Thursday, July 24, 2014

July DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

Tamera Will Wissinger, our spotlight author for July, chose the parody or tribute poem as this month's ditty challenge.  What a fun challenge it's been!  Thank you to everyone who kept me smiling and laughing all month long.

Once I tuned in, I was surprised at just how common parody poems are.  When Margaret Simon gave me this link to her former student's parody of "Let It Go," I thought about how many other versions of that song were floating around social media a while back.

There was the time I found my children surfing YouTube earlier this month, looking for Minecraft parodies of popular songs.  Or what about this hilarious "Weird Al" parody, "Word Crimes", that's circulating right now?

Seriously, they're everywhere!

On Carrie Finison's blog, Story Patch, I recently won a copy of THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE, by Rebecca Colby.  Wouldn't you know, another delightful parody picture book!

Not long after, I spied this hilarious parody based on Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," also by Rebecca Colby.  (Make sure to click on the sound recording as well.)

And then, of course, there were all of these: 

Santa had a heaping pack
     – by Kristi Veitenheimer

Sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Santa had a heaping pack,
heaping pack, heaping pack,
Santa had a heaping pack  
which was filled up with toys. 

He needed to find boys and girls, 
boys and girls, boys and girls. 
He needed to find boys and girls 
who had been good all year. 

Santa looked at this year’s list,
this year’s list, this year’s list. 
Santa looked at this year’s list 
and plotted a fast route. 

He loaded the pack on his sled,
on his sled, on his sled. 
He loaded the pack on his sled
and called his best reindeer. 

Red-nosed Rudolph led the way,
led the way, led the way. 
Red-nosed Rudolph led the way
to each and every home. 

Christmas morn they all woke up,
all woke up, all woke up. 
Christmas morn they all woke up
to see what Santa brought. 

All the children laughed and played,
laughed and played, laughed and played. 
All the children laughed and played 
with Santa's Christmas loot. 

Back home Santa took a nap, 
took a nap, took a nap. 
Back home Santa took a nap
that lasted through the day.

                                  A Grand Old Frog
                                       – by Gayle C. Krouse

                                   Based on "You're a Grand Old Flag" by George M. Cohan

                                   He’s a grand old frog,
                                   who can leap through the bog,
                                   and forever in spring may he croak. 
                                   An Olympian; 

                                   the best of the high-jumping folk.

                                   Ev'ry polliwog wants to be this grand frog. 
                                   He’s a champion, who soars through the sky,

                                   But they don’t know that his secret is … 
                                   He’s just catching a grand old fly.

The Five-Lined Skink
     – by James "Jim" A. Duke

Parody on Burl Ives "Blue Tail Fly" ("Jimmy Crack Corn")

I'll betcha that you'd never think
Today you'd meet the blue-tail skink
but I am tellin, I'll betcha Helen
will wink and blink and find your skink. 

          Ha, ha, ha; here we be
          The blue tail skink and you and me
          I’m singing corn, but I don’t care
          The skink done gone away

The skink is an insectivore
Eating bugs and little more 
She helps keep down our flies and fleas 
Helps control a lot of these

Blue tail skink hidin' in the rock
She don't need no lollypop 
Eating bugs and fleas and flies 
Quicker'n you can bat your eyes

Do you think a skink can think? 
Then think about that tail of blue! 
Should our snake grab that tail of blue 
The skink sheds it: "I fooled you"

Don't think they stink, the blue-tail skink 
Can catch a fly in just a wink 
More than most folk really think 
We'd better thank the blue tail skink

                              Take Me Out of Your Backpack
                                  – by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

                              Sung to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" 
                              by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer.

                              Take me out of your backpack.
                              Reach inside the black hole,
                              Past the detritus and paper mess–
                              What's inside could be anyone's guess,
                              But please root, root, root till you find me.
                              Sniff me out with your nose.
                              For with 1-, 2-, 3-day old chicken
                              That's how it goes!

The Barefoot Girl
     – by Linda Baie

A tribute to "The Barefoot Boy" by John Greenleaf Whittier

Blessings on thee, little girl,  
flip-flopped feet, with hair of curl! 
With thy tee of rainbow hues, 
And thy ripped up jeans so blue; 
Your red lips show make-up done 
I see tan shoulders, kissed by sun. 
You laugh with friends all feeling tall, 
Holding bliss—you’re at the mall! 
I remember those days well: 
Carefree giggling rings a bell! 
Princess crowned—the grown-up girl 
Layering the future in a swirl. 
Allow this moment, never hide; 
Flip flops, tees, and friends abide. 
Thou hast more than eyes can see 
Keep it close, err loss will be. 
Outward sunshine, inside, seed pearl.
Blessings on thee, little girl! 

Two UFDs (Unidentified Flying Ditties) appeared out of nowhere from Carrie Clickard:  
                              UFD #1:
                              Based on the traditional lullaby, "Hush, Little Baby"

                              Hush, little Martian, don't flap a wing,
                              Mama's gonna give you a radar ring.
                              And if that ring won't work in fog,
                              Papa's gonna buy you an android dog.
                              And if that android dog won't bark,
                              Mama's got a pass for the Milky Way park.
                              And if the Milky Way runs dry,
                              Papa's gonna build you a saucer to fly.
                              And if that saucer hits the sun,
                              Mama's gonna buy you a laser gun.
                              And if that laser never shoots,
                              Papa's gonna buy you some rocket boots.
                              And if those boots won't reach a star,
                              We'll stop by Earth and buy a car.

                                               Carrie Clickard, all rights reserved

                              UFD #2:
                               Sung to the tune of "This Old Man"

                               Down from Mars, spaceships fly -
                               saucers spinning in the sky
                               with a click clack power pack,
                               rocketa-pocketa, zoom!
                               We buzz Earth with a sonic boom.

                               On a farm, our ship drops
                               making circles in their crops
                               with a click clack power pack,
                               wurble-burble whirr (shhhhhh!)
                               We sneak past in a spinning blur!

                               Time to go, we blast off
                               watching Earthlings blink and cough
                               with a click clack power pack,
                               rocketa-pocketa, zoom!
                               Back to Mars with a sonic boom.

                                               – Carrie Clickard, all rights reserved

‘Twas the Day Before Pesach
     – by Jan Gars
The version HERE includes a glossary of Yiddish terms.

Based on "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the day before Pesach, and all through the shul,
Not a rabbi was stirring, they were at Hebrew school;
In the basement below that my zayde had leased
My bubbe and tante set a Passover feast.

The yids were all coming! There’s aunt Jo and aunt Sophie,
Then Zelda schlept in with her mensch, such a trophy.
Cousin Ann couldn’t make it because of a job,
When she started to dress, her nose started to throb.

My sister is making the matzo ball soup,
About fifteen quarts to feed this large group.
Then to the bank, I fly in a flash,
To finance this simcha, we needed more cash!

The herbs and the bitters were put by the sink;
The gefilte fish Jo brought had started to stink.
Shari was gagging until she would wretch
Then she started complaining, oy vey what a kvetch.

Aunt Margie said Milty the family sinner,
Had chutzba by bringing a shiksa to dinner.
Uncle Brucey is dancing and doing his schtick,
While cussing in Yiddish and twirling his stick.

The sun’s going down and it’s time for the Seder,
But Murry’s not here, is he coming later?
Then there’s a clatter outside of the door,
And out of a Caddy steps Murray and four.

Now Shlomo, now Moisha, now Sara, now Irv,
Der tate oysn oyg, stepping off of the curve;
Shlomo has macaroons, Mo’s in magenta
Sara “the kibitz”, she’s such a yenta.

Then there is Murry, a jolly soul he,
Twinkling eyes and plump as can be;
He had a round face and a belly that shook,
Mogen David in one hand and the other a Nook.

He sat at the table and started to read,
The Nook was in Hebrew, “now follow my lead”.
A modernized Jew, I think it’s an omen,
But where has he hidden this year’s Afikomen?

“The meshugganah pharaoh would not let us leave,
Then God told old Moses he had to believe;
So ten plagues were given the ancient Egyptians”.
Mazel tov Moses for your Bible inscriptions!

We pray and we eat the unleavened breads,
With kosher tradition embossed in our heads.
Then he made a toast, as he took his last bite
L’chaim to all, and to all a good night!

And a few more, somewhat "littler" ditties from Jan Gars, based on traditional nursery rhymes: 

Jack's Cat

Jack's cat was very fat
His dog was very lean
So when Sylvester sat on him
Old Ruff could not be seen

                                Bye Bye Black Sheets

                                Bye bye black sheets
                                They are made of wool
                                A little bit too itchy
                                So at my skin I pull
                                Into the laundry
                                Into the trash
                                It doesn't make a difference
                                They're not worth the cash

                                                               Little Miss Muffit

                                                               Little Miss Muffit
                                                               Sat on a tuffit
                                                               Reading the news on the way
                                                               She invested in SPDRs
                                                               And tips from insiders
                                                               And is still very rich to this day

                                                                                             Little Jack Horner

                                                                                             Little Jack Horner
                                                                                             Sat in the corner
                                                                                             Drinking a quart of rye
                                                                                             He got very numb
                                                                                             When he added some rum
                                                                                             Then stuck his face into a pie

                                                                                            – Jan Gars, all rights reserved

     – by Tabatha Yeatts

Sung to the tune of Do-Re-Mi

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you write you begin with their-there-they're (their-there-they're)

The first three words happen to be their-there-they're

(Oh, let's see if I can make it easier)

Their- belongs, belongs to them
There- a place where you can go
They're- is only when they are
Its- is something it can show
It's- is solely when it is
Your- is something just for you
You're- you are the way it is 
Sometimes only their will do (oo-oo-oo)


When you know the words to write
Then you can write to delight

From Diane Mayr with "apologies to Basho," though I'm pretty sure he had brilliant sense of humor and would have appreciated the tribute:
                  the old Pond's
                  a finger dips in,
                  smear of mascara

                                      – Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

The Passionate Stallion to his Mare
     – by B.J. Lee

A parody of Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”

Come live with me and be my mare
and we will every pleasure share.
I’ll save my treats and give you all
the apples when they start to fall.

And we will graze in glorious grass,
and I’ll not let a moment pass
when I am not as close to you
as I can be through chomp and chew.

We’ll share the stable past Duck’s pond,
and there we’ll strengthen our deep bond.
I’ll give you first dibs on the hay
and I will never say thee neigh.

So if this life seems good to you,
then bid your former life adieu.
And if you smell love in the air,
come live with me and be my mare.

                             The Ballad of Odyssey 
                                   – by Keri Collins Lewis

                              Sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling, Clementine"

                              In a cavern, in a canyon
                              at the bottom of the sea
                              lived a ancient, giant squid
                              and his daughter, Odyssey.

                              Through the darkness
                              this pair hunted
                              for the fish that brought them glee,
                              but the old squid found a new love
                              and abandoned Odyssey.

                              Then a sperm whale
                              snuck up on her
                              as she swam alone and free,
                              all those tentacles could not save her
                              and he ate dear Odyssey.

                              Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling, Odyssey,
                              You are just part of the food chain,
                              that’s the way it’s meant to be.

                              From Keri:  For a video of a giant squid, click HERE 
                                                     For more info, click HERE

Deck the Hulls
     – by Donna JT Smith 

Based on the traditional Christmas carol, "Deck the Halls"

Deck the hulls with lights so jolly!
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Even trim the traps, by golly!
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Don we now our boots and oilskins,
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
While we sing of lobster boilin’s,
     Fa la la la la, la lobster la!

See the rolling waves before us,
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
They delight a New York tour bus,
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Bobbers, buoys and other treasures
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
They’ll remind of seaside pleasures
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!

Fast to sea the low tide rushes,
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Now the high tide inward gushes
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Stack the traps and buoys together
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
We’ll withstand the lowry weather!
     Fa la la la, la la lobster la!

                                                                      Today's Piggies
                                                                           – by Buffy Silverman

                                                                      Based on the traditional nursery rhyme

                                                                      This little piggy had an ipad

                                                                      This little piggy skyped home,

                                                                      This little piggy watched youtube,

                                                                      This little piggy ran Chrome,

                                                                      This little piggy went...

                                                                      Tweet, tweet, tweet,
                                                                      all the way home!

It's a Parodypalooza and July isn't even over yet!

You have until 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday, July 31st, 
to send me your tribute or parody poem.


Everyone who participates in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a personalized copy of Tamera's new picture book, THIS OLD BAND. (One entry per participant, not per poem.) Alternatively, you may earn an entry into the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total.  Comments must also be received no later than 5:00 EDT on Thursday July 31st, 2014.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, August 1st, when we feature our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge.  

Keep those ditties coming!

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong are hosting a Poetry Friday party over at Poetry for Children.  Stop by for some festive news and an abundance of poetry offerings.


  1. What great fun with parodies! Thanks for sharing and making me smile. The only problem is all these tunes tend to be ear bugs. Do re mi...

    1. Oh, I know! The curse of a catchy tune! Glad I could make you smile though, Margaret.

  2. This month's challenge was a lot of fun! Thank you, Michelle, for sponsoring these each month. I always learn so much. After seeing my poem about Santa posted, I realized how much editing was needed, especially in the meter department. I have done some revising and posted it on my blog. If you 'd like to see the revised version and compare, here is the link.

    1. As writers, I'm not sure our revisions ever *really* end-- I'm perpetually word-smithing my way through life. But I do love that you're taking these challenges on like a champ and having fun with them! I left a comment for you on your blog. :)

  3. What a great selection of ha-ha-ha's (and a few groans). Loved them!

    1. I agree, there's much to love here, groans or no groans!

  4. What a fun collection. But please don't enter me in the drawing. I'm just having fun admiring all this talent. I thought I'd submit something, but it's looking doubtful...

    1. Next time, Monica. I'm just glad to have you hanging around. :)

    2. For better or for worse!

  5. Hahaha! I love these parodies! I've got one to send you as well.

  6. Okay, you made me do it:

    (Apologies to Basho)

    the old Pond's
    a finger dips in,
    smear of mascara

    1. What's a little arm twisting between friends? LOVE this, Diane- thanks for joining in!

  7. These are wonderful! Parodies are so much fun. I love the variety of them you have here. I've never tried to write one, but maybe I'll give it a try!

    1. I hadn't tried before this month either, but they really are fun. You should definitely give it a go, Linda!

  8. This is a real treat. I especially like He's a Grand Old Frog, but they are all pretty fun.

    1. Didn't Gayle do a terrific job with that one? So glad you stopped by to enjoy them, Rosi.

  9. I love how varied your Parodypalooza is! You're right, Michelle-- I hadn't realized how popular parodies are until you brought it up. The grossest one (which my son thought was pretty entertaining) is Clenching My Booty. It's a parody of a Justin Bieber song.

    1. Thanks for the warning about the Bieber parody... I might give that one a pass. :P

  10. Wow! These parodies are phenomenal! I smiled as I read every one - and shared a few with my girls. I'm going to check out THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE - looks fun. Thanks for issuing this challenge, such fun! = )

    1. All thanks go to Tamera for this great challenge! I'm just sitting back and having as much fun as you are reading them all. :)

  11. I love parodies so this was such a fun read! I enjoyed all the ditties and don't envy your job of choosing one next week as the prize winner. Thanks for the mention of my own parodies, Michelle!

    1. Oh, no, I could never choose either... gets that job. It was a pleasure to include you, Rebecca. You're welcome here anytime!

  12. Oh, no...this is going to be nagging at me all weekend now...
    These parodies were great! Loved them all!

  13. It's a party over here! Our kids used to love the book Take Me Out of the Bathtub by Alan Katz but that was long ago when they'd let me sing to them.

  14. I have had a blast reading all of these parodies. Were I an editor, Carrie's UFO #1 would get snapped up and made into a picture book before you could say solar eclipse. Too fun! Thanks for sharing . . . maybe I'll find an old ditty to parody myself before 7/31.

    1. Well, lookey here! I didn't even have time to beg before you came through with something... a many-tentacled something... a many-tentacled something that may very well give me nightmares. Oh what the heck, what's a ditty party without a giant squid?!

    2. Awwww, shucks. thanks for your kind words, Keri! (Any takers out there? Griin!!)

      And thanks again to Michelle for giving us such a fun play to romp, rhyme and share in.

  15. "Word Crimes" is my favorite of the new Weird Al parody songs--and how brilliant of you to include it here! I think that emphasizing the poem-song lyrics connection is the easiest way to bring teens (back) to poetry, and following it up with other parody poems is a terrific way to do it. Thanks for this wonderful post, Michelle!

    1. You're so right, Janet. We'll reel them in with popular culture and then slowly but surely, blow their minds... thank you Weird Al!

    2. When Sylvia Vardell was writing the “Take 5!” Mini-Lessons for The Poetry Friday Anthology, I remember being skeptical about pairing poems with popular songs—but, just as Sylvia promised, kids love that technique. The PFA poems that follow aren’t parodies, but your kids will love hearing you sing them: “My Best Friend is Leaving” by Debbie Levy and “Mud Supper” by Mary Quattlebaum (you can sing the lyrics to both to the tune of “On top of Old Smoky”) and “Teddy Wear” by Graham Denton (sing to the tune of “O Tannenbaum” (“Oh, Christmas tree”)). Try it!

  16. Hi Michelle and parody poets! I’ve been traveling this month and have been trying to keep up with reading your wonderful parody poems. I’m home now, and it’s been a real treat to see them all here in one place. GREAT WRITING, EVERYONE and thanks for playing along! Thanks for the recap, Michelle. And I loved seeing Al Yankovic’s Word Crimes – I’ve been quietly following his career for some time (is anyone really surprised?) And what fun to hear the singing of I am Lion by Rebecca Colby. Thanks for giving me a good giggle from all of the fun in this post! Keep 'em coming!

  17. Lots of fun rhymes here (I remember well those black-hole backpack days!) Thanks for including mine.