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From Offenbach to ‘Weird Al’

Jacques Offenbach

This is as much a story of the parodied as of the parodists. One cannot discuss one without the other. So fear not, Lady Gaga fans, we shall get to the object of your devotion in due time. But we will start, somewhat arbitrarily, a century and a half ago, in Paris. Jacques Offenbach was the great parodist to emerge from that time and place.

One fine example of his work in this field, his development of the form of an … Continue Reading

From Cimarosa to Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga (2010)

“Fold em let em hit me raise it baby stay with me.”

Lady Gaga’s song, “Poker Face,” is one of the best selling and most down-loaded singles ever produced. The song, written and composed by Nadir Khayat, has a robotic hook and a clever use of the love-as-card-game theme, and after considering all of its charms, and those of the performer, we might also notice that it points us to an important historical relationship. Gambling and music have always been … Continue Reading