WHOA: Reflection on “The Oh Factor”

April 24, 2010

This poem is in response to Charles R. Smith, Jr’s published poem entitled “The Oh Factor” — a poem from his CD “Portrait of a Poet” about the effects poets can have on their readers. I call this “WHOA”, because of how my students reacted to “The Oh Factor”. I found his email and sent a copy to him this morning.
WHOA

Just lettin’ you know,
Your fluid flow
Made my poets say “WHOA
And move and groove
To the sweet, smooth, slick
Sensual sound of wondrous words
First time heard
Flippin, slippin’ and drippin’
Off your CD’s knees
Blowin’ thru the easy breeze
Aimin’ to please
young minds like these
Landin’ and commandin’ in their ears
Chillin’ their fears
‘Bout hearin’
One. More. Pointless. Poem.
Taught by teacher
Preachin’ ’bout
Love for all poets
And funky, fresh, flowin’ poems
That roam
From the home
inside the
fine young mind’s
predefined eye
where they realize
recognize
and utilize
scraps of verbs and
unknown words
can make themselves shout out:
“OH!
What do you know–
I guess
MY best
can make
others say ‘WHOA.’”

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The Britney Spears/Todd Rundgren Battle of the Lyrics Continuum

April 17, 2010

“Hit Me Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears

Oh baby, baby
Oh baby, baby
Oh baby, baby
How was I supposed to know
That something wasn’t right here
Oh baby baby
I shouldn’t have let you go
And now you’re out of sight, yeah
Show me, how you want it to be
Tell me baby
‘Cause I need to know now what we’ve got

[CHORUS:]
My loneliness is killing me
I must confess, I still believe
When I’m not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time

Oh baby, baby
The reason I breathe is you
Boy you got me blinded
Oh baby, baby
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
That’s not the way I planned it
Show me, how you want it to be
Tell me baby
‘Cause I need to know now what we’ve got

[Repeat CHORUS]

Oh baby, baby
Oh baby, baby
Ah, yeah, yeah
Oh baby, baby
How was I supposed to know
Oh pretty baby
I shouldn’t have let you go
I must confess, that my loneliness
Is killing me now
Don’t you know I still believe
That you will be here
And give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time

[Repeat CHORUS]

I must confess that my loneliness
Is killing me now
Don’t you know I still believe
That you will be here
And give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time

********************************************************

“Parallel Lines” by Todd Rundgren

Face the facts
Some things never come together
Parallel lines running on forever
And you can’t turn back
There is never any starting over
Parallel lines never do cross over

It’s a challenge
Gotta make myself remember
Facing the truth, well, that doesn’t mean surrender
What is bravado and how much is a force of will?
I know that the world is full of opposites that attract
But unless we ignore the physics
Very soon we’ll have to

So I send you the gift of empathy
If you’d once in your life acknowledge me
I have visualized so thoroughly
That when I think of me I think of we

Can’t face the truth
It means that we must surrender
Understanding won’t satisfy the hunger
It whittles away at the destiny we fulfill
And like an animal running wild
You can’t call it back
And it’s just gonna make it harder
When it’s finally time to

It’s like a train that’s stuck running on a track
Parallel lines running on, running on, running on

Score: Todd – 1, Britney – 0.


The Peter Gabriel/Justin Bieber Musical Let Down Hypothesis

April 17, 2010

Today’s pop musicians (read: nearly everything written from 1995 – present) have no talent. Gone are the days of imagery-filled, gut wrenching, make-you-go-wow lyrics. Songs about love and relationships and all things that pertain to it have been dumbed down so far, I am convinced that we’ll begin seeing music hitting the top of the pop charts that was originally written as a second grade assignment in some podunk school out in the cornfields of Nebraska (no offense to Nebraskans, but if I chose Detroit or Chicago, we would be more likely to see dumbed down, obscene, rap lyrics written by angry sixth graders).

To prove my point, I give you the set of lyrics to two songs about love and relationships gone awry:

“Come Talk to Me” — Peter Gabriel, 1992 (written because of his strained relationship with his daughter)

The wretched desert takes its form,
The jackal proud and tight,
In search of you I feel my way,
Through the slowest heaving night
Whatever fear invents,
I swear it makes no sense
I reach out through the border fence
Come down, come talk to me

In the swirling curling storm of desire
Unuttered words hold fast
With reptile tongue, the lightning lashes
Towers built to last
Darkness creeps in like a thief
And offers no relief
Why are you shaking like a leaf?
Come on, come talk to me

Ah please talk to me
Won’t you please talk to me
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can’t you show me how you feel now
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me, come talk to me

The earthly power sucks shadowed milk,
From sleepy tears undone
From nippled skin as smooth as silk,
The bugles blown as one
You lie there with your eyes half closed,
Like there’s no one there at all
There’s a tension pulling on your face
Come on, come talk to me

Won’t you please talk to me
If you’d just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you’d only talk to me
Don’t you ever change your mind
Now your future’s so defined
And you act so deaf so blind
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me, come talk to me

I can imagine the moment
Breaking out through the silence
All the things that we both might say
And the heart it will not be denied
‘Til we’re both on the same damn side
All the barriers blown away

I said please talk to me
Won’t you please come talk to me
Just like it used to be
Come on, come talk to me
I did not come to steal
This all is so unreal
Can you show me how you feel now
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me, come talk to me

I said please talk to me
If you’d just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you’d only talk to me
Don’t you ever change your mind
Now your future’s so defined
And you act so deaf so blind
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me, come talk to me

**************************

************************************************

Now for Justin Bieber’s “Baby”: (About teenage love angst)

Ohh wooaah (3x)
You know you love me,I know you care
Just shout whenever, And I’ll be there
You want my love, You want my heart
And we will never ever ever be apart

Are we an item? Girl quit playing
Were just friends, What are you saying
Said theres another, Look right in my eyes

My first love broke my heart for the first time,
And I was like
Baby, baby, baby ohhh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought youd always be mine mine

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought youd always be mine,mine (oh oh)

For you, I would have done whatever
And I just can’t believe, we ain’t together
And I wanna play it cool, But I’m losin’ you
I’ll buy you anything, I’ll buy you any ring
And im in pieces, Baby fix me
And just shake me til’ you wake me from this bad dream

Im going down, down, down, dooown
And I just cant believe my first love would be around.

And I’m like
Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought youd always be mine, mine

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohhh
I thought youd always be mine, mine

Luda
When I was 13, I had my first love,
There was nobody that compared to my baby,
And nobody came between us or could ever come above
She had me goin’ crazy,
Oh I was starstruck,
She woke me up daily,
Don’t need no Starbucks.
She made my heart pound,
And skip a beat when I see her in the street and,
At school on the playground,
But I really wanna see her on the weekend,
She know she got me gazin’,
Cuz she was so amazin’,
And now my heart is breakin’,
But I just keep on sayin’…

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought youd always be mine, mine

Baby, baby, baby ohh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought youd always be mine, mine

(I’m gone)
Yeah, yeah, yeah (6x)
(Now Im all gone, now im all gone, now im all gone)
Gone, gone, gone,(gone)
I’m gone.

*****************************************************************************

I rest my case with this one. Coming up next — Britney Spears’  “Hit Me Baby One More Time” versus Todd Rundgren’s “Parallel Lines”.


Playing for Change: A wonderful way to unite through music

July 30, 2009

Check this out — way cool!

http://www.playingforchange.com

“Stand by Me” and “One Love” are the best!

The Nerd


Soundin’ Off, Again and Again

July 21, 2009

Yankin’ like a monkey in a mango tree
Crankin’ like a million volt battery
Spankin’ like a jelly in the deep blue sea
That’s what that sound,
that sweet sweet sound
That’s what that sound
Done doin’ to me.

Cluckin’ like a chicken in the old barnyard
Honkin’ like a goose dat been flyin’ too hard
Groovin’ like a flower that’s been stung by a bee
That’s what that sound
That sweet, sweet sound
That’s what that sound
Done doin’ to me.

Quakin’ like the dirt on a seismic fault
Thumpin’ like some rubber over cheap asphalt
Itchin’ like a dog dat been bitten by a flea
That’s what that sound
That sweet, sweet sound
That’s what that sound
Done doin’ to me.

Grindin’ like a gear shift on a Chevy Chevette
Hissin’ like a rattler that got caught in a net
Cracklin’ like a lightning bolt strikin’ a tree
That’s what that sound
That sweet, sweet sound
That’s what that sound
Done doin’ to me.


Lost Long Haired Blues

July 20, 2009

This one requires some explanation. I was working on a multi-genre project about pediatric cancer. I met a lovely 11-year old girl who was diagnosed at age 6 (on her birthday, even!) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. When she found out about having to go through extensive chemo, her first reaction was “Am I going to lose all my hair?”

In the grand scheme of things, do dead cells on top of our head really define who we are inside? No.

*******************************************

Woke up this mornin’, took a look in the mirror.
I aint had no warnin’, but oh God, it’s here!

Don’t know when it happened, I really can’t say
But lemme just tell ya…I don’t like it this way!

I got dem

Low down! (Low down!)
Oh no! (Oh no!)
Goin’ bald! (Goin’ bald!)
From Chemo! (From Chemo!)

Hey brother, have you heard the news?
I’m so sad ’cause I lost my long hair blues.

Before it went fallin’, I could comb it all day.
But cancer came callin’ and took it away.

So instead of cryin’, ’bout my hair that’s long gone,
it’s better than dyin’, WHEN I AM FAR TOO YOUNG!

I got dem

Low down! (Low down!)
Oh no! (Oh no!)
Goin’ bald! (Goin’ bald!)
From Chemo! (From Chemo!)

Hey brother, have you heard the news?
I’m so sad ’cause I lost my long hair blues.

I got dem

Low down (Low down)
Oh no (Oh no)
Goin’ bald (Goin’ bald)
From Chemo (From Chemo)

No good (No good)
So sad (So sad)
Damn thing…Makes me feel mad!

I got dem
Lost, Lost, Lost,
Long haired blues

Lost, Lost, Lost,
Long haired blues!

My
Lost, Lost, Lost

MY LOST LONG HAIRED BLUES!!!


Goin Huntin’

July 20, 2009

“Goin’ huntin, today”
He said, with a chill.
As he hunkered right down
At the top of the hill.

“Mark my sight, load my gun,”
Was the last phrase he said,
Before he picked ‘em all off
With a slant of his head.

Refrain:

Goin huntin, goin’ huntin
Goin huntin again..
Now they’ll know cuz I’ll just show them
all
how they’ve all been (to me)

“Hear them scream, watch em scatter!”
He yelled with delight,
“Now they’ll know that I matter
When the news hits tonight.”

“I’ll be famous, be noticed!”
He cheerfully gasped
“No more teasing
or bullying
or touching at last!”

Refrain:

Goin huntin, goin’ huntin
Goin huntin again..
Now they’ll know cuz I’ll just show them
all
how they’ve all been (to me)

“Oh my God!” cried the townsfolk
As the story was heard.
“Who knew he was troubled,
damaged, disturbed?”

“Not his dad”, they pondered
“Not his dad, of course”
“He’s been out of the picture,
Ever since the divorce.”

“Not his stepdad” they claimed,
“Not his stepdad at all”
“He spends all his money on
Sex, drugs and alcohol.”

“Not his mother,” they whispered
“Not his mother – no way”
“She’s too busy working
Twelve hours a day!”

Refrain:

Goin huntin, goin’ huntin
Goin huntin again..
Now they’ll know cuz I’ll just show them
all
how they’ve all been (to me)

Outgoing chorus:

So who is the victim?
Who can we blame?
For the boy and his “choices”
In this dangerous game?