022: Baby New Year
I'm an optimist, mostly. I try to be pragmatic about it -- plan for the worst, hope for the best -- but I really really want that "best". I suspect everyone's like that at New Year, balancing whatever disappointments and pain they've had over the past twelve months with the aesthetic wiping-clean-the-slate that a new calendar provides. It's tough sometimes, but what else are ya gonna do?I think this may be the closest thing to an Uncle Bonsai song I've written. I was trying to bridge the various gap between hopeful, cynical and melancholy without coming off as maudlin.May we all have a good New Year.
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Baby New YearWords and Music © 2006 by Tom SmithReleased under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike LicenseWho changes the diapers on the baby new year?In only five days he ages one year,Assuming three score years and ten,That's what I've heard is the span of men.There've been almost two thousand since Jesus died,That's a hell of a lot of infanticideBut before then I'm sure it was worse'Cause I bet that he aged in reverse.I've got a lullaby for the Baby New YearSo he can get some sleep,He's got so much that he has to do here,Especially if he's leap.A year is a difficult thing to be,There's strife and stress and such,And I don't want a lot, just the promise heWill try not to suck so much.Three weeks of filling your checks out wrong,Of singing some dumb catchy Christmas song,Of snow and cold and of feeling squirrelly,Of swearing you'll do your taxes early.Three months of waiting for winter's end.Two months of hating the thaw again.One month of wishing they'd fix the street.Three months of bitching about the heat.Here's a lullaby for the Baby New YearAs he lays there in bed,I want him to know that there's nothing to fearExcept the months ahead.People call him names and vent frustrationsAnd he's just passing time.How can he live up to their expectationsWhen he's just past his prime?Then the autumn comes and the winter's after.He feels the chill in the children's laughter.It's not that anyone wants him gone,But Christmastime is a-comin' on.After Halloween, there's the cold and snow,And he's starting to feel so old and slow.But there's one bright moment in the sun,When we all give thanks for the good he's done.Here's a lullaby for the Baby New Year,The Older Year as well,'Cause they bring us everything we hold dear,As far as I can tell,There's a lot of hope for the year aheadAnd some stuff that just won't take,But it's not the Baby New Year's faultSo give the kid a break.He's only a Baby New Year --Shhh. Soon enough, he'll wake.
If you happened to miss any of the iTom songs, you can go to my main web site, Tom Smith Online, and download the 128 Kbps versions of all of them. There are also a few other musical freebies, including a never-released song, until January 1.
021: A Pirate Christmas
The entire story behind this one is that first line. This one's a permanent freebie -- Merry Christmas, everybody!
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A Pirate ChristmasWords © 2006 by Tom SmithMusic by Diverse HandsReleased under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike LicenseWe three kings of orient ARRR...Swab the decks w' boughs of hollyfa la la la la, la la la laHoist the Roger if it's jollyfa la la la la, la la la laDon we now our pirate trappings,Fa la la, la la la, la la laCaught me peg leg in these wrappingsfa la la la la, la la la laFrom the portside to the starboardAnd from transom to bowWe are covered with invading bivalvesThey latched on when we were harbored,And nobody knows howTo remove them and get the ship clear.Barnacles, barnacles,Give me a friggin' damn crowbarbarnacles, barnacles,Soon they will eat this whole bay.Said the lookout to the bosun's mate,Do you hear what I hear?(Do you ARRR what I ARRR!)(a cappella)O Cannonball, O CannonballI'll shoot you through the stockade wallAll I want fer christmas is me two front teeth,Me two front teeth, me two front teeth....My cap'n told me,Ba-rum pa pum pumARRR, RUM!RUM!I'm tryin' ta SING!We LIKES rum!Ye better watch out, ye better not cry,Get the rum out, I'm tellin' you why,Cap'n Jack is comin' ta townHe walks with a list, talks a good game,Blade, kiss or fist, it's always the same,Cap'n Jack is comin' ta town.He seizes any treasureThe rum and wenches too,He knows if you've been bad or good(Cap'n Jack voice) And either one will do!Don't follow his lead, it's gonna get grim,The only survivor likely is him,Cap'n Jack is comin' ta town.Christmas, christmas time is here,Time fer loot and wine and beer,Santa, bring your big ol' bag,We want treasure, we want swagWant a map from some old book,Me I want a brand new hookWe can hardly stand the waitPlease christmas don't be late.I saw the cap'n kissing santy clausDown below the bulwark late last night... Not that there's anything wrong with that.Arrr! The herald angels sing,Here's a letter from the kingUp in the crows nest, it's my watch,Keeping warm with rum and scotch,Icy winds and freezing sleet,Too darn slippery to keep my feetYo ho ho, who wouldn't goOOOOOOO....Silent night, holy night,Shush the cat, douse the lightRound the back, the door isn't lockedGrab their stuff, we'll go get it hockedSleep in heavenly peace,The constables' palms have been greased.All right, ye swabs! Big finish!Dashing through the snowIs somethin' we ain't done,Because we never goAway from tropic sun,Keep yer cold and ice,We think it's kinda dumbWe've got our Christmas paradiseWith beaches, girls and rum!ARRR!Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,Oh what fun it is to sail the Caribbean today-ay!Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas on the sea,Yo ho ho, yo ho ho, a Santa's life for me! Yo ho ho, yo ho ho, a Santa's life for me!
020: Alternate Universe Lost & Found
There are many theories, great and small, as to where the extra sock in the dryer goes. The fact that, nine times out of ten, it goes inside the sleeve of a shirt where you find it later doesn't really matter: the narrative that it vanishes into another dimension is the cool part. I just ran with that, and it kept getting sillier. And, no, I have no idea how this turned into an Andrews Sisters knock-off. I was planning something nice and folky. I guess that idea also went into another dimension.
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Alternate Universe Lost & FoundWords and Music © 2006 by Tom SmithReleased under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike LicenseWhen you open up the drier and half your socks are gone,When the cell phone's not on the table you put it on,You're not sure what, but something has gone wrong.When the TV remote has simply disappeared,When the twenty you had in your wallet's been commandeered,Where can you turn to when stuff starts getting weird?It's the Alternate Universe Lost & Found,That's the place you oughta go,When you're looking for things no longer around,They're the ones who oughta know,When the fizz in your soda has all gone flat,When you can't find your glasses, the keys or the cat,The Alternate Universe Lost & Found is here.When the kids find a cupboard that leads to a whole new place,When you've gotta deliver a pizza 'cross time and space,When you're in New York City and you want some salsa by Pace.When your evil twin murders and you end up doing the time,When you fall through a wormhole to Chiron Beta Prime,When you wake to a world where Mel Blanc was a famous mime.It's the Alternate Universe Lost & Found,Better give 'em a call tonight,When reality's springs have come unwound,They're the ones who get 'em tight,When the Mongol Hordes are invading your den,Or the aliens want to probe you again,The Alternate Universe Lost & Found is here.We got smooth transitions between dimensionsSo you can enjoy the ride,We can fix the most futuristic inventions,We do our jobs with pride,We got Wacky Wafers and Black Jack Gum,Tootsie Pop Drops and Fizzies too,Major Matt Mason and Mrs. BeasleyAre all waiting here for you!When you miss the innocent youth you used to be,When you make a mistake and want back your virginity,We can do it all, for only a modest fee.When the world you live in isn't the world you want,When you're tired of the rat race and want a relaxing jaunt,Let down your guard, and we'll make your garde avant.It's the Alternate Universe Lost & FoundStop in for a free brouchure,If you're Oz, Barsoom, or Wonderland bound,Come schedule a guided tour,If you feel like you got the short end of the stick,The next world over might do the trick,All kinds o' fantasies, small and large,Happy endings, no extra charge,If you can't make your dreams come true,Just give us a call, we're here for youThe Alternate Universe Lost & Found is here.
Body modification has many forms and facets. On the simplest level, make-up and pierced ears, to tattoos, piercings, scars, spikes and studs, and then to things that make me squirm to think about them. (As if the other stuff doesn't.) This is not the thing I would normally write about... but Wired Magazine has an online column devoted to biotechnology called "Bodyhack". Naturally, this term hacked its way into a different corner of my brain, the one that recalls conversations with people regarding who would be the first of us to get WiFi implants when they become available. And I started to wonder how far it could go. Because there's no question that it will.
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BodyhackingWords and Music © 2006 by Tom SmithReleased under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike LicenseMy body is a temple I'm rebuildingI need to do some work on my facadeThese changes are like prayers, I'll get a lot of stares,And With every step I'm closer to godI started with a tattoo and two piercings,A dragon and my lower lip and tongueI'd often heard it said that would make me good in bedTurns out it matters more which way I've swungI've got to change,But not how mother wants of me,I'll rearrangeIt's just a bodyhackIt's not so strange,It's just like plastic surgerytaken to extremes,And all my hopes and dreamsAre looking in the mirrorHoping I'll be looking backI got some eyebrow spikes and other implants,Some talons for my fingernails and feetTelescoping bones, new skin with crimson tones, The scars across my back draw a MagritteThe catalog from slashdot helped immenselyMy eyes are different colors for each mood,I hear my own heart pound in 5.1 surround,As of next week I'll no longer need foodI've got to change,But not how mother wants of me,I'll rearrangeIt's just a bodyhackIt's not so strange,It's just like plastic surgeryTaken to extremes,And all my hopes and dreamsAre looking in the mirrorHoping I'll be looking backI'm sure there was a version of me that I liked at one pointBut I know... I don't knowI barely can recall those days before my tungsten ball joints,That was so... long agoAnd some would cast aspersions but they miss the bigger pictureThey can't see... A to ZThese nanobots and waldoes may seem ancillary fixturesBut I'll be... soon set freeThe other day I ran into an old friendshe said she hardly recognized me nowI killed her where she stood, it was for the greater good,Sometimes when you change, you don't want folks asking howI've heard some say you should find god within youAnd I know now evolution's not the keyBut intelligent design, the intelligence was mine,And I'm wondering what kind of god I'll beI've got to change,But not how others want of me,I'll rearrangeIt's just a bodyhackIt's not so strange,It's just like plastic surgeryTaken to extremes,And all my hopes and dreamsAre looking in the mirrorHoping I'll be looking back