Saturday, November 19, 2005

Marking Time Constructively (Sort Of)

This afternoon, my feet being presently in a condition unfit for the purpose to which feet are commonly put, I whiled away the time between a much-too-modest lunch with my daughter and a much-too-modest rehearsal with my DAMP at the Barcelona Bar, near 55th and 8th. There, I worked out the dummy lyric for an idea I had yesterday to Kalmar and Ruby's Three Little Words, given below.

A lackadaisical midi file of the song is here; a better tempo is here and a really wild tempo is here, but the syncopations of the last two completely screw up my lyric.

Thank God it's Friday,
When life should begin.

(The last time
I can recall
That this was my day,
Madonna was "in.")

I'm faced with
Saturday's chores,
But not its glamor;
Sundays, of course,
I nurse a katzenjammer.

If it's so potent,
Then why doesn't God
Come through?

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Country Is Going To The Dogs

Last night, I attended the CMA Awards at Madison Square Garden, in anticipation of which I began a parody of Roger Miller's King of the Road, which, alas, produced a writer's block the likes of which I haven't felt for over a year:

Trailers are now refined--
Chandeliered and carpet-lined.
Every amenity--
The taps give both "H" and "C."
But if
You ever visit one,
Here's a word of warning, son:
They've got
But one thing:
Bring a commode.

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

As I say--last night, I attended the CMA Awards; and the resultant aesthetic hangover this morning prompted the following terse lament, set to the refrain of Grand Old Ivy, from Frank Loesser's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying:

Grand Ole Opry?
Lord, what a laugh!
Grand Ole Opry--
Absolutely naff.
"Grand Ole Opry"?
Try Grand Guignol.
Rock; rock; rock;
And then--some rock 'n' roll.

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Ah! Back to show tunes and Popular Standards. I feel a little better now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Unexpected Inspiration

On Saturday night, I ventured into the Heart of Darkness and attended a Hallowe'en party at Danny's Grand Sea Palace on West 46th Street. Earlier that week, I'd composed a commercial for the do to the tune of Cannon's Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?, which the pianist-in-residence, Jerry Scott, saw fit to perform in the days leading up to the kick-off:

Won't you come down to Danny's
This Hallowe'en?
Trust me—you can't go wrong.
You think this joint is jumpin'?
Well, stick around—
They party all night long!
Check out the spooky costumes—
They'll creep you out.
(Here's one made up like Charlie Sheen!)
And how can you not
Enjoy Jerry Scott
At Danny's freaky Hallowe'en?
(It's just uncanny)
At Danny's freaky Hallowe'en!
(You bet your fanny)
At Danny's freaky Hallowe'en!

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Jerry Scott, incidentally, has a repertoire that could choke a horse, a technique to match, a charming persona and a heart of gold, and has won numerous cabaret awards.

In the course of the evening, I found myself next door to a voluptuous blonde named Myrna Lee, a crossover singer-songwriter (that's crossover as in rock-to-country, not transvestism), who told me that she'd composed a parody of Leigh Harline's When You Wish Upon a Star, and that she'd actually had the nerve to accost the lyricist, Ned Washington, and sing it to him. Now, that's the kind of chutzpah I wish I had in me. I took an instant shine to her in consequence.

(On Saturday, Myrna was dressed as either Thelma or Louise; she wasn't sure which, and her chum, Elaine, was dressed as either Louise or Thelma, with similar incertitude.)

The gist of Myrna's parody--she didn't favor me with all of it--was that, when one wishes upon a star, one's wish is never fulfilled. An amusing, if simple, approach to parodying the song. But she made me see that the song had potential, and a few lines occurred to me on my way to pick up my daughter in Hoboken yesterevening. After checking the sheet music this morning so as to commit the release sufficiently to memory to allow me to work on the hoof, I excreted the following very, very rough draft:

When you dish a megastar,
No report is too bizarre:
Drug abuse, bulimia or touched-up hair.

Open any two-bit rag;
See Jean-Claude Van Damme in drag.
(What they do in private isn't our affair.)

Fourth Estate!
You've gone too bloody far,
When you besmirch a star
By leaking scandal.

Ashley Olsen—Britney Spears
Frankly bore us all to tears.
Yeah, we've got a "right to know"—
We just

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

I think tears works better, if, instead of singing it on the high C, as written, one reaches for the E above it. At present, the whole lacks cohesion, but perhaps it will improve with age.
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