Play That Funky Music!

Today, as my boss was collecting my attendance sheet, he noticed that my students were in the middle of reading their Medieval Lyric Imitation Poems out loud. After he stayed to listen, he ran to his office. Five minutes later, he returned with some imitation poems HE had previously written. I asked him if I could share them. Here they are:

Imitations of “Play That Funky Music, White Boy!”

Original Version (for comparison):

And they were dancin’, and singin,

And movin’ to the groovin’=

And just when it hit me

Somebody turned around and shouted,

“Play that funky music white boy!

Play that funky music right.

Play that funky music, white boy!

Lay down the boogie, and play that funky music

Till you die!

“T.S. Eliot’s Version”

Someone turning said something about something that should be played.

“Play”, he said. “Play the music. Play the funky music.”

This thing was said to me, and yet I am not Prince.

I am a mere white boy come to check out the show, but– in short– it hit


“Geoffrey Chaucer”:

Whan that it did stryke mee sore-

For that they did danse and singe

And move to groove-

One ther was that turning spake

And crying loud in clarion tone

Quoth he:

Pype to us now, moonfaced minstrel youth,

And let thy songe be low and lurid

Such as inspired for to danse and skippe,

Insinuated hath itself to every lawless joynt and hippe.


Sing now thy bawdy hymns,

Thou pale and milky fellow,

Nor cease thy song that so well pleases

These thine oft companions-

Not, that is, till thou hast lost thy place in the sublunary light

And, making thing end,

Hast quit this mortal coil.


Moreover someone spake unto me saying:

As the fire devours the stubble

And the flame consumes the chaff,

Play the music of the ungodly

O son of Japheth.

Play it in the narrow halls of the Gentiles,

Play it to the joy of the Son of the Morning-

Until thou, too, shalt pull up thy feet and be gathered unto thy fathers.

One thought on “Play That Funky Music!

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