Lavender and dill

Today’s Zippy has Zerbina strumming her version of death metal on the ukulele:


Where to start? There’s Cannibal Corpse and the song “Evisceration Plague”; the source for Zerbina’s burlesque version; and the ukulele as an instrument. Certainly, death metal on a ukulele is risible.

Ok, Cannibal Corpse is a real band (Bill Griffith wouldn’t make such a thing up, at least not when there are gems like this to be found in real life):

Cannibal Corpse is an American death metal band from Buffalo, New York. Formed in 1988, the band has released twelve studio albums, one box set, and one live album. Throughout the years the band has been established, they have had little radio or television exposure, although a cult following began to build behind the group with the release of albums such as 1991’s Butchered at Birth and 1992’s Tomb of the Mutilated which both reached over one million in worldwide sales by 2003, including 558,929 in the United States by 2003, making them the top-selling death metal band of all time in the US.

Evisceration Plague, Cannibal Corpse’s eleventh studio album was released February 3, 2009, to a highly positive response from fans.

… In May 1995, then-US Senator Bob Dole accused Cannibal Corpse — along with hip hop acts like the Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew — of undermining the national character of the United States. A year later, the band came under fire again, this time as part of a campaign by conservative activist William Bennett, Senator Joe Lieberman, then-Senator Sam Nunn, and National Congress of Black Women chair C. Delores Tucker to get major record labels — including Time Warner, Sony, Thorn-EMI, PolyGram and Bertelsmann — to “dump 20 recording groups…responsible for the most offensive lyrics.” [In fact, the band and its recordings have been banned in several jurisdictions.]

… Cannibal Corpse prides itself on overtly violent-themed songs and album artwork, which it sees as nothing more than an extreme form of over-the-top entertainment. In the film Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, George [“Corpsegrinder”] Fisher [of the bands Monstrosity and Cannibal Corpse] said death metal is best viewed “as art”, and claimed that far more violent art can be found at the Vatican, saying that such depictions actually happened. Some of Cannibal Corpse’s most controversial song titles include “Meat Hook Sodomy”, “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt”, “Necropedophile”, and “Fucked with a Knife”. (Wikipedia link)

The lyrics for the song “Evisceration Plague” are nothing like Zerbina’s burlesque version. But they are based on something on the Evisceration Plague album, namely this verse of the song “To Decompose”:

Cadaver filled carcasses flood the land
Methodically emptied of bone and blood
Left to be one with the dirt again
To decompose
It will all end in the dirt again

(Meanwhile, lavender and dill for cadaver filled provides a distant echo of the folk song “Lavender Blue”, with the line “Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green”. And scone and snood is a nice nonsensicalization of bone and blood.)

Now, the ukulele:

The ukulele …, sometimes abbreviated to uke, is a member of the guitar family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, braguinha and the rajao, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally. (Wikipedia link)

Some people think of the uke as a silly plinking instrument, and Bill Griffith has evoked it at least once before, in a strip in which Zippy burlesques “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” on the ukulele.

Bonus: looking up ukulele sites led me to a Ukulele Hunt posting with a cartoon inspired by Cyanide and Happiness:


(Julie Strietelmeier is a gadgeteer and ukulele player.)

For the Uke Hunt joke, compare Mike Hunt and York Hunt in this posting.

One Response to “Lavender and dill”

  1. Odds and ends 8/14/13 | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Spelling woes. Writing about ukuleles (here) was quite a trial for me. The word ukulele kept coming out ukelele — partly, I suppose, from […]

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