Saturday, December 28, 2013

Week 104 - "Never is Much Too Soon"

Since I'm on the road, this one was recorded with just an acoustic guitar and in the internal mic on my laptop.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week 103 - "Duck, Duck, Goose"

This one was just for fun.  I experimented with a groove and then improvised vocals on top of it.


Lyrics:
Duck, Duck, Goose...
When you gonna pick me?
Bet you can't catch me!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week 102 - "Here Comes Santa Claus (The Even More Theologically Confused Version)"

This is a parody of the Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman classic song.  I wrote this because I have always found the original song to be kind of a bizarre mish-mash of religious beliefs and fairy stories.  Please know that this is in good fun and not meant to be preachy or judgmental.


Lyrics:
V. 1
"Here Comes Santa Claus," "Here Comes Santa Claus" is the strangest song.
Praying to the Lord about a fictional character somehow just seems wrong.
I don't think this song is really quite theologically sound.
But say your prayers to Frosty the Snowman when Santa Claus comes to town.

V. 2
Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus and he's got his list.
With divine omniscience he rules Christmas with an iron fist.
Santa knows your secret sins and rains down his vengeance with coal.
On your knees, and beg that Santa has mercy on your mortal soul.

V. 3
Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus. Watch where he goes next.
And, yeah, it kind of matters if you're rich or poor, 'cause there ain't no chimneys in the projects.
Rich kids always get better presents, that much is perfectly clear.
Pray to the Ghost of Christmas Future that you'll do better next year.

V. 4
Here comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa, are you getting any of this?
Christmas time is such a mish-mash of conflicting myths.
But if you feel mixing your beliefs with fairy tales is alright,
Then pray to the elves and the holy reindeer 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 101 - "A Multicultural Christmas for Us All"

Hopefully it's obvious, but this is a satire.  The purpose is to comment on how most multicultural celebrations of Christmas are still inherently and undeniably centered on Christianity.  Of course they are!  How could they not be?  Christmas is specifically a Christian holiday, for crying out loud!  So, I wrote this anthem for those that halfheartedly pretend that Christmas is a holiday for everyone.
Lyrics:
Eb                        Cm
Christmas time is here, a time we all hold dear.
Ab                       Eb/G                  Fm    Bb
Regardless of what you believe or where you're from.
Just one time a year, the world can all come near,
And celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, everyone.


       Ab            Bb               Eb   Cm
It's a multicultural Christmas for us all.
Ab                Bb                 Eb   Cm
Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist, just the same.
         Ab                 Bb            Cm         Eb/G
It's the time of year where we forget our differences
      Fm                Bb              Eb   Ab/Eb Eb Ab/Eb
And together we'll give praise to Jesus name.


Eb                                      Cm
Christmas is so fun, that we think everyone.
Ab                  Eb/G             Fm    Bb
Should celebrate it just the same as us.
Much to our chagrin, some people won't join in.
We don't understand why they should make such a fuss.


       Ab            Bb               Eb
It's a multicultural Christmas for us all.
Ab                Bb                       Eb
Christians, Muslims, and atheists just the same.
         Ab                 Bb            Cm         Eb/G
It's the time of year where we forget our differences
      Fm                Bb              Eb
And together we'll give praise to Jesus name.


       Ab            Bb               Eb
It's a multicultural Christmas for us all.
Ab                Bb                 Eb
Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist, just the same.
         Ab                 Bb            Cm         Eb/G
It's the time of year where we forget our differences
      Fm                Bb              Cm   Eb/G
And together we'll give praise to Jesus name.
      Fm                Bb              Eb
And together we'll give praise to Jesus name.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Week 100 - "Whales Weep Not!"

This is a song I composed for a one-minute song contest, using an excerpt from the poem "Whales Weep Not!" by D.H. Lawrence.



Lyrics:
They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.

All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge
on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
There they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 99 - Self-Basting Turkey

This song is based on a Facebook status by my friend Michael Paul Mitchell.  It is my first experiment in composing a six-second song for Vine.


Lyrics:
A self-basting turkey is nothing more than a turkey you have to baste yourself!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Study Shows that Children Who Take Music Lessons Know More about Music

By Samuel Stokes, Ph.D.

In a landmark study, I have recently concluded that students who take music lessons are more likely to know a wide variety of things about music, particularly compared to other children who have not studied music.  Working from the theory that students will learn about music if they receive music lessons, I have tested this hypothesis with every music student that I have taught over the last fifteen years.  The results were astoundingly unanimous – every student to whom I have given music lessons has known more about music after they began than when they started.

The correlations were uncanny – if I taught a student about percussion rudiments, it resulted in the student knowing percussion rudiments; if I taught piano scale fingerings, the student would consequently know piano scale fingerings.  It seems that everything that I taught them about music would result in the student knowing and understanding something about music.

Although it may be difficult to imagine, MRI scans have shown that participating in music lessons activates key parts of the brain that are used to learn and understand music.  This may be part of the reason that children who take music lessons seem to perform better when playing music than their peers that have not taken music lessons.

In fact, evidence would further suggest that adults who took music lessons as a child also know more about music than other adults that never took music lessons, helping the former group to understand and appreciate music in a way that the latter group does not understand.

From this study, I can conclude that if you would like for your children to be good at music, then taking music lessons is the right choice.  Does it help them develop language, math, or critical thinking skills, as well?  Maybe, but we can be certain that by taking music lessons, your children will gain knowledge and skills that will help them be more proficient at music.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 98 - "Sulu: Master of Navigation"

This is a tribute to Sulu from the original Star Trek series portrayed by George Takei, using the original theme by Alexander Courage, and partly inspired by the William Shatner monologue included in the video.



Lyrics:
Sulu, is anyone greater?
A prime-time starship navigator.
And when the course is plotted and laid in,
Scotty can engage the warp engine,
But no one can go anywhere,
'til someone who sits at the helm chair
points the ship in the right direction
Like you do, Sulu.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Week 97 - "Parasite Hotel"

ALF sings this song on the episode "Keepin' the Faith."  However, he only sings three lines and I always wondered what the rest of it might sound like, so I finished the A section and then composed a new bridge.

I played the entire part on the piano so it would be consistent through the piece.  I played it at the exact tempo that ALF played it, so I could sync it with the video more easily.  Then I clipped the audio of the three lines that ALF sings and tried my best to filter out the piano on the original audio, so I could blend it with my audio.  Finally, I added the other vocal tracks and mixed it,


Lyrics:
I just checked into the Parasite Hotel.
They ain't got a porter or a bell.
I checked into that Parasite Hotel.
And now I'm so lonely, so lonely,
But there ain't no other place I can dwell.

Millions of miles from my planet of birth.
And nowhere to hang my hat.
Now I'm a freeloading scum of the earth.
Don't even have a dime to buy a cat.

I just checked into the Parasite Hotel.
They ain't got a porter or a bell.
I checked into that Parasite Hotel.
And now I'm so lonely, so lonely,
But there ain't no other place I can dwell.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 96 - "Greedo Blues"

I was glad to see Star Wars in the theater in the late 1990s, but I wasn't thrilled with all of the changes.










Lyrics:
Why did Greedo have to shoot first?
Why did Greedo have to shoot first?
You tried to improve your movies, George, but you only made things worse.
Oh, why did Greedo have to shoot first?

Why did Han step on Jabba's tail?
Why did Han step on Jabba's tail?
You'd think such a vile gangster would probably have him impaled.
Oh, why did Han step on Jabba's tail?

Why'd you have to go and use CGI?
Why'd you have to go and use CGI?
You probably thought that it looked cool, but it was pretty cheesy to the eye.
Oh, why'd you have to go and use CGI?

Why'd you change the ghost of Anakin?
And replace him with Hayden Christensen?
You know we saw your prequels, George, but we really didn't buy in.
Oh, why'd you change the ghost of Anakin?

George Lucas, now your fans will never trust you.
George Lucas, now your fans will never trust you.
So when they make another Star Wars film,
We'll only see it 27 times instead of 42.
George Lucas, now your fans will never trust you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 95 - "Old Man of Peru"

This is a song that I composed for a competition for one-minute songs for tenor and piano.  I thought it would be fun to set a limerick since I have never set one before.  The limerick is traditional, but I have written additional lyrics.  (It should be noted that I'm a baritone, so some of this is out of my comfortable range - this is just a demo!)


Lyrics:
There was an old man of Peru
Who dreamt he was eating a shoe.
He awoke in the night
With a terrible fright
And found it was perfectly true.
Yes, he found it was perfectly true.

If you ate a shoe do you know what you'd do?
Would you let it pass through or try real hard to spew?
Or maybe you are one of very few who
Don't rue or eschew eating shoes in a stew.

Old man of Peru, just what kind of man were you?

There was an old man of Peru
Who dreamt he was eating a shoe.
He awoke in the night
With a terrible fright
And found it was perfectly true.
Yes, he found it was perfectly true.

Old man of Peru, just what kind of man were you?

Week 94 - "I Met You on Halloween"

Halloween - the holiday for love...  I was going for a cheesy 1950s love ballad feel in 12/8, but mixed in some minor mode stuff for the humorous juxtaposition.


Lyrics:
Intro
Bbm Gb Cb F7 Bbm Bb Cb F7(b9)

V.1
Bb               Gm          Eb      F7
The night that I met you, oh oh, was on Halloween.
You were the scariest of things that I've ever seen.
With all the blood on your face, I knew you were meant for me.
You wore your heart on your sleeve, oh oh, quite literally.

Ref. 1
Gm             Eb           Bb               F7
And I knew for certain, All Hallow's Eve was the night for love.
When satanic demons leave the underworld for the surface above.

Interlude
Bbm Gb Cb F7 Bbm Gb Cb F7(b9)

V.2
When I first looked in your eyes, they fell right out of your head.
Then you let out a blood-curdling scream and it filled my soul with dread.

Ref. 2
I'll never forget the way you smiled as you revved your chainsaw.
And your nightmarish cackle as you chased me down the hall.

Interlude
Bbm Gb Cb F7 Bbm Gb Cb F7(b9)

v.3
What an enchanted night - the unshakable scent of death in the air.
And you looked so beautiful With lizards and spiders crawling in your hair.

Ref.
The glow of the bonfire, there was love waiting there I could tell.
The devil's own minion's were trying to drag me to hell.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week 93 - "Frau Blucher"

This song is composed of clips from Young Frankenstein.


Lyrics:
Frau Blucher: I am Frau Blucher.
(Horses neigh)
Igor: Dr. Frankenstein?
Frankenstein: Fronkensteen.
Igor: You're putting me on.
Frankenstein: No, it's pronounced Fronkensteen.
Igor: Do you also say Froderick?
Frau Blucher: I am Frau Blucher.
(Horses neigh)
Inga: Werewolf!
Frankenstein: Werewolf?
Igor: There.
Frankenstein: What?
Igor: There wolf.  There castle.
Frankenstein: Why are you talking that way?
Igor: I thought you wanted to.
Frau Blucher: I am Frau Blucher.
(Horses neigh)
Frankenstein: Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me! Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me!
Frau Blucher: I am Frau Blucher.
(Horses neigh)
Frankenstein: What a filthy job!
Igor: Could be worse.
Frankenstein: How?
Igor: Could be raining.
(Thunder crash, rain begins)
Frau Blucher: I am Frau Blucher.
(Horses neigh)
Frankenstein: It... could... work!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 92 - "Merry Christmas, Yo Ho Ho"

This is the closing number for the play "Christmas for Pirates."


Lyrics:
PIRATES:
Pirates fierce were we
Sailing 'cross the sea.
Now we know how good love and sharing can be.

ALL:
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.

ELVES and REINDEER:
Oh, what joy of joys
For the girls and boys.
We're so glad our new friends gave back all the toys.

ALL:
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.

SANTA:
Though you've done much wrong
Through your whole life long
Never did I doubt that your hearts could be strong. Ho ho ho!

ALL:
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.
Merry Christmas, have a Merry Christmas, yo ho ho.

Week 91 - "Fearsome Pirates, We"

This is a new opening song for "Christmas for Pirates."


Lyrics:
Fearsome pirates, we.
Sailing 'cross the sea.
We are brave and bold.
Give us all your gold.
Always stealing treasure is the life for me.

Lovers of the land
Never join our band.
Make them walk the plank.
Scary, don't you think?
Living on the ocean is a life so grand.

When they see our banner on the mast they quake with fear.
They run and hide, they beg for mercy when a dreaded evil pirate's sailing near.

Sailors all beware
When you see us there.
Raise the pirate flag.
Run, ye scallywag.
With our cannons we will give you such a scare!

When they see our banner on the mast they quake with fear.
They run and hide, they beg for mercy when a dreaded evil pirate's sailing near.

Fear us when we fly our flag of skull and bone.
We have come to steal your treasure for our own.

Week 90 - "Reindeer Boogie"

This is another song for the "Christmas for Pirates" play.  It is a dance number for the North Pole's Got Talent show.


Lyrics:
We do this thing we call the Reindeer Boogie.
We do this thing called the Reindeer Boogie Woogie.
Quadruped or no, it's the only way to go
When you're dancing through the snow.

You start by stomping each hoof on the ground.
Then you swing your antlers round and round.
It shouldn't take too long for you to learn to dance along.
Come and join us in our song.

We do this thing we call the Reindeer Boogie.
We do this thing called the Reindeer Boogie Woogie.
Quadruped or no, it's the only way to go
When you're dancing through the snow.
When you're dancing through the snow.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week 89 - "North Pole Jam"

This is another song for the children's musical I'm writing, "A Christmas for Pirates."  The pirates accidentally arrive at the North Pole and find that a talent show is taking place under the direction of the elf MC Legolas.


Lyrics:
I'm MC Legolas and I'm here to say
It's our last change to party before Christmas day.
All the presents are wrapped and they're ready to go,
Now I've got one question that I'm dying to know.

What's cooler than cool?  North pole!
What's cooler than cool?  North pole!
What's cooler than cool?  North pole!
We give some people thrills, and other people, we just give the chills!

Are you ready to party?  Are you feeling alright?
'Cause the Arctic Circle's spinning with the show we've got tonight.
Snuggle up with your gloves, furry coat, and woolly hat,
'Cause the North Pole's got talent, what do you think about that?

What's cooler than cool?  North pole!
What's cooler than cool?  North pole!
What's cooler than cool?  North pole!
We give some people thrills, and other people, we just give the chills!
North pole!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week 88 - "A Christmas for Pirates - Opening Song"

I composed this song for the Christmas musical at my daughter's elementary school.  If you are a teacher interested in performing this play with your children, send me message.


Lyrics:
We are three dreadful fearsome pirates
and we live our lives on the sea.
We're not so good at navigation,
so we don't know where we might be.
I think we took a wrong turn somewhere,
and now we're lost and we're getting cold.
I think if I have read the map right,
we are headed to the North Pole.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week 87 - "Delicate Creatures"

This is a song for "The Great American Musical."  I co-wrote the lyrics with August Mergelman.  The character of Lance is singing a very chauvinistic song in an old Broadway style.  Andrea, on the other hand, points out that the chorus girls use him at least as much as he uses them, and sticks it to him for being a chauvinist.



Lyrics:
Lance:
Girls have such delicate features.
Such wonderful creatures,
No wonder I can't make my mind up,
When I see those dollies lining up.
Each has her particular style.
Oh, which one shall I choose to walk down the aisle?

I would never intend to cause them sorrow.
(Girls: Oh no!)
So many of them but only one gets me.
(Girls: Oh please!)
May I should save myself 'til tomorrow.
(Girls: Oh no!)
Who knows what my eyes may fancy to see?
Lance and Girls: Yes siree!

Andrea:
As you can plainly see,
He lacks humility.
He thinks he's suave playing the field and running around,
He's up and down the chorus line.
The truth is that it suits us fine.
He think's he's pretty cute,
But he's a chauvinist galoot.
And just who's using who depends on your point of view.

Lance:
Girls are such wonderful play toys
For vagabond playboys
And only for the modest price
Of gold and fourteen-karat ice.
Oh, girls are such wonderful play toys
To comfort men who do the work of the world.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 86 - "The Pet Peeve Quartet - Reprise"

This is a demo of "The Pet Peeve Quartet - Reprise" by August Mergelman and me for our musical "The Great American Musical."  The reprise takes place in a flashback to the early days of Broadway, hence the Tin Pan Alley style with the Beguine in the bridge and the old record sound at the beginning.


Lyrics:
He's just someone from the past.
That new act will never last.
I hate the way that girl can get to me.

I hate the way that he can cower.
She waits within her ivory tower.
I sigh hour after hour.
I hate the way that boy can get to me.

The feeling is so great
That I can't concentrate
On whatever it was that I was doing.

I'm helpless and it seems,
He's even in my dreams.
I'm just a horse that needs re-shoeing.

I think he has a lot of nerve.
I hope she gets what she deserves.
I love the way that girl can get to me.

I wish that he would take a stand.
I wish that he would take my hand.
I think love could be so grand.
I hate the way that girl can get to me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Week 85 - "The Great American Musical"

This is the title song of the musical I'm working on with August Mergelman.


This is the great American musical.
Yes, it's the great American show.
There'll be singing and dancing
And laughs and romancing
And songs that we all will come to know,
That you'll be singing in the shower.
It's the great American musical
Here on the great American stage.
We are here to entertain,
But not to tax your brain,
So you'll enjoy no matter what your age.

So grab a chorus girl and sway,
And you can dance the night away,
Although the men are mostly gay,
The audience won't make a peep,
They'll just suspend their disbelief.

So join us at the show
And invite everyone you know,
And if you could donate some dough,
'Cause in this economy the arts are first to go.

This is the great American musical
And what a great diversion it is.
Such a wonderful feeling
That will leave you reeling
And wishing that you were in the biz,
So you'd be basking in the spotlight.
It's the great American musical,
So come forget all your worry and strife.
No, you never can go wrong,
So join the dance and song,
And celebrate a true red, white, and blue American life!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 84 - "Compulsory Blue Note Song"

This is a song I wrote for the "Great American Musical" project.


Lyrics:
You think it's really white at the start of the song,
and then a sudden blue note tells you you're wrong.
You must have a compulsory blue note song!

It starts out really straight and so you don't know
Just exactly where this music will go.
You must have a compulsory blue note song!

You never saw it coming 'til
They threw that blue note in your face.
Even when you've learned it still
It kind of sounds a bit out of place.

So throw the rules of musical taste.
Cannot let this soulful groove go to waste.
You must have a compulsory blue note song!

(Neutral syllable/scat break)

You must have a compulsory blue note song!
Every musical has a compulsory blue note song!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Week 83 - "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" - parody

This is my parody of Bob Merrill's song, "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?"


Lyrics:
Ch.
How much is that doggie in the window?
He is really strong, I can tell.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale.

v.1
I've heard there've been burglars in my neighborhood.
I must draw a line they can't cross.
So I need to buy a doggy that would
Show those witless cretins who's boss.

Ch.
How much is that doggie in the window?
Those huge teeth are fierce, I can tell.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale.

v.2
I want him to have spikes on his collar
I want him to strike hearts with fear.
I think that I'll buy me that Rottweiler.
So all are afraid to come near.

v.3
My neighbor has got the most annoying cat,
He leaves his mark in my flower bed.
I guess from now on we'll see about that,
'Cause "Killer" will rip him to shreds.

Ch.
How much is that doggie in the window?
The one that's as scary as hell.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie,
I do hope that doggie,
I do hope that doggie's for sale.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Week 82 - "27 Parts in the Show"

A semi-autobiographical song for the new musical.  I was never the star of a musical, but I was in the lead for the largest number of character parts.


Lyrics:

I MAY NOT BE THE STAR
I DON’T DRIVE A FANCY CAR
BUT I’VE PLAYED MORE PARTS THAT ANY OTHER ACTOR IN HISTORY SO FAR

V.1
IT ALL BEGINS IN ACT ONE, WHERE I HAVE LOTS OF FUN
PLAYING DANCER THREE, HEY, LOOK AT ME
MEMORIZE THAT FACE, BECAUSE YOU’LL HAVE TO PLACE IT
WHEN YOU SEE ME IN MY OTHER TWENTY-SIX PARTS IN THE SHOW

ch.1
I AM PLAYING TWENTY-SEVEN PARTS IN THE SHOW
AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT I’VE COUNTED OUT SO FAR
I’M NOT A SHINING STAR
I’M NO ONE YOU SHOULD KNOW
BUT I’M THE ONLY PERSON PLAYING TWENTY-SEVEN PARTS IN THE SHOW!

v.2
IN THE SECOND SCENE I HAVE FIVE SECONDS TO CHANGE
ALL MY CLOTHES DOWN TO MY UNDERWEAR
IT ISN’T VERY FUN, BUT SOMEHOW IT GETS DONE
WHEN YOU HAVE THIS MUCH EXPERIENCE AS EXTRAS IN THE SHOW

ch.2
I AM PLAYING TWENTY-SEVEN PARTS IN THE SHOW
UNTIL THE REWRITES COME AND I HAVE MORE.
MY JOB IS NOT A BORE.
I’M ALWAYS ON THE GO,
AND I’M THE ONLY PERSON PLAYING TWENTY-SEVEN PARTS IN THE SHOW!

fast intro.
ONCE I DID DREAM OF PLAYING LEAD
BUT IT SEEMS THAT I'M JUST NOT THAT BREED
IT TURNS THAT MY TALENT LIES IN CHANGING CHARACTERS WITH BLINDING SPEED

ch.3
I AM PLAYING TWENTY-SEVEN PARTS IN THE SHOW
I KNOW YOU THINK THAT I EXAGGERATE
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO WAIT
FOR OP'NING NIGHT TO KNOW
THAT I'M THE ONLY PERSON PLAYING TWENTY-SEVEN PARTS IN THE SHOW!

spoken: No, you don't have to wait, because here's the full list:

After dancer three, I play the man in the crowd with the bowler hat,
and shortly after that, I appear as the elderly gentleman with a cat,
And then I'm back as the banker, a then middle-aged accountant who's getting fat,
And then as a cop, then a man in a shop, then a young man carrying a baseball bat.

I'm the barber, I'm the waiter, I'm the surley bartender,
I'm the preacher, I'm the farmer, I'm the hot dog vendor
I'm the plumber, I'm the tailor, I'm the train engineer,
I'm the drummer, I'm the sailor, I'm the strange auctioneer.

I'm a winner, I'm a loser, I'm a mover, and a shaker,
I'm the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.

And if that does not impress you
Then nothing will that I know
'Cause I'm the only person playing 27 parts in the show!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Week 81 - "Secondhand Smoke"

Having smoke blown in my face is a pet peeve of mine.


Lyrics:

v. 1

Eb5 Db5 Ab5
Big man
with the game plan
Always got to have
A cigarette in your hand.
Ab5 Gb5 Db5
Too cool
for school
Eb5 Db5 Ab5
Always cough and hack
And looking like a fool.
Gb
You ask me what's my problem and I don't know how to answer
Ab                                                      Bb
Maybe I don't care for you to share your lung cancer with me.

Eb5 Db5 Ab5

v.2
At your place,
It's your space.
It's still pretty rude,
Blowing smoke in my face.
You don't think
A single wink
You don't realize
How much it makes you stink.
You think I'm acting prissy and you say to stop my chatter,
Maybe you will never get it ever why it matters to me.

Chorus:
Eb5 Gb5 Ab5
I can't stand your secondhand smoke.
It really makes me want to choke.
You know, this really is no joke.
Db5                                        Eb5
Someday it's gonna make you croak.

v. 3
Nicotine
You're never clean.
The smell is in your hair.
And even on your jeans.
Your bloodshot eyes
Are no surprise.
I hope you give it up.
Someday when you get wise.
You ask me what's my problem and I don't know how to answer
Maybe I don't care for you to share your lung cancer with me.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Week 80 - "Kentaco Hut"

This song celebrates the diversity of fast food found in combination KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut restaurants.


Lyrics:

Intro - E  D  E  A  E  D  E  A

v.1
E                       D
This little town has at least three Mickey D's
E                    A
A Wendy's and Burger King
E                        D
Whatever you're craving, surely you will find.
E                       A
We've got some of everything.
G                                           A
We have Hardee's but perhaps you know it as Carl's Junior.
G                                                       B
Isn't fastfood awesome 'cause it means that you can eat sooner?

v.2
E                  D
Some many choices, it's hard to decide.
E                       A
Sometimes it just is no fun.
E                      D
What if you're craving lots of different things?
E                              A
Why should you settle just for one?
G                                                               A
There's a special place where you can go when you don't what to do
G                                                               B
They've got pizza, Tex/Mex, and fried chicken waiting there for you.

Ch.
E  B/D#  C#m  B  A  B
Oh Kentaco Hut's the place to be.
Oh Kentaco Hut was made for me.
A                  B
Where else can you go?
            G#m                         A
When you're craving fried chicken and a taco
    F#m               B
And pizza at the same time?

Intro - E  D  E  A  E  D  E  A

V. 3
E                        D
You can mix and match as you may please.
E                       A
The choice is all up to you.
E                        D
Dip your crunchy taco in gravy
E                             A
Put fire sauce on your pizza, too.
G                                                        A
Wrapper your crispy chicken in slice of pepperoni if you dare.
G                                                    B
There's no limit to the combinations waiting for you there.

Ch.
E  B/D#  C#m  B  A  B
Oh Kentaco Hut's the place to be.
Oh Kentaco Hut was made for me.
A                  B
Where else can you go?
            G#m                         A
When you're craving fried chicken and a taco
    F#m               B
And pizza at the same time? There's only one place that I know.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Week 79 - "Hump Day"

The video contains clips from "Lawrence of Arabia" (copyright Columbia Pictures) and the Geico hump day camel commercial (copyright Geico).  The song is by Samuel Stokes.


Lyrics:
A F G E
Hump day
It ain't just any other slump day.
There ain't no other day like Wednesday.
And they can't take it away.
Until the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, yeah.

V. 1
3X A7 Eb(#11) A7 Dsus4
A7 Eb(#11) F E
On Sunday morning I either sleep in or go to the church to pray for my sin.
Ev'ry few minutes find myself slippin', dreaming 'bout when the work week will begin.
Monday morning, feeling like a believer, but it's hard to get up, 'cause I'm a coffee acheiever.
Tuesday afternoon really hitting my stride, but the first half week is always such a rough ride, to...

Ch.
A F G E
Hump day
It ain't just any other slump day.
There ain't no other day like Wednesday.
And they can't take it away.
Until the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, yeah.

v.2
3X A7 Eb(#11) A7 Dsus4
A7 Eb(#11) F E
Top of the hump, I'm on top of the earth, all my co-workers can see what I'm worth.
Been a rough climb but no worse for the wear, but the rest of the week will be more than I can bear.
All my other friends talkin' 'bout Friday night, I just shake my head and say that ain't right.
The week's winding down and we're falling down fast, then we're climbing again and I hope that I'll last, until...

A F G E
Hump day
It ain't just any other slump day.
There ain't no other day like Wednesday.
And they can't take it away.
Until the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, yeah.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Week 78 - "Lofty Pursuits"

This is an experimental song in which I used the voice like an instrument, applying several effects so that the text is obscured, creating an abstract atmosphere that is open to individual interpretation.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Week 77 - "Math Book Tragedy"

This song is based on the tragic tales that can only come from math problems.


Lyrics:
      Am
I was reading in my math book
        Em
About a terrible tragedy.
          Am
We should take it as a lesson
  Em
Regarding train safety.

           Dm                    G
It was the story of a massive collision
  Dm                                  G      
Invented by a math professor in his derision.

   Am        G             F     Em       D
It told of a train leaving LA at 6 in the morning
Am        G           F         Em          D
Traveling east at a velocity of 60 miles an hour
    Am                        Bm
But heaven only knew that an identical train
    C                       E
Was leaving New York at the very same time
       Am        G         F                Em         D
On the very same track and that's where the story goes sour.

    Am
The train was heading west
          Em
Traveling 80 MPH
    Am
And what would happen next
      Em
Was a tragedy for heaven's sake.

Dm                                      G
Never mind the death and loss, oh the humanity.
          Dm                                               G
Professor just wants to know when they'll collide in his insanity.

Am              G             F    Em     D
Nowhere else in school have I ever had to face this.
Am          G       F      Em        D
Why must my math professor be such a sadist?
Am                    Bm
When this semester is through
        C                 E
I guess I'd be willing to wager
        Am         G         F      Em        D
That I just wasn't quite cut out to be a math major.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week 76 - "The Settlers of Catan"

The Settlers of Catan is a fun board game, but I always thought it needed a little backstory.  So here is a song that tells a little history of The Settlers of Katan,  (The Settlers of Catan board game was designed by Klaus Teuber, The images of the box and game board are copyright 2012 Mayfair Games and Catan GmbH).


Lyrics:
Many years ago, our fathers did go forth
In many mighty vessels, took to the sea.
They sailed until they found a strange hexagonal land.
That's how they and their children came to be the settlers of Catan.

Resources we produce with no alarm
Unless a dreaded thief should spoil our plan.
I spend my days on my hexagonal farm.
We build as many settlements as we can.
We are the settlers of Catan.

Some of us spend our days in the harbor trading ports.
Some of us build our roads the longest we can.
Some of us train up knights, to battle we resort.
We'll do whatever the situation demands.
We are the settlers of Catan.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week 75 - "Dad of the Year"

The song for week 75 is a tad late because I am having technical difficulties with my microphone and had to record the vocals on this using the internal mic on my laptop.  Not the ideal way to record vocals, but with some noise reduction and multitracking effects, it came out alright.  The rough edge actual works pretty well with the blues style of the song.  This song is a silly tribute to Father's Day.


Lyrics:
Listen here, fellas.  You know I'm the dad of the year.
Listen here, fellas.  You know I'm the dad of the year.
I've got a hat and mug to prove it so you other dads can just disappear.

Listen here, fellas.  You know I'm the world's best dad.
Listen here, fellas.  You know I'm the world's best dad.
But there's lots of competition so I hope you won't feel so bad.

They set aside a special day in June, as you'll see.
An aisle at the store is dedicated to me.
I get lots of cards and special t-shirts that say,
That I'm the world's greatest dad, so have happy father's day.

Listen here, fellas.  I'm the best dad, you should know.
Listen here, fellas.  I'm the best dad, you should know.
I've got bumper stickers 'cause my kids are on the honor roll.

When your toys get broken, who do you come to see?
I can fix them up and make them good as can be.
I can answer questions 'bout the things you don't know.
And if you don't know why, well then the answer's "because I said so."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 74 - "The Backwards SongnoS sdrawkcaB ehT"


Drag the mouse over the white spaces below to reveal the hidden message.

I sang the lyrics phonetically backwards

and then reversed the audio

for the second half. 


See if you can figure out

the hidden messages!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Week 73 - "The Reckoning"

This week's song has a folk-like melody, which alternates with blues-style improvisation.

video

Once a baby boy was born
And his parents soon could tell
That they'd raise him to see heaven
And to fear the gates of hell.

As the years flew swiftly by
This young man would never know
If the things he said and did
brought damnation to his soul.

When the years came to completion
He would close his eyes and see
What his thoughts and what his deeds
Finally reckoned him to be.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week 71 - "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

This is the theme song to the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoon, in a jazz lounge style.  Not an original composition of mine, but a creative arrangement.


Lyrics:
Do you ever feel blue and green at the same time?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half-shell
Turtle power.

They're the world's most fearsome fighting team (They're really hip!)
They're heroes in a half-shell and they're green (Hey - get a grip!)
When the evil Shredder attacks
These Turtle boys don't cut him no slack!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Splinter taught them to be ninja teens (He's a radical rat!)
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That's a fact, Jack!)
Raphael is cool but crude
Michaelangelo is a party dude.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half shell
Turtle power.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Week 70 - "Mama"

This song is sung by a son to his very unfortunate mama.




Lyrics:
D  A/C#  Bm  G
Mama, there's so many things I want to thank you for
D  A/C#  E   A
I know sometimes it was kind of hard
D  A/C#  Bm  G
I know my brothers and I were always pretty ornry ones.
D  A/C#  E   A
Heaven help you if you ever dropped your guard.

Bb    F
Do you remember the time
Gm     Dm
When I was eight years old
Eb    Bb
I set fire to the living room rug
C   F
And I can't forget the look on your face.
Bb   F
Then you picked up the rug
Gm  Dm
And you smothered the flames.
Eb  Bb
The second degree burns would heal up in time
C                          F           Bb      A
But the memory still has a place in my heart.

D  A/C#  Bm  G
Mama, I know that we could be rough on you
D  A/C#  E   A
I'm sure our antics made you kind of sick.
D  A/C#  Bm  G
And I'm sure my brothers and I are the ones to blame
D  A/C#  E   A
That you developed that nervous tic.

Bb    F
Do you remember the time
Gm     Dm
On a Saturday
Eb    Bb
You took a nap in the afternoon
C   F
My brothers and I cut off all your hair.
Bb   F
You woke up in a rage
Gm  Dm
So we ran and hid
Eb    Bb
You only wore a wig for a year,
C                        F           Bb       A
But the memory is always there in my heart.


D  A/C#  Bm  G
Mama, I know that the years had to take their toll
D  A/C#  E   A
And I know we never took it easy on you
D  A/C#  Bm  G
One day, the men in the white coats took you away.
D  A/C#  E   A
Don't worry, Mama, we'll always come to visit you.

Bb    F
Do you remember the time
Gm     Dm
We got those BB guns
Eb    Bb
We ran around the house
C   F
And shot all the windows out.
Bb   F
I wonder if that was the day
Gm  Dm
WE pushed you over the edge.
Eb    Bb
In fact, when I think back,
C   F   Bb
There isn't any doubt in my heart.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Week 69 - "Vulcan"


This song is about Spock's home planet Vulcan.  The clavinova sound represents Spock's Vulcan harp.


Lyrics:
G           D
Vulcan is a very lovely place.
         Em               Bm
It's the homeworld of the Vulcan race.
          C                           G
You might think of it as just another M-class planet
      A7                       D
I guess that's true in any case.


         G                      D
It's the home of a very logical man
      Em                   Bm
Whose wife always does the best she can.
        C                        G
But she finds it kind of hard to hide her emotions
A7                 D
  After all, she's only human.


C       Bb             G
Oh, one day they had a son.
And one day he'd be know throughout the federation.
C                Bb    Dm              C
To his father's dismay, he decided to leave one day.
F           Eb                   D
For him Starfleet would be the one.


    Eb                 Dm              C            
But planet Vulcan will always be in my heart.
     Eb                    Dm               C
Your flowing deserts are illogical works of art.
   Eb                Dm                      C
My katra will always dwell with in the sandy dunes.
     Eb                       Dm             C
I'll sing with my harp of the planet with no moons.
        D
With no moons.


G                    D
Vulcan is very frightening place
        Em              Bm
When Andorian militants show their face.
C                     G
 They always leave me feeling kind of blue
A7                D
 When they come invading our space.


C              Bb             G
Oh, things can really get bizarre
       C              Bb               G
When a Vulcan male is going through pon farr.
       C               Bb          Dm                    C
And as you may plainly see, if the female invokes kal-if-fee
F                      Eb                    D
Things run amok when a champion is called to spar.


    Eb                 Dm              C            
But planet Vulcan will always be in my heart.
     Eb                    Dm               C
Your flowing deserts are illogical works of art.
   Eb                Dm                      C
My katra will always dwell with in the sandy dunes.
     Eb                       Dm             C
I'll sing with my harp of the planet with no moons.
        D
With no moons.

Harp solo
C Bb G
C Bb G
c Bb Dm C
F Eb D

Eb                 Dm              C            
Planet Vulcan will always be in my heart.
     Eb                    Dm               C
Your flowing deserts are illogical works of art.
   Eb                Dm                      C
My katra will always dwell with in the sandy dunes.
     Eb                       Dm             C
I'll sing with my harp of the planet with no moons.
        D
With no moons.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Week 68 - "Sigh No More, Ladies"


This song is an experiment with reverse audio and other effects.  It uses text from William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."  The video was taken around the Tiger Band Hall at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.


Lyrics:
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 67 - "The Curtain Never Falls"

This is another song for the new musical project.  Lyrics are by August Mergelman.


Lyrics:
There are curtain calls,
But no curtain falls
When you know you are the star.
Though it's true that you
Wait a year or two
For your next cue,
Your dream will take you far.

Though you hear applause,
There's never a pause,
When you know you are the star.
Though the play is played,
And spotlights fade,
Your dream has stayed.
Your dream will take you far.

You're among your friends.
The tune never ends,
When you are, each one, a star.
In the wings, you linger,
And you sing.
Your echoes ring.
Your dreams will take you far.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week 66 - "If I Could Be Your Man"


Here is an original humorous song, partially inspired by Bruno Mars' "Grenade" and "When I Was Your Man."


Lyrics:
Baby, I wrote this song, because I don't think you understand
The sort of messed up things I'd do if I could be your man.
You wouldn't believe just how obsessed I am for your to wear my ring.
I'm perfectly capable of doing lots of disurbing things.

I'd throw myself in front of a bus in the middle of the interstate.
If you want to go alligator hunting, I'll use myself as bait.
I would drink a bottle of Liquid Plumber, if you just asked me to.
That's the sort of disturbing things I would do
 If I Could Be Your Man

Baby, how long will it take for you to say those sweet words to me?
Whisper in my ear, "The restraining order was just a formality."
I know that I may seem unhinged, but that's the way I feel for you.
I hope it doesn't creep you out, this list of things that I would do.

I'd cut out my kidneys if you ever need an emergency transplant.
If you asked me, I'd cover my body in sugar and roll around in fire ants.
I would put your social security number on my body as a permanent tatoo.
That's the sort of disturbing things I would do
 If I Could Be Your Man

If it would turn you on I'd drive off a cliff in my SUV.
I'd set my hair on fire if you'd say that you loved me.
I'd let myself be mangled by tigers in a cage at the city zoo.
That's the sort of disturbing things I would do
 If I Could Be Your Man

That's the sort of disturbing things I would do
 If I Could Be Your Man

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Week 65 - "Elegy for Aaron"

This elegy is my tribute to Aaron Markarian.  Even though I only knew him for slightly more than a year (from the summer before to the summer after his freshman year in high school), his enthusiasm, talent, and work ethic in music and theatre left a lasting impression on me.  Even more importantly, he was a kind and gentle young man who treated people well.  He will be missed.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 64 - "Pretty Average Woman"

This is a parody of "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison and Bill Dees.  It is a satire of how so much of popular music equates love almost entirely with physical attraction, putting good looks on a pedestal above personality, integrity, and other infinitely more important qualities in a person.  It is sung from a perspective of a pretty average man wooing a pretty average woman.


Lyrics:
Pretty average woman, walking down the street
Pretty average woman, the kind I often meet
Pretty average woman
Darling, do you know that it's true
So many girls are just like you
Meh

Pretty average woman, won't you pardon me
Pretty average woman, I couldn't help but see
Pretty average woman
That you're wearing the same sweats today
You were wearing just yesterday.
Eww

Pretty average woman, at the mall
Pretty average woman's not that tall
Pretty average woman, her clothes all come from The Gap.
Pretty average woman, has those days where.
Pretty average woman, doesn't do her hair.
Pretty average woman, so she wears a baseball cap.
But who am I to judge the things you do?
The truth is, baby. I'm pretty average, too.

Pretty average woman, I'm so intrigued
Pretty average woman, 'cause you're not out of my league.
Pretty average woman, I'm willing to settle for you...okay
If that's the best I can do, okay
I guess it's going to be my fate.
I'll get used to ball caps, but wait
What do I see?
She put her hair in a ponytail for me.
Yeah, she put her hair in a ponytail for me.
Oh, oh, Pretty average woman