Musical Satire and Parody

Steve BushStarred Page By Steve Bush, 28th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Music>Genres

This article will take a look at how musical parody and satire can help us understand concepts like “Zombie Banks.”

Musical Parody and Satire to Explain Banking and Finance

With most uses of satire, the underlying intent is generally to depict social and economic issues that are causing problems and to focus attention on needed change. The musical use of satire and parody to describe recent financial and bank problems has proven to be helpful in some unexpected ways.

First, concepts such as "Zombie Banks" and "derivatives" have been publicized and explained in a more understandable fashion, and the videos shown below will illustrate several entertaining examples. Second, humor historically provides a suitable outlet for anger and frustration in the face of crisis, and musical satire/parody has proven to be especially adept in fulfilling this function for those impacted by the banking industry and financial markets.

As George Santayana warned, "Those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it." Musical satires and parodies can provide a lyrical helping hand to make sure that we learn along the way.

Musical Satire is Thinking Outside of the Music Box

Satire and parody are often both used to describe the same thing, but there are differences between the two. Satire is usually thought of as applying to more "important" areas of social discourse and also commonly takes a stand in favor of changing behavior rather than accepting the status quo.

A Video Explanation of Zombie Banks: Satire or Parody?

On the surface it might appear that "Zombie Bank" is just a humorous description about the banking industry, or perhaps it is simply a reflection of the fascination with zombie characters in the entertainment industry. It turns out that the term has very serious undertones and refers to banks that now have more liabilities than assets. You really owe it to yourself to learn more about the financial problems being created for most of us by the lending institutions referred to as Zombie Banks.

Here is a satirical look at Zombie Banks in a video by Mark Fiore.

Rock and Roll Music History: Peter, Paul and Mary Knew a Thing or Two about Satire

During the 1950s and 1960s (and beyond), Peter, Paul and Mary stepped to the forefront of musicians lobbying for social change via their music. Some of their work certainly falls into the category of satire. I can still remember a Peter, Paul and Mary concert I attended at which they received a rousing reception for "I Dig Rock and Roll Music." Paul wasn't sure how to react because he knew that they were in fact mocking rock and roll, so he said, "Thank You! After all, it was satire!" Here is a video that memorializes two performances of this satirical song by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Econoparody and Satire

An “econoparody” describes a variety of actual banking and financial problems. When so many "surprises" occur within such a short period of time, it is always prudent to look more closely “behind the curtain.” Econoparodies accomplish this by combining a memorable tune and economic events that we wish were not really happening. Two well-known examples are entitled “Bearish” and “Crash Dance.” These musical satires and parodies have performed a public service by shining a light on areas in need of further review by all of us.

Here is a video with an appropriate econoparody (lyrics by Marcy Shaffer) to close this overview of musical satire and parody — “And Now a Word from the Economy Herself.”


Econoparody, Music History, Parody, Satire, Satire Or Parody, Zombie Banks

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Bush
Steve Bush is a business finance consultant and writer. He served in the military as an officer in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. Bush obtained an MBA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
28th Aug 2014 (#)

Very clever and indeed it does help people understand deeper concepts.

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