The Cures

Aug 30, 2019

In this music parody game, songs by The Cure are rewritten to be about things that were touted as having health benefits, with no science to back up their claims.

Heard on Julio Torres: My Favorite Espooky.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants, Ashley and Brett. Our next game is about bad medicine. By the way, laughter - not the best medicine. It goes vaccines, antibiotics, anti-depressants, laughter.


EISENBERG: Let's check in with our contestants. Ashley, what's your best, like, at-home remedy?

ASHLEY DAVIS: I really like Vaseline.



EISENBERG: I mean, do you make your own Vaseline? Please say no.

DAVIS: I do not yet.


DAVIS: Great idea, though. I just like to be moisturized - generally. And I find it helps with that in all ways.


DAVIS: I'm particularly partial to the teeny, tiny little Vaselines that you can get at the drugstore.

EISENBERG: I do love that one. I've got that one, too.

DAVIS: Nothing beats it.

EISENBERG: It's great 'cause it's so cute.

DAVIS: It's so cute.

EISENBERG: It's because they sell huge ones and then tiny ones.

DAVIS: Yeah, the huge one, that's weird. Like, if you're buying that, that's a little strange. But the tiny one, it's so innocent.

EISENBERG: I know - adorable. You got to moisturize. OK. I'm on your side now.


EISENBERG: Brett what is your best home remedy?

BRETT GREENFIELD: For a sore throat - hot Dr. Pepper with lemon juice.

COULTON: Wow - hot Dr. Pepper.

GREENFIELD: Don't knock it till you try it.

EISENBERG: OK. So you're heating it up, like, in the microwave or in a pot.

GREENFIELD: Either way.

EISENBERG: OK. And then how much lemon juice per can?

GREENFIELD: Just to flavor, to taste.


EISENBERG: And your sore throat is gone how soon after?

GREENFIELD: I mean, it's not gone, but it feels better.



COULTON: Also, you had to drink a hot soda.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

GREENFIELD: Yeah. It's counter-intuitive.

EISENBERG: OK. So your next game is a music parody about bad medicine. Whoever wins this is going to the final round, and whoever loses this has to take care of my pet leech. He kind of sucks.


EISENBERG: That deserves a slow clap. That deserves a slow clap.

COULTON: We rewrote songs by the English rock band The Cure, and now they are about various things that were once touted as having health benefits but science disagrees. Ring in to identify what I'm singing about, and if you get that right, you can earn a bonus point by giving me the original song's title. Are you ready?

DAVIS: Oh, yes.

COULTON: OK. Here we go.

(Singing) I was soft and chubby. I was loose and tubby. I believed Kim Kardashian. She said walking was enough, but those rounded rocker soles did not tone up my butt.


COULTON: Ashley.

DAVIS: Is it Skechers Shape Ups?

COULTON: It is, absolutely. So for a bonus point, can you name the song?

DAVIS: Oh, no, no.

COULTON: Oh, no. Oh, no, not even close. It's called - "Just Like Heaven" is the name of the song.

(Singing) I'm drinking that brain tonic because my problem's chronic. Name is not ironic. They really made this soda with cocaine.



GREENFIELD: It is Coca-Cola.

COULTON: It is Coca-Cola, yeah. I was worried you were going to say Dr. Pepper for a minute.

COULTON: I know. He was like, what is any other soda, any other soda?

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

GREENFIELD: I know, I think, two songs by The Cure, so I'll go with "Disintegration."

COULTON: No. I'm sorry, that's incorrect.


COULTON: This was "Let's Go To Bed."


COULTON: Here's your next one. (Singing) I don't care if Monday's blue. I don't care about me or you since you ran that drill bit through my Swiss cheese cranium.


COULTON: Ashley.

DAVIS: Is it the thing like bore holes, where they would drill into your brain to, like, release pressure?

COULTON: Yeah. It's called trepanning. That's right.

DAVIS: Sure. Sure.


COULTON: There's not more applause for trepanning out there?

EISENBERG: Oh. No, you - people were scared after your clue. I heard someone gasp.

COULTON: Oh, yeah. And for a bonus point, can you name the song?

DAVIS: It's the only Cure song I know. It's "Friday I'm In Love."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.


COULTON: Here's the next one. (Singing) I saw you laugh about it when you gave the sample to me. You said it's like lemonade but yellow, salty and free. But I don't like people who trick me.


COULTON: You don't want to drink it. Looks like lemonade. There is a shop nearby that sells fudge. Don't make me say it.


COULTON: Oh, yes. Ashley.




COULTON: Drinking urine. It was called urine therapy. For a bonus point, can you name the song?

DAVIS: Is it "Disintegration"?



COULTON: It is a fine piece of strategy, Ashley, but that is incorrect. That was "Boys Don't Cry." This is your last clue, you'll be relieved to hear.

(Singing) Go on, go on. Put this in you. Your pelvic muscles hold it true. Go on, go on. Increase your chi. Oh, wait. The doctors don't agree. So if Gwyneth was wrong, guess that means I'm a dupe 'cause I spent all that money, and my hooha was fine without goop.


COULTON: Ashley.

DAVIS: It's a jade egg.

COULTON: It is a jade egg.


COULTON: I don't suppose you can get a bonus point by naming the song.

DAVIS: I don't suppose I can.

COULTON: It's called "In Between Days."

EISENBERG: An amazing game. After two games, Ashley is moving to the final round.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.