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Copy That: Did “Glee” Pilfer Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back”?

jonathancoultongleebackPOSTThere are your garden variety deja vu moments, and then there are the You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. moments when you experience something and it seems too familiar, blatantly familiar.

So, Glee did a folky cover of the Sir Mix-a-Lot classic “Baby Got Back,” and anyone familiar with Jonathan Coulton immediately had a You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. moment.

Here’s Jonathan’s version, released in 2005 as part of his Thing a Week project, posted October 15th, 2005 with a blurb on Boing Boing the next day:

And for good measure, a live version with Paul and Storm as, pardon the expression, backing vocals:

Here’s the Glee version, from this season:

Play them back-to-back and see what you think. Keep in mind that Jonathan’s version featured his own melody along with Sir Mix-a-Lot’s lyrics, and when you listen to the Glee version, that melody is… well, you compare and see. (And there’s the “Jonny C” reference near the end that magically ended up in the Glee version. Hmm. Double hmm.) Now, neither Jonathan nor Glee wrote the original “Baby Got Back,” but the melody on Jonathan’s version is his, and the melody for Glee‘s version seems to be, um, Jonathan’s, so, well, I’m not going to trot out my law degree and reactivate my bar membership for this post, but you be the judge. Jonathan’s already tweeted his opinion, and, yeah, if I were him, I’d feel ripped off, too.

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