Are songs on the Pastor Brad parody albums true parodies, or just rewrites (A.K.A. “derivative works”)?
According to law.com parody is “'the humorous use of an existing song, play, or writing which changes the words to give farcical and ironic meaning...' It does not violate copyright law, as long as it doesn't damage or harm the reputation of the original or try to pose as the original.”
Webster's dictionary defines a parody as, "A composition in which the form and expression of serious writings are closely imitated but adapted to a ridiculous subject or a humorous method of treatment; a burlesque imitation of a serious poem."
These definitions describe perfectly the songs on my parody albums. I did my best with each song to closely imitate the style and sound of the original compositions and I adapted them to a subject that seems utterly farcical to non-Christ-following people. The primary message of every song is The Cross (I.e. the redemptive work of Jesus Christ at Calvary).
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
While my fellow Christians will receive the message of my parody songs in the spirit that Paul describes above, as “the power of God,” many will perceive the whole thing as a gimmick or uninformed, naïve religiosity. I’m sure many will view the mixing of secular rock music with biblical lyrics as ridiculous or possibly even scandalous. Others will find it all quite amusing and humorous. I know that before I became a Christian, I felt there was something inherently funny (cheesy/ridiculous) about a “serious rock song” being used for “religious” purposes. For all of these reasons, in my view—all of the songs on my parody albums are the epitome of parodied music.