Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Being a topical songwriter has its major pitfalls. For instance, "The Ballad of Pee Wee Herman" lost a lot of oomph after the Paul-Reubens-caught-wackin'-it-in-an-adult-theater scandal blew over. Oddly, some people still tell me that it's their favorite song of mine, and request it 14-yrs. later. But what if I could've distributed it when everyone was buzzing about it?

I have a Michael Jackson song (written last year) that should be heard, but it won't until next year because I still haven't figured out how to tap those channels.

The point is, "songs of the moment" are prone to weaken with time. Even Dylan's "Hurricane" or Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" or Eminem's "Mosh."

Sometimes, though, the moment (political or otherwise) is dragged out, or repeated, which, luckily, keeps the song relevant. This isn't always good for the state of the world, obviously, but that's another story. Here's "Galahad"'s good luck story:

Four months ago I wrote "Galahad" with two lines that were about current happenings: 1) "I've been around the block like Angelina and Brad / I've slayed a lot of dragons, I ain't braggin' it's sad" and 2) "Look at what happened to that cat, Howard Dean / Disempowered all because of what we labeled a scream."

Okay, here's the breakdown for the first couplet: A rumour had just started that week regarding the burgeoning romance between Pitt and Jolie. I threw in that reference somewhat cynically. The vapidness of the metaphor was what I liked. In the new blockbuster Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a movie about a marriage of two undercover mercenaries hired to kill each other, Jolie's character replies to Pitt's question of "How many?" with "412." It's ambiguous whether they're referring to sex or murder. She continues, "I've been around the block." Sex, violence, and intrigue all rolled into a soundbyte that even shares the same cliched phrase with my song.

For couplet two: The stench of Election 2004 still hung in the air in early February. Bush had just gotten sworn in for a 2nd term. Kerry seemed relieved. And I was still annoyed that Howard Dean had gotten dismissed by Democrats, a year earlier, when his voice cracked in a moment of passion? Now Dean's getting derided again for calling the Republican Party "pretty much a white, Christian party." According to the 2004 exit polls, 87 percent of Bush voters were white and 89 percent were Christian and by comparison, Kerry voters were 66 percent white and 71 percent Christian. I don't understand why he's getting spanked for pointing out trivia.

People seem to prefer "pleasant" liars like Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, to feisty truth-tellers like Dean.


Anonymous said...

I liked Howard Dean. It made me sad that he got dismissed because he showed to much enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

is there a recording of "Galahad"?

Chris Sand said...

Yeah-on "(return to) the blackhole...(of outerspace)." But it won't be available for another month:

http://www.crunksnotdead.com/news.html -and then scroll down 1/2 a page.