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Literal music videos

Recently a friend introduced me to something called literal videos. A literal video is a remake, with a twist, of a popular music video, usually something older from the 1980s or 1990s.

The twist in the remake is that the lyrics for the song in the video are changed to reflect what's actually happening in the video. So if there's a shot of a car driving down the street, the literal video's lyrics will be something along the lines of "So there's a car ... driving ... driving down the street."

The words are sung by someone doing their best to match the musical sound and pacing of the original singer, making it seem like this is how the video has always been.

It's actually much harder to explain than it is to demonstrate. So, without further ado, here are four of the funniest (to me, at any rate) literal videos I've found. If you haven't seen the original versions of these videos, the literal videos may not be quite so funny; I've included links to the originals, too.

  • Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart [originalliteral video]. This one is, by far, my favorite. Some of the lines are absolutely hysterical. After watching it way too many times, there's no way I can watch the original now without hearing the literal video version's lines playing in my head.
  • Meatloaf's I'd do Anything For Love [originalliteral video]. Another very good effort, with some bits that are laugh-out-loud funny.
  • The Beatles Penny Lane [originalliteral video]. John, Paul, George, and Ringo have never been quite so funny...and what is with that horse?
  • Journey's Separate Ways [originalliteral video]. Not as good as the first three, but still worth a chuckle or two.

I've searched YouTube pretty extensively, and these are the best examples I've found. Anyone have any other recommendations that I may have missed?


  1. I think the first (and best in my opinion) was A-HA's "Take on me". Very funny. Also I think that Tears for Fears "Head over heels" is pretty good.

  2. Total Eclipse is the one possessed of true genius. However, I quite liked the Creed - With Arms Wide Open one.

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