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....Yo-da Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo-da...
July 4, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

"I know Darth Vader's really got you annoyed, but remember: if you kill him then you'll be unemployed...." ♫ (ML-Weird-YT)
posted by zarq (24 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Weird Al adds a vocal interlude into Yoda when he sings it in concert, that's called the "Yoda Chant." It's evolved and lengthened over the years.

Also, you can see a longer version of the video at the "unemployed" link, here, which includes "The Saga Begins" and "Yoda."
posted by zarq at 8:14 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just did a double take when listening to this - the "Yoda Chant" is partially adapted from Indian bol chants, which are the mnemonic chants that Indian musicians (especially tabla players) and dancers use to communicate rhythms. I just performed in an Indian show and had to memorize some of these chants.

The "din-na, terakitataka" material is all straight from the tabla. I had no idea Weird Al was so multicultural!

The boom-shaka-laka is not from India. At least I don't think it is.
posted by Zephyrial at 8:40 PM on July 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


1996 Weird Al from the Yoda Chant videa is a surprisingly dead ringer for 1996 Michael Jackson!
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 9:12 PM on July 4, 2010


The "din-na, terakitataka" material is all straight from the tabla. I had no idea Weird Al was so multicultural!

Wow, neither did I! That's fascinating.

The latest version of the chant can be seen on YouTube, in videos uploaded by concertgoers. This one was taped (not by me) at the concert I attended last week. Sound quality isn't fantastic. Although... holy crap I can actually see myself in the crowd!

Other, recent versions.
posted by zarq at 9:20 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someone ought to find the providence of "boom-shaka-laka." All I got is the movie, "Stripes."
posted by clvrmnky at 9:52 PM on July 4, 2010


I had always been struck by Al's way of keeping his voice constant over the decades - at least on the recordings. The videos of live performances tell a different story, and it's interseting.

Another thing that struck me was how the entire band adapted to the decades. In the Tonight Show bit, they are all so..80's. Especially Jim with the hair and jacket.

Then in the Weird Al Show bit, they're 90's grunge. I shoulc check out that DVD set again. The kids have been asking for it.

I love how they all just enjoy the hell out of it all. That's why Weird Al is magic.
posted by lysdexic at 10:17 PM on July 4, 2010


Weird Al did a concert in Chesaning? WTF, my best friend in college was from there. Well, actually she was from Burt, but if no one has ever heard of Chesaning, even fewer people have ever heard of Burt!
posted by pinky at 10:47 PM on July 4, 2010


I love Weird Al, but – I hate to say it – I really, really can't stand Yoda. Principally because Lola is such a fantastic, important, essential, awesome part of rock music; and nobody in my generation gives a fuck about that song. They don't even know it exists. They don't know it's by the Kinks, they don't know the words, and they don't really care to hear it. And every single time I hear it, or play it on a juke box, or turn it up when it's on the radio, or even mention it, every goddamned person starts singing Yoda. I say "yeah, this Lola song, really groundbreaking, it's about transgender issues and..." Woo! It's the Yoda song! I love this! "Yes, but the... I mean, it's actually a song by the Kinks, and..." Yoda! Yo-Yo-Yoda!

But it's St Al. So I will let it slide, because he is holy, and what he does is eternally All Right With Me. Just a little niggle, but I'll get over it at some point.
posted by koeselitz at 10:48 PM on July 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Here, kids – all of you go listen to this awesomeness for a while. This is honestly probably the only song that Weird Al ever did that I think was sort of sacrilege; it's not a song that should've had a parody cover.
posted by koeselitz at 10:59 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the YouTube comments on the Tonight Show clip:

lol what song is this a parody of

This makes me unreasonably sad.
posted by cj_ at 11:14 PM on July 4, 2010


Almost every Weird Al fan has AT LEAST one song that we wish he hadn't made a parody of; "Yoda/Lola" is one of the most frequently cited. It's not that he can do no wrong; it's just that there is no real consensus of when he HAS done something wrong.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:24 PM on July 4, 2010


koeselitz, I'm in your generation and the reason I like Lola is because I first heard Yoda and wondered about its basis.
posted by cucumber at 11:35 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


A parody like "Yoda" is how I can tell a song like "Lola" is as truly great as it is.
posted by wobh at 1:44 AM on July 5, 2010


(Also the yoda chant sounds a lot like the Monkey chant.)
posted by wobh at 1:48 AM on July 5, 2010


Someone ought to find the providence of "boom-shaka-laka." All I got is the movie, "Stripes."

it features as a refrain in I Want to Take You Higher by Sly & the Family Stone (1969) - not sure if that's the earliest usage, but it does predate Stripes

also, just fyi: provenance
posted by jammy at 5:07 AM on July 5, 2010


I love Lola and I love Yoda. Some time ago I went on this YouTube trip myself, looking for versions of Yoda. Nice. I still have old Weird Al 45s.

I saw him at the airport in Melbourne a while ago, just standing there by himself, looking lost. I regret not talking to him to this day.

And I had no idea about the Indian bit either. But I don't underestimate him. The guy's a genius in my book.
posted by bdave at 6:01 AM on July 5, 2010


it's not a song that should've had a parody cover.

There is no such thing. Parody does not diminish something's importance, nor does frowny-faced solemnity and gravitas lend something any more than its intrinsic value. Make fun of everything; spare nothing. Man is the animal that laughs at himself. We live in a generation of people determined to take themselves too seriously, as though being somber about something is being more respectful than taking the time to make fun of it.

Lola and Yoda both rock.
posted by umberto at 6:23 AM on July 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


When I was 11, I was listening to Yoda in my room, and my dad, thinking I was listening to the original version came in and asked me how I knew about The Kinks. "Who are The Kinks?" I asked. And then he took out a bunch of his old records and showed me. I was blown away.
Had this not happened, I probably wouldn't have gotten into The Kinks until college, when I played in a band that covered Lola (but because all of us had learned the Weird Al version first, we kept mixing up the lyrics with the Weird Al version).
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:46 AM on July 5, 2010


...we kept mixing up the lyrics with the Weird Al version

To this day I cannot remember any of the words to "American Pie" and I had that sucker memorized.
posted by lysdexic at 8:43 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite parts about this song is near the end, where the lyrics go something like:

I'll be playing this part 'till I'm old and gray
The long-term contract I had to sign
Says I'll be making these movies till the end of time


Yeah, sometimes cultural predictions don't always turn out the way you'd thought.
posted by lholladay at 9:56 AM on July 5, 2010


To this day I cannot remember any of the words to "American Pie" and I had that sucker memorized.

According to this interview with Weird Al, Don McLean has been known to sing the wrong words too.
posted by ZsigE at 10:32 AM on July 5, 2010


There are two types of people in the world: Beatles people and Stones people and I am a Kinks person and here is The Kinks doing Lola.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:12 AM on July 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


There are two types of people in the world: Beatles people and Stones people and I am a Kinks person

Favorited so hard. I loved "Lola" long before I was old enough to understand what the lyrics were about, and the day it finally clicked, my mind was blown. Oddly, I had no idea that "Yoda" existed until now, despite my brother's long-standing fascination with all things Weird Al.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:14 PM on July 5, 2010


Based on the premise this thread has threading through it, today I played "Yoda" not once not twice but ten times for two brothers, eight and five years old. Two guys.

Two guys who love Star Wars. All of it. The first time I played it, they looked at in askew. Then they watched. Then they studied.

Then they sang.

Then, later through the rest of the day, at random points, they just sang it. The Song.

"Yo Yo Yo-YOda"

All by themselves. All on their own. All the rest of the day. Without even thinking about it. Without realizing they were singing it. Wow!

Now, just wait until they hear "Lola" when they in their teens, cruising down some road in some car. WOW again!

So...it works!
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:09 PM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


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