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28 February 2012

catch the tail by the tiger


congratulations to bret mckenzie on winning an oscar for 'man or muppet'. i haven't had a chance to see the film yet, but the song is sweet and a bit mental, and it's nice to have the muppets around in the world again singing songs. it made me think of all of the other songs from jim henson productions that i love. i can't help it, i guess i'm like debbie harry, i just dig songs about rainbows.

here are my top five


5. 'rainbow connection' - i've written about rainbows once or twice myself and i've often wondered why there are so many songs about them and what's on the other side. this is a lovely song from 'the muppet movie' from 1979 sung by kermit. there are so many versions of this out there, and i really like the duet between kermit and debbie harry on the muppet show, but i think my favourite version is the carpenters one, just because karen carpenter makes it sound so hopelessly sad. i'm just glad she never sang a version of 'elmo's song'. i think it would have been too much for me.


4. 'follow me' - i've spent a lot of time collecting songs from fraggle rock over the last few years. too much time probably, but there are so many great songs hidden away in the show. uncle matt and gobo sing this song a few times. it seems to be sung again every time matt comes back in to the show. i've already recorded a version of this with rob from the voluntary butler scheme, along with a load of other fraggle rock songs for a collection of fraggle rock covers that we've been meaning to finish and release for a couple of years now. hopefully we'll find some time after we've finished this next boy least likely to album. there are some really great songs there. i don't know if the world can wait much longer.


3. 'just one person' - i watched 'being elmo' the other day. it was such a sweet and inspiring film. there's an amazing clip in it where the assembled muppets perform 'just one person' at the jim henson memorial. it was so beautiful. elmo's voice is heartbreaking when it comes in. there's a lovely version with robin leading the vocal in the televised tribute to jim henson too. as much as i like the original version in the snoopy musical, i think i prefer the muppets arrangement of the song, missing out the last line of every verse. i always thought it was really clever how each verse overlapped with the next one, and it's even more amazing to think that someone heard that and rearranged what was already a really good song.


2. 'petals of a rose' - sung by gobo in the last ever episode, i think this might be my favourite fraggle rock song. it starts off with the lyrics "ain't it just the way it goes/we pull the petals off a rose/we never say hello to stay/we always say goodbye" and then in the next verse gobo changes it so he sings "ain't it just the way it seems/we pull the petals off our dreams", and it sounds completely heartbreaking. we really need to finish that fraggle rock covers album.


1. 'halfway down the stairs' - from the first season of the muppet show. robin the frog perfectly captures the mood of the poem, sitting on the stairs watching life pass you up and down. life is mostly like that a lot of the time. it isn't up, it isn't down. you're not at the bottom, but you're not at the top. it's just somewhere in between. and things just pass you by.



21 February 2012

happy pancake day


i haven't written anything on here for a while. i feel bad. but i've just been really busy writing words for songs, and when my head is full of words and trying to find rhymes for things i just can't seem to do anything else. it disrupts my thinking to log on to write something funny or enlightening. i don't have many funny and enlightening thoughts so when i do have one it's probably going to being used in the words to a song. and i don't want to share them with anyone yet. i hope you understand. i just go quiet sometimes.

here are three things i have been up to though.


1. listening to sammi smith. this is all i do when i'm on my own. i only really knew her before for her version of 'help me make it through the night', the kris kristofferson song, but then i found a copy of her album, 'the rainbow in daddys eyes' in a record shop in wantage. i couldn't believe i'd never listened to any of her records before. it was like the time i bought the first two nancy and lee albums at a car boot sale when i was younger. just a complete revelation. now i can't imagine my life before i listened to sammi smith. i only know it must have been emptier.

2. watching new girl. i love it so much. that's all you need to know.

3. going shakespeare mad. yep. i finally got into shakespeare. i know, it's embarrassing. i'd read a few of his plays at school and i read the tempest at college, but there are lots i don't know at all. it all happened so suddenly. i went to stratford on avon for a couple of days and now i've gone shakespeare mad. now i'm on a mission to read all thirty two of his plays by the end of the month. so far, i've only read midsummer night's dream, so i've got quite a long way to go. but it was really quite good.  frustrated lovers and fairies and donkey headed men. brilliant stuff. tonight henry v.

please note. i am obsessive. which means that as well as getting obsessed with things very quickly i can also lose enthusiasm for something i am obsessive about if i discover something else to be obsessive about. i may very well not read all of shakespeare's plays. all that's important right now is that i think i will.

i did do other things too. but mainly i did these three things and wrote songs with pete.

happy pancake day.