“Bob”: Palindromic in the Extreme

I took a chance on Weird Al’s 11th album – 2003’s Poodle Hat – and had a good laugh when I realized that his send-up of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was palindromic from beginning to end:

At the time of the album’s release, MTV reported that Eminem gave permission for Weird Al’s “Lose Yourself” parody, “Couch Potato” – but not a video (unfortunately, already in pre-production).  Thus, Weird Al had to scramble to put together another video that,   luckily for us palindrome fans, ended up being a hilarious spoof of Bob Dylan’s iconic series of rapid-fire lyrical images that accompany “Subterranean Homesick Blues” from the Don’t Look Back documentary of Dylan’s 1965 UK tour.

Weird Al - Bob Video

The lyric’s rhyme scheme is likewise impressive:

I, man, am regal – a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I’m Adam
Too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see god?
“Do nine men interpret?” “Nine men,” I nod
Rats live on no evil star
Won’t lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car
Pa’s a sap
Ma is as selfless as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Ah, Satan sees Natasha
No devil lived on
Lonely Tylenol
Not a banana baton
No “x” in “Nixon”
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego
“Naomi,” I moan
“A Toyota’s a Toyota”
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh no! Don Ho!
Nurse, I spy gypsies – run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won
UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hogLasagna Hog sign

“Bin Wieder Frei”: Unrelenting Verbal Onslaught

The unrelenting verbal onslaught of 1978’s “Bin Wieder Frei” by German heartthrob, Benny, immediately made me think of Joey Levine’s famous feat of rapid-fire elocution from 1974, “Life is a Rock” (But the Radio Rolled Me) – which later helped inspire REM’s   “End of the World (As We Know It)” and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”:

I think it’s fair to say that Bob Dylan helped open the door for this sort of lyrical bombardment with the release of his landmark 1965 single, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” especially its iconic promotional video with Dylan himself holding oversized flash cards of the song’s key lyrics.  But who before Dylan dazzled listeners with similar demonstrations of verbal dexterity at breakneck speeds?

Bin Wieder Frei 45 sleeve