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.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was hilarious in a way that I cannot even articulate in real words.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Salil said...

I don't know if I'll ever be able to think of this post and not bust into giggles.

You rock, dude.

8:00 PM  
Blogger djdrrrtypoonjabi said...

Tamasha: Fake words can be just as useful as real ones.

Salil: The very idea of a Bollywood hit being cribbed from the Muppet Babies Theme is enough to bring on a bad case of giggles.

Thanks guys! More mashups are coming your way!

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha. Seamlessly done.

Good ol' B'wood plagiarism. I once talked to a composer about tune cribbing. They actually have pretty relaxed attitude about it. "It's just saat sur", he said.

What do you think of Girl Talk's Night Ripper? I managed to download it from eMusic before it got pulled off.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Nina K. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It;s funny you mention this, I'm a guitar player and the first time I heard "Papa Kehte" and messed with it on my guitar, it hella reminded me of Muppet babies. I didn't realize that the bridge was the same too until you pointed it out. However, the vocal melodies are pretty much totally different, so the song is not a 100% rip off.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Musiqal Light said...

There are tons of others, but here are couple (both coincidentally performed by Akshay Kumar):

-Dil Mila (done to the melody of R. Kelly's Thoia Thoing) from the movie Aitraaz. It's severely disturbing when you figure it out as you listen to it.

-No idea of the name of this song or which movie it's from, but literally the other day, some desi tv channel was playing random songs, and on came Akshay Kumar dancing to a song whose melody was completely taken from Kevin Lyttle's "Turn Me On".


9:16 AM  
Blogger djdrrrtypoonjabi said...

Thanks for the info, Fuerza. I didn't know who Kevin Lyttle was, so I looked up and listened to "Turn Me On" on Amazon.com for about 4 seconds before I had to turn it off. It's wretched - I can't imagine what the Bollywood version would sound like. (I noticed that the link for my mashup was broken so I re-upped the mp3. Did you get a chance to listen to it?)

8:25 PM  
Blogger Nina K. said...

yo camel jockey,
your blog is hilarious... i saw you linked me, perhaps now i'll get blog visitors that aren't from the bible/rust belt, how insane would that be??
I quit google because that place is a fucking slaveship. oh, and also mi madre's in india, and I need to run the family business (into the ground)...As of Feb. 10th I'm out (haha). i actually have some free time in the next week, so give me a call. I'm always down for some cheap burritos.

later macaca

8:26 PM  
Blogger Heer said...

dj ju are bery phunny.

i always find your comments on sm hilaarious, but your blog posts here top that even!

(two) thumbs up!

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oye Nyana, the link is broken for the muppet song! I so was looking forward to listening to it.

PS Laatu jala le

3:37 PM  

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