Jester: The Song Parody Editor™ is a simple text editor intended specifically for writing song parodies. It is available for free, and runs under Windows 2000 and later.
There may be only a few hundred people on the planet who would even care, and they could probably just use an existing text editor. So why bother developing an application specifically for writing song parodies?
The Right Tool for the Right Job
You can certainly use a general-purpose word processor like MS-Word or Google Docs to write parodies, along with an online rhyming database such as rhymezone.com. But this forces you to switch back and forth between windows. And general-purpose editors do not provide parody-specific features, such as comparing syllable counts between original and parody lyrics; you have to do that yourself. These extra tasks can distract you from the creative activity of writing the parody.
I also hope to encourage more people to write song parodies by making it easier to do so. Writing song parodies helps develop many important thinking skills, such as:
- The ability to use both creative and analytical modes of thought, and switch between them rapidly -- a skill that is especially important in science and engineering (see, e.g., here).
- The ability to find analogies and relationships among information. (A parody is essentially a set of analogies made to an original work.)
- An improved understanding of grammar, language, poetic/lyrical structure, and wordplay.
- Humor, which is highly correlated to both creativity and intelligence (see, e.g., here). Plus, if you don't have a sense of humor, you're probably an asshole.
- Side-by-side display of original and parody lyrics with synchronized scrolling
- Displays line-by-line comparison of original and parody lyrics syllable counts, color-coded to indicate where parody line has too few or too many syllables
- Original and parody lyrics are saved together in single file for easy reloading
- Built-in rhyming dictionary
Jester was developed under Windows 7, but should run under Windows 2000, XP, and Vista as well.
- Download the file. Click here to download
- Unzip it. (Get a free zip/unzip program such as 7-Zip if you don't have one already.)
- Run the extracted setup.exe program.
Here are some features I hope to include in future versions of Jester:
- A better undo/redo capability.
- Text find and find/replace capabilities.
- Integration with an online lyrics database for one-step searching, downloading, and importing of lyrics.
- An improved syllable count algorithm. (It turns out that algorithmically counting syllables accurately is next to impossible. A more extensive dictionary and/or incorporating the algorithm used in LaTeX would help.)
- Syntax highlighting to show where syllable stresses do not match the original.
- Options to control editor appearance including selection of fonts and colors.