No 'Joni Mitchell clouds' here ... OK, just one

Quote about cloud computing leads me to discover parody of same

A colleague recently sent around this quote from a university CTO he interviewed for an upcoming article: "We're not building some generic Joni Mitchell cloud. The thing we're trying to do is build a cloud that is really infrastructure and services, not some vanilla, virtualized blah, blah, blah."

No generic Joni Mitchell cloud for these guys; no sir, no way. And there's no need to explain the Mitchell reference, either, at least not if you're of a certain age and/or taste in music. (Others can watch this YouTube video to get the gist.)

After chuckling at the quote, my first thought was to write a parody of cloud computing based on the lyrics from Mitchell's 1969 folk hit "Both Sides Now." My second thought was that someone most likely had already done so.  And, sure enough, someone has, that someone being Bruce Kerr, a.k.a. "Loose Bruce Kerr" - "as featured on the Dr. Demento & Jim Bohannon Shows" - who when not performing parodies is, oddly enough, an in-house attorney at Oracle.

(2011's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

Some of you have seen it already, but for everyone else here is Kerr's April, 2009 rendition of "It's Cloud Computing," followed by a brief Q&A with me and the parody lyrics:

We swapped some e-mail:

What was the inspiration/back story for "It's Cloud Computing"?

At the time I was assistant general counsel at Sun Microsystems, sometimes supporting the "Sun Grid" team. The Joni Mitchell song was crying out to be parodied on this subject.

How was your song received at the time of its release?

Lots of hits on YouTube, lots of comments from IT folks; they seemed to like it, particularly the "with Rajeesh on the phone" line. Don't get me wrong, while frustrated in the past at home with such long support calls to India years ago (I'm on a an iMac now and those days are gone, I'm happy to say), I deal with a lot of outsourced teams in India with my job here at Oracle now, and we all are on very friendly and supportive terms. It was the old support calls to India regarding my PC that gave birth to that line.

Have you gotten much reaction to it over the subsequent two years? Any stories to tell?

Some IT folks have used the video on a big screen at conferences, that sort of thing. I think a company in Germany is using it for their "hold music" for conference calls; I remember giving permission on that.

Cloud computing has really exploded over the past two years; how do you think your song holds up?

I hope it's more relevant today than earlier, as the whole area is expanding, but we'll see. Parodies can often get dated pretty quickly.

Here are Kerr's lyrics:


(to the tune: "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell)

By Loose Bruce Kerr

LANs and WANs and endless cords

Your system's down, then techie hoardes

Huge data centers you can ill afford

I've seen I.T. that way

But now we're in another age

Technology has turned the page

Computing's reached another stage

Behold the brand new day


                I.T. is in the blue sky now

                My local storage won't allow

                IT'S CLOUD COMPUTING I want now

                Who needs a server farm anyhow?

 Lines and lines of APIs

And hardware systems I can't buy

With tech support, oh me, oh my

I've suffered in that zone

But costs keep spiraling out of sight

Right as my budget's gotten tight

Let me never spend another night

With Rajeesh on the phone


                I’ve lived with I.T. up and down

                My cards and tape drives abound

                IT'S CLOUD COMPUTING I choose now

                Just plug me in, all on, oh wow

©2009 Broken Records & Marjori

Maybe someone else has done it better; maybe someone else will in the future. But I'm not going to try.

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