Image: Billy Florio

Parody of Don McLean's "American Pie"

M. Spaff Sumsion: Concept and lyrics
Tom Smith: Hamlet and Horatio cameos
Carrie Dahlby: Ophelia cameo
Robert Lund: Vocals, instruments, and production

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    A long, long time ago
    I can still remember
    How, alas, poor Yorick's jokes drew groans
    He'd dance and sing and kiss my hand
    Like Elsinore was Neverland
    But then he went and joined the Skull and Bones

    And now, Horatio, I get shivers
    With every line the ghost delivers
    All the Globe has been dark
    'Cause something rots in Denmark

    I can't recall a thing as weird
    As when dear old Daddy reappeared
    To say that he'd been poison-eared
    The day King Hamlet died

    To be or to choose not to be?
    That's the question I'm digestin' in my soliloquy
    And when fortune aims its slings and arrows at me
    Tell me how I'm gonna live through Act III?
    Answer, please, iambically

    Did you like Shakespeare in Love?
    And did you rewind for scansion of
    Gwyneth with her wardrobe gone?
    Now, do you believe in English Lit?
    Is brevity the soul of wit?
    If so, then why's this bloody play so long?

    Well, I know this role has real cachet
    For each Branagh and Olivier
    Mel Gibson draws blood nice
    Man, I dig that Passion of Christ!

    I was a young, great Dane in British schools
    With my pet Ophelia and a dad who rules
    But I knew we'd been played for fools
    The day King Hamlet died

    So here's the question:
    To be or choose rather to be
    Suicidal or to idle apathetically,
    Or is volition all it's cracked up to be
    If "to die, to sleep, to dream" is lovely?
    (Please explain the question to me)

    Less than two months since the obit ran
    And Lord knows, frailty, thy name's wo-man:
    My dumbass uncle wears Dad's ring
    So I set the stage for a royal sting
    What a script! I thought, The play's the thing
    Where I'll catch the conscience of the king

    Oh, and while the king enjoyed the show
    The players showed him whack his bro
    The king stomped off and cried
    O.J. yelled Homicide!

    So Let's Make a Deal, Queen Mother, who
    Is behind curtain number two?
    How now, a rat? I sliced him through
    The day Polonius died

    I was thinking:
    To be or to go with Plan B?
    Is it nobler just to soldier on Shakespeareanly
    Or fly off to the undiscovered country?
    Thus my conscience makes a coward of me
    Get me to a fun nunnery

    Hanky panky? Nope, Ophelia's cranky
    Could she be ticked that I nailed that Yankee?
    Maybe 'cause I knifed her dad?
    She shouted Foul! in her wrath
    You'll never tread on my primrose path!
    (Guess my joke 'bout "country matters" made her mad)

    Now, the nymph went nutso north-northwest
    Went and took a swim completely dressed
    She sank just like a ship
    So here's the moral: skinny-dip!

    Poor Laertes missed his tour de France
    But, merde, this ain't no cheap romance
    (Ask Guildenstern and Rosencrantz)
    The day Ophelia died

    I kept on thinking:
    To be or to other-than-be?
    That's the question! Screw depression! Death sounds painless to me
    This too too solid flesh should melt melt like brie
    And resolve into a fondue for me
    Serve it with some crumpets and tea

    Oh, and there we were all in one place
    Equipped with poison, swords, and Mace
    With Fortune there to shape our ends
    So come on - fence me nimble, fence me quick
    Don't tase me, bro, with your tainted prick
    Or bet your royal ass we're foiled again

    So Laertes and I both got poked
    Mom drank some Chinese lead-based Coke
    The king was S.O.L.
    Thus ends his sworded tale:

    I said, My name ees Hamlet Junior, guy
    You keeled my dad; prepare to die

    (Yes, I stole that from The Princess Bride)
    The day King Claudius died

    Here's the question:
    To be or choose alternately?
    That's the question I'm processin' in Scene I of Act III
    To end these shocks or bear them heart-achingly,
    Quoting Sonnet Number 73?
    (That one's too depressing for me)

    [Soft you now]

    I met a girl named Juliet
    And her boyfriend, whose name I forget
    (What's in a name, man, anyway?)
    I led Othello to his death
    And made life a bitch for King Macbeth
    Till the Bard said, Dude, you're in a different play

    So meanwhile back at Elsinore
    A bunch of guys come to mop the floor
    It's Fortinbras's legions
    I guess we're now Norwegians

    And the three co-stars I riled most:
    Laertes, Mom, and King Claudi-os
    Went off to hang with Daddy's ghost
    The day Prince Hamlet died

    I see dead people...

    To be or choose oppositely?
    Are we tougher if we suffer indefatigably
    Or take up arms against a turbulent sea
    Of the troubles fortune's slinging at me?
    Screw it - let's go watch some TV

    We were thinking:
    To be or to not freaking be
    That's the question we're obsessin' 'bout interminably
    But as for us, the answer's clear: Not to be
    Caught in this Shakespearean tragedy!

    ~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~

    Good-night, sweet prince.

    I'm not quite dead...

    © 2004, 2008+ Spaff, LLC
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