Most of you know Jonathan Coulton from the end credits of Portal. Already one of the most entertaining and clever games I had ever played, the deadpan, silly, and dark humor of "Still Alive" brought everyone's favorite romp through the world of weird to a memorable, and wonderfully fitting close.
Since then, Mr. Coulton has put out a rather absurd amount of media - YouTube videos aplenty can be found on his website - and he has reached the higher peaks of what we struggling musicians call "making money" from his albums. Yet somewhere amidst his works, and perhaps overlooked by there was a faint glimmer - a diamond in the rough, to used a tired old expression - his feel-good cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." Granted, this cover has been done before: The hardcore band Throwdown released a rather aggressive version of the rap classic, and Jackie Beat gifted us with the extraordinarily NSFW (seriously) re-imagining, "Baby Got Front," - the latter of which was aimed at what academics call "man-fanciers of the male persuasion." Still, I prefer Coulton's cover, and not only for it's charm and comically upbeat tone; rather, it somehow brings into focus the spirit of Sir Mix-a-Lot. I refer of course not to the rapper, but the historical figure on whom his persona was based.
A perilous journey to the land of digression awaits... after the jump!
The story of King Arthur's "Knights of the Round Table" tells us of Sir Galahad the Pure, Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Bedevere the Wise, and the like. Yet nowhere in the tales of olde do we hear of Arthur's most stalwart knight, "Sir Mix-a-Lot the Funky Fresh." While the fabled king sought fame and honor, Mix-a-Lot would settle for nothing less than the most formidable of backsides - that which the fabled "big booty b*tches" were believed to possess - and so he took it upon himself to find, and subsequently conquer, the legendary "badonkadonk."
Yet it was not to be. Excommunicated from the Catholic Church for his promiscuous ways, Mix-a-Lot went into hiding. Fearing the wrath of Pope Pelagius II, our valiant knight bedded his way across Europe, and in the process, caused a scourge that would wipe out nearly a third of Europe's population. History has chalked this up to bubonic plague, yet emerging research corroborates the theory that Mix-a-Lot's array of venereal diseases - an unfortunate consequence of his innumerable conquests - gave rise to what the medical community now calls "Airborne Mega-Syphilis."
Sir Mix-a-Lot: Your legend lives on in the strum of the bard's lute. May you rest in peace.