Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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A Brighter Grade of SAIL

An AWSoP parody: Martin Carter


Well ... imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery: the following verse comes from a website featuring song-parodies written by computer programmers. There is a huge list of these, Sam Cameron reports, very many of them based on songs by Queen: they tend to feature the name of some programming language or bit of development kit in the title ...


Title A Brighter Grade of SAIL
Original A Whiter Shade of Pale
Group Procul Harem
Author MaJoC

Intro Apologies to Don Knuth, who may never have been involved in the shenanigans portrayed in the first verse; in particular, the equation "CPU instruction bus + D/A + V/F + speaker = tune" may have been specific to Atlas mainframes, which I doubt he had access to. However, the events of the second verse, and of the chorus, are a matter of public record.

A Brighter Grade of SAIL

Das Blinkenlights fandango
Racing disc drives 'cross the floor
Operators kind of seething
But the clowns cried out for more
The cooling fans thrummed harder
Extra heat to blow away
And the siren on the CPU
Piped The Crossing of the Tay

And so it was that later
As we chased the guru's tail
That his source at first assembler
Turned a brighter grade of SAIL.

He said he'd take one season
Eight years later we could see
Still his fists were in the code 'cos
He could not let it be
Once its umpteenth beta version
Had been tested coast-to-coast
We forgave his slight diversion
When development he froze

And so it was that later
As we chased the guru's tail
That his source at first assembler
Turned a brighter grade of SAIL.

Thanks to Dr Carter, who remarks, 'It's taken me some years to appreciate that computer filk is usually impenetrable to J Random Mundane, like jazz: "Lady, if you have to have it explained, you ain't never nohow gonna understand it." Have a trawl through the rest of my offerings, and see if you can cite any counterexamples.'


A page about the Keith Reid version More AWSoP parodies

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