There is an ongoing joke that we live in an era of remake with Disney pulling out new versions of their original movies every year and with old paintings getting new ideas and spins on them left and right. What if it’s not a joke, but rather an actual sort of age that we live in? The Gutenberg parenthesis is a model of showing what era of media we are in and what that entails. There are three sections to it but really the one we need to focus on is the one that we are in, the post-parenthetical era. Meaning that much of our media is taking something old and making a new spin on it. Rather than making our own authorship and making new things we take the old and make it our own. The example I chose to analyze is the song “Only Fools” by David Ladwig. This song shows that we are in the parenthetical era by using a sample of “Can’t help falling in love” by Elvis Presley and both giving the song new context and a different sound. The classic song by Elvis is about, as the title perfectly demonstrates, falling in love and not being able to hold back on those feelings. But in the remake of the song the context is different.
Ladwig’s lyrics are not about romantic love but rather the love of God and Christ. The lyrics are meant to be directed to God such as the line “Why are you loving all of us sinners who run off and eat all the fruit?” This line alludes to how Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Lyrics also imply the questioning of why God is merciful enough to love his imperfect children. The context and set up for this song is meant to be religious, so when the chorus comes on with the classic, “wise men say, only fools rush in '', it means something different to the audience than the original. The genre of the song itself is not the same changing from 60’s pop to Christian rap. This is a great example of how we are in the post-parenthetical era because of the recontextualizing of something old into something new to fulfill a different purpose.
The sample of Elvis’ song was not just recontextualized however. It was also given a whole other sound. To be quite honest because I am so used to the classic, slow and old timey feel of the original this version sounds very off. My best guess is that a different key is being used altogether, but I am not experienced enough in music to know for sure. Ladwig’s style has not only got a more modern feel but incorporates Rap and Hip Hop. Something that was not around until a little over a decade later. The use of Hip Hop beats in the background and the voice singing it in a computer modified tone really makes a new way of hearing the old song. The computerized voice gives it a more robotic feel. All of this evidence that we really do live in the era of remake and remixing. The link to this song on YouTube can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypamjWJWgNc