Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story | Chicago Reader

Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story

Song poems are the end result of those magazine ads soliciting lyrics for songs; people who respond are invited to pay a couple hundred dollars for the privilege of having their doggerel set to music and recorded, a process that usually takes less than an hour. This 2003 video documentary takes a quick look at the bored hacks who staff the business and the offbeat dreamers who support it, and excerpts such classic nonhits as “Chicken Insurrection,” “Santa Claus Goes Modern,” and “Non-Violent Tae Kwon Do Troopers.” The goofy lyrics contrast wildly with the soulless music, which has made song poems popular with kitsch enthusiasts, but the whole subject is a lot less interesting than it sounds. Jamie Meltzer directed. 58 min.

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