On Being Weird Al Yankovic

I have two children that aren’t driving so I spend a good bit of time dropping off and picking up. A long time ago the rule was “my car, my radio”, keep your hands off. But the battle has been ugly and now the kids let me listen to my music when it pleases them. It’s just easier that way. The two that don’t drive are the last two of five so I’ve just given in and will ride it out until they move out in 2099.

I like rock and roll mostly. I like rock and roll from the 80’s primarily. Their favorite stations play the latest hits: pop, rap, and other stuff I’m not sure I know how to categorize. In my days we called it PUNK. Now that I think of it, it all sounds like PUNK.

To my benefit thought, I’m pretty up to date on One Direction, Katy Perry, Eminem and other leaders of our youth. The downside is there are songs that I HATE. Like Train’s “Drive By” and Passenger’s “Let Her Go”. I twist the words like Weird Al Yankovic to make them tolerable. My favorite is “Drive By” where I change one line to “I’m just a shy guy lookin for some french fries”. That’s right…and there’s nothing you can do about it. I loathe “Let Her Go” because I disagree with his idea that you if you love her let her go. NO ONE does that. Before we got married, my wife told me she didn’t want to date anyone until she passed her boards. Three months later I called her and was like “so, how’d you do on your boards….want to go out?” Because the lead singer’s voice sounds like a little whiny school boy and he thinks you should let her go…which means she’s really dumping him…I just ad “hoe” after every “go” to fill in the dead air, and because it’s funny. Anyway, I’ve learned to amuse myself by being Weird Al. Those aren’t the only two songs; I do this with all the songs I’m less attracted to or hate.

I became aware that I was doing this around the house when no music was playing at all. I would randomly sing one of my homemade Weird Al songs. This went on and on until I gave God enough time to find a way to find a teachable moment. It SEEMS that I don’t just do my Weird Al act with music. I do Weird Al life impressions all the time around the house, at work, at church; you name it, I’m a pro.

You remember when Al came out with a hit every month and everyone was singing them? Everyone was singing “Eat It” instead of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” or “Another One Rides the Bus” instead of “Another Bites the Dust” by Queen. Al’s version was funny but eventually everyone was tired of hearing them. In the long run, Weird Al’s songs have faded away while the real things are still going strong. God created us so I think he’s not satisfied to let us pretend we’re something we’re not and fade away.

Paul kind of described the struggle in 2 Corinthians 12:6, “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say”. Paul wouldn’t even talk about revelations that were true because he thought there was a possibility someone might think more highly of him and even see him as conceited(v :7).

Unfortunately my struggle is on a much lower level than Paul’s. I do a daily Weird Al life impressions(lying, putting on my happy face, exaggerating, etc…) mostly in an effort to just appear normal, not as an inflated old airbag(paraphrase for Paul’s “conceited”). If something’s not going as planned, I want people to think I’m not really that bad so I might downplay the situation a little(lie). I want to make you feel better instead of telling you a truth you need to hear(lie). I want to avoid conflict with you so I spin my story to sound better(lie). The tough part is that it is really a reflection on how I view others -not too important.

This fakeness, or lies, will begin to get old just like Weird Al songs. Depending on how hard we’re working at keeping appearances we’ll eventually get tired. Be the person God made you! The result of being original and real is that you will build a legacy and be the person God meant for you to be. STOP being Weird Al!!


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