Babylonian New Year + Weird Al

Okay, 2 questions.
Firstly, I know we have the ancient Babylonians to thank for the whole 60mins in an hour, 60secs in a min and our calandar and stuff. But my question is this:
When was the Babylonian’s New Years day?? Do we even know seeing as every 6 years they repeated one month? Help!

And secondly (this has been bugging me for ages!)
Weird Al did a song called You Don’t Love Me Anymore. Who did the original version?! I can’t find out anywhere, so I thought where better to ask :wink:

Thanks for your help guys

I can help with the Weird Al question, at least:

Do a search for “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” and it shows up as one of Weird Al’s original songs. Not parodied off of anything.

The site is linked to from Weird Al’s official site (, so that’s a pretty good sign that it’s accurate. :slight_smile:

A Weird Al original? Cool. Thanks!

Not all of Weird Al’s songs are parodies, zia_nova. In fact, I think his contract states that he has at least 1/3 of his songs on each album be originals.

you learn something new everyday. Thanks.
Anyone else got anything on the Babylonian New Years day thingy?

It wasn’t a fixed date, but was tied to the spring equinox, somewhat like Easter. To quote from Halley’s Comet in History (British Museum, 1985, p14), edited by F.R. Stephenson and C.B.F. Walker:

This 19 year period is a Metonic cycle. You’ll thus have the start of the year fluctuating around the equinox, by up to about 30 days on either side. Given that the months can vary in length, probably all days inside this interval were possible New Years Days.

I’d expect that, for purely legacy system reasons, their Metonic cycle was actually only tied to a day near the equinox. King decrees: “We’re going to start adding the months in this new-fangled fashion, starting from whatever the New Years Day is next time round.” Since they couldn’t exactly predict when the next month would start until it did, the alternatives are either waiting until a new moon happens to fall on the equinox or finding some way of backdating your new law to one that had. Also, since the date of the change isn’t known to the exact year, we probably can’t even deduce what the specific day the cycle was tied to would have been.

it’s not a contract, it’s a choice, both personal and business. Although Al really got his start in parodies (and it’s certainly what he’s best known for), he is also quite talented at writing his own songs. Many of his original songs are inspired by songs of other bands (compare Dare To Be Stupid to anything by Devo, Germs to Nine Inch Nails, Everything You Know is Wrong to They Might Be Giants, or Dog Eat Dog to Talking Heads), but are just different enough that he doesn’t have to pay the original bands royalties – which is the reason that only about 1/3 of the songs on his album are parodies. An entire album of legitamite parodies (which include royalty publishing fees) can get very expensive! I recommend that anyone with an interest in comedy music check out some of Al’s non-parody work.

You Don’t Love Me Anymore comes from a variety of sources (someone more familiar with this type of music could list better examples than I), but the music video is a direct spoof on Extreme’s “More Than Words”.

In the VH1 Behind the Music about Al, he refers to these songs as “Style Parodies” and gave the indication that one reason he does them is when there’s a popular artist who he wants to parody, but said artist won’t give permision for any of their songs.

This thread isn’t at all what I was hoping for when I read the title.

Yeah, I’m disappointed too. I thought Weird Al had something to do with the Great Conjunction or something.

Amish Paradise, parody of Gangsta’s Paradise. One of Al’s best-known works. Possibly as well-known as its source material.

I’m going somewhere with this.

Coolio, the creator of the original, did not like Al’s parody. I seem to recall legal action, in fact. Is this a case of someone trying to weasel his way into more royalties, or did Al fail to get the proper permission?

Under the Fair Use laws, which specifically protect parody, does Al even need permission?

My understanding of the Coolio incident is that Al asked the people at his record label to get in touch with Coolio to get permission. Supposedly one of the execs at Scotti Bros. Records ran into Coolio at a party and there was a conversation that left the exec with the impression that permission had been given. Coolio claims no memory of ever meeting the exec.

When I was a reporter for my university newspaper in the mid 90s I got the opportunity to interview Al and I asked him whether or not he gets permission to do his parodies. He responded that the law does not require him to seek permission, so long as the writing credits on the album reflect the source material and the appropriate royalties are paid out. That said, he also said that he gets permission as a matter of personal policy and also said that only one person had ever turned him down, although he couldn’t tell me who because that guy no longer had a name.

He had no comments on the Babylonian clock.

Contract dispute with his record label over, the Purple One )O-> is now back to being Prince.

As a side note, the last time I saw Weird Al perform was at the dorms at Cal Poly SLO when I was student. He had achieved fame already on the Dr. Demento show, and among some of his songs he performed was the already famous “My Balona [sic]”.

Weird Al also set off a chain of events which resulted in the campuses first “terrorist” event:
Al hosted his own radio show at the campus station (KCPR) and when he quit, a couple of upset fans responded a few days later with a lunch bag containing an M-80[?] and full of leaflets crying out for “Come back Weird Al” which was set off in the hallway about 5 yards from the room housing the broadcast booth. The “bombing” as the police called it, only produced a snickers from my fellow compatriots, wondering what would happen if someone in a mask, chanting slogans had shot off a toy cap pistol in the hallway instead. Would a SWAT team had responded?

My, oh my, how times have changed…

From the aforementioned website of the man himself:

Why did Al ask coolio for permission to parody a rewrite of a Stevie Wonder song?, isn’t Stevie still considered the author?.


Actually, that isn’t completely true. He has also been turned down by Paul McCartney (not because he wasn’t a fan, but because he didn’t want Al doing songs that involved eating chicken), Billy Joel, The Offspring (again, because they thought that Come Out And Play was too serious to be made fun of…but they later let him do Pretty Fly), Weezer (Buddy Holly was originally going to be on Bad Hair Day, but Weezer changed their mind and revoked their permission)…and probably some others that we never heard about. I think Prince just has a reputation because he really got angry that Al would even THINK of desecrating one of his works. He also got turned down by the Dr Seuss estate for singing U2’s Numb to the words of Green Eggs & Ham, even though U2 was all for it. Most of these turn downs eventually showed up in concert or on one of Al’s TV specials anyway.