Readers of a certain age will have seen that clip from “What’s Opera, Doc?”, a classic Warner Brothers short appropriating opera’s greatest hits. In the clip above, Elmer Fudd sings “Kill the WAB-bit” to a Wagner melody.
I have never seen Wagner’s Die Walküre, but if ever I do have the opportunity, it will be ruined for me, because I will never be able to un-hear Elmer Fudd singing “Kill the WAB-bit!”
Now, you’ve also heard about the concept of “earworm,” defined this way by the Urban Dictionary:
A song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try.
I present to you the earwabbit, a pop bastardization of an established song that ruins the experience of the original song by rendering it impossible to hear the original without thinking of the substitute. Elmer Fudd’s ruining Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” is an example of the earwabbit at work.
My personal most hated example is how this 1977 Sprite commercial destroyed (for me) one of the greatest of all Christmas carols, “Good King Wenceslas”. Click on it at your own risk.
Eager to hear about your most hated earwabbits, if not actually hear them.