Saturday, July 13, 2013

Goats Are A Funny Thing

Humor is a funny thing. To paraphrase that famous American observation: Something might be funny to some of the people all of the time, and to all of the people some of the time, but it might not be funny to all of the people all of the time. Until perhaps now. And by that, I refer to goats. Screaming goats.

Meet Billy, a screaming goat.

Goats are funny, some of the time. They make funny sounds, some of the time. In a few moments of near-genius, somebody captured a variety of goat vocalizations on video and posted it to YouTube, the 21st-century repository of all things video. I don't know how many screaming goat video compilations there are, but you can search YouTube for "screaming goats" and find a farm full, I suspect. Here's one, just as an example and to save you some time.

Then, someone improved on the "screaming goat" idea and edited brief bits of screaming goats into choice spots in music videos. And it's funny. Darned tootin' funny. Lots of well known popular artists now have "Goat Edition" videos on YouTube. I recommend them for a hearty laugh. There might be a fine line between mockery as a rude put-down and mockery that approaches imitation as a form of flattery. Either way, Taylor Swift, Psy, Adele, Lady Gaga, and many others have their own "Goat Edition" videos, although whether they were produced by fans or foes, I cannot tell. There's a Goat Edition for Nicki Minaj, but I'm not really sure that the goats don't bring up the tone of that vid.

So, I took a break one evening and watched a bunch of these Goat Edition music videos and just howled with laughter. Which is why I blog about them now, even though – according to the above maxim – there's no guarantee you'll find them as funny as I do. I'd say, Give it a try.

Here's the Goat Edition of some tune by Taylor Swift. She must be a big name. You'll get the picture.

As you surf from one bleating Goat Edition to another, you'll run into one big name in the pop world after another. No surprise there. What interested me was whether such irreverent treatment had spread to the world of "classical" music. I'm glad to say, It has. To save you from much searching, I have supplied some good links below. First up: the now imitable Pavarotti.

Pavarotti's a big enough name to earn two Goat Editions of Nessun Dorma. In the next video, notice how the goat is incorporated not only for its musical content, but also to enhance an appreciation of Pavarotti's acting.

Perhaps, if Mozart were composing today, he'd embrace his inner goat in his famous "Queen of the Night" aria.

And for you enthusiasts of 20th-century music, here's a goaty excerpt from Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire.

I hope you've enjoyed this jaunt through musical goat-dom, kids. Some of you will have found this udderly ridiculous. Others may have found something to ruminate upon. Wether you do or not is up to you. Maybe a Goat Edition Music Festival is in the offing. They could call it Livestock. You herd it here first.

And don't forget to visit and my Premiere Press music publishing site. Several new publications will be added there soon, and you can buy "Watercolor Menagerie," my compact disc of original music for brass quintet, there and at iTunes and CD Baby.