Wear Sunscreen

Wear Sunscreen

Wear Sunscreen or Sunscreen Speech [ [http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?what=R&obid=476994 View Images ] ] are the common names of an essay actually called "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" written by Mary Schmich and published in the "Chicago Tribune" as a column in 1997.

The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the successful music single released in 1999, credited to Baz Luhrmann.

"Chicago Tribune" column

Mary Schmich's "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" was published in the "Chicago Tribune" as a column on June 1, 1997. In her introduction to the column, she described it as the commencement address she would give if she were asked to give one.

The column soon became the subject of an urban legend, in which it was alleged to be an MIT commencement speech given by author Kurt Vonnegut in that same year (in truth, MIT's commencement speaker that year was Kofi Annan). Despite a follow-up article by Mary Schmich on August 3, 1997, in which she referred to the "lawless swamp of cyberspace" that had made her and Kurt Vonnegut "one", by 1999 the falsely attributed story was widespread.

When the column was later turned into a song, Schmich's "wish" came true when Zagreb's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing started to play the song "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" at every graduation ceremonyhr icon [http://groups.google.com/group/hr.org.fer/msg/bdefcd4e2d5f029e?dmode=source News post regarding the graduation ceremony on FER] ] .

The poem-like piece has drawn frequent comparison to the Max Ehrmann poem "Desiderata", which was also the subject of an urban legend misattribution.

"Wear Sunscreen" as a music single and video

Infobox Single
Name = Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Artist = Baz Luhrmann
from Album = Something for Everybody
B-side = "Love Is In the Air"
Released = March 9, 1999
Format = CD
Genre = Spoken Word
Length =
Label = EMI
Writer = Mary Schmich, Nigel Swanston, Tim Cox
Producer = Baz Luhrmann
Certification =
Chart position = * #1 (UK, Ireland)
Last single = -
This single = "'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" (1999)
Next single =

The essay was used in its entirety by Australian film director Baz Luhrmann in his remixing of the song Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) from the film "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet", entitled "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)". It appeared on the album "Something for Everybody" in April, 1998 and was subsequently released as a single (with the opening words changed to "Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99").

Luhrmann explains that Anton Monsted, Josh Abrahams and he were working on the remix when Monsted received an email with the supposed Vonnegut speech. They decided to use it but were doubtful of getting through to Vonnegut for permission before their deadline, which was only one or two days away. While searching the internet for contact information they came upon the "Sunscreen Controversy" and discovered that Schmich was the actual author. They emailed her and, with her permission, recorded the song the next day. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20021205041240/http://hollywoodandvine.com/bazluhrmann/main.html "Something for Everybody" on hollywoodandvine.com] ]

The song features a spoken-word track set over a mellow backing track. The "Wear Sunscreen" speech is narrated by Australian voice actor Lee Perry. [ [http://imdb.com/name/nm1043022/ Lee Perry] on IMDB] The backing is the choral version of "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)", a 1991 song by Rozalla, used in the film "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet". The chorus, also from "Everybody's Free", is sung by Quindon Tarver.

The song was a worldwide hit, reaching #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and #1 in the UK and Ireland , partly due to a media campaign by Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles. It was a part of the end credits in John Swanbeck's movie The Big Kahuna, starring Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito and Peter Facinelli.

The are four versions of the song: the original 7:09 minutes mix from the album "Baz Luhrmann Presents: Something For Everybody"; a 1999 single release which features an 5:05 minutes edit that lacks both choruses; "Geographic's Factor 15+ Mix" that runs for 4:42 minutes and a "2007 Mix" of the original 7:09 minutes version released on the 10th Anniversary Edition of the "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" soundtrack on which the opening words are changed to "Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2007"

The video which uses the 1999 single edit of the song was directed and animated by Bill Barminski. The video aired on all major networks in the United States and was featured on the The Tonight Show, The Today Show and The View as well as VH1 and MTV. It also appeared in the UK, Australia and Japan.

The song also appeared in Germany, but a German version was created soon, named "Sonnencreme" [ [http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00004WPV2 Amazon.de: Sonnencreme Everybody(Dt.Ver): Baz Luhrmann: Musik ] ] The German translation is narrated by the German actor Dieter Brandecker. [http://web.archive.org/web/20010122045300/http://www.sunscreen.de/]

On August 10 2008, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at #72, possibly related to Jo Whiley playing it on her show on BBC Radio 1 on August 7.


The Baz Luhrmann song version inspired numerous parodies. John Safran released a song entitled "Not the Sunscreen Song". The musician and comedian Chris Rock enjoyed great success with his spoken word song "No Sex (In the Champagne Room)." Denis Leary has been rumoured to have performed a version called "Drink Beer" however this is a popular internet myth and upon hearing, sounds nothing like Denis Leary. The song was also parodied in an episode of House of Mouse where Jiminy Cricket performed it. The comedy group Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie also made a parody entitled "The Sunscreen Marketing Board". Jegsy Dodd and the Original Sinners' version, "Grumpy Old Men" was voted favourite track of 2005 by BBC Radio 1 listeners in their annual Festive 50 poll.

There are also many fan-made parodies, including a Star Wars version featuring pieces from the six feature films and also behind-the-scenes, and a person imitating Yoda performing a version by the name of "Everybody Free to Be a Jedi Is". The soundtrack CD for the animated cartoon series King of the Hill contained a parody of "Wear Sunscreen" as well. A German version entitled "FKK (Everybody's free to wear gar nichts)" was published by Die Gerd-Show imitating the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

The song was also parodied by Nob Nation on Irish radio station 2FM with a song called "Not the Sunscreen Song". [ [http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_nobnation.xml RTÉ - Nob Nation ] ] Also parodied on Norfolk, VA radio station FM99 WNOR by The Tommy and Rumble Morning Show.

The song was also parodied by DJ Chris Tarrant on the London Capital Radio Breakfast Show with a song called "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of '97 - wear slippers"

Hawaiian comedian and observational humourist Frank de Lima recorded "Eat Rice" which includes island-style advice such as, “Laugh at ethnic jokes; you’re ethnic, whether you like it or not.”

While not an official parody, the track "This Is Your Life" taken from the soundtrack to the movie Fight Club could be considered as a dark reflection of the Sunscreen song.

On the "Millennium" episode "Via Dolorosa," a serial killer on Florida's death row uttered "wear sunscreen" as his sardonic last words.

External links

* [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/12171706.html?dids=12171706:12171706&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&author=Mary+Schmich.&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=ADVICE%2C+LIKE+YOUTH%2C+PROBABLY+JUST+WASTED+ON+THE+YOUNG&pqatl=top_retrieves Chicago Tribune.com: Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young] The column that inspired the song (archive, full text requires subscription)
* [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-maryschmich,1,4499351.columnist Mary Schmich's columns in the "Chicago Tribune"] includes archive, biography and story collections;;Parodies
* [http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=148 Piled Higher and Deeper strip] The PhD comic strip that parodies "Wear Sunscreen."
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcmmjY4gc_k Star Wars Sunscreen] The music video parody, at Youtube.
* [http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.development.apps/browse_thread/thread/0832db4a2a180e4b Unofficial COLDA FAQ] Coding FAQ parody, Usenet post.
* [http://www.persiandna.com/4u.htm PersianDNA] : The video, streaming audio, lyrics, and a parody of the song
* [http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2410206 IFILM - Shorts: Yoda's Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen]
* [http://www.sunscreenmovie.com Sunscreen Movie - Treasure life's Moments] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY_GyyvsHbM short film]



*"Wear Sunscreen" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1998) ISBN 0-8362-5528-3

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