A selection of songs I've written or performed over the years and managed to obtain audio verisons that I don't cringe at too much.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
A lullaby I started writing for my son when he was a baby, and finished twelve years later for a different baby.
When Ben was very little, he seemed convinced that he was going to miss something important if he went to sleep, so I sang to him about all the amazing and wonderful things that seriously, I promise, are not going to happen, don't worry about it.
This was written for Robert Heinlein's Centennial, which was celebrated in Kansas City on July 7, 2007. I'd been planning to travel there to help Dave Taht perform his Heinlein-inspired song Rhysling and Me, and then a few days before flying out, on the morning of July 4, this song literally came to me in a dream, almost entirely complete -- I just had to fix up the scansion a bit, fit chords to the melody, and finish the last few verses.
It's based on a poem written by Adam Selene (a.k.a Mycroft the sentient computer) in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress:
"Adam Selene's by-line appeared first in dignified pages of Moonglow over a somber poem titled: "Home." Was dying thoughts of old transportee, his discovery as he is about to leave that Luna is his beloved home. Language was simple, rhyme scheme unforced, only thing faintly subversive was conclusion on part of dying man that even many wardens he has endured was not too high a price."
This recording is from a filk circle at the Centennial, 7/7/7.
MP3 OGG Lyrics
As mentioned above, this is Dave Taht's song, but I'm singing backup and playing bass and I've always liked this recording. It's about the Challenger disaster, and the first sax in space.
(Incidental lesson learned: Never take anybody's word about whether a gun is loaded or a bass is already tuned. But I was able to tune it within a few measures, no lasting harm was done.)
MP3 OGG Lyrics
This one was written for The Princess Bride: a Musical Emergency.
Musical emergencies are parties at which a well-known story is told (usually a fairy tale or popular film). Attendees can sign up in advance to write songs based on particular moments in the story, and when the narrator gets to the moment you signed up for, you get up and sing your song, creating an impromptu bring-your-own-songs musical.
This song tells the tragic story of young Westley and his untimely death at the hands of the Dread Pirate Roberts. And then revises and updates the story after new information becomes available.
MP3 (part 1) MP3 (part 2) Lyrics
From Rapunzel: a Musical Emergency. Featuring the late great Bruce Steinberg improvizing a sweet harmonica part on his first hearing of the song.
From Cinderella: a Musical Emergency. Asking and answering the question, just why wasn't Prince Charming already married?
(by Evan and the Chipmunks)
One Christmas Eve, a few friends and I came up with the notion of a new Christmas song, with the religious sincerity of the old traditional carols but the pop sensibility of more modern fare. If I end up going to hell, "thumpety thump thump" is probably why.
This was included on my Christmas mix CD "Winter Howdies". Jay Kensinger produced and sang harmony vocals.
My other Christmas song: this one not a joke.
I'm not religious, but the Bible does have some good stories in it, and even more often it has good stories not in it, but kind of... mentioned, if you read between the lines. One of those is the story of the three Magi, who purportedly looked up at a star in the sky and suddenly found it necessary to get on camels and ride a thousand miles through the desert, at night, in winter, so they could see what it was all about. What would go through a person's head when they were called to do something that inexplicably huge?
This was on the Christmas mix "HO". Once again, Jay Kensinger produced, played keyboards, and arranged and sang the harmonies.