Ask Me Another
3:48 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Musical Weather Report

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:52 am

Jonathan Coulton makes it rain in this game, which is full of weather conditions mentioned in popular song titles. Can you guess the original song title after he's rewritten the lyrics? As Bob Dylan might say: The answers, my friend, are blowing in this meteorological phenomenon that is like a strong breeze.

Plus, Jonathan finishes out the round with a rendition of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants: Jamie Kopf and Nathaniel Taylor-Leach. Now, I know you both have a musician or band that you are obsessed with, so let's talk about that. Jamie, what band or musician are you obsessed with?

JAMIE KOPF: Oh, several, but I love the Grateful Dead. I do.

EISENBERG: Grateful Dead. You're a deadhead.

KOPF: I do. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Okay, so, did you - what's your level of obsession? Did you tour follow?

KOPF: I got into them - my first show was actually the summer that Jerry Garcia died. So I made it to my first show and I thought wow, this is neat. I could really get into this, and he died. But I've kept up with the...

(LAUGHTER)

KOPF: Which was unfortunate for both of us.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, Nathaniel, how about you?

NATHANIEL TAYLOR-LEACH: Well, I know it's common, but it has to be the Beatles.

EISENBERG: Oh yes, okay.

(APPLAUSE)

TAYLOR-LEACH: All right, all right.

EISENBERG: And how do you mark this level of obsession?

TAYLOR-LEACH: Well, I had an all-Beatles radio show for all four years I went to college.

EISENBERG: That sounds like a lot. For this next round, I'm actually going to hand it over to the man who sings for his supper, Jonathan Coulton.

(APPLAUSE)

JONATHAN COULTON: I'm actually not that hungry, so I'm just going to do this for fun.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This game is called Musical Weather Report. And we have rewritten the lyrics of famous songs that include weather conditions in their titles. You have to tell us the real names of the song. For instance, if I did this...

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Nice day, no clouds.

You would say, "Good Day Sunshine." That's a Beatles song.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: And after each song, there will be a follow-up question that either of you can ring in and answer. So the winner of this round will go on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: How many years can some people exist before they're allowed to be free? How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn't see? The answer, my friend, is whistling in the breeze. The answer is whistling in the breeze.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nathaniel?

TAYLOR-LEACH: "Blowing in the Wind."

EISENBERG: Yes, of course it is.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Named after an Irish Royal Navy officer, the Beaufort scale relates wind speed to observed conditions, like a light breeze or a strong gale. In contrast, the Fujita Scale, ranging from F-0 to F-5 measures the intensity of what more severe weather phenomenon?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nathaniel?

TAYLOR-LEACH: Air pressure.

EISENBERG: Oh, I'm sorry. It is not air pressure. I mean, you're onto something but it's not that exact answer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jamie?

KOPF: Hurricane.

EISENBERG: Hurricane. Good idea. Also incorrect, I'm afraid. Good guesses both. Let me throw it out there.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE YELLING)

EISENBERG: Tornadoes is the right one. Both of you were clearly very close.

COULTON: Try this one.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Here I am, shake you like a tropical storm.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jamie?

KOPF: "Rock You Like a Hurricane."

EISENBERG: There you go.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The Scorpions, my mother's second favorite band after Zamfir. True story. The hurricane cocktail is a favorite of Al Jackson and Jimmy Buffet when it's 5 o'clock somewhere. A proper hurricane is made with some passion fruit juice, a little lime and two different types of the same liquor. What is that liquor?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jamie?

KOPF: Rum.

EISENBERG: Rum is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: It's pouring dudes. Hallelujah, it's pouring dudes. Amen. I'm gong to go out and let myself get absolutely soaking wet. It's pouring dudes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jamie?

KOPF: "It's Raining Men."

EISENBERG: "It's Raining Men."

KOPF: Hallelujah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That's by the Weather Girls. And the Weather Girls would love to make it rain men. But in slang terms, as referenced in a 2006 hip-hop song by Fat Joe, making it rain means throwing what into the air?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nathaniel?

TAYLOR-LEACH: Cash, money.

EISENBERG: You got it.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Whenever I'm with him, something inside starts to burning and I'm filled with desire. Could it be the devil in me? Is this the way love's supposed to be? It's like a hot streak.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jamie?

KOPF: It's like a heat wave.

EISENBERG: Heat wave.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It feels like a heat wave all the time in one particular part of the country. What U.S. state currently holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

KOPF: California.

EISENBERG: California is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Do you know where in California?

KOPF: Death Valley.

EISENBERG: Hey, there you go.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: 134 degrees. Yeah, on July 10, 1913.

COULTON: Okay, here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: It's getting very warm, so take off all your clothes. I am getting so warm; I want to take my clothes off.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nathaniel?

TAYLOR-LEACH: "Hot in Herre."

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It'd be especially "Hot in Herre" for Nelly if he was on the surface of our solar system's hottest planet, where the temperatures can reach a balmy 880 degrees Fahrenheit. Surprisingly, it's not Mercury. I know that was your first thought. Wrong, because Mercury doesn't have an atmosphere. But rather, what planet is it?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nathaniel?

TAYLOR-LEACH: Venus.

EISENBERG: You got it. Venus is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well that was a very close match, but it looks like Jamie, you'll be moving on to our final showdown. Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Thank you so much, Nathaniel.

TAYLOR-LEACH: Thank you.

EISENBERG: So Jonathan, do you have a song that can change the atmosphere that we've created from that game?

COULTON: Yes, Ophira. I feel a low pressure front coming in. Don't you?

EISENBERG: I do.

COULTON: This is song from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," called "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head."

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Yes, thank you. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Raindrops keep falling on my head. Just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed, nothing seems to fit. Those raindrops are falling on my head. They keep falling.

So I did me some talking to the sun. I said I didn't like the way he got things done, sleeping on the job. Though raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling. There's one thing I know, the blues they send to meet me won't defeat me. It won't be long 'til happiness steps up to greet me.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.