Search This Blog

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Song for A Sunday Night

When I was a teen I discovered new artists all the time.  Back then I could get three albums for ten bucks at Record City on Oakton Street in Skokie and there was Rose Records on Wabash in downtown Chicago.  I still have all the albums.  God they're heavy to move.  The older I've gotten the less I look for new artists.  Funny, I'm not the same with books.  Anyways, listening to tonight's song has made me feel like rambling on and on.  I discovered Amanda Palmer recently while doing one of my "Blow Out the Candles" posts, so they are good for something.  Here are two videos of the same performance from just a couple of months ago at the British Library.  In case you don't recognize him, the man holding the lyrics is Neil Gaiman who wrote The Sandman graphic novels.  He's also Amanda's husband.

sid vicious played a four-string fender bass guitar and couldn’t sing
and everybody hated him except the ones who loved him
a ukulele has four strings, but sid did did not play ukulele
he did smack and probably killed his girlfriend nancy spungen

if only sid had had a ukulele, maybe he could have been happy
maybe he would not have suffered such a sad end
he maybe would have not done all that heroin instead
he maybe would’ve sat around just singing nice songs to his girlfriend

so play your favorite cover song, especially if the words are wrong
‘cos even if your grades are bad, it doesn’t mean you’re failing
do your homework with a fork
and eat your fruit loops in the dark
and bring your etch-a-sketch to work
and play your ukulele

ukulele small and forceful
brave and peaceful
you can play the ukulele too it is painfully simple
play your ukulele badly, play your ukulele loudly
ukulele banish evil
ukulele save the people
ukulele gleaming golden on the top of every steeple

lizzie borden took an axe, and gave her father forty whacks
then gave her mother forty-one, and left a tragic puzzle
if only they had given her an instrument, those puritans
had lost the plot completely
see what happens when you muzzle
a person’s creativity
and do not let them sing and scream
and nowadays it’s worse ‘cause kids have automatic handguns
it takes about an hour to learn how to play the ukulele
about same to teach someone to build a standard pipe bomb

so play your favorite cover song, especially if the words are wrong
‘cos even if your grades are bad, it doesn’t mean you’re failing
do your homework with a fork
and eat your fruit loops in the dark
and bring your flask of jack to work
and play your ukulele

ukulele, thing of wonder
ukulele, wand of thunder
you can play the ukulele, too
in london and down under
play joan jett, and play jacques brel
and eminem and neutral milk hotel
the children crush the hatred
play your ukulele naked
and if anybody tries to steal your ukulele, let them take it

imagine there’s no music, imagine there are no songs
imagine that john lennon wasn’t shot in front of his apartment
imagine if john lennon had composed “imagine” on the ukulele
maybe folks would have more clearly got the message

you may think my approach is simple-minded and naïve
like if you want to save the world then why not quit and feed the hungry
but people for millennia have needed music to survive
and that’s why i’ve promised john that i will not feel guilty

so play your favorite beatles’ song
and make the subway fall in love
they’re only $19.95, that’s not a lot of money
play until the sun comes up
and play until your fingers suffer
play LCD soundsystem songs on your ukulele
quit the bitching on your blog
and stop pretending art is hard
just limit yourself to three chords
and do not practice daily
you’ll minimize some stranger’s sadness
with a piece of wood and plastic
holy fuck it’s so fantastic, playing ukulele
eat your homework with a fork
and do your fruit loops in the dark
bring your etch-a-sketch to work
your flask of jack
your vibrator
your fear of heights
your nikon lens
your mom and dad
your disco stick
your soundtrack from “karate kid”
your ginsu knives
your rosary
your new rebecca black CD
your favorite room
your bowie knife
your stuffed giraffe
your new glass eye
your sousaphone
your breakfast tea
your nick drake tapes
your giving tree
your ice cream truck
your missing wife
your will to live
your urge to cry
remember we’re all going to die


  1. I like Amanda Palmer, mainly with the two Dresden Dolls albums. But this was fun too!

    I have to agree with the discovering of new artists. I know when I was in high school and college I listened to a lot of radio and picked up a bunch of albums, I had friends mentioning artists, and (after college) went to several concerts that introduced me to even more. But these days interesting music doesn't get much airplay. The good alternative station in Atlanta disappeared for a while, and really music moved away from showing artistic talent to having catchy simple beats. But I guess this isn't the place to have music discussions! (And there still are some good new artists getting out every once in a while.)

  2. Thanks for commenting Ryan. It seems that this blog is dying from lack of interest. And we can have any kind of discussion we darn well please here.

  3. I wouldn't say that. I don't have much to say for the regular birthday posts, but they're fun to see. It's a slow time of year anyway, I've noticed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...