Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tautology

Ever since I saw this XKCD and joined the Tautology Club myself I've been meaning to write our club song. I knew it would be a parody of "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette, I even wrote some of the easier parts based on what parts of the song I knew, but it took me a long time to getting around to finishing it. This is a pattern with me, I have all these ideas, which I think are good but I will leave that open to debate, then never get around to doing something other than thinking about them. Not this time!

I looked up the lyrics so I'd be able to base mine off the originals, and used a YouTube clip to figure out what the song was supposed to sound like, and here are the lyrics I came up with. Please bear in mind, the heavy lifting on this project was done in about 90 minutes this afternoon. Although this is a long time for me to devote to a project, it probably isn't as long as most lyricists take; so if my bridge seems a bit off mea culpa, I welcome suggestions.

A statement that is always true
No matter what values it takes
A definition, an equivalency
Some might say it's redundancy
And isn't it tautologic... don't you know

It's like rain on a rainy day
It's a free ride for which you don't have to pay
It's the good advice that you'd be well off to take
Who would have thought, it's logic!

The ancient Greeks thought the word quite rude
Mr. Kant used it to describe explicit truths
Wittgenstein found the notion pleasing
Of a conclusion deduced purely through reason
And isn't it tautologic... don't you know

It's like rain on a rainy day
It's a free ride for which you don't have to pay
It's the good advice that you'd be well off to take
Who would have thought, it must follow

Well life has a funny way of being lived
By the people who are alive and by those yet to die
And life has a funny way of ending at the same time that you died
No matter how much you might wish otherwise

A traffic jam when the roads are congested
A no smoking sign where smoking ain't permitted
It's like ten thousand spoons being one more than nine-nine-na-nine
It's meeting the man of your dreams
When you're asleep for the night
It isn't at all ironic... don't you think
But quite tautologic... you really should think...

It's like rain on a rainy day
It's a free ride for which you don't have to pay
It's the good advice that you'd be well off to take
Who would have thought, it's logic!

Life has a funny way of being lived
Life has a funny funny way of ending when you die
When you die

After writing the lyrics I wanted a better idea of how they would sound than I got singing along with the YouTube clip, so I tried to record my singing. After some microphone hijinks with Sound Recorder (which despite what its name implies would not record sound, and would only mess up Skype), I downloaded a free recorder (and hopefully no viruses) and the result is below. Again, please forgive lack of polish, the background is a MIDI that I converted to MP3 by the brute force method of re-recording it with my headset resting on my speakers. And the vocals are done by yours truly, so you can imagine what a train wreck that will be. Then I compressed it to 4MB to get it on Blogger. But, I am happy to have this done, and if you too are looking for a project feel free to send me some better background music, or record a prettier version yourself.

video
Tautologic by Kenny Barrese is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

I should note that I do not believe I own the song Ironic, but that I probably do own the parody, if it turns out that I don't I will be ok with that, but while I think that I do you can certainly play with it as long as you attribute it to me and don't use it to make money.

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