Dear Weird Al…
Dear Weird Al,
I want to thank you.
Words will never fully express my gratitude for the things that you do and the songs that you sing. I grew up on a farm in the country, and this reality was so perfectly echoed in your song “Amish Paradise.” I, too, have churned butter and ploughed until I thought I lost my mind. The way you describe the harsh realities of the Anabaptist rural life is compelling- so much so that every time I hear the song I am moved to tears. So thank you, Weird Al, for portraying Amish people in a fair and realistic way, and doing justice to our humble and often misunderstood lifestyle.
Your fondest Amish fan
Without getting corny, Al – if I can call you Al – Al, it’s more than a life-long fascination with full facial beards and Hawaiian shirts that you’ve helped to instill in my life. Through some very tough times in I’ve discovered that it’s only by refusing to try to find the funny in every day that I truly get deep down, and it feels to me that no artist across any medium has put more work into making me laugh year after year and release after release than you have. Your commercially available body of work feels less like a product than an expression of love for a craft, and that love is clearly reflected in the quality of the outcome.
As someone who had lost his own father I remember being touched by your appreciation of the positive conduct of your fans in the time following the loss of your own parents – in an age of endless news cycles and soulless prepared statements what emerged felt like a very respectful and very strange sort of connection between strangers around the globe. I guess your story in my mind stands as proof that a talented and engaged individual can make a positive difference in people’s lives without necessarily setting out to change the world. Thanks for your decades of dedicated work in keeping polka alive and relevant to the youth of today!
– Mark Ciesluk
Hello, my name is Kyle Becker and I’m from Kitchener, Ontario.
I’ve always wondered how you decide on which song to parody; are they songs you personally like, or just songs that have good ratings? Either way, what you do is pure. I can see that you have a lot of lyrical talent, but your real genius is in choosing to select songs that everybody likes and already has stuck in their heads. Seeing you up on stage performing Amish Paradise I noticed two things: first, you’re very brave and strongly believe in what you do. You make relations to subjects that could be taken very offensively and possibly cause you a negative reputation, but you went through with it, gave everyone that guilty laugh, and I’d like to believe you made a difference. Second, I realized you are a very good singer, not just well mastered in the studio. It showed me that you are not just a parody artist, you’re a real musician choosing to do this (for reasons unknown!) You get up stage and offer some of the most surreal musical performances ever, and inspire me to get on stage no matter what, and to deliver what I have to say.
In my eyes you are the force connecting two worlds. You stay true to who you are and have broken down barriers that divide teen societies, and with highly detailed lyrics you never fail to amaze me with the humor you can find in almost any situation. Keep doing what you’re doing for you take the off the bitter truth in where this world is going. Weight
P.S.: maybe you could do a hardcore/metal song sometime, I’m sure you could pull something crazy off.
Take it easy, man.
Dear Al, or Dear Weird, or however it is you wish to be addressed,
I was a huge fan of yours as a child. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re the first artist that I “be-fanned,” if you will. I still probably have cassettes of Bad Hair Day and UHF kicking around somewhere at my parent’s house. That said, I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a true “fan” of yours these days, though (perhaps serendipitously) a few bars of “White and Nerdy” did make a cameo on my internal iPod a couple days ago. Yes, really. I can also still sing little bits and pieces of Everything You Know is Wrong (do you really mean it?) and The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota. Aside from that – I’m sorry Al, I just don’t think of you as much as I used to. I did, however, meet you once.
The occasion of our meeting (which I still mention offhandedly when asked about my days selling speakers) was the highlight of easily the most boring week of my life. The day before it occurred, I watched from the balcony as your tour bus pulled up in front of the Stetson Inn at 99th.and MacLeod. From my position, I observed while a skinny, long-haired human dressed like some bewigged android stuck in the 80s emerged from its transport and surveyed the scene. From afar, you cut a striking, deceivingly womanly figure – you were actually kinda hot in a scraggly, emaciated sort of way as you sauntered out of the setting Calgary sun and into the motel office.
I was high as shit and out having a smoke on this very balcony the next day and had to bend outta the way as you came out of a nearby room typing intensely on a laptop strapped to your chest. Incredible, ingenious… insane. I’d never seen anything like it, before or since. Come to think of it, being weird gets a bad rep. If you look at it right, the weirder you get, the less weird others look by comparison. You, Al, are like the lighthouse of weird – shining tall in the night of normality. Thank you, for all you do – this note’s for you.
Sorry, you’re welcome.