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When a good thing comes along... Mickey wrecks it

A few years ago, I worked for a guy who was into subversive music. His Audi had a GWAR sticker on it, for heaven's sake.

One day were were chatting, and he mentioned how appalled he was at Target for using Devo's "Beautiful World" for their commercials.

I didn't get it. It's a rather silly and trite song, I thought, upbeat and fun. Almost ready-made for a commercial.

"You never listened to all the lyrics, did you?" he asked.

I had to confess I hadn't.

"All the way through the song, they say 'it's a beautiful world -- for you.' But at the end, they say 'it's a beautiful world for you' -- but not me.'"

Damn, he was right. That last tag line completely inverts the whole chipper point of the song, turning it into an anthem of dystopia and dissatisfaction.

That anecdote was brought to mind when I spotted this posting over at Silflay Hraka, which talks about the latest Disney project -- a bunch of pubescent kids who, with the blessing of the original band, have formed Dev2.0.

But naturally, like anything Disney touches, they have to destroy it.

If you check out the video for the new cover of "Beautiful World," it's a really good remake. Excellent work. Right up until the end.

How does Nicole end the song?

"It's a beautiful world for you... I guess me too."

It's a beautiful world for you... and me too!"

Things must be bright and chipper and happy in Disneyland... or else.

Comments (6)

That's not the only ... (Below threshold)

That's not the only lyric change. The lyrics for Big Mess have a line that's "I'm a man on a mission. A boy with a gun." They changed that last part to something goofy like "A girl having fun"


Kinda like using "Born in t... (Below threshold)

Kinda like using "Born in the USA" to sell jeans. Or the similar abuse of "Fortunate Son".

On the topic of strange or ... (Below threshold)

On the topic of strange or ignorant advertising music choices there are many examples. For instance, I think I've seen "Lust for Life", the Iggy Pop song about heroin, used to sell everything from cars to soda. Recently, and possibly ironically, the new Tony Hawk game uses Descendents' "Suburban Home", featuring the line in the chorus "I wanna be clone", in its ads. I also remember a skinhead song being used in an ad for some kind of family product recently, but the details escape me. Do these ad people actually listen to the songs they use?

Don't forget the office sup... (Below threshold)

Don't forget the office supply store that used the lyrics "taking care of business" -- in the song, the described business was "workin' hard at nothin' all day." Not exactly the message the store wanted to convey.
And the airline that used "spirit in the sky" without the line about "when I die" and "I've got a friend in Jesus." Songs about going to heaven conjure up a poor mental image for travelers who fear airplane crashes.

This is nothing unusual for... (Below threshold)

This is nothing unusual for Disney. Disney likes to take hard-edged things and encase them in a thick protecting layer of nerf, because someone might get hurt and we wouldn't want that now, would we?

But naturally, like anything Disney touches, they have to destroy it.

When the woman who wrote the original Mary Poppins books saw the movie when it opened in London, she walked out in disgust.

To OregonMuse:The ... (Below threshold)

To OregonMuse:

The Mary Poppins story is completely untrue. P. L. Travers actually enjoyed the film, though she did not like certain aspects of it; mostly the scenes inside the sidewalk painting and Dick van Dyke as Bert. If she did in fact leave it disgust it would probably have been in response to the fact that Walt pointed out to her that the contract she signed made the film his once it was cut (which is still common in book-to-movie contracts), and that he had no intentions of changing it. Considering what a runaway success it was, and what a timeless classic it has become, would you have changed it?

In response to the Devo 2.0 story, as you mentioned, Jay, the band was formed with Devo's blessing. Any disapproval they may have had was apparently unspoken, because the album went through. Are you happy about it? Apparently not. Did you write/produce/perform the song(s) in question? No. Therefore have you the right to say anyone ruined it? Not really. Do I like every cover of which every band approves? No, but I don't have to, do I? They're not my songs.

That's like saying George Lucas ruined Star Wars. How can he ruin something which he created and molded into what he originally envisioned? Do I agree with all of his changes? No, but I am not dilluded enough to think that my opinion really matters.

Would you tell the London Symphony Orchestra that they play Wagner wrong?






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