Friday, May 30, 2008

Santa, Santa

Years ago, before I declared myself a lyricist, but felt like scribbling some things, I wrote a joke-and-pun-laden Santa song. I recalled the famous song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," which ended with the sweet revelation that Santa Claus was really Daddy groping Mommy on the sofa.

I idly wondered if the reaction would have been similarly benign if it wasn't Mommy but one's girlfriend instead. So from just the title, "I Saw My Girlfriend Kissing Santa Claus" I whipped up a whole story with cascading choruses.

My friend Brian at the time was half of a folk-singer duo, and I persuaded him, as a lark, to set the song to music. We performed it at a couple of cabaret evenings.

Brian is on a break from music, to concentrate on his career as high-end woodworker, and his love of theatre (among other things), so we never got around to making a decent recording.
Years go by and I finally go to a small studio (with Brian's permission) and get it done. With the help of Darryl Gregory of Blue Cave Studios, we have The Santa, Santa song...


Sunday, May 18, 2008


This year I plan to enter many competitions. I don't expect to do this every year, but after winning the ISC and GASC, I want to show off several of my other songs and see if I can get some honorable mentions in different genres next year.

The first competition I am entering is the Indie International competition, an all-green comp (all entries are online only). For this competition I will enter "The Emperor" (Pop), "Yellow Mailbox" (Acoustic) and "Vancouver" (Rock).

This competition requires a separate profile page for each collaboration that enters, so I am building those. The "Vancouver" page, with bio information and me and "Wolf" of Wolf Music is here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Demos in the works

I have signed a contract with Blue Cave Studios to do three acoustic demos, which should be ready by the end of the month. Blue Cave is run by Darryl Gregory, a member of the dormant band Swanky Hotel. The other two members of Swanky Hotel are personal friends, so I was happy to sign with Darryl to get a few songs recorded.

These will not be highly commercial songs. "Queen of Multitasking" is a comic novelty song in the Christine Lavin vein, and "Rumplestiltzkin: Dead at 95" is a folk song oddity that I'm just fond of. I've written the melody and basic chord structure for each of them, as they're simple enough musically.

"I Saw My Girlfriend Kissing Santa Claus (Santa, Santa)" (usually called "the 'Santa, Santa' song) was written many years ago by my friend Brian Boland. It's a "Johnny B. Goode"-style comic number with a flood of puns and jokes. It's about as perfect a "novelty song" as you can get.

I'll look forward to posting these on the website when they're done.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Whether I like it or not

It appears that I will be blogging, whether I really want to or not. Such is life in the world of music.

As an "internationally-known, prize-winning" lyricist, I have to have something on my home page, so will keep my thoughts as current as possible. I'll use this blog to report news on songs -- completed, demoed, recorded, etc. -- and occasionally muse about lyric-writing and song-writing. I will extol lyrics and lyricists I admire, and will of course rant when necessary.

The title of this blog comes from a favorite play, TRAVESTIES by Tom Stoppard. This play is about the role of the artist in society, and the interaction between art and revolution -- and the necessity of both. Art to memorialize society and revolution to transform it. The play is narrated by Henry Carr, a senile man, remembering his (mostly fictional) interactions in Zurich with James Joyce (artist), Vladimir Lenin (revolutionary) and Tristan Tzara (a revolutionary artist).

This is the last line of the play, as Carr wraps things up with his great insight for the evening:

"I learned three things in Zurich during the war. I wrote them down. Firstly, you're either a revolutionary or you're not, and if you're not you might as well be an artist as anything else. Secondly, if you can't be an artist, you might as well be a revolutionary...

"I forget the third thing...."

And that pretty much wraps it up for me as well.