Two Los Angeles radio stations have joined the bandwagon of stations taking aim at Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein with a series of parody songs.
Stations across the country have dubbed over song lyrics of past and present hits in the lasttwo weeks to try to provide some comic relief from the Mideast crisis.
Pirate Radio (KQLZ 100.3 FM), the Hollywood-based Top-40/rock station, has played three parody songs for the last two weeks. The most popular, a version of Milli Vanilli’s “Blame It on the Rain” called “Blame It on Hussein,” has been exported to about 100 stations around the country, according to the station’s production director Steve Kingston.
And at Burbank-based country station KZLA-FM (93.9), Hank Williams Jr.'s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” has been changed to “All My Saudi Friends Are Coming Over Tonight.”
(Williams got in on the act himself on Friday, recording “Don’t Give Us a Reason,” which warns Iraq against pushing the United States to war. The song, which could be on the air this week, suggests that Iraq take its poison gas and “stick it in your sassafras.”)
The Los Angeles stations, both no strangers to the use of parody songs, are playing tunes that are in the same vein at stations in Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and other American cities. The formula relies on a quick, identifiably anti-Hussein or anti-Iraq pun in the title, backed by lyrics supporting the U.S. position in the crisis, and the result is a quick novelty hit that keeps the request lines ringing for a week or two.
“Blame It on Hussein,” which Kingston said was a Top 5 phone-requested song at Pirate Radio last week, is a case in point.
“This song caught on a little quicker than other parody songs we’ve done,” Kingston said. “People tend to stand for nationalism . . . and even though we don’t do many political songs, this is something that affects all people on all levels, so it’s a mass-appeal area.”
The Pirate Radio songs, also including “Iraqity-Yak” and “We’re Gonna Rock Around Iraq Tonight,” were written and produced in-house for use on the weekday-morning show hosted by Scott Shannon.
KZLA, also using its parody for morning-show airplay, collaborated with Country Comedy Network, a New York production service which has worked with the station for a year on various song spoofs. Like Pirate Radio, KZLA morning show producer Mark Mennano said the song has been a bigger success than other parodies.
The song’s first verse:
I got soldiers to the left of me, and missiles to the right,
Tanks been rollin’ through my yard all night.
I got Iraqis on the land, got Iraqis in the air,
I got Iraqis at the border, hey, they’re everywhere.
“The tension is so high that people wanted the lighter side of it to breathe easier,” said KZLA public affairs director Renee Thomas. “It’s taken off like lightning.”