All Tech Considered

Listen: 'Web Site Story,' NPR's Musical About The Internet — From 1999


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In December 1999, three things came together:

-- a standoff between a high school and its community over the canceled production of West Side Story
-- the government's protracted antitrust case against Microsoft
-- NPR's occasional satirical performance troupe called the NPR Players

The product of this unlikely union was Web Site Story — a parody of the Broadway musical fit for the dot-com times.

NPR's Robert Siegel introduced it as an "update" to the 1957 musical: "All you need is two rival groups ruthlessly fighting for territory and control, so here's the premier of Web Site Story, which opens with one of the group's leaders, Bill Gates."

Here is a taste of some lyrics, which go to show not that much has changed:

"My operatin' system, it runs without a glitch / Leapin' lizards, that's why I'm so rich" (to the tune of "Gee, Officer Krupke")

"Website, website, we'll build our own website / They'll click us and the dough will roll in" (to the tune of "Tonight")

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"When you're on net, you're on net all the time" (to the tune of "Jet Song")

"I like the Amazon-dot-com / Where you can shop with no pants on" (to the tune of "America")

And here is the parody musical, resurfaced by NPR producer Art Silverman as the Internet celebrated #InternautDay.

As a bonus, there's also a 2009 video take on a Web-themed West Site Story, courtesy of CollegeHumor. Do you have lyric ideas for a 2016 update? Tweet at us @NPRAllTech.

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