Bluebeard the Hipster Serial Groove Killer: A Revolting Rhyme

Last year I was fortunate to be able to work with Dr. Dimitra Fimi and a team of students at teachers at Signum University. Her course, “Folkloric Transformations,” is a fascinating look at werewolf and vampyre tales from the perspective of a folklorist.

As one of the discussion leaders, I challenged my students to retell a folktale in the tradition of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. He is part of a tradition of 20th-century writers who take the classic stories of folk history and reinterpret them in new ways. Some of these retellings are pretty serious, but we should rarely accuse Roald Dahl of anything like seriousness. His rhymes are fun, mildly inappropriate, and inversive Seussian poems. I loved them so much I challenged our students to do the same.

And, of course, I tried one out myself. I think my students did a better job, but I happen to own the copyright of my own feeble fable, so I thought I would share it. I had just read the Bluebeard tale for the first time in a number of settings (including a pretty gruesome one that turns the tale upside down). Bluebeard might be the first human non-political serial killer in stories (if he is human), so I started to think about what other kinds of things a serial killer could kill other than people (and certainly other than housewives).

As I scratched my scraggly beard thinking of this, drinking a smoothie from a wide mouth mason jar as I wrote in my journal made from 19th century reclaimed leather, and as I looked forward to meeting some friends for the newest APA at the local gastro-brew pub later, I somehow thought about hipsters.  I thought of hipsters in the “too cool to care” variety, and how Sam Roberts complained that “the kids don’t know how to dance to rock and roll.” And then I thought of how young folk these days don’t so much as dance as groove.

So then I conceived of Bluebeard, a serial killer of hipster grooves. And this is the result. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to share your own revolting rhymes.

Bluebeard the Hipster Serial Groove Killer

While once our men were shaven folk
Though some might be a stache’in’
Now our beards are thick and full
In this age of hipster fashion

Amish beards are all the rage
The pirate look is in
Golden locks and flowing manes
Means beard oil is a thing

Grooming is a man thing now
So beards are lush and grand
The lumberjack’s a hero here
Abe Lincoln is the Man

Now once upon a hipster’s eve
Young Gus came on the scene
I have to say his great blue beard
Went well with old ripped jeans

Gus scanned the floor, he checked the scene
At the hipsters’ favourite bar
All drank their beer from earthen mugs
Floral tea from mason jars

In twos and threes the young folk gathered
Where the barman pushed his ware
With sweater vests and black-rimmed glasses
And parted slicked back hair

And while their heads nodded up and down
To the roots rock rhythm band
Not one punk stepped on the backlit floor
For no one dances in hipster land

With sardonic wit and knowing looks
They mocked that crazy time
When young folk grooved across the floor
And old folk danced in lines

“How strange!” they thought, to show such care
To set down mugs and move
“Leaning’s best,” they claim, “and nodding too.”
Detached is the theme of the hipster groove.

Then in walks Gus, who looks the part
Gandalf beard glistening in shades of blue
He looks up and down the nodding bar
And decides to kill this hipster groove

Down went his draught, Gus wipes his chin
And checks the jukebox list
He pulls a dime from his skinny jeans
Punching buttons with his fist

No emo tunes or mournful ballads
Would ever do for Gus
The record changed, the drums begin
And the room falls in a hush

Gus walks on to the old dance floor
And waits to catch the beat
Then flings his arms up in the air
And begins to move his feet

Gus shuffled left and raised the roof
He cha cha’d all the way
He reeled it in, he dropped the needle
Keeping time like Flavor Flav

So the beat went on while Bluebeard shuffled
Hipster toes began to tap
Deck shoes moved to left and right
Tattooed hands began to clap

Soon the crowd was moving in
The beat made bodies move
And finally after years of strife
They threw off the hipster groove

A smile broke through that thick blue beard
And Gus slipped on past the crowd
And headed to the next brew pub over
Where dancing’s not allowed

So when you’re out upon a casual eve
In dens where hipsters gather
Drinking tea of wild hemp root
And talking hipster blather

Heed this story, mind these words
For those who love the hipster groove
Watch any punk that strikes a pose
And run if his beard is blue

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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3 Responses to Bluebeard the Hipster Serial Groove Killer: A Revolting Rhyme

  1. L.A. Smith says:

    Ha ha…well done, Brenton. I approve of your Bluebeard and his hipster groove killing tendencies…get out and DANCE, people!!!


  2. Pingback: The Ant and the Grasshopper: A Revolting Rhyme | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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