Saturday, May 27, 2006

Skilling's Confession

. . . So, I'm on my way uptown on the BMT last night, and someone across the car is reading the Nyok Post, with its blaring headline about the Lay-Skilling-Enron verdict, and the following pops into the noggin, to the tune of von Tilzer's Take Me Out to the Ball Game:

Take me out of the line-up;
Send me back to the bench:
Hostile takeovers and poison pills—
Frankly, folks, I was fed to the gills!
So I cooked the books down at Enron,
And Lay did roughly the same;
So we're gilt . . . gilt . . . guilty of playing
The old shell game.

Lyric © Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Short and sweet, yeah. And the scansion of Hostile takeovers is a bit funky. But, as Tojo used to say, sosumi.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Baby Steps

A thought (count it: one) finally crossed my mind this week. Hardly inspired—nothing but a (fourth, is it?) advert for Danny's, where I occasionally sing my stuff. And not as good as the earlier ones, in part because it wasn't tossed off with as little effort. Compromises on the vocabulary riddle the thing until it's the lyrical equivalent of Emmenthaler. And, once again, I turn to George M. Cohan for my tune; this time, Yankee Doodle Dandy. The adverts for Danny's have a common subtext: "Hey, folks! Let's party like it's 1899!"

Mercifully, it is short:

Try a swanky do at Danny's;
Toast our Independence Day.
For real, live music, they've got Jerry Scott—
Trust me, he knows how to play!
There's icy Absolut™ from Sweden,
And rum from tropical St. Croix;
Danny's menu takes the cake—
And that ain't macaroni!
Come down to Danny's and enjoy!

Lyric © Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Well, it ain't much, but it's something.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Seventeen days since last I posted. Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness? So Artemus Ward asked, and so ask I.

In a word, writersblock. The half-arsed Lewd, Gory and Crude was a harbinger of nothingness to come: no songs have been haunting me; no ideas have been percolating in my subconscious; no taglines have popped up unbidden. My daily commute, heretofore spent gazing into the middle distance and allowing my jaw to slacken and my mind to wander, is now spent doing the London Times crossword in the Nyok Post, followed by the medium su doku, the easy su doku, the maddeningly ill-set Scrabble-gram, and, finally, the little puzzle that asks you to find a certain number of five-letter words in a given word. By the time I've finished the last, I've reached my desk, and another day is shot to hell. The sad truth seems to be that I'm simply songed out. Some new approach is needed. But what?

Next Saturday, I meet my DAMP again, in hopes of jump-starting the demo CD that got derailed after I learned that compulsory mechanical licenses could not be got for song parodies through Harry Fox. We've decided that the publishers' lack of response to our direct inquiries for royalty information indicates that they can't be bothered with nickels and dimes, so we'll just go ahead and pay 'em later, if they ever send in a bill.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nothing to Chauffeur It

I don't know what that subject line means, so don't ask.

I've tried to tidy up Lewd, Gory and Crude, but with little success. Frankly, my heart's not in it. Part of the problem is that I have no really distinguished objection to rap music, and have been unable to feign one. True, rap lyrics are unintelligible, rap tunes aren't, the rap POV is self-important, pretentious and so not-over-itself, the subject matter is (as indicated) lewd, gory and crude, and the volume is ear-splitting. But these same objections apply equally to rock 'n' roll. So my wee effort, while seeming to be out-of-date by about ten or twenty years, is actually out-of-date by about forty or fifty years. Still, here's the latest draft, which changes all of two lines:

Lewd, gory and crude—
Rap music's foundation.
What used to be boo'd
Now rates an ovation.

Hip hop on the Hit Parade;
Rap 24/7.
What vacuous twit betrayed
Andre Previn?

Lewd, gory and crude—
That's rap, in a nutshell.
Song-plugging's become
One right-in-the-gut shell.

Here's my diagnosis, folks:
Pop music is screwed.
It's lewd, gory and
Rude, sleazy and
Crude, scuzzy and

Lyric © 2006 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

No second chorus has suggested itself, beyond Tin Pan Alley in lieu of Andre Previn.

Meanwhile, a parody of Harline's Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (an Actor's Life for Me) has not only suggested itself, but written itself about as quickly as I can type:

George W. Bush
Has lived a life of cush:
A silver spoon in his mouth at birth;
A family with a high net worth;
And now, he's king of the bloomin' earth—
Now, that's a life of cush!

George W. Bush
Deserves to get the push.
He thinks himself a conquistador
And drags us into a distant war,
But can't explain what the war is for.
Let's give the guy the push!

George W. Bush
Can osculate my tush.
It might be you, or it might be I,
On whom his minions propose to spy;
But you can bet that it ain't Dubai.
Well, he can kiss my tush!

Lyric © 2006 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

A word of warning: don't attempt to infer my politics from that little number. If the man's name had been "Al W. Gore," I'd have just as soon written the thing about him.
Ultra Linking