Pair #24: "It Was the World"

Original Post Date: May 3, 2004
Runtime: 1:05
Genre: Showtunes
Compilation Album:
Green Pants

Prompt Summary: a song about a Broadway character who gets suspended above a shark tank and has to summarize all of world history in less than a minute and eleven seconds or die

Some Songs to Wear Pants To prompts were like this one: very specific and very weird. It's like magnetic poetry, or at least how I do it. ("Has you be fluffing" is my magnum opus.*)

You can get pretty much the whole song from the prompt summary, as Andrew hits every single beat, except perhaps from making the main character more like an out-of-character performer than an actual character. We open on a rather lengthy plea for help, in which our nameless protagonist screams for mercy and lists off all the other production staff that have already been killed. Then, the freaky but nondescript villain demands to hear a summary of world history.

Then comes the most jarring 180 imaginable, with the protagonist just like, "Well, okay!"—as if his life were no longer in danger and he were actually really delighted to comply with the villain's request. I love this 180 because it comes out of nowhere and is like a slap in the face right before the actual song begins: a bouncy showtune a la Liza Minnelli.

Obviously, this isn't a deep dive into history; we're already thirty seconds into the track before the song even starts, and the whole track is just over a minute long. bill wurtz famously covered world history at breakneck speed and still produced a 19-minute video. So don't expect to learn anything new…except for Andrew's birth year. Yeah, at the end of the song, he breaks the fourth wall and ends his history "lesson" with the real Andrew's birth. Apparently, he was a "beautiful baby," if there's such a thing for humans. :D

"It Was the World" is an unexpected rollercoaster of a minute. The narrative is bizarre and leaves you wondering about the main character's fate, but at the same time, it ends with a truly fantastic line that is even funnier out of context. The song part of the track is quite catchy and also successful at evoking a Golden Age of Broadway style of musical.

"So please don't throw me into the tank of sharks."

*My other magnetic poetry hits include "purple finger juice did," "club there garden milk," "me a mean watch," and of course, "these-ing-ed-s." What? Why are you looking at me like that?

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