September 20, 2023

SEP 20 (2023), singable satire: Allan Sherman sings "MINOS'S TAIL TWIST"



ORIGINAL POEM:  "Inferno" by Dante Alighieri, the first book in the triad, "The Divine Comedy", written in the early 14th century.
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Mexican Hat Dance", Allan Sherman, 1963. 
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, November 2015.

PARODY-SONGLINK: To find ukulele and
 guitar chord-charts to help you accompany "Minos's Tail Twist" on your favorite instrument, click HERE.

Resuming at Canto 5 of “The Inferno” after a considerable pause.... Dante, guided by the Roman poet Virgil is on a mission presumably sanctioned by heavenly powers, that leads them progressively further downward into the Circles of Hell.


(to the tune of "The Mexican Hat Dance")

Oh! King Minos, his son was a Taurus -
A Greek legend whose details might bore us,
Yet old Virgil’s Aeneid implores us
To think Minos a judge of the Dead.

The next chapter is D. Alighieri’s
He conceived of a Minos more scary.
This huge reptile makes sinners despair-y
He’s Inferno’s vile judge of the Dead.  Olé!
Dante:            Così
Discesi del cerchio primaio
Dov’è dolor che piunge a guaio
A lagrimar mi fanno pio
 "Minos", Gustave Dore
Stavvi horribilmente Minòs.

Our nice outing in Limbo had ended.
To the grim Second Ring we descended,
Where this gross snarling monster offended
With the verdict he gives with his tail.

Essamina le colpe nell’intrata,
Le confessa l’anima mal nata
Vede qual loco d’infern' è da essa,
Della peccata è conoscitor!

He examines the souls of transgressors
As a devilish father-confessor,
Assigns Circle of Hell, more or less, Sir,
With the number of coils in his tail.
the traditional Jarabe Tapatio,
 "Mexican Hat Dance"

Un atto di cotanto offizio -
Sempre dinanzi ne stanno molte
Vanno al giudizio,
E dicono e odono
Minos si cigne e giù son volte.

You’d done rapine and pillage and letching
You’d sinned quite a good bit in your youth
You thought you had hidden
Those bad things you did then,
But Minos will find out the truth.

Crowds pour in! To get dissed!
In turn each one gets judged
They’d prefer not to budge,
But they’re hurled downward in the abyss.

Disse Minòs a me quando me vide,
“Guarda di cui tu ti fide”
E’l duca mio lui “Perche pur gride?”
Vuolsi cosí colà si puote.

Oh, this tail-twister’s workflow was broken,
When he’d spied me and snarkily spoken,
Virge rebuked him with a poignant token
Of the Power that willed us ahead.  

A pianto sentire or son venuto
In loco d’ogne luce muto
Da contrari venti è combattuto
Intesi - ecco dannati
I peccator carnali
Nulla speranza di posa
Ove Minòs manda colla coda. *

Now, there starts up such sad incantation,
And the roar of a storm’s emanation -
Wind-tossed darkness and sad lamentation
‘Cause by now you could guess
There’s eternal distress -
Lustful lovers were damned and confined
Here, where Minos’s tail-twist assigned.

* coda, the Italian word for tail, also implies a conclusion or ending.

 Interesting Side-Notes (Minos as portrayed by Michelangelo)

  • Michelangelo's "Last Judgment", painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel was criticized by a papal attendant, Baigio da Cesena, as more appropriate for a tavern because of its use of nude figures. 
  • In its final version, Minos is portrayed at the lower right portion of the scene, with facial features presumably similar to Baigio. surrounded by other devils, with donkey ears, and with his tail wrapped around him. One can observe the subtle detail of a serpent biting the Minos-figure on the genitals!
  • The Pope claimed he had no jurisdiction over Hell, and therefore let the painting remain in this form, despite da Cesena's objection.

No comments:

Post a Comment