It's Party Time

Feb 16, 2018
Originally published on July 20, 2018 7:36 am

We took songs with the word "party" in the title and rewrote them to be about celebrations. Identify the occasion that Jonathan Coulton is singing about and, for a bonus point, name the original song or artist he's parodying.

Heard On Lola Kirke: Mozart In The Puzzle

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton here with puzzle guru Art Chung. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Ciera and Michael. Soon, they'll play a music parody game where Jonathan Coulton parties like it's 1999, meaning he hasn't even considered that a president could win without getting the most votes. Let's check in with our contestants. Ciera, what do - of all those BuzzFeed newsletters, which ones are your favorite to write and create?

CIERA VELARDE: I write a lot of different ones, but I think my favorite one is Thirsty Thursday, where it's just a picture of a hot guy sent to your inbox to just, you know, brighten your day.


VELARDE: Yeah. Lately, the past, like, four weeks, it's been a lot of hot Olympic athletes, so if you haven't checked out the U.S. men's bobsled team, I suggest you take a look.


VELARDE: It's not my whole job, it's just before a Thursday. But it's...

EISENBERG: Just your Thursday job.

VELARDE: It's my favorite part, yeah.



EISENBERG: Michael, apparently you own a prized whiskey canteen.

MICHAEL SERAFINO: Yeah. So I was in Yosemite, and that place is just lousy with bears. And when I came back from a hike one day, my camp was just tossed completely, very obviously from a wild animal. But about 150 feet from my camp was a canteen that had whiskey in it, and it was smashed, scratched, poked, bit, and just, like, every imaginable except turning-the-knob kind of thing you could imagine to it. So a bear spent a good part of the day trying to get my whiskey.

EISENBERG: But couldn't get it.

SERAFINO: Couldn't get it. Enjoyed that night.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's great. Let's go to your next game. Ciera, what was your best birthday?

VELARDE: I had a birthday when I was 14 that we went to one of those indoor water parks, and got to go there and then had a really fun sleepover. It was just really fun. And we got to go in the middle - my birthday is in February, so it was cold out, so yeah.

EISENBERG: Mmm hmm. I'm glad that you have that memory. That's good. Michael, what was your best birthday?

SERAFINO: Y'all may sense a theme here, but it was my 21st birthday when I had to stop using fake IDs.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you and your whiskey canteen could finally make your own pathway into somewhere legal. I get it.

SERAFINO: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: OK, very good. Your next game is a music parody game called It's Party Time. Ciera, you won the last game, so you win this, and you are in the final round. Michael, you need to win this or you're going to have to party like it's 1799, which means you die of dysentery in 1800.


COULTON: We took songs with the word party in the title and rewrote them to be about parties or celebrations. Ring in to identify the event that I'm singing about, and if you get that right, for a bonus, you can name the original song or the artist that I'm parodying. You ready?



COULTON: Well, here we go.

(Singing) Very special service on Saturday night, everybody's dancing the horah just right. Reading out the Torah to all of my friends on my 13th birthday when my childhood ends.



VELARDE: Bat mitzvah.

COULTON: Yes. Bat mitzvah or bar mitzvah - that's correct.


COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

VELARDE: That's Pink.

COULTON: It is Pink - "Get This Party Started (ph)," that's right.

(Singing) Girl, I can't understand it. Why'd I even bother to get together with classmates I once knew? Oh, no, there's Lorraine and Frances (ph), the mean girls from my homeroom. They have great jobs and kids. What am I to do? I just want to turn around and leave, turn around and leave, turn around and leave.


COULTON: Michael.

SERAFINO: A high school reunion?

COULTON: Yes, high school reunion, exactly. Well done.

SERAFINO: Thank you.


SERAFINO: And I don't know the artist or the song.

COULTON: You don't know the artist or the song.

SERAFINO: Nope, don't know it.

COULTON: That was Eddie Murphy - "Party All The Time."

(Singing) So I put my gown on, I'm 15 now. I've finally come of age. Damas y chambelanes, we're eating that cake like yeah. I put my gown on, I'm 15 now, waltzing the night away. Yeah, it's a Latin-American tradition in the USA.



VELARDE: Quinceanera.

COULTON: Quinceanera, that's right.


COULTON: Bonus point if you can name the song or the artist.

VELARDE: "Party In The U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus.

COULTON: That's correct.


VELARDE: My Latin heritage came...

COULTON: I know. See? It came in handy.

VELARDE: Helped me out this time, yeah.

EISENBERG: I just love the lyric, we're eating that cake like yay.

COULTON: Yeah, we're eating that cake like yeah.

(Singing) Hindu festival of lights tonight - Goddess Lakshmi, thanks for all the good times. Rock our newest threads and head outside, fireworks exploding in the night sky.


COULTON: Michael.

SERAFINO: July Fourth? Oh, no, Hindu...

COULTON: Sorry, that is incorrect. Ciera, can you steal?

VELARDE: Diwali?

COULTON: Diwali, that's correct.


COULTON: It's the Hindu festival of lights. Can you name the song or artist?

VELARDE: That's "Party Rock Anthem."

COULTON: Yeah, that's "Party Rock Anthem." That's exactly right.


VELARDE: Thanks.

COULTON: (Singing) Wearing a veil and a sparkly T-shirt, ladies and the new bride-to-be, pink sashes, penis-shaped cakes, Chippendales dancing till 3. It's her party, and her wedding's tomorrow, wedding's tomorrow, wedding's tomorrow.


COULTON: Michael.

SERAFINO: Bachelorette party.

COULTON: Bachelorette party, oh, yeah. For a bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

SERAFINO: "It's My Party."

COULTON: That's right, Lesley Gore.


COULTON: (Singing) Pop the champagne. The year is over. Watch the ball drop with some good friends. Sing "Auld Lang Syne." The year is over, and tomorrow, we start an awful year again.



VELARDE: New Year's Eve.

COULTON: New Year's Eve, that's right.


COULTON: Can you get the bonus point?

VELARDE: I'm just going to guess Johnny Cash.

COULTON: That's a good guess. It's actually Willie Nelson - "The Party's Over."

VELARDE: Oh, yeah, OK.

COULTON: OK, this is your last clue.

(Singing) Yeah, a teething toy and a stroller, blankets and onesies. Yeah, a diaper pail and a highchair, stuffed bears and bunnies.


COULTON: Michael.

SERAFINO: Baby shower.

COULTON: Baby shower, you got it. I don't suppose you could name the song or the artist.

SERAFINO: I could not name it.

COULTON: That was Pitbull.

SERAFINO: Oh, of course, another classic.

COULTON: "Don't Stop The Party."


COULTON: No one wants to, Pitbull. Relax. Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

ART CHUNG: Congratulations, Ciera. You won both games, and you're moving on to the final round.

(CHEERING) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.