The Sources of ‘Put a Ring on It’

Posted on December 30, 2008 at 11:00 am

The Steady Diet of Film blog has a brilliant analysis of the sources for Beyoncé’s hit video, “Put a Ring on It.” It is not just wise and witty, it is an entertaining glimpse into the combination of mash-ups, wikis, and creative imagination that come together on the internet.

First there was Fosse. Bob Fosse choreographed a dance number for his one-time wife and all-time favorite dancer Gwen Verdon, to the song “Mexican Breakfast.”

Then someone combined the dance with DJ Unk’s “Walk It Out.”

This inspired the dance and look of “Put a Ring on It.”

And that inspired many, many, many, many tributes, parodies, and variations including Verdon/Beyoncé, combining “Put a Ring on It” with the Verdon number and an SNL skit with Justin Timberlake.

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4 Replies to “The Sources of ‘Put a Ring on It’”

  1. Very comprehensive job. Interesting how this song has struck such a memorable chord with people, inspiring the users to generate their own versions of the song and try to deconstruct its origins. Is its popularity a “ringing” endorsement of marriage’s value? I guess we’ll see how Beyonce influences marital policy for the population.
    The only ones I think that you left out are the Arianna clip (which is kind of amazing because she’s 4) and the first one I ever saw,, which is rated “inappropriate for some users by the YouTube Community.” It’s just a male dancer dressed kind of provocatively and doing a faithful rendition of the choreography. In my humble opinion, more dangerous than his dancing is the song itself, which gets stuck in your head for days…

  2. Thanks for a great comment, Esther! I will check out the clips even though I know it will take at least four days to get that song out of my head!

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