Glee Cast Performs Arrangement Ripped Off From Jonathan Coulton

Glee Cast Performs Arrangement Ripped Off From Jonathan Coulton

Last week, a recording surfaced of the cast of Glee performing a slowed down arrangement of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ’90s classic “Baby Got Back”. As it turned out, its arrangement of the tune had more than a little bit in common with an earlier arrangement by well-known geeky songwriter Jonathan Coulton. In fact, the Glee arrangement was more or less identical.

The recording was from the 11th episode of the fourth season of the show, which was set to air last night. It remained to be seen what would become of the performance after the rip-off received so much attention last week.

But, yep, it aired in the episode as planned. You can watch the performance up top.

For reference and/or outrage, here’s Coulton’s arrangement, which is from his 2006 album Thing a Week One.

And here’s the full Glee version.

Here’s how the scene above is summed up in the Glee Wiki:

When Kurt is caught looking at the sign up sheet for “Adam and The Apples” again, Adam, the lead singer of the group, introduces himself and asks Kurt to sign up. Kurt is reminded of Rachel telling him not to join, because it’s social suicide, but Adam won’t go down with a fight. He drags Kurt downstairs and Kurt laughs and enjoys the performance of Baby Got Back sung by the “Adam and The Apples”. The group is full of unique people, wearing different hairdos and clothes. They also pull off hilarious dance moves. Kurt and Adam seem to have an eye for each other.

Seems about right. I don’t know about you, but this “Adam” fellow sure seems like a cheeseball. Par for the course, I guess.

Coulton has apparently seen the episode, and for now only had this to say:

That doesn’t sound good. We’ll update once we know more.


  • Well…That didn’t even attempt to look somewhat real. The hipster club dancers aren’t very good at dancing either. At least they had enough sense to cut out the “Johhny C’s in trouble” line from this version.

  • I’ve always disliked the show but like most things I don’t let it bother me because I believe ‘to each their own’ and it seemed like it had some artistic merit in redressing classic songs and being a celebration of music. But after such a blatant rip off it’s hard to afford the show a scrap of artistic merit when it displays such a blatant disregard for the creative process of another artist. How can the show hope to express an appreciation for creativity while acting with such contempt towards another’s creativity?

    • But he didn’t write the song, it’s a version of another song again. So is it really plagiarism?

      Still really uncool though.

    • Urghh. Educate yourself on what autotune actually is before you make incredibly stupid comments like this please.

  • plagiarism is wrong.

    Now someone tell why a shitty tv show like glee that has nothing to do with video games is posted on this site. I understand it being posted on IGN, but not on this site

  • Maybe because Jonathan Coulton writes amazing geek music and also did the Portal songs? He is in relation to gaming news and I’m glad they’ve followed this story.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!