Version Beta

Elsewhere we have commented on the benefit of having, if possible, the parody resemble to some degree the original.  In this case we have a problem, as the original was entirely in Scottish Gaelic.  To some extent we’ve achieved that in the chorus, which in the original runs:

Fear a’bhata, na ho ro eile

…which, after accounting for Gaelic pronunciation and all, kind of sounds like the first line in our chorus–at least it does if you have both your cheeks stuffed with cotton balls–not that I’d recommend trying that or anything, of course, but that’s beside the point.

In resembling the original, we did a little better on the content side.  Both deal with investment, betrayal and bitter disappointment.  In the original the investment is emotional, as the heroine copes with being abandoned by an itinerant boyfriend (sort of the other side of the coin from Rick Nelson’s awful Travelin’ Man).  In the parody, the investment is in trial version “beta” software.

The text of this parody is based on a somewhat paraphrased translation by famed Scottish singer-songwriter Andy M. Stewart, the text of which I can’t for the life of me find online. There is an Andy M. Stewart website; maybe one day I’ll write and ask for permission to post the original lyrics.  Meanwhile, for a literal translation, click here.   For another literal translation, click here.  And then there’s this…and this….

1.  I’m often haunting the tech support lines;
I’ve scoured the forums, I’ve read the books–
But all my spreadsheets, reports, and data
Are gone forever, or so it looks.

I fear I’ve gotten a version beta,
Fear I’ve gotten a version beta,
Fear I’ve gotten a version beta…
Farewell, farewell, files, where’er you be….

2. I call the maker, I call the vendor
To seek assistance, but all in vain:
For they each point me toward the other,
And feed me jargon they won’t explain.

3. Do you remember the day you sold me
That disk, you told me it worked okay;
Well, I installed it, but they’d recalled it–
And now my hard drive has gone away.

4. There’s not an outlet–too well I know it–
Where your whole product line isn’t sold:
But let me look for support or service,
You’ll leave me standing out in the cold.

Copyright 2005.


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