Monday, December 25, 2006

R2D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Pulling a Kaavya" Part I: Father Says He Will Make a Big Name For Himself, Get Caught, and Get Ruined.

2006 saw the genesis of my favorite (self-created) euphemism for f*cking up: "Pulling a Kaavya." I define it as "almost getting away with intentional plagiarism, without having to admit guilt and with indeterminate (most likely nominal) damage to one's career." Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting mashups I've done that combine suspiciously similar elements of famous songs whose authors just might have "pulled a Kaavya."

Since I got my blogging start at Sepia Mutiny, I found it only appropriate that today's culprit should have a decidedly desi twist: who could forget the beloved "Papa Kehte Hai" from the 1988 Bollywood film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak? The song is catchy, lighthearted, and inspiring... it's also a complete ripoff. The song borrows quite liberally from the unlikeliest of sources: The Muppet Babies Theme Song. (Here's a video courtesy of RetroJunk.) Both songs are in C Major, share the same chord progression, and are in a swing beat around 90 bpm. The aping is wholesale: even the bridges are virtually identical in structure and progression. You heard it here first.

Hank Saroyan and Robert J. Walsh penned The Muppet Babies Show theme in 1984 and by 1988, the song had somehow traversed the globe and buried itself into the psyche of Bollywood composer and serial plagiarizer Anand Milind, who promptly regurgitated and repackaged it into "Papa Kehta Hai." His action was far from singular- here's an itemized indictment of Milind's long history of thievery, courtesy of the ever-vigilant and always excellent Inspiration in Indian Film Songs, a site dedicated providing a "comprehensive list of musical inspirations (sometimes subtle and intelligent but mostly downright blatant!) of Indian film music composers." (It's nice to know there's someone bored brave enough to take on such a Herculean task; his site lists hundreds of documented instances of musical plagiarism in Bollywood.)

And oh, I added some elements from NIN's "Closer," ya know, just to make things more interesting.

DJ Drrrty Poonjabi - Papa Kehta Hain I Wanna F*ck You Like a Muppet Baby

Comments are always welcome.