Day One hundred and eighty-six: "It's My World (And We're All Living In It) " from Medium Rarities
When a cartoon employs “Weird Al” Yankovic as a voiceover artist, as many have over the years, including my personal favorite, Bojack Horseman, it gets more than just the services of someone very good and very experienced in the field. They also get the household name fame of the five time Grammy winner and national treasure and, if they’re very lucky, the music of “Weird Al” Yankovic as well, with or without accordion accompaniment.
If they’re very lucky they don’t just get Al to pop in for an episode or two; instead they get Al to voice the main character, and throw in a theme song for good measure. That was the case with Disney XD’s Milo Murphy’s Law, which hired Al to voice the title character, a descendent of Edward A. Murphy Jr., the real-life aerospace engineer and the the man who came up with Murphy’s Law, which states "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
As the title of Milo Murphy’s Law suggests, Milo is a magnet for trouble as well but that does not keep him from seeing the glass as perpetually half-empty. “It’s My World (And We’re All Living In It)” sets up Milo Murphy’s Law not by recounting its premise a la “The Brady Bunch” but rather by establishing Murphy’s worldview.
Despite the habitual mishaps that befall him Milo is a figure of irrepressible, infectious optimism. In “It’s My World (And We’re All Living In It)” Al conveys that sunniness through tone and inflection as much through lyrics. The song follows suit; the music is as cheerful and upbeat as the lyrics; it’s a busy little number with multiple catchy background chants, a sneaky Ska/Reggae rhythm and Al talking, singing and charming his way through two and a half minutes of sonic sunshine.
In the opening credits to Milo Murphy’s Law, the title character makes like a pre-pubescent Buster Keaton gingerly moving around the chaos, disorder and danger that surround him, stepping lightly over the various falling projectiles in his path. In the subsequent verses, which can be seen and heard during the end credits, Milo gets beaten up by the rough hand of fate but holds onto his faith in the world and its wonders all the same.
Al as Milo breaks with tradition by not only acknowledging the background chant of “Go, Milo, Go, Milo, Go!” but responding to it happily. First, he offers a guileless, deliciously literal-minded, “I'm already going actually, but thanks everybody! (Wow!)” but the second time around he gets into the spirit of things and gushes, with ingratiating exuberance, “Aww, thanks everybody, that is so motivational!”
This Milo fellow is nothing if not a nice young man. And so polite! It’s rare to find a young person who uses phrases like “please” and “thanks”, let alone within the context of a peppy introductory song.
Al has been obsessed with television theme songs all the way back to the giddy early days of “Ricky” and “Brady Bunch.” Why wouldn’t he be? Theme songs sell television shows as consumer products to consume as well as entertainment to become emotionally invested in. “It’s My World (And We’re All Living In It” does a fine job on both counts.
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OR more importantly, get in on the red hot Weird Accordion to Al book crowd-funding campaign! Take a gander! We’ve got neat stuff over at https://make-the-weird-accordion-to-al-book-a-ridiculous-r.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders