In one of my latest Songs Of My Life editions, I introduced you to Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic. Just as this week, one of my biggest dreams comes true and Al will play his first ever show in Germany, I will spoil with a bit more of Al-related content… and also introduce you to my favorite song of him, Skipper Dan.
Skipper Dan – The Story of the Song
Skipper Dan has been released in 2009. The initial release was on the EP Internet Leaks, which has been published on 25th August 2009. The EP also contains some other songs, which are regularly played on Weird Al concerts, namely Craigslist and CNR. Later, the song was also the fourth song on the twelve track album Alpocalypse, which has been released on 21st June 2011 and is the second last album relesae by Weird Al Yankovic so far. The song has also been a single release, but did not have measurable success.
Yankovic wrote the song during a visit at Disneyland in Anaheim. The Jungle Cruise Ride teased in the song is one of the most traditional attractions of the amusement park. It is still operating today. You go on a fictive cruise through an artificial “jungle”. In contrast to similar rides in other parks, you are riding through artificial animals and have a real tour guide on the automated boat ride – which is obviously narrating the same more or less intelligent jokes again and again.
A Failed Career leads to a Yankovic Classic
The special thing about the ride Yankovic took was the tour guide. The name Dan is a fictive name and does not necessarily comply to the real name of the employee, who was during the tour complaining about his failed career. As Yankovic is regularly stating in his concerts today, he thought at this moment that this is a song. Skipper Dan deals with the failed career of the main character and the monotonous work he has to do. Some lyrics excerpts illustrate that perfectly:
- I was sure that Tarantino would be callin’ me on the phone Annie Leibovitz would shoot me for Rolling Stone But the years have come and gone And I’m sorry to say that’s not the way that it’s all worked out
- And I’m doin’ 34 shows every day And every time it’s the same
- I should a listened when my grandfather said “Why don’t you major in business instead?” Now my hopes have all vanished and my dreams have all died And I’ll probably work forever as a tour guide on the Jungle Cruise ride
Until today, the song is played regularly on Weird Al Yankovic concerts. It is also part of the long list of song candidates for the The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, which is hitting European and Australian tour stages in 2023.
Skipper Dan – My Story of the Song
When the song has been released in 2009, I have already been a Weird Al Yankovic fan for quite a bunch of years. Amish Paradise has finally made me follow the Californian artist, I also had seen a few live shows already. Nonetheless, Skipper Dan changed my attitude towards Al dramatically So far, I was rather focused on the parodies, but this song made me enjoy his originals as well. I fell in love to the track. Until now, it is my favorite of all Weird Al songs, parodies and originals. On shows like the current European tour one, I regularly look out whether there is the white megaphone on stage – which means that this song will be back of the show for this particular evening.
What I love about it is its story. Finally, it is a quite classic topic: the clown, who is entertaining people, Everybody likes him, everybody is a bit of jealous that he can make the people smile. But finally, you don’t know what is really going on in the person’s mind. Skipper Dan is an everyday person’s story. It is sad and melancholic, is funny and has some great laughs. Finally, it shows the fantastic ability of Weird Al Yankovic to explore everyday life and turn it into an entertaining story. Skipper Dan is finally the song which makes me smile and sing-a-long to Weird Al Yankovic music the most.
Skipper Dan – Spotify and Lyrics
Here is Skipper Dan on Spotify:
You can find the lyrics on AZLyrics.
Songs Of My Life Playlist
I created a playlist with all the Songs Of My Life songs so far. It will be updated with very new episode:
Title pic: Screenshot of original music video
Amusement Parks – More Postings
Here are all postings about Amusement Parks:
Songs Of My Life
Here are the postings of the personal Songs Of My Life category: