My Filk Lyrics  

This page features some filk lyrics I wrote in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Contents

King of Fonts

Eleanor Rigby (computer filk)

MS-DOS Is Hard to Use

King of Fonts

This is about a software project I worked on in 1989. It can be sung to "King of Pain" by Sting.


King of Fonts

music: Sting (Gordon Sumner)

lyrics: Robert Munafo

Got a brand new project for the Macintosh
It's the first Mac printer with outline fonts
All the source is from Bitstream, it arrived just now
And we need to port it but we don't know how

It's got kerning, hints and metric formulas
And a ton of error checking just because
So they took this monster, dropped it on my lap
And they said, you do it Dave, you're our man!

(chorus) So I'm hacking away, and every day Jacques taunts (me)
I'm getting bus errors, but it never daunts (me)
These doubly-linked lists, are what Bitstream wants
And it's my destiny, to be the King of Fonts

The italic's darker than the double bold
    (There's a bug in there)
(oh) and outline makes the cursor stop dead cold
    (There's a bug in there)
All the graphics are stretched eight percent in height
    (There's a bug in there)
(and) every other page comes out completely white
    (There's a bug in there)

(chorus) I keep hacking away, and every day Jacques taunts (me)
Spent seventeen hours, but it never daunts (me)
These doubly-linked lists, are what Bitstream wants
And it's my destiny, to be the King of Fonts

It takes seven minutes to print "Hello World!"
    (There's a bug in there)
And the paper sometimes comes out creased and curled
    (There's a bug in there)
There are thirty ways to make it crash or freeze
    (There's a bug in there)
And a dialog says, add more mem'ry please
    (There's a bug in there)

(chorus) I keep hacking away, and every day Jacques taunts (me)
Spent thirty eight hours, but it never daunts--
I guess I'm always missing, just what Bitstream wants
And it's my destiny, to be the King of Fonts

(bridge) I have pointers in memory that got wiped out
I have TMON intercepting traps but I doubt
I have any chance to find this bug today
Tried it on another Mac it went a-way...
{or: When I tryiton-other Macs it goes a-way... -19990810}
King of Fonts...

[instrumental bridge]
[Mac reboot "Bong"!]
[Substitute a stopwatch ticking for the drums]

There's a red light blinking and the code is wedged
    (There's a bug in there)
There's a black stripe running down the paper's edge
    (There's a bug in there)
There's a hundred and two open bugs today...

They're the same old bugs as yesterday...

I keep hacking away, and every day Jacques taunts (me)
Spent four hundred hours, but it never daunts (me)
And I'll never know, just what Bitstream wants
Cause it's my destiny, to be the King of Fonts
King of Fonts
King of Fonts
King of Fonts, (I'll always be)
King of Fonts, (I'll always be)
[repeat and fade]

Filk version of "Eleanor Rigby"

The refrain and the first two lines (through "line on the screen") were pre-existing (see for example this version). I wrote all the rest in early August 1989 (during MacWorld in Boston). I did not know there were any more lyrics, and in retrospect I like my version a lot better (the "soc.religion.preacher.prayer" part scans particularly well).

This version is more user-oriented, in contrast to the older Hacker-culture original. "Icon" and "window" are Mac references (it pre-dates the popularity of Microsoft Windows, but see the next song) and "Bill" refers to Bill Gates.


Eleanor Rigby (computer filk version)

music: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Martin

lyrics: anonymous, Robert Munafo

(Paul's part:) (John's part:)   Ah, look at all the lonely users Ah, look at all the lonely users Ah, look at all the lonely users Ah, look at all the lonely users Eleanor Rigby Sits at the keyboard and waits for a line on the screen What does it mean? Looks at the window Clicking her mouse on an icon that highlights no more What is it for? All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users where do they all belong? Father McKenzie, Posting to sock dot religion dot preacher dot prayer No-one is there. Look at him reading, searching for stories for eulogies no-one will share What does he care? All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users where do they all belong? Ah, look at all the lonely users Ah, look at all the lonely users Ah, look at all the lonely users Ah, look at all the lonely users Eleanor Rigby, died at the keyboard just after she finished her will, "Leave it to Bill." Father McKenzie, looks for the file that tells what to write on her grave nothing was saved. (softer) Ah, look at all the lonely All the lonely users, users where do they all come from? Ah, look at all the lonely All the lonely users users where do they all belong?  

MS-DOS Is Hard to Use

This fairly short, self-explanatory filk can be sung to "Breaking up is Hard To Do". It is from 1990 or 1991, as the "Windows 3.0" reference was still current when I wrote it.


MS-DOS Is Hard to Use

music: Neil Sadaka

lyrics: Robert Munafo

Bomb bomb-a du bom-bomb, I/O Error
Bomb bomb-a du bom-bomb, I/O Error
Writing to Sector 9, Track 4
Abort, Retry, Ignore

They say that DOS
Is the worst O/S
File system is such a mess
I'm porting netnews and I know it's true
(that) MS-DOS is hard to use

{there ought to be another verse here}

(bridge:) I've heard that Windows three-point-oh
Is the way to go
User-friendly, and graphical
{forgot this line}
But the underlying file-system
    makes me stop and think again

{there might have been more, but I forget}


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This page was last updated on 2014 Mar 10.
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