|"We coexist in a mutually unstated /unattached cohesion that facebook created... |
to keep our minor affinity with minimal maintenance"
Above is my Vialogues post with the embedded video featuring my annotated discussion questions and comments, and here is a link to a pdf of those notes. I have also uploaded the lyrics text, and my annotated questions/comments to Genius (embedded below), the awesome annotation app that I highly recommend (there is a way to get a free educator account to restrict the annotation/ discussion to your group's work, but my post is public). So, you can 1) focus on the lyrics conversation through Genius if that works best for your group, 2) start a group Vialogue of your own (or add to mine); or 3) do the group analysis analog, without tech, using the annotated printout pdf to support discussion for a group viewing or listening session. I also did a Vialogue post of just the lyrics, and here is a link to a pdf of the lyrics.
Once you've had a good discussion of this song, it can make for a nice model of how parody can be constructive (and instructive). Making funny songs is actually really hard (I'll reflect on my own experience in a musical comedy writing workshop in an upcoming post), but young media makers often strive to make their peers laugh through mocking familiar behaviors in the style of pop culture media they enjoy. It's hard to fine good models of doing parody to spark constructive discussion--so, this sort of video/song and discussion provide an opportunity to link analysis to learner's own production interests. Look for a post soon about some strategies for making musical comedy.
Often the best question to ask is the simplest; so, I recommend asking: Why is it funny? Ask for any given joke, like the line "Happy birthday dear person who I sort of know." The typical response is that it’s funny cuz it’s true. But that’s pretty weak. Push for better articulation. For this song, I think it’s more accurate to say that it’s funny because it seems like a contradiction ["dear person” instead of friend, who I “sort of know”] that many of us use without thinking about it. This makes us conscious of our error, and the inconsistency is funny (partly because it’s safe too, since so many people do it, we’re not feeling like the outcast or feeling like we’re cruelly singling others out). It’s nice to know we are wired to get pleasure from finding out our own mistakes and foibles.