Yesterday I saw on facebook that a kitsch-y video about Nefertiti had been posted by my friend Rachel. I immediately fell in love with its bizarreness and the ridiculous revamping of an old pop song and had to investigate further.
What I found was the YouTube page of the historyteachers. From what I can gather, this group of history teachers has taken several popular songs, from the Beatles to Lady Gaga, and changed the lyrics to relate to a certain historical figure or historic event. Basically, these are pretty epic. There are almost 50 videos, and I was up until about 2am watching them. They are ridiculous and funny and kitschy and actually quite informative.
In my Ancient Egypt course this morning, Dr. McCormack showed the class the Nefertiti video, and then I was able to lead a discussion about Public History and the Ancient people, mostly revolving around the discussions in my last post. The class enjoyed the video (because let’s face it… Nefertiti had style), and we discussed that while the video is kinda silly with the graphic ankhs floating around, there are some good bits of information in it. Also, good job casting Akhenaten… he looks pretty much like I would expect him to in real life. The video scratches the surface of the historic person and her importance, with mention of Nefertiti’s elevated status as a queen who was sometimes depicted, like her husband, with a crow. The change in religion with the Aten is also mentioned. While the video does not talk about all the important parts of the history, it is definitely a good jumping-off point for a lecture on the subject, and one that the audience may remember easier because of the media.
What are your thoughts on some of these videos? Yes, they are kinda silly… but don’t they have some good information?? What are some of the benefits and consequences of clips such as these?
I will admit, after watching these, the William the Conqueror/Sexyback video stuck with me… I will never forget the year of the Norman Invasion again. You should check these out, history buff or not. They are, at the least, mildly entertaining. My personal favorites are:
I leave you with this gem: Cleopatra, Pharaohlicious