(Yay!  I got to bring my real piano back into the recording for this one!)



Well -- we got this challenge . . . and my heart fell.  You see, I’d already gotten the challenge to write a song about a mythological figure, way back in my very first Songwriting Cycle -- and it was already tough to choose a subject for that one.  (I finally did choose a subject, and was really proud of the resulting song when it was finished...)  But now I had to scrape the bottom of that barrel again?!



<sigh>



Fortunately, this time I wasn’t restricted to just Greek mythology, and I had also seen a comedian do a bit on this very subject a few months ago (“Yeah -- I’d like people to celebrate my birthday for a whole month . . .”)  So with a bit of a resigned shrug, I got to work and dutifully wrote this song.


Just as the holiday in question has evolved, I let the song evolve as well as it “gets on its feet.”  In the prologue, the character sings first a near-rhyme (“attention/affection”) and then a real rhyme (“nation/consideration”).  This is something I normally wouldn’t “permit” in one of my lyrics, but here it’s done for a reason.  And then in the first verse, there a “half-a-stanza” that doesn’t rhyme (“holiday/grow”) followed by another “half-stanza” that does (“do/too”).  I’m trying to suggest that the character’s kind of still “feeling his way” through his request.  But by the onset of the second verse, and for the rest of the song, he’s a “man on a mission.”  The lyric now boasts triple rhymes (“store/door/galore,” “day/say/obey,” and “traction/action/faction”) and everything’s tight and well-constructed again.


As the challenge specified that our song was not to include choruses (which mine often don’t anyway), I also made a conscious effort to have each verse end in a slightly different way, so there would be no question that my song was truly chorus-less.  The first verse ends with a full line of lyric which rolls right into verse two.  The second verse ends with a little staccato figure in the piano that stays in time and in tempo while the lyric rests momentarily on an ellipsis.  Then the third verse ends with a slightly different staccato figure in the piano, where I break from a duple meter to a triple meter as he starts talking about the “unbelievers” who ostensibly want to corrupt his fun . . .


The singing of this song was kind of fun.  For one thing, this is the second song in a row where I’ve pushed myself to belt out a high A.  (Last time it was to emphasize the plaintive angst of the character; this time is was to emphasize the manic enthusiasm of a completely different character.)  Both times I came as close as I could to hitting the A cleanly -- and both times I was never . . . quite . . . there.  Apparently, I can get a G, and I can get a G#.


But not quite an A.



Never quite an A . . .




;-)




P.S.  The figure of 323,045,451 wasn’t randomly chosen or approximated.  I actually went to the Population Clock at census.gov and did the math to predict what the U.S. population would be at 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 22nd, 2016, when the Listening Party for this round was scheduled to begin.  As I write this, I’m hoping that it proves to be accurate when I check back on it when the appointed hour arrives . . .




What’s the most important day

Of a person’s life?


It’s their birthday.


A day they should be honored.

A day to be remembered.

A day to be the center

Of ev’ryone’s attention.

To bathe in their affection.

Is that too much to ask?


So I am here, requesting

The 323,045,451 people in your nation

Show me consideration

When it’s mine...


I’m asking . . .


Move my celebration

From September to December.

Then make my birthday an event --

Make it a holiday!

Close all the schools and all the

Bus’nesses and governments,

Then help my birthday . . . erm . . .

My holiday to grow!

Please make my holiday a season!

Not just a day, but

Sev’ral weeks, I think, might do.

Let’s start the shopping in November.

And while we’re at it,

Let’s just go annex

Thanksgiving evening, too!


Let’s have songs play from the radios

Of ev’ry home and car and store!

And let’s have carolers

Sing songs of me from door to door!

Have choirs and orchestras

Give concerts galore!

And while we’re feeling festive . . .


When you meet and greet each other

For the month before my day,

Make acknowledging my birthday

Be the norm for what you oughta say!

And then heap scorn on those

Who do not obey!

Even if they do not worship me.

Even if they don’t believe in me.

Even if they’ve never heard of me.

Keep the focus on me!


And if you think you’re losing traction,

Please take quick, defensive action.

Say the small, opposing faction’s waging


            WAR!


on me.



(Is that too much to ask?)