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"You're Pitiful"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Released June 7, 2006
Recorded April 12, 2006
Genre Comedy
Length 3:16
Writer(s) "Weird Al" Yankovic

"You're Pitiful" is a parody of "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt written and recorded by American parody musician "Weird Al" Yankovic. It was released exclusively online in June 2006. The cover is also parodied from James Blunt's album, Back to Bedlam, which was the album "You're Beautiful" was released on.

In the song, Yankovic describes the pitiful existence of a 42-year-old man who still lives with her mother and her life which involves, among other things, wearing a homemade Star Trek uniform and her job as a Slurpee machine operator.[1]

Contents

Controversy

Yankovic recorded the song to be included on his Straight Outta Lynwood album after, according to Yankovic, having been given Blunt's blessing to parody the song. However, following its recording, Blunt's record company, Atlantic Records, allegedly told Yankovic that he could not include the song on his album. (When asked by NPR, Atlantic had no official comment on the matter.)

Yankovic eventually revealed that Atlantic "said it was 'too early' in James' career for a parody, and they were afraid that focusing any more attention on 'Beautiful' at that point might lead to the perception of James as a 'one-hit wonder'". According to Yankovic, "They didn't say I couldn't do the parody… they just said they'd let me know 'when the time was right'. So we canceled our release date and waited. Finally, months later, we got the answer. The 'right' time, apparently, was 'never'."[2]

Yankovic had a policy of obtaining approval prior to releasing his parodies from the original artist's record company; but after a miscommunication surrounding "Amish Paradise", a parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise", he sought permission directly from the artist. Yankovic told NPR[3] that this was the first time a record label has denied a release of one of his parodies. "[I]f James Blunt himself were objecting," Yankovic told NPR, "I wouldn't even offer my parody for free on my Web site. But since it's a bunch of suits — who are actually going against their own artist's wishes — I have absolutely no problem with it."

Yankovic told NPR in an e-mail that the question of whether Atlantic could legally forbid the parody, given the United States Supreme Court's 1994 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. decision recognizing parody as fair use, is "moot", saying that the issue was "more of a political matter than a legal matter", suggesting that both Blunt and Volcano (Yankovic's label) would wish to avoid alienating Atlantic.

Yankovic released the song for free distribution on the Internet, and it has become popular on The Dr. Demento Show.

Al takes revenge on Atlantic

The video for Straight Outta Lynwood's second single, "White & Nerdy", depicts Yankovic taking revenge, of sorts, against Atlantic Records by vandalizing their Wikipedia article by blanking all text and replacing it with the words "YOU SUCK!" in large letters. Said revenge has been realized by some wiki vandals. Yankovic has said that he does not approve of the vandalism, though he admits being amused by it.[4] Also in the video, Al is on his MySpace page and for a split second, "You're Pitiful" is visible as his profile song.

On the concert tour for Straight Outta Lynwood, Yankovic performs the song initially wearing a long-sleeved shirt, and progressively removing clothing to reveal different layers underneath (as Blunt does in the video for "You're Beautiful"). The penultimate t-shirt revealed says "Atlantic Records Sucks", however, in some shows he replaces the "Atlantic Records Sucks" shirt with an "I'm With Stupid" shirt (with an arrow pointing downward), followed by a "Tom Is My Only Friend" shirt. The final t-shirt is the face of SpongeBob SquarePants. Yankovic then removes his pants to reveal boxer shorts with red hearts, a pink tutu, and fishnet stockings.[5]

References

See also

External links

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