iTom: Free Music From Tom Smith

Music in every style -- except dull. Tom Smith, the World's Fastest Filker and the prototypical geek folk-rocker, releases new music for free download on a regular basis. (It was a song a week for almost a year.) You can subscribe to the RSS feed, purchase a better-quality MP3 of the song, or purchase three months' worth as a downloadable album.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

005: Pluto, or The Old God Laments

Last week, with great fanfare and foofrah, one of our planets was downgraded.

Pluto, discovered in 1930, has always been, like its divine namesake, The One Not Much Talked About. Small, quirky, eccentric, the last one picked for softball games. People kept trying to find a tenth planet, Planet X, as if Pluto somehow didn't deserve to be the most far-flung member of our solar system. Naming the dog after him didn't help.

Thing is, Pluto was the one ancient god everyone had to face. Not necessarily the most important, nor the most powerful... but the final one, the one who watched over you after you died. He commanded respect simply for that.

As I was getting the arrangement ready for this song, a note of serendipity struck: August 28, this past Monday, is believed to be the date in 474 A.D. when Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by barbarians, bringing to an end the Western Roman Empire.
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Pluto, or The Old God Laments
Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike License

I was tall
I was great
And my fall has been dis-
Turbing as of late
Now I'm bent
Now I'm broke
And they speak of me as
If I were a joke

I was cold
I was strong
I was feared as if the
Work I do was wrong
Now I'm old
Now I'm grey
Now I find I miss the
Distant light of day

In my prime,
I stole the spring from the summer,
In my time,
I passed judgment with a will
But barbarians
Threw down my temples,
And they keep
On doing it still.

I was Death
Dark and proud
Hardly ever speaking,
Never speaking loud,
I was Lord,
It was true,
I received the mortals'
Tribute as my due.

I was blind
I was vain
I stood by and watched
Our influence wane
Now we're dust
Now we're bones
Living only as the
Names of cosmic stones.

A god's life
Depends on his worship,
Without worship,
There can be no god,
And although my
Time is long ended,
I still am
Remembered -- how odd.

Though I'm shrunk
I have power
And not one of you can
Name my final hour
Without warmth,
Without friend,
Without anything, just
Waiting for the end.

I've no fight,
No great cause,
I've no fantasy I'll
Be what I once was,
Still I rule
People look at me and
Wonder what's beyond
And as long as you keep looking...
I'll go on.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

004: Can't Get The File To Play

In many ways this is "On The PC 3" -- just a silly idea I got about something with which I have absolutely no experience, nope nope nope nope nope. Like "Cthulhu Lite FM", this one had to be revised to be, y'know, funny. At first I didn't want to throw in all the names of actual programs, because I felt that, as with "On The PC", they dated the song; but then I realized it's something of a time capsule anyway, and throwing in the names was perfectly fine (as long as the producers of all that fine software understand I wasn't really ragging on them). The direct musical influences are "Twistin' The Night Away" and "Palisades Park". Oh, and, it was my exec producer Leslie Larkins' idea to put in the definition of insanity, and it really is appropriate.

One more thing: Instead of the "Buy Now" buttons, I'm just linking back to my main site,, and using the shopping cart there. The way the buttons resolved on this page was ugly, and if you haven't heard me before I've got some other stuff you might like.
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Can't Get The File To Play
Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike License

I got myself a new music file,
A song I've wanted for quite a while,
I load it into my computer's player,
Then proceed to tear out my hair.

'Cause the file don't want to load,
And then it asks for an access code,
Something 'bout digital management rights,
What's with all these blinking lights?

I can't get, no, I can't get,
Can't get the file to play,
I can't get, no, I can't get,
Can't get the file to play.

I just want to hear the stupid song,
Maybe the (INSERT TECH) went wrong,
Or am I missing (YOUR TECH NAMED HERE),
I thought I upgraded just last year.

I found a program, its web page swore
It'd play everything and more,
But I let loose an abhorrant scream,
I couldn't get a Bittorrent stream,

I can't get, no, I can't get,
(Windows media couldn't be greedier)
Can't get the file to play-ay,
(Quicktime is slow today)
I can't get, no, I can't get, I
(And Music Match has only one catch, it)
Can't get the file to play.

I can't get, no, I can't get, I
(Winamp's a wimp and Real Player simply)
Can't get the file to play-ay,
(locks up and fades away)
I can't get, no, I can't get, I
(Wanted to Shoutcast, iTuned it out)
Can't get the file to play.

They say the definition of insanity,
Is repeating actions thinking they'll end differently.
I must not have a player program worth its salt,
'Cause there's no chance it might be the file's fault.

I spent two days on the Internet,
Downloading every codec I could get,
Thirty-seven DivX versions, all unique,
File types that won't exist until next week.

A hundred reboots later, I'm done,
'Cause nothing helps the damn thing run,
You know, it just makes me want to scream,
I only want to hear the Spongebob theme.

I can't get, can't get,
Can't get the file to play-ay,
I can't get, no, I can't get,
I can't get the file to play.

Then came a day when I found some smut,
The best file description ever, but,
Every single time I tried,
I got a blue screen and a kitten died.

I got the file but it took a week,
I hit the play button and I freaked,
Instead of Sluts Gone Wild 7,
It's a portugese episode of Seventh Heaven.

I can't get, can't get,
(I feel the hate of using Creative)
Can't get the file to play-ay,
(Roxio, go away)
I can't get, no, I can't get, I
(And Quintessential makes me go mental)
Can't get the file to play.

No, no, I
Can't get, no, I can't get,
(Ace is disgraceful, Core is a bore)
Can't get the file to play-ay,
(And Media Monkey is gay)
I can't get, no, I can't get, I
(I lost my temper, working with MPlayer)
Can't get the file to play.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

003: Death By Wubbie

I am delighted beyond belief that lovely young women think I'd like to partake of their womanly attributes in a bawdy yet just about barely socially acceptable manner. Problem is, I usually end up ony feeling embarassed. Add this to your typical RenFaire weather, i.e., high temperature and humidity, and it just gets kinda weird.

And, yes, I've seen definitions of "wubbie" ranging from cute kids to security blankets. I am informed by not one, not two, but three fine Rennie wenches that "wubbie" is a perfectly acceptable term. "Woobie", on the other hand, is altogether different, as is "wooblie". And I was originally gonna call it "Death By Boobies", but I knew the birdwatchers out there would, erm, have my head.

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Death By Wubbie
Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license

Well, I hied me down to the Renaissance Faire,
For to have a fairish day.
There were lots of Renaissance Faire folk there,
Dressed in their special way.

There was Good King Richard in a golden crown,
His Good Queen Anne in a satin gown,
But as they went by, I was spun 'round...
And a wench grabbed my head, I was pulled face down
and shoved against two hot clammy mounds
Next thing I knew I was on the ground...
The paramedic looked apprehensive.

Death by Wubbie, a sad and awful fate,
Death by Wubbie, I hope you can relate,
They're packaged by volume and by weight...
And every day is a freshness date.

As soon as I could without seeming rude,
I escaped those helpful folk,
And went looking for standard Renaissance food
Like nachos, pizza, and Coke.

I got a couple of Scottish eggs,
And one of those roasted turkey legs,
And a cup of coffee well past the dregs...
When the wench took my money, her eyes flashed green
And she bellowed "Twenty pounds for the queen!"
And she grabbed my hair and did something obscene...
I'm feeling a bit defensive.

Death by Wubbie, where everyone can see,
Death by Wubbie, thanks for the mammary,
And it's not the cocker spaniel on MTV...
Though, right now, that sounds better to me.

When I was a horny teenaged boy
I never guessed one day
The idea of cleavage shoved in my face
Would make me run away
Two sweaty fleshy sacks of milk
With my head caught between
And it doesn't help that my girlfriend thinks
It's the funniest thing she's seen.

The folks at the RenFaire sing and dance
and do their clever bits,
Getting paid to embarass their audience
And sometimes they use innuendo.

From the Jousting Field to the Wenches' Well,
From the Blacksmith's Forge to the Children's Dell,
I was trapped in a very special hell....
Where big-breasted women in smelly robes
Trap my face against their heaving globes
They're turning me into a RenFairephobe....
But Disney World's too expensive.

Death by wubbie, I never will escape,
Death by wubbie, I can only gape,
If I did it to them, they'd be screaming rape...
And my girlfriend got it on video tape.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

002: Blue Screen of Death

Hey. It makes as much sense as what's written on the damn screen.

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Blue Screen of Death
Words and Music © by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license

Every time your computer crashes... a cuddly kitten dies.
The impending horror flashes in its innocent kitten eyes.
From its gentle purr to its down-soft fur, it begins to vaporize,
With one heart-wrenching "Mrew?" with its last breath,
It's a victim of the Blue Screen of Death.

When your net connection drops, a baby seal is clubbed.
When the flow of data stops, its tiny head is drubbed,
And you think your ping is the only thing that just got whacked and scrubbed....
But, somewhere, sad brown eyes are asking Why?
Because of that Blue Screen, they had to die.

All those endless software patches and the Service Packs as well
Have empowered cyberdemons from the darkest pits of Hell,
Think of every download mirror that was broken when you came,
Now, for each one, seven years of bad luck, that still works the same....

When PowerPoint fails the mission, a fairy loses its wings.
All those slides and cool transitions flense the flight gear off the things.
And it's Tinkerbell you've sent to hell at your quarterly meetings,
While Peter Pan forlornly calls her name,
Never knowing The Blue Screen her soul did claim.

Is it more like the Grim Reaper, or a black cat 'cross your path?
Is life only an equation? And how do we do the math?
Is it instinct or misguided play or deliberate attack?
Is there any way to stop it without switching to a Mac?

Every time your system goes down, a puppy dog is kicked.
When the firewall needs a hose-down, a bunny's getting bricked,
But amidst the fear, the end is near, the computer has been tricked...
We've found a way to disable that Blue Screen,
But who knows what will happen now it's Green?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

001: I Want My Flying Car

And so it begins!

When I was growing up, spies and outer space stuff were huge. And there were a gazillion or so visions of futuristic technology, from Maxwell Smart's shoe phone to The Man From Glad's jet pack and flying platform, from the Jupiter 2 to the Enterprise's transporter beam. (My own favorite vision of the future was Jule Newmar as AF-709, the robot on My Living Doll.) Everybody just knew it would be really cool, at least in getting from Point A to Point B.

Forty years later, and here we are with $3.00+/gallon gas, wars in the Middle East, and big, ugly boxes driven by people more interested in their cell phones than in your, or their, personal safety.

I like my version better.
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I Want My Flying Car
Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith

Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license

I'm a twenty-first century man
With my twenty-first-century stuff
But my GPS and PCI-Express
Are never gonna be enough

I got a toothbrush that turns the mattress,
Got a phone that'll walk the cat
My plasma TVs record DVDs
But I don't care about that

I want my flying car
I want my flying car
I want this two-bit Dodge the hell out of my garage
Hitch my station wagon to a star
I want my flying car

They told us we'd have robots and portable fusion,
Clone our bodies so we wouldn't stay dead,
But I have to doubt 'cause it didn't come out
The way Mr. Asimov said.

My coffee brews itself every morning,
My shower cleans itself every night,
But twice a day I'm caught in a traffic knot
I'm growing older at every red light.

I want my flying car
I want my flying car
You know it just ain't fair, I wanna hit the air
Bid the street life au revoire,
I want my flying car
I want my flying car
If I make a mistake I can use my air brake,
Or grab a phone line with a spar,
I want my flying car

No more waitin' and hatin, and jerks tailgatin'
When I'm levitatin' over the town.
Parking fees wouldn't matter, I'd drop a rope ladder
Over side and climb right down.
No barrels or cones or construction zones,
No blasting radio in the next lane,
I'd put on a Stetson and make like George Jetson,
If I've got a flyin' car, I can get a girl like a

... Jane, stop this crazy thing!

A thousand miles to the gallon,
It never rides bumpy or loud,
When the weather gets nasty, I make a real fast Z-
Postive climb through the clouds,
I never worry 'bout signs or signals,
'Cause who's gonna take me to jail?
Wait, what's that siren? Is someone else flyin'?
I got pigs on the wing on my tail.

Up in my flying car
I want my flying car
Why stay on the ground when you can drive around
In a Chevrolet Shooting Star?
I want my flying car
I want my flying car
Well, I don't care how, 'cause I'm ready now,
The future can't be that far,
I want my flying car.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Welcome to iTom!

Hi there! And thanks for checking out iTom.

The idea behind this is simple: Every week, I'll have a brand-new, never-before-heard song up here for download. You can get a 128 Kbps MP3 of the song free by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also support the artist, i.e., me, by purchasing a higher-quality (192 Kbps) MP3 for only 99¢, or you can wait a few months for me to collect the songs into a downloadable album. (If you'd rather make a donation, you can do that through PayPal.)

The songs are released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license, which basically means:
  • you can copy or distribute the files
  • you can make a derivative work (e.g., a parody, a remix, a music video)
  • you must attribute the original song to me ("Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith -")
  • you can't use the song or the file for commercial purposes
  • any derivative work you come up with must have an identical license
And that's pretty much it. The real idea here is a combination of [a] keeping myself musically fresh, [b] getting some new stuff out there for you guys, [c] becoming better-known in the online music world, and (ideally) [d] generating some more regular income. :)

If, by the way, you stumbled across this, and you've never heard of me, Hi there! My name's Tom Smith. I'm a mostly-comedy folk-rocker with a penchant for SF/fantasy, pop culture, politics, and lousy, lousy puns. Think "Weird Al" Yankovic with a much larger book collection. You can hear some of my other songs at and on my page at MySpace.