Pop music certainly has its place in the world, offering simple pleasures from catchy tunes that burrow their way into your head where they remain until another, more powerful, ditty comes along. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your preferred genre or not, certain pop songs will still enter into your subconscious and lay dormant until you catch yourself singing the chorus in the shower one morning.
Thankfully there is a simple way of alleviating some of the guilt you may feel for liking these mostly terrible songs from the likes of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Beyonce (all of whom are immensely popular musicians on Facebook). I am, of course, talking about song parodies, which have existed for centuries in one form or another.
We won’t be travelling that far back through the swirling mists of time, but what follows are 10 of the funniest song parodies you can watch on YouTube right now. And because we’re too good to you all you can watch them right here on this page thanks to the power of embedding.
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
This song was everywhere for a while, and the parodies were released thick and fast in its wake. This one, which is titled The Star Wars That I Used To Know is one of the funniest, and is certainly the most fitting for a technology site owned, managed, written, read, and used by geeks of all stripes.
The song tells the story of Star Wars and how George Lucas kept messing with the franchise that made both his name and his fortune. Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) speaks directly to Lucas, who, judging by the original Gotye song, is playing the part of his ex-boyfriend.
Alanis Morissette – Ironic
Ironic by Alanis Morissette is an absolute classic. There is, however, one major problem with it: the anecdotes she tells aren’t actually all that ironic. Which is in itself ironic, so perhaps Morissette is a genius and meant it all along.
Still, it doesn’t matter now as we’ve got this parody to thank for fixing the song and adding a heavy dose of irony to each verse. The singing may be a little off-key at time, and the video production leaves a lot to be desired, but this is still fantastic.
Carly Rae Jepson – Call Me Maybe
This is the first of two songs by The Key Of Awesome, a group specializing in satirical music parodies. Their victim this time is Carly Rae Jepson, who scored a huge hit with the utterly banal Call Me Maybe in 2012.
In this parody, Jepson is transformed into a scary girl who becomes slightly obsessed with a guy after an alleged one-night stand. It’s OK though, as the crazy Jepson-alike gets her comeuppance in the end when her husband decides he wants to start seeing other people.
Nickelback – Photograph
I’m a big fan of the country of Canada, but I’m not sure I can ever forgive the Canadians for inflicting Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, and Nickelback onto the world. Then again they also birthed Justin Pot, so I guess it all evens out in the end.
Photograph by Nickelback is a horrendous song which was truly ripe for parodying. This one is my personal favorite, if only for the shouty nature of the whole thing. Delve a little deeper and the original lyrics also take a battering.
Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
The less said about the Backstreet Boys the better. I’d rather spend these precious paragraphs waxing lyrical about Weird Al Yankovic, the absolute master of parody songs, and a man who was making them before YouTube had even been created.
There are a dozen Weird Al songs that could have made this list, but eBay, with its catchy chorus of “I bought on eBay” wins a place thanks to its added geek credentials. Hands up who hasn’t bought something weird on eBay they later realized they didn’t need, let alone want.
One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
The second entry from The Key Of Awesome is a brilliant parody of What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. As a card-carrying Brit I feel I should take this opportunity to apologize for inflicting these sexless idiots on to the world, but if you’ve bought any of their songs you only have yourself to blame.
The lyrics are pitched perfectly, mocking the ludicrousness of the video and all of the seen-it-hundreds-of-times-before tropes employed to make tweens fall in love with a new generation of boybands.
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
LMFAO may not have lasted long, but for a short period of time they led the way in delivering quirky dance tunes that didn’t take the music industry at all seriously. I have a feeling they would have appreciated this College Humor parody of Party Rock Anthem.
The title is changed to Staying In Anthem as one sad individual decides to eschew a night out partying in favor of catching up with work. This may bear just a little resemblance to my own Friday nights. “All night long I’m Googling,” indeed.
Rebecca Black – Friday
Rebecca Black has already featured in our list of the worst singers discovered on YouTube, but there’s still a little room to mock her and the awful song that made her famous. I’m not even writing this on a Friday and yet the chorus is already floating around in my head.
This is the most basic form of parody in the world, with some guy speaking over the top of the video, but somehow it works. Stick with it until the very end as we get to enjoy the climax of the video we all secretly wanted to see.
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen may not count as pop music exactly, but Bohemian Rhapsody is such a good song, and this cover version by the Muppets is so watchable, that I couldn’t resist including it in the rundown.
The Muppets have peaked and troughed in terms of popularity over the years, but this Queen parody saw them return to both form and popular consciousness. And with good reason, as it’s a perfect cover version in every way. Except for the chickens.
PSY – Gangnam Style
Last but definitely not least is a parody version of Gangnam Style by PSY, a song that absolutely owned in 2012. It was such a huge hit that we featured videos to help you learn about Gangnam Style, and reviewed a fun Web app called Infinite Gangnam Style.
This video is a little different than the others on this list in that the music has been stripped out and the sound effects of what’s happening in the background artificially engineered. Amazingly it still works as both a catchy song and a parody.
This list includes just 10 song parodies and their accompanying music videos, but there are thousands more available to watch on YouTube. Simply type in the name of your favorite (or least favorite) artist and the phrase “Song Parody” and you should get plenty of results. If you find any that particularly make you laugh then feel free to leave a link in the comments section below.
Looking for more to watch on YouTube? Check out these 10 classic YouTube videos worth watching one more time.
Image Credit: a.powers-fudyma