“More Truth than Poetry”: Parody and Intertextuality in Early American Political Song
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How to Cite

Lohman, L. (2020). “More Truth than Poetry”: Parody and Intertextuality in Early American Political Song. MUSICultures, 47, 34–62. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/MC/article/view/31400

Abstract

Musical parody was integral to early American political culture. Focusing on political songs designated “parodies” in early American newspapers, this article demonstrates how parodists representing competing political parties balanced mimesis and critique to mock political adversaries, refute opponents’ arguments, and expose political “truths.” These parodists used mimesis, structural manipulation, reductive dichotomies, exaggerated claims, and extreme levels of intertextuality in groups of related parodies. As erudite satire declined in appeal, parodists carried elements of early American humour into more accessible genres. While individual parodies may seem ephemeral, a holistic examination demonstrates the genre’s integrality and adaptation within early American political culture.

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