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Fractured Titles of Music

  • Alban Berg's opera for the hearing impaired: Wozzat?
  • Albert Einstein's E/C²=Mass: a relativity unknown work.
  • Aloha Oy. Yiddish farewell song ("The pain it should never leave your heart....")
  • America the Pollutable: national hymn adapted by the E.P.A. and the Sierra Club.
  • Angelus Temple's Pentecostal oratorio: Tis the Gift to be Semple.
  • Bach's Ill-Tempered Fugue: theme song for the movie, Grumpy Old Men.
  • Beethoven's Eggplant Overture: commissoned by the Vegetarian Society of Vienna.
  • Bizet's Carpersons: politically correct opera about workers in a Spanish automobile factory.
  • Brahms' Zigeunerbetroubleiftheystayintownlieder: song cycle about unwelcome gypsies.
  • Brahms's Lullaby of Broadway.
  • Britten's work commissioned for the opening of a fast food chain: Ceremony of Carl's Jr.
  • Car key in the Straw: folk ballad about a farmer who loses the use of his truck.
  • Carl Orff's Carmina Nevada: songs of Las Vegas, e.g. O Fortuna.
  • Chopin's Nicoturnes: music for Benson & Hedges commercials.
  • Clair de Moonlight Sonata: Debussy's adaptation of Beethoven.
  • Clair de Blue Moonlight Sonata: Jazz adaptation of above
  • Clair de Blue Moonlight over Miami Sonata: Popular tune based on above
  • Convent Laundry Liturgy: attributed to Hildegard of Bingham.
  • Copland's The Premise of Living: sets Descartes' famous dictum, "I think, therefore I am."
  • Der fliegende Highlander. Wagner's opera about a Scotsman's search for Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Edward Elgar's Dream of Geranium: oratorio about an ambitious gardener.
  • Gershwin's Orgy and Bess: (I got plenty of everything . . .)
  • Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Pittsburgh: comic opera about baseball.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yoman of the Guard: starring Sylvester Stallone.
  • Gounod's Faucet: opera about the hell of home plumbing repairs.
  • Grieg's Peer Review Suite: his masterpiece of bureaucratic folk songs.
  • Hail to the Chef: theme song at El Presidente Restaurant.
  • Handel's Utter Te Dious: the most boring piece of music.
  • Handel's Watercloset Music.
  • Hatrouchka: Stravinsky's ballet in which the heroine suffers from severe sneezing fits.
  • Haydn's Click Symphony: world's first computer-generated masterpiece.
  • Haydn's Full Nelson Mass: music for wrestling by.
  • Haydn's secular oratorio about gourmet food: The Seasonings.
  • Im Schatten auf Robert und Felix: "In the shadow of Robert and Felix;" song cycle by Clara Schumann.
  • Invitation to the Seance: Carl Maria von Weber's overture to his opera in which he tries to strike a happy medium.
  • Jo to the World: jingle for Maxwell House.
  • John Wilbye's 1598 farewell to Texas: Adieu, Sweet Amarillo.
  • Land of Hype & Gory. Music by Elgar adapted for the movie "Robocop IV."
  • Lehar's The Merry Window: under which Romeo sang to Juliet's great amusement.
  • Lizst's Hungarian Raspberries: berry difficult to play.
  • Lizst's Liebestrauma: song in praise of paramedics.
  • Menotti's Amahl and the Night Sweats: operetta telling how music can banish children's bad dreams.
  • Miss in E flat: by Amy Beech; autobiographical tone poem detailing her rise from feminist obscurity to fame as Mrs. H.H.A. Beach in an East New Hampshire apartment.
  • Monteverdi's Whispers: masses to be sung entirely sotto voce in private.
  • Mozart's A Little Fright Music: From his 'Halloween Dances.'
  • Mozart's The Magic Float: ancient Egypt discovers the remarkable properties of root beer.
  • Mussorgsky's tragic opera of failed romance: Boris Wasn't Godunov.
  • New Mexico! Oscar Hammerstein musical that never made it to Broadway.
  • Nobody knows the treble I'm seeing: spiritual.
  • O, Master Daniel: Elgar's upperclass Victorian arrangement of Danny Boy.
  • Prokofiev's opera about the Three Stooges: Love of Three Bananas.
  • Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf Preservation Society: National Geographic Society special.
  • Puccini's Madame Butterball: the first opera featuring a female sumo wrestler.
  • Rap City in Blue: Afro-Gershwin hit.
  • Richard Rodgers' musical about a singing family with the 'flu: The Sound of Mucus.
  • Richard Wagner's Der fliegende Hollandaise: breakfast turns to tragedy.
  • Richter's Hymn to San Andreas: Save us from our faults..... (uses the Richter scale)
  • Rossini's William Fink Overture: the Italian West Side Story.
  • Schoenberg's opera adapted for Hollywood: Moses und Aron und Miriam und Susanna.
  • Schubert's Darth and the Maiden: adaptation of his string quartet for background music for Spielberg's new Star Wars episode, in which Darth Vader falls in love.
  • Schubert's sympathetic song for parents of small children: Tantrum Ego.
  • Schubert's Unfinished Sympathy: song based on the Goethe poem, 'I feel so....'
  • Schumann's Doktorliebe: song-cycle of a physician's amorous adventures.
  • Sibelius's ode to meter maids: Finelandia.
  • Smetena's The Battered Bride: set in a homeless shelter.
  • Souza's The Stars and Snipes Forever: musical about gossip in Hollywood.
  • Stephen Foster's Beautiful Drummer: written when he was dating his high school drum majorette.
  • Stravinsky's The Firebug: opera on the life of an arsonist.
  • Tallis' Sperm in Alium: requiring a chorus of surrogate mothers.
  • Tchaikovsky's 1811 Overture: an early, discarded version of the later well-known piece. In the early draft bayonets were used. The composer later decided on canons instead. A good choice.
  • The Catfish: Quintet by Arkansas composer Billy Bob Schubert.
  • The Star-Mangled Banner: National anthem sung by celebrity non-musician.
  • The Waldorf Sonata. Beethoven's masterpiece from his salad days.
  • There was a Lover and his Glass: Offenbach's (alcoholic) recasting of the Narcissus legend.
  • Vaughan Williams' Return from the Unknown Region: about escaping from the Bermuda Triangle.
  • Verdi's La Triviata: the heroine dies from an addiction to Trivial Pursuit.
  • William Walton's rock music cantata: Beljaggers Feast.
  • Yankee Noodle: John Williams' rags-to-riches musical about a Chinese immigrant.
  • Yasser Arafat's Israel in Palestine: adaptation of the oratorio by Handel.


source: Wilbur Skeels