Once and Future Songs (1-2)

August 22, 2009

(In this “column” anything goes as long as it has to do with a song.)

[Excerpt from our newsletter.]

Chicken Go!

My wife, Sherry, has a knack of making any song funny… with the common effect of ruining any serious feelings associated with the song.  For instance, when Emily was deeply ensconced in ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, the latter’s 2000 song “I Want it That Way” (written by (Max Martin, Andreas Carlsson) became “I Want a Milkshake.”  No one in the family ever sang it differently (and frankly, I had to turn to Google to figure out the real name of the song for this entry.)

From a songwriter’s retreat in Colorado, I came back with Bob Hillman’s great song, “Anywhere” and Emily and I started working on it for our repertoire.   The chorus includes the line, “she can go anywhere she wants to…” It didn’t take long before my wife parodied that line into, “chicken go anywhere she wants to.”   After that, we could not perform the song without cracking up (sorry, Bob.)

Final “Sherry says…” (for now, not forever): Hearing Ben Harper sing, “She wears diamonds on the inside,” my wife commented, “He’s just saying that so he doesn’t have to buy her diamonds for the outside.”  (Hey, that idea might work in a country song…?)

Hasta la vista and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida


When You Fall Out of the Boat

August 6, 2009

(This is a feature article from our website.)

When Emily was eight-years-old, we traveled to Colorado for a family reunion. (Incidentally, during that trip I finished the song, Listen to Me Breathe, which is on The 15th Floor’s album, From the Dining Room.) My father was undergoing chemotherapy for advanced colon cancer and this was his last hurrah. One of the highlights of the reunion was a river rafting trip.


Because of the chemo, my father was not feeling particularly well, but stoically managed to participate fully and enjoy himself—I am sure well entertained by our bumbling rafting expertise. Emily, by far the youngest to participate, was a bit afraid and on the drive to Fort Collins from Estes Park took a lot of convincing it would be fun and very safe. At the rafting company headquarters, all decked out in wet suits and ready to go, we congregated outside for the final set of instructions. The speaker, one of the guides, started with these words: “When you fall out of the boat…” Emily heard no more. Totally freaked, she headed toward the changing rooms, feeling tricked and betrayed.

At a point, when I had resolved to stay behind with her, our friendly neighborhood river rafting guide took over and performed a miracle. He made an eight-year-old distraught girl trust him and willingly go where no one in her family thought she would ever go—into the boat. She did not fall out of the boat. As a matter of fact (and pride), ours was the only boat that did not capsize, i.e. tip over, dumping everyone into the raging river! So it goes. She trusted the right guy.

This became a song, but has since been forgotten. Oh well.

Once and Future Songs (v.1,1)

July 31, 2009

[Excerpted from our newsletter]

(In this “column”, anything goes as long as it has to do with a song.)

Driving back from Kansas City, my wife came up with two great ideas for song titles. The first, “I Threw My Cell Phone Again”, and of course the sequel, “Hole in the Wall.” Refreshingly NOT your usual love songs. Along those same lines (i.e. not your typical love song), she is working on a song idea I really like; so far it starts:

“Sometimes the best love stories are not about candy and flowers.
Sometimes the best love stories don’t have to be about talking for hours.”