A literal music video, also called a literal video version, is a parody of an official music video clip in which the lyrics have been replaced with lyrics that describe the visuals in the video
It started with an a-Ha! moment. Dustin McLean an assistant director at Current TV’s animated Super News would regularly make fun of 1980s-era music videos with co-workers, coining new lyrics to match the absurd imagery of early MTV. The challenge Somebody should record that and put it back on YouTube! McLean accepted the challenge and spawned a trend he called Literal Videos.
His first attempt came in October of 2008 “Take on Me,” by a-Ha!, whose video in pencil-drawn roto-scoping was one of the most memorable of the ’80s. McLean re-recorded it, using an iTunes karaoke version, with lyrics to match the pictures.This literal version hit YouTube in 2008 so it’s not part of this category but not long after that first video the knockoffs started popping up.
This video is the ORIGINAL and FIRST “literal video” that started the meme!
In the beginning of 2009, McLean and seven other people made literal videos. Five of these were by David A. Scott (dascottjr), a commercial producer in upstate New York. His sixth video, a redub of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was posted on May 25, 2009. Shortly after, links to it appeared on websites for Entertainment Weekly, Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter page, and Perez Hilton. From there, the video received 1,009,331 views in its first ten days, surpassing two million views in three weeks. After nearly eleven million views, Sony had YouTube block the video worldwide in 2011. (Shortly before his account was terminated in February 2014, the video was unblocked, and surpassed eleven million.) It is still view-able on Funny Or Die’s website, where it has received over 100,000 views, qualifying it for “Immortal” status.
This is a copy based on the original:
When his first videos came out, McLean said he got dozens of requests every week for songs to give the Literal Video treatment. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was the most requested. But McLean procrastinated because he didn’t know a female vocalist who could match Tyler’s voice. We’re glad someone did.