Sunday, May 06, 2007
There doesn't seem to be a precise definition of "filk," but as I understand it, it is folk music with science fiction or fantasy roots.
Generally. Filkers sometimes write songs about dogs, cats, or their cars, but more or less, that's what it is. And while it is not a folk song per se, I consider the opening number from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (just after "Lips, Lips, Lips!") Science Fiction to be among the most well-known examples of filk.
Some of these songs are funny, some serious, and many of them are well-written and sung. Some very talented musicians in the filk community, though I am not among them. By and large, even though "normal" is not the first word that springs to mind, an audience at a typical science fiction convention is apt to be the brightest group of folks you'll be around. Any joke, no matter how esoteric the reference, somebody in the group will get. Fans are a diverse lot, but most of them are literate, polite, and sharp, at least in my experience, and the smartest of them can run with anybody, anywhere.
I have dabbled in the filk form. And given that I'm going to a convention wherein there will be folks bringing their guitars and whatnot, I thought I'd dust off my contribution to the genre.
I composed this for a buddy who was a television animation writer of some note -- he has written hundreds and hundreds of episodes for scores of kidvid shows, even won an Emmy for his work.
The God of Saturday Morning
Well, there goes Flash Gordon, bein' followed by the Hulk/
A passel of Smurfs are right behind/
Shazam and Hi, Ho Silver! and Isis flies again/
And Tarzan still swings upon his vine.
He's the god of Saturday morning/
He's fuckin' up your little kiddie's mind/
He says he does it for the money/
But his karma is runnin' out of time.
The Network says no violence but lots of jeopardy/
The animator screams there ain't no way/
The producer justs says "Rewrite!" the only word he knows/
The censors frown and won't let him use "gay."
He wants to write a novel, but the rent is overdue/
His television set is on the blink/
He says just one more season, that's all he's gonna do/ '
Til then, he's gonna see a shrink.
(Chorus, and out: Yeah, yeah, his karma is runnin' out of time/ Whoa, whoa, his karma is running out of tiiiimmme ...)