First of May, First of May

And you know what that means!

In this case, it means me slaughtering Jonathan Coulton’s classic song with my own one-take version!

(Note: If you’ve never heard this song, it, uhhhh, has profanity.)

And here’s the original, if you want to hear an actual professional do it, along with some pretty groovy ASL translation:

Also, hey, did you know that Jonathan Coulton is now a Tony Award nominee? It happened today! First of May! What a fabulous day. Congratulations to him. I hope that man with a tan shar-pei is especially nice to him today.

 

13 thoughts on “First of May, First of May

  1. Nice on the Tony nomination for Coulton. But reading the nomination makes me wonder: Do they take the Tony trophy and put it through a deli slicer?

    There are 14/15 co-nominees, some of which are songwriting partnerships, some of which are bands. Given that the award is for “Best original score written for the theater”, it isn’t simply them scoring it with songs by Aerosmith, Coulton, TMBG, Cyndi Lauper, etc. It sounds like an impressive amount of new and diverse work was done. I wonder if I can bring myself to get the original broadway cast recording of “SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical”.

  2. This has been my May 1 theme song for years, ever since I learned about it – from a post here if I’m not mistaken. I hoped you would post something about it today. Nice surprise to have your version.

  3. I’ve always associated the phrase in question with Herb Caen who wrote a newspaper column in the SF Chronicle https://www.sfgate.com/herbcaen/ for many many years. I can’t find the column but if I recall correctly it was pretty much every May 1. Of course he didn’t use the full f-word but it was completely clear that’s what it was.

  4. Great news for JoCo! Also, that’s a great video, and now I know a very useful ASL sign! :-)

  5. Dear John,

    I can’t help but wonder if JC was inspired by James Taylor’s song with the same title and a very similar theme, albeit expressed more obliquely. Lyrics, here:

    https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jamestaylor/firstofmay.html

    Not asking because it in any way diminishes JC’s accomplishment, I’m just always interested in what inspires artists.

    Can anyone ask him?

    pax / Ctein

  6. I’m so glad I’m not the only person who looks forward to this date just for this song.

    I particularly like the guys doing the ASL version. I now know a sign for “fuck” as well as the ones I already know for “fuck you” (granted not a difficult one!) and “bullshit” and “bitch” and a few other useful words. Heh heh heh.

  7. The video’s not an ASL translation, it’s an ASL interpretation. Translation results in a text product, e.g. “The Ghost Brigades” becoming “Geisterbrigaden” in German. Interpretation produces speech or signs. In languages with spoken and written forms, translation and interpretation are very different skill sets.

  8. I am so happy to learn the sign for “fuck,” you have no idea. Now I can say that to folks who probably don’t know! (The other one I learned today was “Have a Disney day!”, which apparently is what Disney employees say in lieu of wanting to say worse to a jerk customer.)

    Can we get this guy to do “Hasa Diga Eebowai?” I REALLY want an ASL video of that one SO BAD.

  9. Jonathan Coulton’s animated video appeared on a recent episode of “The Good Fight”. You might enjoy it. “Nobody’s Above The Law”.

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