Papa papa papa papa papapa, papa papa papa papaaaaa PA!


For me, that Parks and recreation theme is right up there with Pete Moore’s 1968 classic Asteroid, or should I say the Pearl and Dean intro—a relic of bygone days when people went to a dark place called “the cinema”. (In the pre-mobile age, they couldn’t even say “I’m in a dark place at the moment”.)

Asteroid belongs well just after the style so effectively parodied at the opening of Monty Python’s Away from it all. And it shows that we too can learn additive rhythms—in this case, 3+3+2. We might set the repeated ambiguous ascending opening phrase to “I’ve got rhythm”.

If historical musicology is your bag, you can compare various versions over time—from the classic

through the 90s’ version, to the 2006 creation. The latter (at all of 2’16”) seems positively Wagnerian in its expansiveness; with our attention-span long conditioned to a quick burst, it takes some getting used to.

I note online comments on the BBC news report on the story:

This appears to reference something in British culture.
This Pearl and Dean thing seems pretty trivial and obscure to me.

O tempora! O mores! (You can read this as a football result: “Tempora nil—Mores nil.)

Now, Call Me Old-Fashioned [What, again?—Ed.], but the original has an authentic feel that is hard to recapture.

It’s tempting to use the piece as a prelude segueing right into the WAM classic of your choice—like the opening of the John Passion, the slow movement of the Schubert string quintet, or the Adagietto of Mahler 5.

Anyway, ritual efficacy does not necessarily correlate with duration. Ha.

It might also serve as an anthem for stammerers like me. For more pa-pa-pa, see here.

One more time, Altogether now:

Papa papa papa papa papapa, papa papa papa papaaaaa PA!

11 thoughts on “Papa papa papa papa papapa, papa papa papa papaaaaa PA!

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