This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"My entire existence was constructed by a sociopath in a sweater-vest. What do you suggest I do?"
11944 members | you are not logged in | 22 July 2014












October 07 2006

Before Nerf Herder, the original Buffy theme: "Codo" by 1980s Austrian band, Dof. You'll notice a very familiar melody kick in at 0:50. This song sounds crazily like the Nerf Herder's Buffy theme, but the band had never heard this song. For those that can't get enough of this hilarious song there's a second performance here, also you can sing along with the german lyrics. Or you buy the song at iTunes or here or here.

Should I be worried that this is growing on me :)

I've done a bit of reading from a Google-translated page. Apparently 'Df' mean 'fine feeling'. And their song, "Codo" made number 1 in the German single charts in July 1983.

Band member Inga Di Lemma Humpe has explained the story behind the song:

Codo is an abbreviation for Cosmi Dolm or also Cosmi Depp. Codo was an extraterrestial nature without certain sex, which overcomes the hate and us verstressten and negatively everything brings adjusted humans, which we miss: a good mood, jokes, charm and above all love.


Rough English translation of lyrics:

For 2000 years the earth without love lives
It governs the master of the hate

Ugly, I am so ugly
So grsslich ugly
I am the hate
Hate, completely ugly hate
I kann's do not leave
I am the hate

Attention, attention
Unknown flying object appoaching the planet

Identify unknown flying object

Codo third
From the star center
I am third from left

Unknown flying object identified as
Codo

And I nozzle, nozzle, nozzle, nozzle
In the rushing step
And the love bring along
Of my sky ride
Because the love, love, love, love
Those makes much fun
Much more fun
As something

Incoming goods, emergency
We do not need any love on this planet
If Codo kills, the love destroys

Target acquisition gamma delta 7-3-1 over area

Codo from the distance
The bright stars
I nozzle so gladly
Through all

And I nozzle, nozzle, nozzle, nozzle
In the rushing step
And the love bring along
Of my sky ride
Because the love, love, love, love
Those makes much fun
Much more fun
As something

Object overcomes the hate screen

Corrosive
I am like that corroding
All decomposing
I am the hate

And I nozzle, nozzle, nozzle, nozzle
In the rushing step
And the love bring along
Of my sky ride
Because the love, love, love, love
Those makes much fun
Much more fun
As something


EDIT: Changed 'Dof' to correct band name,. 'Df'

EDIT:

The band emailed me:

Update! I already got a response from Nerf Herder:

That video is awesome!!! Thanks for the link. I'll have to say that melody similarity is purely coincidental...seeing that I'd never heard of Df until now. But I'm an instant fan, because they rule!

-Steve


[ edited by paxomen on 2006-10-07 19:39 ]

[ edited by paxomen on 2006-10-08 00:06 ]

Strangely fascinating. Did Nerf Herder acknowledge the influence?
Great Googilly-Moogilly! I would never have figured out the connection on my own, but there it is --- a bit slower tempo, but the same rythme. bwahhh!

Loving the pinwheel-head alien chick and friends. Um, periwinkle taffeta? I'm seeing leftovers from someone's stint as a bridesmaid.
It's mesmerising, like a road accident - I can't look away. That's definitely the Buffy theme in there, though it's possible that Nerf Herder may have simply strung a few random chords together. It's hardly the most complex of melodies.
Bu Bu Bu Busted!!! Thanks for this! What an ace track this is! Right up my alley. I know how it's not unearthly to come up with the same song by accident, but can't help but to giggle at the "scream" in the intro.

OK, someone's gotta be messing with us. Right?

*looks around for the candid camera*
Whoah! That's pretty wild. I imagine it's not coincidence and NH did actually get the hook from there.
Made in the 80's? Check. German? Check. Buffy-related? Check. I think I'm in love. Excellent find!

By the way, the band isn't "Dof" - it's either "Doef" or "Df". Just incase people want to google the band, as I did.
That's super 80s weird, and oddly prefigures my attempt to get 2000 young women to hum the Buffy theme tune on camera. Who knew?
Nerf Herder may have cribbed the music, but those lyrics are from a poem I wrote in fifth grade. I still remember the looks on my fellow students faces when Mrs. Bianchi told us each to write a poem using the word "nozzle". I got an "A" 'cause I was the only one who didn't write about firemen (except Charlie Higgins, who thought a nozzle was a nipple and got kicked out of class when he told Mrs. Bianchi his poem was about her wonderful nozzles).
The thing about this is that whilst the resemblance is close enough to make me think that there was at least a little "influencing" going on here, it is also possible that it may be pure coincidence. These days it is practically impossible to come up with a song that isn't influenced at least a little by something you have heard before, no matter how hard you try to be original. Trust me, I know!

It's like trying to come up with a truly original story despite the fact that there really is no such thing anymore. You just reach a point where everything has already been done and all you can hope for is to create something that, whilst not original, is at least unique enough to not sound like an intentional copy.

I'm not entirely sure whether this example would best be described as a "cover", a intentional homage or a totally unintentional coincidence. I'd imagine only Nerf Herder would be able to clear that up for us.
That's just extremely odd...a tiny bit disturbing, but funny nonetheless
I'd be fairly surprised if Nerf Herder did "rip-off" the Buffy theme from Df. The very fact that this is the 1st time anyone here seems to have noticed or even heard the song makes it somewhat unlikely that Parry Gripp ever has.
Well how old is Parry Gripp? He had to be a kid back then, and there was no internet as we know it. So he either saw it on some weird MTV video show or lived someplace where he would be exposed to it as a child. Or, more likely, he actually came up with the same chord progression independently, never having hear this song. Besides, the Buffy tune is far better known worldwide, and Dof could have made an issue of it if they wanted to.
Nerf Herder are self-proclaimed geeks, lots of their songs state as much, and even their band title is an obscure reference to Star Wars, so it wouldn't surprise me if they had ventured into the weirdness of 1980s Austrian pop. Judging from internet searches I've done, "Codo" seems to have lived long beyond it's 1983 release date, and achieved firm cult status (if not so much in the English-speaking world).

I am very curious though as to whether this is a coincidence, or whether "Codo" inspired the Buffy theme. Just sent a message to Nerf Herder's myspace account but since the last time they logged in was mid-July, I'm not counting on a quick response.
I always thought the Buffy theme was a strange song and wondered about the history. This song would explain it.
That's bizarre and great. Maybe it should come with a warning about wearing plastic bags on your head though. Don't try that at home kids ;).

(wear them on your hands if you like, that's just very weird, not dangerous)

Did they nick it ? It's not impossible I suppose, i'd guess not though (or maybe only in the heard obliquely and then 're-composed' sense). Seems kind of risky to assume no-one in Germany would a) hear the Buffy theme and b) put 2 and 2 together (or is it such a short riff that it's not protected by copyright ?).
Wow, another great find! I would never have thunk it. Great find, paxomen. Bound to be an interesting topic. Weigh in everyone.
Saje, if they heard it, the influence was probably subconscious. Anyone here old enough to remember George Harrison being sued because My Sweet Lord sounded too much like He's So Fine? The judge was sure he nicked it, and sure he didn't know he'd knicked it, but Harrison lost the lawsuit, anyway.

--edited due to stupidity

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2006-10-07 20:28 ]
Saje, I actually knew both songs, but since I havent heard the Df song since the 80`s (and I was very young back then) I couldnt put two and two together. But hearing it now it really seems somewhat similar.

Oh and for everyone wondering ... the 80s music in Germany was very very strange. Honestly Id be surprised if the Nerf Herder guys even knew the song
I think they lifted it, consiously or not, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I mean, one of my favorite bands is Oasis, and they often lifted riffs and made their own great songs from there (Imagine -> Don't Look Back in Anger, Bang a Gong -> Cigarettes & Alcohol).

I think in music, as in film, it's easy to crib a small element (a riff, a shot) and attribute it as inspiration or homage, especially if you build your own creation around it.

"Everybody steals from everybody."
- from Swingers, right before they steal the walking shot from Reservoir Dogs.
Strangely, I actually have this track (Codo) on cassette - I bought it on a compilation tape when I was living in Europe in the 1980s. But to be honest I haven't listened to it for many years. I certainly didn't remember the Buffy theme cropping up. Amazing.
Yeah, exactly jlv. I reckon it must be a constant worry for anyone in the creative arts, 'Am I really creating this or am I just remembering a bumper sticker I read when I was 7 ?'. If I was a creative type i'd be totally paranoid about inadvertently ripping someone off.

(so, nope, not old enough to remember the 'My Sweet Lord' case but I feel for George)
This sounds like a weird version of Rammstein's song "Du Hast". I am also a bit worried about thsi becoming a "My Sweet Lord/He's so Fine" controversy. Still, since the show has been in Germany for years, you'd think someone would have pointed it out by now.
That's What the Buffy theme is based on?
Go on, pull the other one!
Next you'll try to tell me that the TV show was based on some Rutger Hauer movie....
Did you know the show was based on a Rutger Hauer movie?
Wait a minute, Buffy's based on Bladerunner ?
Oooh, I was thinking Flesh and Blood (bad bad Tonya).
I'm having a bad nightmare. Yes, that's the case!
I googled "nerf herder" and "codo" and came up a few links, some acknowledging (and some authored by "paxomen" ostensibly a while ago) that the nerf herder theme is indeed a cover of this song. 'Fess up, paxomen. You're really part of Dof, aren't you? ;)

Either way, that youtube video made my day!
Love the song! Very funny

On the Buffy connection: I don't believe this is a coicidence, the chord progression is too complicated - it's not just a few notes, it's the entire chorus. If you hum along the chorus with the Buffy theme, you realise that it is practically the entirety of the Buffy theme. I can't believe it's taken the fandom almost ten years to uncover this scandal :)
The video actually reminds me of a throwback to Barbarella. That silly, gauzy sensuality (at least of the women's chorus).
I googled "nerf herder" and "codo" and came up a few links, some acknowledging (and some authored by "paxomen" ostensibly a while ago) that the nerf herder theme is indeed a cover of this song. 'Fess up, paxomen. You're really part of Dof, aren't you? ;)


I started a wiki-article about Music in the Buffyverse. And the Wikipedian Lofote made a change to the article about "Codo" back in June. I didn't look into it further until a few days ago, when I uncovered the song on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon and elsewhere, and heard the song for the first time. They were so similar I just assumed that Nerf Herder had made a cover that's why i reported it at Whedonesque that way. Plus I thought there was something funny about the song (or possibly everything about the song).
Update! I already got a response from Nerf Herder:

That video is awesome!!! Thanks for the link. I'll have to say that melody similarity is purely coincidental...seeing that I'd never heard of Df until now. But I'm an instant fan, because they rule!

-Steve

Score one for creepy coincidence, paxomen.
I agree with robocod, all too much to similar chords be a coincidence. Before the easily recognized part, it is the Buffy theme with slower tempo and weird vocal parts. Notice the scream at the second performance and map that to the howl at the beginning of familiar theme. I love it, but shame on Nerf Herder if they don't acknowledge it.
Well I can totally believe that Nerf Herder just happened to come up with the same chord progression with similar cadence. There are only so many ways to string notes together (that don't sound discordant) and with the number of songs written every day it's hightly likely that someone will write something identical to something that already exists without ever having heard it. It's the infinite monkeys writing the works of Shakespeare but on a finite scale.
Well done on asking and then getting such a quick reply paxomen.
Robocod and futile, I agree. After listening a few times you can hear other parts that sound exactly the same.
There are eight notes in sequence the same. I think Nerf Herder would win even with George Harrison's case judge.
I'm not a musical expert (I learnt piano to a basic level several years ago) but as far as I can tell, the Buffy theme is made up of 64 beats making up a mini theme which is repeated again and again.

The entire "Codo" humming bit, and first 16 notes (first 32 beats) of the Buffy theme are identically the following (though Buffy has a faster tempo).

F (Minum&half),
G (Quaver),
A (Quaver),
E (Semibreve)

E (Minum&half),
F (Quaver),
G (Quaver),
E (Semibreve)

F (Minum&half),
G (Quaver),
A (Quaver),
E (Semibreve)

E (Minum&half),
F (Quaver),
G (Quaver),
E (Semibreve)

..the second half of the Buffy theme (32 more beats?) follow very similar patterns at higher notes. Like the "Codo" chorus, these repeatedly use minum&half-quaver-quaver-semibreve, and bars that aren't made up of a semibreve begining with a minum&half... the main difference being some use of high pitched quavers at the end of some bars (twanging of strings) to essentially revert to a similar pattern of notes.
To win a copyright infringement case the plaintiff must prove three things:

1. That they own the song, meaning they can prove they copyrighted it.

2. That the alleged infringer had access to the original work. In George's case, he freely admitted to the the judge he had heard He's So Fine in his youth, but said he hadn't copied it. Access doesn't have to be proved to a certainty, but there must be a strong likelihood that the defendant heard the original song. Since these guys are Austrian I suspect it would be difficult to prove Nerf Herder was likely to have heard the original.

3. Substantial similarites in the song. There is no hard and fast rule as to the number of consecutive identical notes, it's up to the judge's discretion.
robocod, I'm quavering in awe. I'd semibreve too if I had any idea what it meant. Great job!
I've never understood the intricacies of the time notation stuff, but I played the notes (intervals) out on my guitar, and you've got them wrong, robocod.

ETA: I take it back. It was the octave change, more obvious on piano, that was throwing me off.

I still think they didn't steal it. It's a walk up and down a mode.

edited again to add: I think I could even find which mode, though it might take some time, as I haven't studied music recently.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2006-10-08 06:50 ]

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2006-10-08 07:01 ]
Love the musicology, even if it's all way over my head (Quavers are crisps as far as i'm concerned ;).

(and well done on the checking up, paxomen, yay you and yay intarwebs)
wow, that's a creepy similarity with the scream and everything, if it's not a copy.
Saje said:

Yeah, exactly jlv. I reckon it must be a constant worry for anyone in the creative arts, 'Am I really creating this or am I just remembering a bumper sticker I read when I was 7 ?'. If I was a creative type i'd be totally paranoid about inadvertently ripping someone off.


This reminds me of an old Paul McCartney interview. He said he rolled out of bed one morning, sat at the piano, and pretty much just started playing the melody of "Yesterday". It came forth in its entirety so effortlessly that for weeks afterward he played it for everyone he knew and asked them where they'd heard it before. After a month of "never heard it before"s, he finally assumed the muse just struck him extra hard that morning.
One of the singers has a condom on his head. This is my favourite music video ever.
Yeah, what size condom is that, gossi? Sperm whale? Dragon? It's a bag and as has been already mentioned, this video should be kept away from children for their safety. I have no idea how that guy in the video was breathing (maybe it was cut out at the back?)

That's a very interesting story, janelovesvera. Paul McCartney is one lucky bastard. I write music sometimes, because I can't help it, but never from my dreams. The music in my dreams is always awful.
One of the singers has a condom on his head. This is my favourite music video ever.

If that's the size of the condoms you use, gossi, as a matter of self-preservation, all of humanity must stay away from you.
If you look closely, the condom hat(?) has a cut-out just around the mouth. Gotta be creative with a fifty-dollar project budget. I'm not say whether they were or not -- I'm just saying...
edited for stupidity

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2006-10-09 04:57 ]

If that's the size of the condoms you use, gossi, as a matter of self-preservation, all of humanity must stay away from you.


This is my new favourite post ever.
Great Beatles trivia, jaynelovesvera!
Part of the verse (not the Buffyish chorus) sounds similar to part of the verse in Country Joe and the Fish's late-sixties anti-war anthem "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag". The part where the lyrics are:

And it's one, two three, what are we fightin' for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn. Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates, aint no time to wonder why, whoopee! we're all gonna die!

Any other ridiculously old people remember that song?

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2006-10-09 09:25 ]
Any other ridiculously old people remember that song?

I remember the song, but I'm not sure where you're getting that.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home