Sailing Takes Me Away

Aug 2, 2019
Originally published on August 2, 2019 2:26 pm

The words from Yacht Rock classics, soft rock singles with nautical references, are rewritten to be about real and fictional boats.

Heard on Topher Grace And Arturo Castro: Cereal Stans.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Next, we'll play a game about famous boats. Can you imagine if Noah's Ark happened today? He'd have to run so many Instagram accounts for those animals.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's meet our contestants. First up, Ryann Greenberg is visiting from Boston, where you teach theater to sixth and eighth-graders. Would you ever live on a boat?

RYANN GREENBERG: Oh, heavens no.

EISENBERG: No.

GREENBERG: No. I get wicked seasick, which means, like, I would have the seasick bracelets on all the time. They're not cute. And, like, sometimes, they also don't work.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

GREENBERG: So, like, I wouldn't be able to eat ever.

EISENBERG: You know what is cute? - your use of wicked.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENBERG: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Ryann, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Isaac Villicana. You were a nurse in Texas, but now you're a software engineer in New York.

ISAAC VILLICANA: I know - quite the switch.

EISENBERG: Isaac, would you ever live in a boat?

VILLICANA: Most definitely not.

EISENBERG: Oh.

VILLICANA: No, no, no, no, no, no.

EISENBERG: No.

VILLICANA: I'm claustrophobic. And just knowing that I'm on a boat surrounded by water and I can't escape, it's just - it's terrifying - I can't.

EISENBERG: You will hate New York. Wait a second.

(LAUGHTER)

VILLICANA: I'm actually moving to Boston, too.

EISENBERG: You're moving to Boston.

VILLICANA: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Isaac, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Remember, Ryann and Isaac, whoever has more points after two games will go to our final round. All right. So when we asked our guest musician Julian Velard, what sort of music parody would you like to do, he requested yacht rock. What exactly is yacht rock?

JULIAN VELARD: It describes music from the late 1970s and early '80s that has a sophisticated pop-rock sound and also some nautical references.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. So it's as if rock 'n' roll took a Dramamine.

VELARD: That is correct.

EISENBERG: OK - perfect.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: In this game, we rewrote yacht-rock classics to make them about real and fictional sea vessels. Ring in, and tell me what I'm singing about. If you get that right, for a bonus point, you can name the original yacht-rock song or artist who made it famous. Here we go.

(Singing) It came from somewhere back around Plymouth way. It brought dissenting Protestants trying hard to make the trip and not come down with scurvy. In the New World, it lands near Cape Cod, a rock to mark the spot - never coming near Virginia its goal - dropped off those pilgrims who colonized the joint.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

VELARD: Ryann.

GREENBERG: The Mayflower.

VELARD: You are correct. And...

(APPLAUSE)

VELARD: For an additional point, can you name the song?

GREENBERG: Nope.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: That is "What A Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers.

GREENBERG: Oh, OK.

EISENBERG: That's right.

VELARD: These songs are going to get a lot more obscure.

GREENBERG: Oh, God.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: That was the No. 1 hit.

GREENBERG: Oh, no.

VELARD: Here we go.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: (Singing) 'Cause this Cold War submarine has got a stealth drive, it's unseen. Jack Ryan detects captain defects.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

VELARD: Isaac.

VILLICANA: Jack Ryan - that would be "Hunt For Red October."

VELARD: Correct - you are right.

(APPLAUSE)

VELARD: And can you name the song or the artist?

VILLICANA: "Piano Man."

(LAUGHTER)

VILLICANA: No clue.

EISENBERG: Wow - way to just stab him in the heart.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: No, that was not "Piano Man," Isaac.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: That was "Give Me The Night" by George Benson.

VELARD: (Singing) You think this boat name is stupid 'cause you let the Internet choose. Now, this yellow sub gathers facts on climate change - not so dumb now.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

VELARD: Ryann.

GREENBERG: Boaty McBoatface.

VELARD: You are correct.

(APPLAUSE)

VELARD: Ryann, can you name the - no, you can't name the song.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENBERG: Nope. No, no, no.

VELARD: These are hits, Ophira.

EISENBERG: I know. I know.

VELARD: These are hit songs. That was the Kenny Loggins classic "This Is It."

GREENBERG: Oh.

VELARD: Does this mean I never get to pick a game again?

EISENBERG: No.

VELARD: OK.

EISENBERG: Are you kidding? This is perfect.

VELARD: Great - let's continue - next one.

(Singing) Ancient Greece - that's our setting. Golden fleece - that's what he's getting on this boat. Young Jason's quest won't cease.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm sure everyone's psyched when the first part of the clue is (singing) ancient Greece.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We're like (laughter).

VELARD: Also, the name of a best picture-winner directed by Ben Affleck.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GREENBERG: "Argo."

VELARD: Yes. You are correct.

VELARD: And...

GREENBERG: Nope. No.

VELARD: You don't know the song - you sure?

GREENBERG: Julian, no.

VELARD: You sure? It's a classic.

GREENBERG: (Singing) Da, da, da.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

VELARD: Yeah.

GREENBERG: Yeah. No.

VELARD: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: It is "He's So Shy" by The Pointer Sisters.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That's a good one.

VELARD: Let's slow-clap that out. Slow-clap that out.

(LAUGHTER)

VELARD: This is your last clue.

(Singing) I keep obsessing about that big, white sperm whale. I keep processing that big bite he took out of my leg. We keep progressing about this whale ship. I keep obsessing.

EISENBERG: I feel like...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GREENBERG: OK. So, like, the book is "Moby Dick."

VELARD: Correct.

GREENBERG: Right. OK. And it's "Don't Call Me Ishmael."

EISENBERG: I see what you're doing here.

GREENBERG: And...

(LAUGHTER)

GREENBERG: The boat...

EISENBERG: I know. I know.

GREENBERG: ...Is...

VELARD: Here's a hint. It's also the name of a pizza place in Chicago.

VELARD: The boat is called Sal's.

GREENBERG: I - yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENBERG: Like, Vinny's (ph) too?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's good.

VELARD: Good guess - that is not correct. Isaac, would you like to steal?

VILLICANA: No clue.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUZZER)

VELARD: The boat is the Pequod.

GREENBERG: Oh.

VELARD: And that the song is "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" by Michael McDonald - solo, not with The Doobie Brothers.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Great game - Ryann is in the lead.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hey, ASK ME ANOTHER is heading to Texas. We're going to San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Austin. And if your favorite thing about Texas is the Texas Instruments calculator, you should be on our show. Info about tickets and how to be a contestant is at AMAtickets.org. Coming up, we'll talk to Arturo Castro, who created and stars in the Comedy Central sketch show "Alternatino." And as per my mother's request, I'll ask him what's the difference between a sketch and a skit. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. And this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

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