I got on a song parody kick a couple of summers ago. I drafted four full-length songs, I believe—an astonishing number when I consider I hadn’t written more than a six-line parody of “Silver Bells” a decade before then. I showed one set of lyrics of personal relevance to a friendly colleague and he said, “Hey, this would be a great writing assignment!” Privately, I agreed, but with some trepidation. How would the students receive such a task? Would it be deemed inappropriate by any administrators? Would students struggle so much that they missed the fun of the enterprise?
I’m wondering now if he ever went through with such an assignment. (I haven’t had the chance to ask.) I’m also wondering if any of my English Department colleagues have ever assigned song parody, or any kind of parody, as an exercise in the last five years. I haven’t seen any or heard about any parodies brought into the Writing Lab in all that time.
If any instructors read this, please (!) let me know if you’ve ever given a parody exercise assignment, and tell me how it went.