How to Make Song Parodies

by | May 23, 2016 | Improvisation and song writing | 4 comments

girl-song parodiesAlmost all of us love to listen to parodies of the songs we know, especially those parodies that are humorous. But did you know that parodies can also be used to teach elements of music in the classroom?

In my music classroom at school, I assess students on ukulele songs in groups of 4 or 5. The other 20 students need something to do, and song parodies seem to be the answer!

A parody according to Wikipedia is “a work created to imitate, make fun of, or comment on an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

In music, parodies often modify or copy existing musical ideas, style and lyrics of well-known songs.

Making a parody is fairly simple.

1. Choose the Kind of Parody

song parodiesYou should start off by deciding the type of parody you want to make. In as much as you want the parodies to be educational, they should also be funny. Humor ensures that your audience is intrigued and captivated by the performance. Laughter is always a welcome relief.

2. Pick a Good Song to Parody

It is preferable to pick a song that is well known and also liked by the target audience. Your students will be abuzz when they hear a song they cherish.

3. Write Out the Lyrics

Writing out the lyrics is the hardest part of making the parody. The lyrics carry the message of your parody. You should take a bit of time to write the lyrics. The lyrics obviously will depend on the type of parody you want to make. Try to be as humorous as possible.

Below is an example of a parody of “Are You Sleeping?” where the lyrics have been changed.

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?

Brother John Brother John

Morning Bells are ringing

Morning Bells are ringing

Ding Dong Ding Ding Dong Ding


Are you hungry? Are you hungry?

Yes I am Yes I am

Eat a burger and french fries

Eat a burger and french fries

Yum  Yum  Yum  Yum Yum Yum

You can watch Jenny play “Are You Sleeping” below.

For more video tutorials, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

song parodies-singing4. Play and Record the Parody

Now you have all you need to perform the parody. You will have to learn the ukulele chords of the music. You can change the musical style, but your audience should be able to instantly identify the original song from which the parody is made.

Recording the parody as the students perform is a good idea as they can watch themselves later or share on YouTube or other media sharing sites.

The students enjoy the creativity and fun involved in coming up with their own lyrics.

Song parodies are a great tool to use in a ukulele classroom. Not only are they an excellent way to build creativity and showcase one’s skills, but they are also fun and satisfying to make. The entertainment involved in creating them ensures students are excited about the ukulele and develop their musical skills in a fun and creative way.

Happy strumming!

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  1. Pamela Rossetti

    Where is the capo blog


    What about the CAPOS?


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