Mal Sharpe, a graduate of Newton High and Boston University, moved out of Boston 50 years ago and lost his accent over a lengthy career in radio. But he still gets a kick out of hearing the way people in Massachusetts talk.
"It's always a welcome sound, you know," he said.
So when someone pointed out the song, "Pardon my Southern Accent," he was determined to write a takeoff. "I couldn't pass up changing the lyrics to 'pardon my Boston accent.' It sort of became an obsession with me, almost," he said.
The results are now available in a Youtube video, which was shot in a San Francisco bar, "A Connecticut Yankee," which is full of Red Sox memorabilia and a favorite hangout for Red Sox and Patriots fans, according to Sharpe, who lives across the bay in Berkeley.
The peppy song is sung by a group of people, including Sharpe himself and his wife, who are leaning against the bar and wearing Red Sox caps and jackets. With an upright bass, guitar, and washboard providing the rhythm, the song boasts lyrics like, "I'll take you to Cool-itch Connah/You'll look good in shawtz/Take me to your cellar/I'll give you the hawtz."
It also serves up familiar jokes about "pahkin in the cah" and "Hahvahd Yahd."
Those on the video include transplanted New Englanders Kim Nalley, a Bay Area jazz singer who is from New Haven, Conn. and washboard player Pete Devine, who hails from Camden, Maine and who has a brief speaking part.
Devine "has a little bit more of the Maine thing," acknowledged Sharpe.
Sharpe, a 1958 BU graduate, said he gets a refresher on the accent nowadays by trips to the Cape in the summer.
"I pretty much get back into the thick of it. You start saying Bawnstable and stuff like that," he said.
"It's always fun when you hear the Boston accent," he said. "It's always a cheerful thing and it just sounds kind of funny."
For more on the Boston accent, listen to reporter Shelley Murphy's vintage demonstration of the true sound by clicking here.
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