Borrowing melodies from popular bar songs is nothing new. Even our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, owes its melody to a English drinking song. So when comedian Torry Martin saw Toby Keith’s CMA music video of the year nominated “Red Solo Cup,” he realized the song begged for a parody – and he was more than willing to oblige. Before the night was over he had already penned the lyrics to “White Dixie Plate”.
“Far from being simply a love letter to a plastic beverage container, the song, Red Solo Cup, extols the simple joys of getting falling down drunk,” Martin explains. “Jim Beavers, the song’s co-writer, told People Country magazine, Everybody takes themselves so seriously, and artists want to appear so cool, we forget sometimes people just want to laugh and have fun and be stupid. I thought, Really? You have be stupid and get drunk to have fun? Surely there is a better way to enjoy yourself.”
Instead of people sharing booze and getting snockered at a kegger, Martin set his parody in the middle of a traditional Southern church picnic, with families sharing a meal and enjoying each other’s company. He shared the idea with some of his Nashville musician friends, and before long he was in the studio cutting the track.
But to get the full effect of the parody, Martin knew White Dixie Plate needed to be a music video, so he called on long time friend, Kyle Saylors of Saylor Brothers Entertainment to produce, and a new friend Kenny Jackson of Anthem Pictures to direct.
When Martin called Jackson to see if he was interested in directing the music video, Jackson said he had some reservations.
“I thought it was a charming idea, but I wasn’t sure it was entirely appropriate to use a raucous drinking song melody for a video that was intended for a church audience. But after Torry explained that a number of the great hymns had borrowed their melodies from popular secular songs of the day, I was on board.”
The resulting video is generating giggles, grins and belly laughs across the Internet, but Martin insists it’s all good clean fun.
“We’re not pointing fingers at anybody,” he says. “We just want people to know you don’t have to get plastered to have a good time.”