With the launch of the new movie just days away, chiptune artist Mega Ran revisits the catchy anthem from the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, highlighting what a horrible piece of music it really was.
Partners in Kryme's "T.U.R.T.L.E. Power" was much cooler when I was 17. Back then the only lyric that really got to me was "Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello make up the team with one other fellow — Raphael — he's the leader of the group..."
No, James Alpern and Richard Usher of Partners in Kryme, he is not. I succinctly remember pointing out this glaring mistake as I listened to the soundtrack on the cassette player in my '81 Chevrolet Citation. I would look around incredulously at the other cars, as if to say "Am I right, random strangers who don't care?" Then I'd nod. Of course they knew I was right. This was an important thing.
Mega Ran's excellent interpretation of the song gives a slightly more mature me a chance to further dissect the work.
The crime wave is high with muggings mysterious / All police and detectives are furious. / 'Cause they can't find the source / Of this lethally evil force.
Muggers are assholes, but are they really "lethally evil?" If I remember the crime montage correctly, there's not too much actual violence going on, just comically-timed thievery. The most violent moment in the movie is at the end, when Casey Jones MURDERS Shredder. Go heroes!
We need heroes like the Lone Ranger / When Tonto came pronto, when there was danger / They didn't say they'd be there in half an hour
They didn't technically have to say they'd be there in half an hour. You can only go so fast riding a horse. I guess we are making a corollary between the mask-wearing Ranger and the mask-wearing turtles here? I am probably giving someone far too much credit.
But before she knew it, she fell in a trap and got caught / Yeah, she was all alone / With no friends, and no phone.
Not really a problem, I've just always liked that "friends" and "phone" were the things the song figured might have saved her and stopped at that, instead of going on an extended riff of other things that might have helped. "With no friends, and no phone, and no gun, and no can opener..."
Now this was beyond her worst dreams / 'Cause she was cornered by some wayward teens.
April O'Neil has some incredibly tame dreams if being cornered by wayward teens is beyond the worst of them.
They could terrorize and be angry youth, and / They mugged the people. Who needed proof?
Don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't be angry youth. You can always be angry youth. They can never take that away from you.
From the field of weeds the heroes rescued the flower
Why does it always have to be flowers getting rescued?
That was the last straw, spring into action / Step on The Foot, now they're gonna lose traction.
This is another incredibly clever line, which makes the line after it that much worse.
Now this is for real, so you fight for justice / Your shell is hard so you shout; "They can't dust us off / Like some old coffee table."
No matter how hard my shell gets, there will never be a point where its hardness causes me to make a defiant reference to housecleaning. "You can't roll us up like cobwebs at the end of one of those long-handled feather duster things!" I sure told them.