Computer Science/Graduate School/Faculty Parody Lyrics

In my old department, UW CSE, we held a holiday party every year. (You can scan through the UW CSE departmental history site to learn more.) Every year the graduate students put together a holiday party skit which includes parodies of well-known songs. I actually co-wrote two years' skits (2001 and 2000), but perhaps my proudest creations are parody song lyrics.

I plan to keep up the tradition, inspired by the Great Quux's example, and have already co-authored a planned three-part series of songs commenting on the tripartite duties of a faculty member. Now what? (What's next turns out to be two children and an 8-9 year hiatus, followed by a parody about quicksort. When I get older, I will have more time to write parody lyrics.)

Enjoy! Reuse! Modify! Correctly attribute authorship!

  • Unifiers (to the tune of Tom Petty's "Wildflowers"). Come together, right now, under the unification algorithm for Prolog terms.
  • How to Fix This Code (to the tune of Lin-Manuel Miranda's "How Far I'll Go" from Disney movie Moana). The lifecycle of a bug and the hapless programmer who created and (eventually) found it.
  • Like It Called on Me (to the tune of K'naan's "Wavin' Flag"). The quicksort algorithm, in detail.
  • Committee Work is for Chumps (to the tune of Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young"). The title is self-explanatory and, perhaps, self-evident. ;)
  • The Advisor (to the tune of Don Schlitz's "The Gambler"). A little advice from senior faculty to junior faculty: "know when to pass 'em, know when to harrass 'em."
  • One Day Ahead (of the Students) (to the tune of Alan Menken's "One Jump Ahead" from the Disney movie Aladdin; original lyrics by Tim Rice). The breathless rush of the over-worked and under-informed instructor.
  • The End of Grad School (to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence"). A grad school lament from the nth year.
  • One to Four (to the tune of Dolly Parton's "Nine to Five"). Just defended your thesis or passed your qualifying exam? Kick back with this song.
  • Everybody Wants a Google Shirt (to the tune of Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"). How much schlock is your CV worth?
  • You may also be interested in the slides or worksheets from my SIGCSE 2018 session with Patrick Virtue and John Dougherty on designing CS related filks (parody songs):

  • Slides on creating a CS related filk
  • Blank worksheet to make your own filk
  • Worked and partially worked examples for creating a filk
  • Susanne Bradley has collaborated with me in both writing and singing parody songs. Here's Susanne's parody site.

    Many thanks to my numerous co-conspirators for assistance, inspiration, scansion help, and laughs.

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