Saturday, June 27, 2009

Edisto

Edisto.ogg Edisto.mp3
This is about politics... the 2008 election. I had to ask William about some of the symbols, so here goes. The gulls are the politicians, noisily calling attention to themselves... if you've ever seen gulls, you know what I'm talking about. The pelicans are the press. “Edislow” isn't a typo... it's what you call Edisto island if you've ever lived there, for obvious reasons. “no pale pastels” came from a speech by Ronald Reagan. That should get you through it.


EDISTO
wmh - November 18, 2008

The gulls are all gathering there on the rail
Each one seems to tell his own tale
Destiny, change, and the new New Deals
Just to satisfy the many squeaky wheels

I can't possibly write down what I've seen from here
From far left or right there is so little time
The day to day choreography
And the images etched upon my mind

[chorus]
I wish everyone could dream like me
Just to see the things the way that I see
I don't claim to know all there is to know
But there ain't no pale pastels here at Edisto

How can I bend my mind 'round this island
When I can't even get past these tides
I don't know what all these pelicans know
But unlike them I'm stranded here on Edislow

And it seems to change when the blue moon blinks
Handshakes, speeches, sails, and secret winks
Kissing babies' cheeks on the beach
And promising changes that are out of reach

Now I can't navigate these waters
And I can't just sit still and still take orders
We could argue for hours and never achieve sensibility
I feel like a man trying to change the laws of gravity

[chorus]
I wish everyone could dream like me
Just to see the things the way that I see
I don't claim to know all there is to know
But there ain't no pale pastels here at Edisto

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For Lisa

ForLisa.ogg ForLisa.mp3 ForLisa.pdf
This is a simple classical piece for my wife, Lisa. I'm including the sheet music. Enjoy.

Any resemblance to Beethoven's "Für Elise" is purely intentional. I thought a pastiche would be appropriate, as Lisa's given name is "Elisa", and "Für Elise" simply means "For Elisa".

For Lisa
dfl -
October, 2001

Marry Me

MarryMe.oggMarryMe.mp3
This is just a rough live recording, and it's kind of rushed. I may or may not clean it up.

This one's not your standard "boy asks girl to marry him", song. Rather, it's a gay man imploring a priest to perform the marriage ceremony for him and his partner. It's done seriously, though not without some irony.

It's a challenge to portray a militant, frustrated gay man who's not a stereotype. Even if you're gay, even if you're militant, you should find qualities in
this singer that you don't like. And if you're not gay, you should find a position with which you can sympathize, even when you don't agree.

People who know us might be surprised to find this "pro-gay" song here. Well, first, it's not "pro" or "anti" anything. It's a portrayal of person's feelings. That person isn't me, anymore than I'm the guy who hired a hooker in "One for the Road". I also see no advantage to portraying somebody else's opinion in any way other than in a straightforward and unbiased manner. And to those who are fundamentalists, I should point out if you truly believe in the Bible, you believe that God gave everyone free will. This alone dooms any attempt to impose morality.
We can understand and sympathize with a position without adopting it. Personally, I love the idea that different states have different laws, so you can always move to a place of your liking. In a country this big, I don't see the advantage of imposing such laws at the Federal level... such attempts only result in a Procrustean bed.

I had a hard time coming up with a tune that struck the right balance between energy and "attitude". In writing the tune I thought quite a bit about my friend "Redbear" who's living in Texas with his significant other. If you gave them the chance, they'd get married, too. I hear it as sort of a show tune. I could see it in a rock opera. A lot of jumps, starts, stops. The sort of music it's easy to drive to, though, I'd tend to speed while listening to it.


Marry Me
wmh - January 1, 2005

I hate like the dickens to complain

But these laws drive me insane
You'll wed vandals and vagrants all the same
Fundamental thought be damned
I'm just like any other man
So forgive me if I just don't play that game

I thought that from. The. Start.
You were willing to take my part
It seemed all doomed to failure
Until I saw your shooting star

[chorus]
Come on, won't you marry me
You're a man of the cloth and your word
And you surely know that I believe
So why don't you just marry me?

I'm in debt to vermin indeed
I'll get down upon my knees
I forgive all the fools who may criticize
The closet is a place to hide
Only for the very weak
I mean to hold my head up high
when I'm walking down the street


[chorus]
Come on, won't you marry me
You're a man of the cloth and your word
And you surely know that I believe
So why don't you just marry me?

I don't claim to be. That. Smart.
But you knew right from the start
The courts would rule against me
Once again I'm out of my league, so...

[chorus]
Come on, c'mon, won't you marry me
You're a man of the cloth and your word
And you surely know that I believe, yes I believe!
So why don't you just marry me?

Father, why don't you just marry me?

.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Click

Click.ogg Click.mp3
This one has a language warning, and is not work-safe. Read the lyrics before you download it and listen in a setting where such things are frowned upon.

I was driving home from Greensboro and thinking about a friend, Keith. As I was wondering what would drive someone to commit suicide, I came up with this theme. I told William about it... the singer is playing Russian Roulette, with each pull re-evaluating his decision. Each verse would end with a pull of the trigger, and each following verse would begin with "click!" He sent me several sets of words... I wound up taking bits from the different pieces he sent me to make the verses, and added the last verse myself.

I don't know how much time the real Keith spent agonizing over his decision; I don't even know whether he used a revolver, only that he shot himself.

I was hesitating about telling you any of this, but realized that the song is for those of us who care, as well as for those without whom he couldn't live. Keith lost his wife and children to divorce; his business was lost due to an embezzling partner. He was faced with building it all again from nothing, or living with the loss. It doesn't take a great imagination to empathize with his state of mind when he pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, none of his friends had any idea that he was even contemplating such a thing, as he didn't reveal the slightest indication of it. Depression... yes, to the extent expected by the circumstances. Suicide... big surprise.


Click
dfl & wmh - April 20, 2005;
music completed June 18, 2009


click

the spider builds her web
it's only me and you
the demon in my head
no hands are on the clock
i'm down upon my knees
my head upon the block

all the life-long struggles
to stay above the ground
the hopes and dreams are beaten flat
by the hammer falling down...

...and the hammer falls.
click

absent sense of humor
by the white coats and the blood
staring up mesmerized
by the naked light above
swinging like a pendulum
flying like a dove

years and lives and fortunes
pass away without a sound
time's just numbers on a clock
whose hands won't turn around

and the time is here at last
moments here on earth were fun
while this final one's a blast

...and the hammer falls.
click

damn it!
i'm not a droid
when I get annoyed
why can't you avoid spouting freud at me
i don't give a fuck
'cause lately i'm struck
how my luck is just stuck in the toilet so
don't tell me what to believe
i wear my heart on my sleeve
while you steal everything i've achieved

...and the hammer falls


btw, you might notice the "numbers on a clock" line bears a striking resemblance to the title of the last song I posted. Yeah, well... sometimes you get an idea in your head and you just can't get rid of it. Besides, I have it on good authority that it's OK to plagiarize yourself. FYI, it appeared in "Click" first. "Numbers on a Clock" was written almost five years later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Numbers on a Clock

Numbers on a Clock.ogg Numbers on a Clock.mp3
William told me once that he was writing a "time travel" song. Turns out this is it. I also found out that at the time he told me that, he also had one line written.

Sometimes I get a lyric from him and I sit on it for 20 years. Other times I get one and it's a song before I even finish reading it. This is the second variety. Originally it had 6 verses, all different. One of the verses was just one word long ("time"), which for brevity outdid even the Bible's shortest verse ("Jesus wept"). I couldn't do anything with that, or with the last verse, but there was a line that stuck with me... "which repeats itself". I went with that in the revision, managed to keep most of the remaining lines intact, though re-arranged, and only had to add one line. On odd thing about the music... each verse is different, but they all use the same basic accompaniment.

You might notice a little... er... repetition at the bottom. That's by obvious design. I thought it would be sickeningly boring, which it might be, but I haven't found it to be the case.



Numbers on a Clock
wmh 5.32.09 (13 o'clock)

Time doesn't have a lock
But it seems to have a key
It's only numbers on a clock
Except for Albert, you and me

If George was surely right
We should be clinging to the floor
But it's 2000 and 9
Not 1984

H.G. figured it out
No matter what you do
You can't change history
Unless you're willing to go through
Time which repeats itself
(or is it in the mind?)
Time which repeats itself
(it's nothing of that kind!)
Time which repeats itself
(da Vinci worked it out)
Time which repeats itself
(what is it all about?)

[instrumental]

Mathematics is a science
The science, a machine
For the future, past or present
It is nothing but a dream

If George was surely right
We should be headed for the door
But it's 2000 and 9
Not 1984

H.G. figured it out
No matter what you do
You can't change history
Unless you're willing to go through
Time which repeats itself
(or is it in the mind?)
Time which repeats itself
(it's nothing of that kind!)
Time which repeats itself
(da Vinci worked it out)
Time which repeats itself
(what is it all about?)
Time which repeats itself
(or is it in the mind?)
Time which repeats itself
(it's nothing of that kind!)
Time which repeats itself
(da Vinci worked it out)
Time which repeats itself
(what is it all about?)
Time which repeats itself
(or is it in the mind?)
Time which repeats itself
(it's nothing of that kind!)
Time which repeats itself
(da Vinci worked it out)
Time which repeats itself
(what is it all about?)

[instrumental]

Doves

Doves.ogg Doves.mp3
I happen to like this one. A LOT. A better funeral song/memorial than “Funeral for a Friend”, in my humble opinion. Here's the thing: this song works for anybody with a shred of spirituality, even if you don't know what the lyrics are about. You can imagine that the doves are guardian angels, or animal spirits, or whatever works for you.


So what's it about? Willy had a neighbor who was a WWII vet. Used to work in the garden a lot, and there were a pair of doves that nested in the eaves of his house overlooking the garden. When the old man died, the doves disappeared and haven't been seen since.

When I got this it was four verses. I repeated the “doves” verse after William heard the first draft of the song. The thing that really makes it work is the 1st bridge that segues into the instrumental chorus, which is designed to remind you of birds in flight.

I just wish I could play or sing it well enough.


Doves
wmh (October 9, 2005)

The blind Minah bird, he mocks the dawn
Caged all day, still talks and sings a song
Deaf to morning, noon and night
Dreams of freedom and takes to flight

The doves don’t roost here anymore
Not now nor the year before
The nest abandoned while we sleep
Take perch in Eden then retreats

[1st bridge]

Seems paradise resides beyond the blue
Where there’s no substitute for the truth
Takes wing in disappearing light
And lets heaven’s eagle be the guide

[instrumental chorus]

The doves don’t roost here anymore
Not now nor the year before
The nest abandoned while we sleep
Take perch in Eden then retreats

[2nd bridge]

And if it’s truly all been done
What’s the use then to carry on
To pass the Rorschach test of life
To comprehend and just survive

[1st bridge]

For paradise resides beyond the blue
Where there’s no substitute for the truth
Takes wing in disappearing light
And lets heaven’s eagle be the guide

[instrumental chorus]

In My Memory

InMyMemory.ogg InMyMemory.mp3
I participate in community theatre (Boogaloo Folk Life Productions), and this year's play (2009) is called "You Can't Live With 'Em", by Betsy Trakas, and you can probably guess from the title that the theme is relationships.

I'm playing Benny, a roofer who was suddenly struck blind some years ago. Subsequently (nine years ago) he lost his wife to cancer. At the time of the play he's happily single, until an old flame of twenty years ago (Jody) shows up and complicates things. This song was inspired by the play (though it's not a part of the play, which is why it's here). It's intended to be sung shortly after the two characters have re-discovered one another. It's intended to be a duet, though my demo has only me singing.


I quite like it.



In My Memory
dfl - May 6, 2009

[Benny]
It feels like another lifetime
When I saw the world through different eyes
When I held her near...and you weren't here
Who knew that things could change so quickly?

Now for the first time in nine years
I feel like I'm sitting in the dark
As I reminisce... as I think back
I didn't even know I was lonely

'Cause in my memory - it was a simpler time
In my memory - people were kind
In my memory - life was sublime
To my memories I go
When I need to leave the world behind

[Jody]
I've spent a lifetime wand'ring
Moving from place to empty place
Changing my name...changing my face
Looking for someone who can love me...

But now I'm here and you're so different,
Would you even like me if you knew
What I've been through... what I've had to do
I don't even know if I like myself

But in my memory - it was a happier time
In my memory - love was divine
In my memory - we had nothing but time
But if my memory is true
Benny, what happened to me and you?

[Benny]
In my memory - we weren't of one mind
[Jody]
In my memory - we weren't always kind
[Together]
In my memory - I must have been blind
But that was long ago
And I have missed you so
Would you like to go... and make a memory with me?

Note to the RIAA. I wrote this. So piss off.

Here in Union

HereInUnion.ogg HereInUnion.mp3
Union, South Carolina is my adopted home town, and my wife's legitimate home town. (Here's a map. I've centered it on the future site of our new performing arts center). I've now been living here, off and on, since 1989... 19 years as of this writing. For many years I commuted to and from work in Greensboro, NC... a six-hour round trip by car, which meant I had to drive up during the week and commute home for the weekends. Some of my co-workers wondered why I "put up with that."

The simple fact of the matter is that there are places to stay and places to live. Union is a place to live.

Perhaps this story explains what I mean. When I first moved here, one of the "town characters" was Bill "Oogie" Brown. Oogie was hydrocephalic -- mentally retarded. He couldn't read or write or hold down a normal job. When he was born the doctors didn't believe he would live much past the age of six, and indeed he was perpetually six years old. Nevertheless, Oogie survived and thrived here. He sold "insurance" (really, childish squiggles on a receipt, but when Oogie sold you insurance it wasn't at all like begging). He chose our jurors (a job normally reserved for a child or a blind person under state law). He was seemingly everywhere. Many people knew him best as our radio weatherman. Every morning the forecast was the same: "Sunshine! Sunshine! Sunshine!" It didn't matter if it was pouring rain; Oogie's eyes saw the sun; and we saw the sun, too, through Oogie's eyes.

In any large city in this country, there would be some institution where Oogie and others like him would be placed... for their "safety" and for their "own good." And there they would exist until they passed on. Union is a place where Oogie lived. Every car was his cab. Every house was his home. People cared for him, and they cared for him. And when he died in 2000 at 66 years of age, hundreds of people turned out for his funeral at Westside Baptist Church, and those that could not attend listened on WBCU radio. Because every last one of us lost a family member that day.

There must be other places like Union, but I don't know where they are.


Here In Union
dfl & wmh - Oct 13, 2002

I've been up, I've been down
I've been around
I've seen places in this world that people dream about
I've felt the tropic sun, and the English rain
But my traveling's done, and I've come home again

To a place where the people are glad to see me
No matter how long or far I've roamed
Here in Union, where the weather is always sunshine
Here in Union, where every hearth is home

And you can swim the Broad River
You can cross a city street
Soon you're shaking hands with the next friend you meet
Filled with faith in God above
Feel His grace and feel His love
Hospitality means no traveler's ever alone

And I believe when the angels come to see me
They won't have very far to take me home
'Cause in Union, every day is always sunshine
Here in Union, every hearth is home

'said here in Union, the weather is always sunshine, sunshine, sunshine
Here in Union, every hearth is home.

Ish Kabibble

IshKabibble.ogg IshKabibble.mp3

This is mostly just nonsense fun. The inspiration for it (believe it or not) was "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz. In such roundabout ways are songs made. Keep in mind, that's what William had in mind. What I had in mind was something a little different. I took it to be general advice about laughter as given by classic comedians of days gone by, so when writing the music I was thinking of The Three Stooges, or Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, and the Marx Brothers.

As usual, William writes the lyrics, but the music is my fault. William asked me why it ends so abruptly. I'd recently seen The Golden Compass, and was struck by the way the movie just ends. One minute the plot's moving along; the next the credits are rolling. It's as if the director's mother shouted, "Chriiiis! Time for diiiiinnneeeerrrr!!!" and everybody just stopped making a movie and went home. I figure if they can do that with a movie, I can do that with a song.

By the way, "Ish Kabibble" was the stage name of Merwyn Bogue, who was a musician and actor around the 1940s, and an inspiration to Jerry Lewis. So if you really have some need to find deep meaning in your songs, look at the first verse as a nod to slapstick comedy. I have no idea who "Elmer Dansk" might be; I think William may have just made him up. As for any other meaning... well, you'll never solve the riddle 'til you learn to play the game.


Ish Kabibble
wmh - June 30, 2008

Humpty Dumpty
Ish Kabibble
Learn to fall, laugh a little
Forget about the pain

Elmer Dansk
Rumplestiltskin
Be careful what you're wishin'
And never mind the rain

[bridge]
You can wonder and be wiser
You can spend and still be a miser
Be a pauper, be a kaiser
Then do it all again

I've been richer
I've been poorer
But I've never closed a door-er
On what I call a friend

Mary Poppins
Curley Howard
It doesn't really matter
'Cause it all works out in the end

[bridge]
You can bargain, you can wiggle
You can use the pawn or the fiddle
But you'll never solve the riddle
'Til you learn to play the game

If you're lonely
Learn to whistle
Cast a spell, sprach ein bissel
Maybe luck will lead to fame

Humpty Dumpty
Ish Kabibble
Learn to fall, laugh a little
Forget about the pain

[bridge]
You can bargain, you can wiggle
You can use the pawn or the fiddle
But you'll never solve the riddle
'Til you learn to play the game



Killin' Time

KillingTime.ogg KillingTime.mp3
I do a bit of community theatre here in my adopted hometown of Union, SC. Our first production was Turn the Washpot Down, and it included a sort of stomping, boring a capella piece called Killin' Time. While it was good for what it was, my wife complained that the original song didn't really represent teenage life in Union as she knew it. Rather, she said it was a Yankee's attempt to describe life in the rural South. This is an attempt to rectify that. She had a whole lot of input into this, so you could rightly say it's all about my wife's adolescent years. It's her song, really.

Everything in the song is real. There was (and is) a fellow named "Booger", and one of the favorite pasttimes was to sit in the parking lot of Heart's Drive-in restaurant and just talk. "The Little Mint" was the original name of Gene's Fine Foods on Hwy. 176 By-pass. And Gene does in fact drive a bright red pick-up truck with a giant foam rooster head and tail on it. And the Dairi-O wasn't a drive-in or drive-through... you'd walk up to an outside window, place your order, and go eat it in your car (or take it home).

A lot of kids do pretty much the same thing now, though they're as likely to park in the Wal-mart parking lot as Heart's. The point here is that it is a really slow, boring way to spend your lazy Summer days. So naturally, I chose to emphasize that by making the music about as bouncy and exciting as I could. Also, a major pastime (for the girls) here is clogging... which is a form of dance, if you're not aware of it. It's a bit similar to Irish dance. My own neice, Michelle Owen, was Adult Miss American Clogger 2005. (here's a picture. She's the one standing in the center of the third row with the name tag) So part of the goal here was to create a song suitable for clogging.


If you listen to the music, you'll hear that I use the word "swing" instead of "cruise". In one of our Boogaloo productions I performed this on stage (with guitar), and at that particular moment the videotape may have glitched. Though I and everyone in the audience swears otherwise, the tape clearly has me saying "Then up and away we go to screw by the Dairi-O". I thought a change was in order. Union's a friendly town. It's not that friendly.

Killing Time
dfl & wmh - Oct 13, 2004
Sittin' in the drive-in parking lot
Layin' on the hood of Booger's car
We're satisfied with what we've got
With who and where we are.
And when the talk gets kind of slow we'll cruise down Thompson Boulevard
Oh yeah, we're having lots of fun down home in Union!

Stoppin' by the Little Mint
'Cause the food is heaven sent
And I can't believe my luck
That's Gene in the chicken truck!
Then up and away we go to cruise by the Dairi-O!
Who said that life was slow down home in Union!

[instrumental]

Yeah, yeah, no reason and no rhyme
No lookin' for no crime
Just chillun killin' time down home in Union!
Yeah, yeah, no reason and no rhyme
No lookin' for no crime
Just chillun killin' time down home in Union!

Lawrenceville Station Blues

LawrencevilleStationBlues.ogg LawrencevilleStationBlues.mp3
All I really know about these lyrics is that a) Lawrenceville is in Georgia, and b) there are better places to be.


Lawrenceville Station Blues (demo)

wmh - January 20, 2008

If you're gonna step on me
Please do me one last act of kindness
Wipe off your boots, or shake off your shoes
'Cause you know good and damned well...
I got dem Lawrenceville Station Blues.

I know you think I'm just a country slice of souse meat
With nothin' left to lose
'Cause I have all of this, and the IRS
So don't bother me now
'Cause I got dem low down Lawrenceville Station Blues

[chorus]
So if you're gonna catch me on the tracks
You might as well search the whole nation
'Cause I've got a ticket to everywhere
Everywhere except that Lawrenceville Station

[instrumental]

[bridge]
We all went to work on this railroad
But what happens at the end of the line?
Do I get off now or waith 'til the whistle blows?
'Cause were it stops next nobody knows

It's getting very hard to have patience
Stuck here in the middle of the Lawrenceville Station
No locomotion and less motivation
Stranded in the bowels of the Lawrenceville Station

[chorus]
So if you're gonna catch me on the tracks
You might as well search the whole nation
'Cause I've got a ticket to everywhere
Everywhere except that Lawrenceville Station

[instrumental]


One for the Road

One%20for%20the%20Road.ogg One%20for%20the%20Road.mp3
This is a very early song, probably the second or third I ever put music to. At 17 years old, it was a theme (prostitution) that I knew absolutely nothing about, so I'd never been quite happy with the tune, at least. Probably too "tuneful," in my opinion. It's only recently that I figured out how it should sound. In my imagination it's performed in the unlikely manner of a Las Vegas lounge tune. Go figure. William tells me he always thought of it as a sort of happy song by a guy who's enjoyed a one night stand. He could have told me that 27 years ago.

Actually, the above begs the question, "OK, Dave, so when did you learn something about prostitution?" Answer: never, really. But fortunately I didn't write the lyrics. William did, so you can ask him. But against my better judgement I will tell you about the only hooker (I'm aware of) that I ever personally met. It should give you some idea of what a naive geek I am. I was working in downtown Ft. Lauderdale in the mid-90s. After work I drove past the courthouse (you may have seen it... it's where the media circus over Anna Nicole Smith's funeral took place). On the corner, outside the courthouse was a hitchhiker.

Sure, she was scantily clad, but so are all women in Ft. Lauderdale in the summer. Can't hold that against her. So I gave her a lift to Pompano Beach, which was on my way home. Making small-talk, she mentioned that she'd just gotten out of jail... for hitchhiking (huh?!). Seeing my briefcase, she asked if I was a lawyer. I said, "no," and asked what she did for a living. She told me she was in public relations... but she only did that when money was tight (again, huh?!). I was clueless enough that I didn't realize until I dropped her off that "public relations" and "hitchhiking" are both euphemisms for prostitution.

No, I didn't get her number, nor did I dally. But having figured it out on the way home, I didn't tell Lisa about giving the girl a lift. She's quicker on the uptake than I am about such things and jealous enough for the both of us. I'm not a total idiot.


One for the Road
wmh - c. 1980

Overtaken, overnight
By the girl who stalks the street
I can't believe I feel this way
She knocked me off my feet
"Follow me" she whispered
And I was blindly taken in
For the nights don't lie to us lucky guys
And I'll never see her again.

She was one for the road
From the bad road
Her price was high
As her every lie
But her morals very low
She was one for the road.

Cleaning up she sweeps the street
She does it all too well
For unsuspecting lonely guys
She'll kiss and never tell
They'll swear they're deep in love
But she knows it isn't so
She brings 'em 'round just to gun 'em down
While her conscience never shows.

She was one for the road
From the bad road
Her price was high
As her every lie
But her morals very low
She was one for the road.

She hides behind those ruby lips
And a face that paints a smile
She won't give in to anyone
No sir, that's not her style
So why's her life so empty
When she crowds in all those nights
Business men with cash to spend
Whom she'll leave without a fight.

She was one for the road
From the bad road
Her price was high
As her every lie
But her morals very low
She was one for the road

One for the road...
Just get yourself another girl
'Cause this one, boy
Is one for the road.

Oscar

Oscar.ogg Oscar.mp3
The "Oscar" of the title is, of course, the playwright Oscar Wilde.

Until Will sent me this, I had never heard of the quote, "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal." Now it's one of my favorites.

Writing the music was simply a matter of trying to capture the right "attitude" of both the subject and the lyrics. I hope it works.


Oscar
wmh - June 27, 2005

Oscar has gone wild again
Then he drives the ladies crazy
With a quick quip and a smile
And the calm charm of a daisy

I could run for days and miles
Not stopping for a rest and
I could never catch the wit
Of Oscar at his best and

I could say that I resisted all
Excepting for temptation
Whenever people side with me
I tend to take a new direction

Brilliant by breakfast time
I could use another drink and
Yet another day's begun
Already taxing me to think and

Sincerity, I've heard, is dangerous
In large doses, even fatal
A sure life-long lesson learned
As I crawled out of that cradle.

[Instrumental]

I could run for days and miles
Not stopping for a rest and
I could never catch the wit
Of Oscar at his best and

Sincerity, I've heard, is dangerous
In large doses, even fatal
A sure life-long lesson learned
As I crawled out of that cradle.

Palmetto Skyline

PalmettoSkyline.ogg PalmettoSkyline.mp3
This was written in May of 2005. If we didn't already have a state song, this would be our entry. It's laid back and a little slow without dragging. A summer day in Charleston. With daiquiris. It's also easy to play, which is a nicety.


Palmetto Skyline
wmh (May, 2005)

I've been living here so long
Day after day it's been the same old song
But with all it's Southern charm
This Palmetto Skyline has surely grown

A hop and a skip away
From sister Charlotte and Atlanta way
A coast line full of history
A million miles from Back Bay

It's not simple and it's not easy
This struggle through the times
Sometimes tricky, this harmony
And a strong belief
In the future of a bright Palmetto Skyline

You grow up, you learn the local ways
Learn hard work pays off, not crime
Then you recognize and realize
There's an ever-changing Palmetto Skyline

The streets, they aren't paved with gold
In fact, some are barely paved at all
A grey community, a mix of Black and White
Dark days past but the stars come out at night

[instrumental]
A grey community, a mix of Black and White
Dark days past but the stars come out at night

And it's not simple and it's not easy
This struggle through the times
Sometimes tricky, this harmony
And a strong belief
In the future of a bright Palmetto Skyline

The Journey

TheJourney.ogg TheJourney.mp3
An on-line friend of my wife's, "Turbulent_Seawater", recently died of cancer. My wife tells me that he was also a musician, and played music for his friends in their chatroom.
This is an instrumental piece to help him on his journey.

The Sad Song

TheSadSong.ogg TheSadSong.mp3
This is one of those rare instances where I'm the sole lyricist. Listen to this and you'll see why it's rare. This was written for my kids... when they pout, stamp, have a tantrum, hold their breaths, etc., it's time to sing The Sad Song. It's pretty impossible to stay sad when you hear this. I tried to get them to sing for this recording, but they wimped out.

Of course the overall theme is from the old children's verse, "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms," but I chucked almost all of the old lyrics. Then I chucked the old tune, gave it a new bouncy one, and a polka at that.

So it's like my grandfather's axe... the head's been replaced twice, and the handle five times, but it's still my grandfather's axe. This is the short version. The longer version just reprises the instrumental and repeats a verse. All the important stuff is in here. Actually, I'm joking. There is no important stuff in this song.

The Sad Song (demo)
dfl - July 3, 2003

I'm gonna be sad,
I'm gonna be sad
I don't want no one to play with me because I feel so bad
I'm gonna be sad,
I'm gonna be sad
I think I'm gonna eat some worms
I'm gonna catch a lot of germs
I'll get sick and I'll die 'cause I'm so sad.

I'm gonna be sad,
I'm gonna be sad,
It's gonna be the death of me
This sorry life I've had
I'm gonna be sad,
(it's gonna be sad)
I think I'm gonna eat some worms
I'm gonna catch a lot of germs
I'll get sick and I'll die 'cause I'm so sad.

[Instrumental with voiceover:]
Now it's time for the Sad Dance!
Dance slowly!
Keep your head down!
Shuffle around!
And above all else... keep time!

I'm gonna be sad,
I'm gonna be sad,
It's gonna be the death of me
This sorry life I've had
I'm gonna be sad,
(it's gonna be sad)
I think I'm gonna eat some worms
I'm gonna catch a lot of germs
I'll get sick and I'll die-- 'cause-- I'm-- so-- sad--------!

And you're gonna be sorry!


To Be Here With You

ToBeHereWithYou.ogg ToBeHereWithYou.mp3
This is one of a number of songs that are intended to be grouped as an album and used in a sort of musical story. Others in the group include The Journey and Tinuviel. This is one of those that just wrote itself very quickly. The feel of it should be vaguely Scottish. The file you'll find here is a quick and dirty live performance with just the piano. However, I think it would sound great with pipes and drums in the instrumentals.


To Be Here With You

wmh (Jan 21, 2002)

I could wait a thousand days
And just as many nights
Joust a million fools
To Be Here With You

I'd spin in my skin
For my armour's way too thin
But I'd do it all again
To Be Here With You

[instrumental]

There is no castle wall
That could be too very tall
To climb or to break through
To Be Here With You

I'd lay down my sword
As my honor is my word
If it's the last thing I ever do
I wanna be here with you.

[instrumental]

Come Along With Me

ComeAlongWithMe.ogg ComeAlongWithMe.mp3 ComeAlong.pdf
This was written especially for William's marriage to Kimberly. I normally don't do very well on commissioned pieces, but I like this song very much. I would love to hear someone do a better job performing it... so much so I'm including a PDF with the sheet music here. William had a very specific sound in mind (something very"Elton Johnish", like"Friends"). We sat there at his dad's house and tried things out on the Steinway until we had this about finished. It was written for a June wedding.

(P.S. this ain't the easiest thing to sing. Don't be surprised if I transpose it down a few notes and replace these sound files later.)


Come Along with Me (demo)
wmh January 30th, 1998

We've traveled our separate highways far too long
But these crossroads have joined us here at last
And as Springtime ends, our new life begins
As two futures come together as one past

So let go now, and Come Along With Me
Stand beside me, and not behind
For the world outside lies before us
And you know that there has never been a better time

Now we're taking our final steps alone
The journey ahead requires a steady path
Winter's a far, far better fate arrived together
As two lovers' lifetime dreams are joined at last

So let go now, and Come Along With Me
Stand beside me, and not behind
For the world outside lies before us
And you know that there has never been a better time

Oh yeah, and you know that there will never be a better time.


Billy Jean (parody)

BillyJeanParody.ogg BillyJeanParody.mp3
I can't listen to a song on the radio without messing with the lyrics. Some are easier than others, and Michael Jackson's songs have always been pretty easy. I suppose that's why Weird Al has such a good time with him.


In any case, I noticed that Weird Al didn't touch "Billie Jean". Can't imagine why. So I decided to right that wrong. Of course, I didn't make it about food. There's probably some deep psychological reason why it twisted this way.

I've done dozens, maybe hundreds of parodies, but I usually forget them as soon as I write them. My way of saying that creativity lives, regardless of the incentive to focus it in any particular direction or write it down. That is, creativity lives without incentive, but the product of it may not.(I hadn't even thought about posting this until this morning. Thanks to John Carroll for the incentive.) Oh... and I know it's spelled "Billie Jean". This isn't that song.

Update: I originally said I wasn't going to record this at all. You all know how the tune goes and can apply the words yourself. What can I say? I was bored. The vocal track on this sucks, 'cause I really didn't want to sing it that loud (I recorded it at 1am) and because THIS IS A DRAFT. I'm not even sure how parts of it at the end go... I'd have to go back and listen to the Michael Jackson version before re-recording the vocals. And honestly, I'm unlikely to do this any better than I've already done it. The purpose of this track isn't to show off my the non-existent awesomeness of my Michael Jackson impersonation, it's just to give you some idea of how the song goes so you can be inspired to rush off and do it better yourself. As it is, I can't believe I spent any time on this piece of shit.

I tracked down a karaoke version of the song, but it was on YouTube. YouTube won't let you download anymore, and the recording industry has a corncob up their collective rear, so I had to capture the video stream, which turned out to be in Flash format that was not anything I could use, then convert it to an AVI video file that I could ALMOST use, then extract JUST the audio to a .WAV file and convert that to .MP3, which I COULD use. Then I could pull it into Audacity and mix in the vocal track, which sounded horrible (having been sung semi-quietly in the dead of night so as not to wake anyone), so I added echo and tried to smooth it out a little bit before exporting this horrendous mess to torture you with. I wasn't about to record twice.


It's got a lot of bass in it so it sounds better if you wear headphones or run it through a stereo rather than play it though regular computer speakers. (That's "better" as in eating raw turnips is better than eating fresh dung.)

I'm so ashamed.


Billy Jean (parody)
full version

Ooo, I was dating a beauty queen
Such a kinky scene!
And with the lipstick and Vaseline®
She was the one
On the bed, on the floor, on the ground.
She said I was the one
On the bed, on the floor, on the ground.

Then to a calling from up above
Oh, I lost my love
She said to me, "Dave I've had enough
Foolin' around.
So bye-bye. Moving to. Holy ground."

My preacher always told me
Be careful what you do
Don't go around payin' for your love
And so I have to ask you
Now what else could I do
To satisfy my lust?
I think I'm 'bout to bust!

Hey, hey!

Billy Jean is made of rubber
She's just a doll I blew up Tuesday for fun!
'Cause my girl became a nun!
Got no air in my lungs
Since my girl became a nun!

She left me breathless in every way
Ooh, I have to say
Just to inflate her took half a day
I don't have a pump
And she's dry as a bone when we hump.
Uh, so take my strong advice
Just remember to bring your K-Y®!
Bring K-Y®!

The Reverend Mother just looked at me
Said, “She don't want thee”
She sent me home to my Billy Jean
And we went down
On the bed, on the floor, on the ground.

My preacher always told me
Be careful what you do
Don't go around payin' for your love
And so I have to ask you
Now what else could I do
To satisfy my lust?
I think I'm 'bout to bust!

Hey, hey!

Billy Jean is made of rubber
She's just a doll I blew up Tuesday for fun!
'Cause my girl became a nun!

No, No, Now Uh
No, No, No, No, No
Now, Billy Jean is made of rubber
She's just a doll I blew up Tuesday for fun!
'Cause my girl became a nun!
No, No
Got no air in my lungs
Since my girl became a nun!
Hee Hee Hee

Musical break (7 measures)
Whhhhh! Whhhh! (inflating noises)

Got no air in my lungs
Since my girl became a nun!
No, No, No

Billy Jean is made of rubber
She's just a doll I blew up
No, it ain't just Tuesday, baby!

No, No, No
No, No

'Cause my girl became a nun!
No, No

You know what you did
breakin' my heart baby!

Billy Jean is made of rubber!
Billy Jean is made of rubber!
Billy Jean is made of rubber!
Billy Jean is
I call her Billy Jean!
It's such a kinky scene!


Note to the RIAA. This is a parody. PA-RO-DY. Look it up. Specifically, this song is a social commentary on the overtly sexual themes of the original Michael Jackson song. "Not my son", indeed. While selling sex to the masses we're to believe that the song's protagonist is an innocent victim who only dates saints and takes his preacher's advice. Mmm-hmm.

New Format

I just was a little tired of hand-coding a blog, so here we go... I'll start by re-posting info. If you are currently subscribed to an RSS feed, you're going to need to subscribe to the new one.