The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


The Diehard Tryhards Take on Song Parodies

By Staff Writers Stephanie Dutra, Jonathan Ko, Deeksha Raina & Maggie Zhao

In an epic showdown of wordplay and songwriting abilities, the Diehard Tryhards each composed an original song parody from the excerpts of popular songs, referencing MSJ and the Smoke Signal. The contestants showcased their lyrical wizardry, creativity, and (very) raw genius to earn the prestigious title of Smoke Signal Wordsmith.


Thoughts Before:

Let’s get straight to the point: I don’t have a single musical bone in my body. Music and lyric writing have never really been my forte. I’ve always preferred the quieter arts and subjects. But fear not! Armed with three years of experience at MSJ, two years of experience in the Smoke Signal, and the ever-helpful, I’m sure I’ll measure up to expectations.

Original Song: “Cheap Thrills” by Sia (20)

Come on, come on, bring the read meets on
It’s another day with L2’s skits

Gotta go to a game, cheer my school team on
It’s Tuesday night and I just can’t wait

Til Wednesday late start,
Thursday advisory
I got all I need

No I ain’t got textbooks
I ain’t got Wi-Fi
But I got Friday activities

Baby I just need Smokie love to have fun in life
(I love Smoke Signal)
Baby I just need to cheer for HC week
(I love school spirit)
I just need my assemblies

As long as I’m a Warrior
I just need my friends by me
As long as I’m a Warrior

Thoughts after:

Now that wasn’t too bad. To be honest, I was expecting my parody to fall flat, but all that note-taking in Journalism class seems to have paid off. Despite some minor struggles with rhythm, I managed to secure the coveted second place position. While my parody may not have been a smash hit, I’m quite satisfied with my efforts. I’ve been singing all four songs under my breath for the past week — a true testament to all of our skills.


Thoughts before:

Dreamy vocals, experience with songwriting, and confidence when performing are all desirable qualities, none of which I possess.  However, I give private concerts every once in a while, and I must say that my showerhead is quite impressed. Some tell me that I can’t sing, but I like to think that the world can’t handle this much talent. My vocal prowess will help me edge out the competition.

Original Song: “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE (19)

Oh, no

See you walking ’round like it’s a Wednesday

Late start but somehow I’m still late to school

Why are all my friends at council, council, ah

This school is a masterpiece, a green and white masterpiece

You should be studying with me, let’s meet in the library, ah

Ice cream at the student store, this life is a fantasy

But you’re studying so diligently; let’s start living dangerously

Walk with me, baby

I’m headed to this Friday’s activity, whoa-oh

Let’s lose our minds at the BTQ

Ah ya ya ya ya I keep on hoping I’ll have fun at Mission

Follow me, baby

It’s time to take on this homecoming, whoa-oh

Cheer on our class and show unity, unity

Ah ya ya ya ya I keep on hoping I’ll have fun at Mission

Thoughts after:

Some might consider last place a loss, but even finishing this challenge feels like a victory to me. I realized quickly that I overestimated my abilities, and by then it was too late for to save me. On a high note, my song parody was catchy enough to get stuck in my head for days, so perhaps it wasn’t that bad after all. With more preparation and a better song choice, I’m confident that I would have bested my competitors encore, anyone?


Thoughts before:

To be perfectly honest, I have always loved song lyrics and music in general. I conservatively estimate that 30 percent of my brain’s memory capacity is devoted to song lyrics. Even though I’ve grown up a pianist, drummer, singer, and lyrical geek, songwriting has always evaded me. Regardless, I’m sure that this competition is mine for the winning — all those hours spent on have to be worth something, right?

Original song: “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes (19):

My school’s a stereo

It sings for us, so listen close

Hear the spirit in the wi-i-ings

Warriors are the kings

Always bummed when that bell rings

Advisory was meant for you

To chill with friends or do anything

Like buy some Pop Tarts off a Student Store shelf

Or hit the BTQ Friday with everybody else

If I ask you to help with class, could you manage that

Like hey I’m an upperclassman I can handle that

Furthermore I apologize for any skipping class

It’s just that MSJ Band distracted me with some brass

I used to used to go to Hopkins now I’m over that

But green and white are never ever ancient artifacts

I only pray I never leave it behind

Because good teachers can be so hard to find

Loved this Homecoming keep it all in my mind

Thought school was bad but this is changing my mind

Thoughts after:

Ah, yes — the oh-so-familiar taste of victory. I’d like to thank five years of reading through for helping me along my path to the lyrical savant I am today. I’d also like to thank, of course, my competitors, for in order to show my dominance, I had to have bodies to step over. All jokes aside, this was a fantastic experience and I’m so grateful for this chance to grow closer with my fellow competitors.


Thoughts before:

While I’ve always enjoyed humming along to music at inopportune moments, as well as lip-syncing to Disney songs alone in my bedroom, I have never tried composing my own lyrics. My rhyming capabilities are rather subpar, but hopefully, my creativity and I will pull through on this challenge. I look forward to seeing how I match up against these tenacious competitors.

Original: “Part of Your World” – The Little Mermaid (23)

Look at these apps

Aren’t they neat?

SchoolLoop and WarriorHub; what else could we need?

Wouldn’t you think MSJ’s

The school that has ev’rything?

Look at the Bell Tower

Treasures untold

How many wonders can the Student Store hold?

Lookin’ around here you’d think

(Wow) they’ve got everything

We’ve got Homecoming spirit aplenty

We’ve got Friday activities galore

You want Smoke Signal issues?

We’ve got so many

Didn’t know before?

No big deal,

There’s even more.

Up where all day,  

We sleep away,

Up where we wake up late on Wednesdays,

We all agree

That we love to be

Part of this world

Thoughts After:

While I placed third in the parody challenge, my expectations going into it were even lower, so I’m still satisfied with the end result. After all, my strategies for finding rhymes were relying heavily on Google and changing as little of the original lyrics as possible. In the end, I’m glad for any excuse to sing Disney songs as a 15-year-old.

Photo by Staff Writer Richard Chenyu Zhou

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