Her Own Songs
A quick FYI - all my lyrics are copyrighted, and all the tunes on this page are, too.
"Skunk Ain't A Weasel" is my first and only bluegrass-style song. It was inspired, in 2004, by a nature article in the Berkeley Daily Planet, about a researcher (Professor Jerry Dragoo, at the University of New Mexico), who did a lot of DNA research on skunks (and even lives with some), and thanks to his research, now has officially reclassified them into their own family, Mephitidae. Weasels are all in the Mustelidae family.
"The Almost Really Bad Thing" is my mashup of several well-known folk song tropes, such as unplanned pregnancy, two-timing, abandonment, going off to sea, revenge, and the extremely rare, happy ending. Sometimes in life, a really bad thing occurring turns out to be avoided due to the slightest, chance turn of events in a different direction than they seemed to be going.
About 2010, I was amazed to discover, during a bemused browsing of the Barnes & Noble website, that there is an entire genre of Harlequin-type literature called “paranormal,” devoted to mortal women having love affairs with not-exactly-human males. It turns out that vampires are just the tip of the pointy tooth. Werewolves, werebears, demons, fallen angels and even zombies also seem to inspire romantic imaginings. (As regards the latter, wouldn't you worry that sometyhing significant might fall off during the throes of passion? Anyhow. There also seems to be a whole sub-genre devoted specifically to romance with paranormal creatures of spuriously Scottish origin. This entire song came to me when, upon learning of this quirky romantic fantasy, I found myself reflecting on how the course of true love might really run with a boyfriend who is, essentially, just a big untrainable dog. Since that could be said of the majority of human boyfriends, I still don't see the point of switching. It resulted in a very funny song, though. And the song, in turn, generated a "novelette in letters" which is included in my short fiction collection, Mercurial Tales.
Dinky Dunphy started life as a comic poem, in the spirit of close UFO encounters and abductions. When I got interested in filk singing at SF-F conventions, I decided to set it to a tune (my own, far as I know). It seemed to naturally gravitate to what might be "big band swing". It's not my usual genre, so I may be entirely wrong on that. But the tune seems to evoke an era when sci-fi involved lots of bug-eyed aliens. The twist in the final verse seems to be both timely, and timeless!
"Homblies" has a similar background to Dinky Dunphy - began as a nonsense poem, which if I recall correctly, I wrote while under the influence of a certain substance that's NOW perfectly legal in groovy old California. Some years later I got to know Fritz Leiber, and boldly showed him the poem. He was kind enough to say he liked it - it reminded him of Edward Lear's work. Eventually, having discovered filk singing, I set it to music. The first part of the melody owes a wee bit to Grieg's "In The Hall of The Mountain King"; second part is all my own. The genre is satirically evocative of German Art Songs. No, I can't explain why!
"Season of Peace" is a sort of Pagan carol for the harvest season and Autumnal Equinox. I composed it while driving back and forth through the farmlands between my home in the East Bay, and the California State University at Chico. Most of my Pagan carols and chants are not satirical - just devout expressions of respect for the magnificence of Nature and her eternal cycles. This is one of only two Pagan carols for which I composed my own tunes.
This cynical little waltz was also originally inspired by a semester of driving back and forth through the farm country of California's Central Valley, between the Bay Area and Chico. There was a particular week or two, when the air was rife with these innocent little yellowish butterflies. I always felt bad for the ones that ended up on my windshield, and everyone else's. There were all sorts of other road-killed innocents along I-5, but it's only vaguely funny when it's bugs -- and of course, when the bugs stand in as a metphor for us oblivious humans, so caught up in our small concerns, without a clue that those concerns could go "splat" at any time, no matter how invested we are, in having it all go our way. At the time of this recording and posting, I am very much hoping that a big 18-wheeler size windshield is speeding towards President Big Orange Bug and all his collaborators.
More songs to come!
"Dinosaurs in My Yard"
"Nobody Never Cries at Costco"
"Space Orphan's Lament"
"Some Cons I Won't Be Attending"
AND all the parodies and Pagan songs included in my two songbook/lyric collections!