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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
Don't
Care
.

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.

2 Comments:

Blogger clandis said...

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10:59 AM  
Blogger npetrikov said...

Ah, clandis, my dear old cabbage, must you be so sordid? Why must it always be about money? What of Art?

Yes, come to think of it: what of it?

11:05 AM  

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