEWS” VARIATION:

“The divorce heard round the world.”
      
Perez Hilton
       American celebrity news blogger and “television personality”
      
Hilton’s description of “reality star” Kim Kardashian’s divorce from NBA player Kris Humphries, ten weeks after their offensively lavish, apparently made-for-TV wedding brought joy to the hearts of millions of celebrity-obsessed people — and to the pocketbooks of TV shows and tabloid magazines and websites that cover such stuff.


A RECENT POLITICAL VARIATION:

“The brain fart heard round the world.”
       Jon Stewart
       American comedian and host of The Daily Show
       Stewart’s description
(on The Daily Show) of Rick Perry’s “oops moment” during the November 9, 2011 Republican presidential candidate debate, when Perry said he would abolish three federal agencies if elected but was unable to name all three. Some commentators called it “the oops moment heard round the world.”


AN OLDER POLITICAL VARIATION:

“The blooper heard round the world.”
       TIME magazine, October 18, 1976
       TIME’s description of the major gaffe by President Gerald Ford during the October 6, 1976 presidential debate with Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter, when Ford claimed “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.” In fact, the Soviet Union clearly dominated a number of countries in Eastern Europe at the time, including East Germany, Yugoslavia, Rumania and Poland. The remark made Ford seem clueless about international politics. He later admitted he’d misspoken. Carter won the election.

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading and viewing…

October 19, 2011

“Religion is the opium of the people.”


THE FAMOUS KARL MARX SOUND BITE:

“Religion...is the opium of the people.”
(“Die Religion...ist das Opium des Volks.”)
      
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
       German philosopher, historian and “Founding Father” of socialism and communism
       From the introduction to his manuscript
Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1844)
       The quote above (sometimes translated as “Religion...is the opiate of the people” or “Religion...is the opium of the masses”) is the familiar condensed sound bite taken from the more nuanced point Marx made in the introduction to his critique of the views of German philosopher
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). Here’s what he actually wrote: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.”


THE OCCUPY WALL STREET VERSION:

“Occupy Wall Street...ignited a month ago after a prompt from AdBusters, a not-quite-underground magazine based in Toronto that wraps its anti-corporate message — hyper-consumption is the opiate of the people — in high-definition, high-gloss irony. (It is rather delicious that the counterattack to the vast class war waged for so long by the American right wing and its corporate masters was hatched under Canadian sponsorship. The last time Canada provided such a public service was when it harbored Vietnam-era draft resisters.)”
       Editorial in
The Boston Phoenix, October 17, 2011


THE OCCUPY WALL STREET VERSION 2.0:

“Is talking about the economy becoming the opiate of the classes?”
      
Rev. Michael Bresciani
       American minister, author and conservative columnist
       In
one of his recent columns on the RenewAmerica website, September 25, 2011


THE ONLINE PORN VERSION:

“We might not have free education, healthcare, or affordable housing but at least we have the ‘freedom’ to pay for unlimited access to online pornography. But what is this tawdry freedom really? Surely the masturbating porn audience is a parody of sexuality. Work, consume, masturbate to porn, be silent, die. Pornography is the opium of the people.”
      
Dr. Abigail Bray
       Australian sociologist and author of the book
Misogyny Re-Loaded  
       Comments
in an opinion piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald, October 8, 2011


THE ONLINE JOKESTER’S VERSION:

“If religion is the opiate of the masses, then what the fuck is opium?”
      
Mason Lerner
       American stand-up comedian and freelance writer
       One of the 25 things Lerner said he cares about more than whether the NBA is going to have to cancel some games,
in his column on the FasterTimes website, October 17, 2001

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading…

October 11, 2011

“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”


THE FAMOUS FAUX DOCTOR’S LINE:

“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”
       Used in TV ads for
Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup by actors Chris Robinson and Peter Bergman
       This now oft-parodied confession was popularized by Vicks Formula 44 commercials that began airing in 1984. The original ads featured Robinson, who was best known at the time for his role as Dr. Rick Webber on the television soap opera General Hospital. In 1986, after Robinson was convicted of tax evasion, he was replaced in the Vicks ads by actor Peter Bergman, who was playing Dr. Cliff Warner on the soap All My Children.
       In a 1984 version of the Vicks commercial that’s currently
posted on YouTube with some other vintage ads from 1984, Robinson says: “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV. And, when many adults get a cough, they play doctor at home. They treat their cough with the same medicine they originally bought for their children. They need one of the adult formulas from Vicks, for the coughs adults get, with the strength adults need. Formula 44 for coughs. 44D for coughs with congestion. And, now, Formula 44M for coughs with congestion and a raw irritated throat. The adult formulas. You can't buy anything more effective.”
       Bergman’s initial ad for Vicks in 1986 was virtually identical.


A JAB AT A REAL DOCTOR WHO CROSSED THE LINE:

“TV’s answer to Web MD, Dr. Mehmet Oz, ran a segment...claiming that his tests found high levels of arsenic in ‘some of the nation’s best known brands of apple juice.’ But because he’s a doctor AND he plays one on TV, the FDA says Dr. Oz’s tests were flawed and that he went overboard on the fearmongering.” 
      
Christopher Robbins
       American journalist and editor 
       In
a Sept. 18, 2011 post on the Gothamist website about the recent flap over Dr. Oz’s claim that apple juice contained potentially unsafe levels of arsenic 
       Food and Drug Administration officials criticized Oz for using tests that do not distinguish between poisonous inorganic arsenic and naturally-occurring organic arsenic, which is found in soil and in many food products in minute levels and is not really a health threat. (If it were, we’d all be dead.)


A JAB AT AN ALLEGEDLY FAUX CHRISTIAN:

“In her 2006 book Godless: The Church of Liberalism, pundit Ann Coulter attacked Democrats for being anti-religion and for faking religious faith. However, Coulter apparently is not a member or regular attendee of any church. Perhaps she should offer a disclaimer at every personal appearance: ‘I’m not a Christian, but I play one on TV, radio, and in books.’”
      
Brian Kaylor 
       Baptist journalist, blogger and book author
      
In his book For God’s Sake, Shut Up! Lessons for Christians on How to Speak Effectively (2007)


A JAB AT FAUX FEMINISTS BY A FEMINIST HERO:

“I’m Not a Feminist But I Play One on TV”
       Susan Faludi 
       Feminist writer and activist  
       Title of
her oft-cited feminist article published in the March/April 1995 issue of Ms. magazine
       In the article, Faludi criticized so-called “third-wave feminists” and female celebrities who appear or claim to be “liberated” but who are more closely aligned with conservative, traditional values and views of women than with the values and views espoused by feisty feminists like Faludi. She called such women “Pod Feminists,” a metaphor based on the “pod people” in the classic sci-fi horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.


A JAB AT A “FEMINIST HERO” (WHO’S FAUX IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE):

“Heidi Montag may think she’s a feminist, but she definitely doesn’t play one on TV.”
      
Comment posted on the AolTV site by the editors of Lemondrop.com
       The comment is linked to Lemondrop.com’s
list of “The 20 Least Feminist TV Characters”
       Heidi Montag is best known as the star of MTV’s “reality” series The Hills and for her love of plastic surgery. The Lemondrop.com editors obviously disagreed with a previous New York Times review that had
called Heidi “a feminist hero.” (Heidi said she was “very honored” by being given that title.)

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading…

September 25, 2011

“A kinder, gentler nation” – or maybe not...


GEORGE’S APPARENTLY IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

“I want a kinder, gentler nation.”
      
George H. W. Bush  
       Republican politician and 41st President of the United States 
       This is one of three famous quotes from
the speech Bush gave on August 18, 1988 at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, accepting his nomination as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party. That address, written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, also included the memorable phrase “a thousand points of light” and Bush’s infamous pledge: “Read my lips: no new taxes.”
       In the part of the speech that included the soon oft-parodied words “a kinder, gentler nation,” Bush explained:
       “Prosperity with a purpose means taking your idealism and making it concrete by certain acts of goodness. It means helping a child from an unhappy home learn how to read - and I thank my wife Barbara for all her work in literacy. It means teaching troubled children through your presence that there's such a thing as reliable love. Some would say it's soft and insufficiently tough to care about these things. But where is it written that we must act as if we do not care, as if we are not moved? Well I am moved. I want a kinder, gentler nation.”


DONALD TRUMP’S RESPONSE:

“I like George Bush very much and support him and always will. But I disagree with him when he talks of a kinder, gentler America. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it's literally going to cease to exist. I think if we had people from the business community — the Carl Icahns, the Ross Perots — negotiating some of our foreign policy, we’d have respect around the world.”
       Donald Trump
       American businessman, reality TV celebrity and unreal presidential candidate
       In
an interview published in the March 1990 issue of Playboy magazine


NEIL YOUNG’S RESPONSE:

“We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler
Machine gun hand...
Keep on rockin’ in the free world.”

      
Neil Young
       Canadian rock musician and songwriter 
       These lyrics come from Young’s popular, politically-charged rock anthem “Rockin’ in the Free World,” released in 1989. He originally wrote the song to express his opinions about the political policies of President George H. W. Bush and what he viewed as an increasingly meaner, harsher America. Young still performs it with great passion today and many of the lyrics seem as relevant as ever. Maybe even more relevant.


DICK CHENEY’S RESPONSE:

“I think they were hoping for a kinder, gentler Dick Cheney, and I listened to what they had to say, and then I ignored their advice.”
       Dick Cheney
       Republican politician and U.S. Vice President under President George W. Bush
       Cheney made this comment in his memoir, In My Time (2011). It describes
his response when campaign consultants working for Bush asked him not to use harsh rhetoric attacking Democrats during his speech at the 2000 Republican convention, due to their concerns that Cheney would alienate moderate swing voters. Of course, the consultants’ concerns were unfounded. Dubya went on to win the 1988 presidential election by a huge landslide over Gore and moderates came to love Cheney. Nah — just kidding.


A MARKET FORCE RESPONSE:

“Market forces are not kinder and gentler to technologies just because we prefer them.”
       Scott L. Montgomery
       Geologist, author and faculty member at the University of Washington, Seattle
       Commenting on renewable energy sources in his book The Powers That Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-first Century and Beyond (2010)

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading (and listening)…

September 10, 2011

No peace (or rest) for the wicked…


THE BIBLICAL ORIGIN:

“There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”
       Isaiah 48:22 (King James version)
      
This Bible verse, and the similar line in Isaiah 57:20, gave rise to the proverbial saying “No rest for the wicked,” which eventually morphed into “No rest for the weary.” The meaning of the Bible verses is that people who do sinful, wicked things will be tormented and won’t be able to find peace in their lives.


HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“In this Kingdom of Evil,
There is no peace for the Righteous.
It is the wicked that inherited
This tortured World, engulfed
In the red, milky, cry-absorbing fog,
Guarding the wilted conscience of man.”
       Holocaust survivor Alexander Kimel
       In his poem
“We Will Never Forget – Auschwitz”


DAREDEVIL’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“They say there’s not rest for the wicked. But what about the good? The battle of Good vs. Evil is never-ending because evil always survives, with the help of evil men.”
       Daredevil (played by Ben Affleck)
       In the movie
Daredevil (2003)


DEEP THINKER’S VARIATION:

“There is no peace for the thinker, unless in some way he learns the wisdom of Professor FE Abbott’s dictum, ‘Either we must cease to think, or we must think more profoundly.’”
       Editorial in The Andover Review (June 1892)


PITY THE POOR POLITICIAN VERSION:

“There is no peace for the politician save in the grave.”
       Augustine Birrell
       In his
biography of William Hazlitt (1902)



PITY THE POOR VAMPIRE VERSION:

“There is no rest for the undead!”
       T-shirt on
Zazzle.com


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.




A book of quotes for Rolling Stones fans:

What Would Keith Richards Do?

by Jessica Pallington West

August 28, 2011

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”


THE FAMOUS PATRIOTIC QUOTE:

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
      
Nathan Hale (1755-1776)
       American schoolteacher, spy and Revolutionary War hero
       According to legend, Hale uttered this brave quote on September 22, 1776, just before he was hung by the British for being an American spy. According to modern historians, he probably didn’t say it. If he did, he was probably paraphrasing an earlier quote from Joseph Addison’s play Cato (1713), which was popular in the 1770s and almost certainly known to Hale. In Act IV, Scene 4 of the play, Cato says: “What pity is it / That we can die but once to serve our country!”

THE COLBERT COUNTERQUOTE:


“I regret that I have but one life to give. I want more lives!”
      
Stephen Colbert
       American political satirist
       In
his intro to the June 5, 2008 episode of The Colbert Report

THE ABBIE HOFFMAN FLAG SHIRT VARIATION:


“I only regret that I have but one shirt to give for my country.”
      
Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989)
       American political activist and leader of the Yippies
      
His response in October 1968 after being found guilty of the “crime” of wearing an American flag shirt.

THE FOREIGN SERVICE VARIATION:


“I only regret that I have but one liver to give for my country.”
      
Fred Chapin (1929-1969)
       American diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Guatemala and Ethiopia
       Chapin, famous for his ability to drink a bottle of Scotch and still give a lucid interview, is generally credited with coining this quip. It’s
said to be well-known in Foreign Service circles.

THE CHEEZY LOLCAT VARIATION:

“I only regret that I have but nine lives to give for my Cheez-site.” 
       Posted by
CorvusCorax 
       Another one of those cute LOLcat photo/quotes

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook page.

Related reading:

August 17, 2011

How do we love to parody Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43? Let me recount some ways...


THE ORIGIN OF THE IMMORTAL LOVE QUOTE:

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
      
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
       English poet
       The famous opening words of Sonnet 43, from her
Sonnets from the Portuguese (written 1845-46, published 1850)
       Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett fell deeply in love after meeting at her father’s home in 1845. Elizabeth soon began writing a series of poems expressing her love for Robert. Robert was soon calling her by the pet name
“my little Portuguese,” a reference to her dark hair and complexion. In 1846, they eloped. Four years later, the love poems Elizabeth had written for Robert before they married were published in an anthology of her poetry, under the collective title Sonnets from the Portuguese. Sonnet 43 is the best known. Its ten opening words are among the most famous — and most parodied — bits of poetry in the English language.


THE GLEE HATER’S VERSION:

“How do I hate GLEE? Let me count the ways. For starters, this is a saccharine snorefest. And don’t even get me started on gleeks, autotune, the characters…”
      
Daniel Bettridge
       British TV and film critic
      
In a review posted on The Guardian’s TV & Radio Blog on March 15, 2010


THE MITT ROMNEY VARIATION:

“Is Mitt Romney, well-coiffed automobile heir and consulting savant, weird? Let us count the ways.”
      
Juli Weiner
       Former Wonkette.com writer now on the staff of Vanity Fair magazine
      
In a post on Vanity Fair’s “VF Daily” blog, August 9, 2011


THE NANCY PELOSI VARIATION:

“Ah, Nancy how do I love thee, let me count the ways. You stimulate me to no end. My heart flutters when I think about your passing Obamacare. And of course we all know you come from that wonderful city of San Francisco that so embraces our core American values like a collective hate of the McDonald’s Happy Meal.”
      
Dr. Richard Swier
       Conservative blogger and host of the Dr. Rich Show, a Florida-based radio talk show
       In
a November 14, 2010 post bashing Nancy Pelosi, on the “Red County” website


AN HOMAGE TO RYAN GOSLING’S ARMS:

“How Much Do I Love Ryan Gosling’s Arms? Let Me Count The Ways.
1. They’re huge.
2. They can envelop a pack of wild animals.
3. They were in Young Hercules. (LOL)
4. He can probably crush a can of spinach with the contents flying directly into his mouth Popeye-style.
5. He could probably grill paninis in between his hands.
6. He can hoist Al Roker up over his head, Dirty Dancing style.” 
      
Michelle Collins 
       American comedian and Managing Editor of VH1’s Bestweekever.tv site
       Gushing about Gosling in
a July 20, 2011 blog post, after seeing him in an appearance on the Today Show.

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook page.

Further reading: by and about Elizabeth Barrett Browning…

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