Penn Station and the Circles of Hell

“On March 8, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo compared America’s least-loved train station, Penn Station, to ‘the seven levels of hell.’ Here’s the full quote:

‘It is a disgrace. More people go through Penn Station every day than Newark, Kennedy, and La Guardia airports combined. It’s the most heavily traveled transportation hub in the hemisphere, and imagine what they say when they get off: “This is New York? Looks like the seven levels of hell. I’m in New York?”‘ [. . .]

“Penn Station is so viscerally awful that you can’t help but look for sin in relation to this place as causes for, results of, or simply in association with, its awfulness. So let’s humor the Governor and his imperfect analogy and try to map these different sins to activity occurring in (or near) Penn Station. I’ll be the Virgil to your Dante. Come with me across the River Acheron, or in this case, the stream of vomit and human misery running along West 34th Street.” [. . .]    –Mark Lee, Overthinking It, March 18, 2016.

You can read the full article at Overthinking It.

Ukable Parodies’ Inferno Songs

“ORIGINAL SONG: ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,’ 1976 by Gordon Lightfoot, used primarily for music and meter.
PARODY COMPOSED: Archaic quasi-Italian and English lyrics by Giorgio Coniglio, May 2015.

A TRIP DOWN THE ACHERON RIVIERA

(to the tune of ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’)

Intro:

Accounts linger on from Old Testament on down

Of the fiery pit Jews call Gehenna.

You probably knew that our Dante passed through,

And the year Thirteen Hundred was when-a.

“Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore

Facemi la divina Podestate

Per me si va ne l’etterno dolore

Lasciat’ ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.”

The tour started badly, we recount to you sadly,

With a big screen predicting the weather,

“At this Rehab-resort, no rainstorms to report –

And you’ll surely be roasted for ever.”

Dante:

Queste parole di colore oscuro

Vid’io scritte al sommo d’una porta.

Per ch’io: “Maestro il senso lor m’e duro.”

Elli: “Qui ogne viltà sia morta.”

The ‘agreement’ on monitor, in font and hue somber

Conflicted with my inner wish-list.

“This Hotel,” it is said, “never gives up her dead.”

Virge explained, “Here all fear is extinguished.”

[…]    –Giorgio Coniglio, Silly Songs and Satire, September 3, 2015.

See Silly Songs and Satire for the full song and other Dante-themed ukulele parodies, as well as the ukulele chords for “A Trip Down The Acheron Riviera.”