88 Lines For 44 Kids Musicians

My last Kindiefest post, I promise.

I'd written the lines below as a spoof of the New Wave hit by the The Nails, "88 Lines for 44 Women," and had intended the spoof to be for the website. But for some reason I thought it might be appropriate for Kindiefest and the many multitudes of kids musicians gathered. The poobahs in charge agreed, and so that's how I came to be standing up on stage on Saturday night in between sets, iPod in hand, reading off 88 lines while Tor Hyams jammed on keys in the background.

Hyams didn't know the original song (see a live version here) well enough to play it, so instead we turned it into a beat poetry/spoken word/jazz thing. I'm a poor judge of how it turned out, but a couple other notes:
1) I like speaking in public, and I have no problem playing on stage in a quartet or an orchestra. But trying to be a lead singer and command an audience's attention is a hard, hard task. The whole experience for me was useful just to have that concept reinforced.
2) I was completely -- I mean totally -- oblivious to Anand Nayak from Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem joining in with some guitar jamming as they prepped for their showcase set, so focused was I on my lyrics. I was surprised later when people told me they joined in.

So clearly rock superstar is not in my immediate future. For visual proof, see below (thanks, Jeff!). But thanks to Tor, Bill, and Stephanie for letting me join in the fun.

And here are all the full lyrics
Dan Zanes is the godfather
Of music for kids and families
But Heidi Swedberg plays the uke
And tunes it with "My dog has fleas."

The Not-Its are a newer band
That play new-fangled kindie rock
But TMBG was the first
To podcast with puppets of sock

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
Line a mantelpiece with GRAMMIES
Rocknoceros will arm-wrestle them
To see who gets to keep the WAMMIES

Woody Guthrie wrote a million
Songs, give or take one or two
His granddaughter Sarah Lee
Mermaid-Ave'd "Go Waggaloo"

Frances England got her start
Fundraising for her kids' preschool
Recess Monkey's biggest asset?
Mayor Monkey suffers no fools

Rani Arbo's string band tunes
Are new to the kids music track
Laurie Berkner hit it big
Playing with a sock named Jack

Morgan Taylor's Gustafer
My favorite yellow song creature
Did you that know that Justin Roberts
Looks like my kid's piano teacher?

Robert Burke Warren is now known
Better here as Uncle Rock
Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang
Have a name too long to mock

From LA, the Hollow Trees
Play some bluegrass and some folk
Ella Jenkins - such a legend
I won't even make a joke

Barry Louis Polisar
30 years, overnight success
Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Have kindie rock's swankiest dress

Raffi had a gift with children, a
Golden voice, and Dan Lanois
Pete Seeger's a national treasure
Springsteen looks to him with awe

Peter Himmelman is multi-talented -
musician, artist, two podcast shows
Ralph Covert's had several labels
They don't deserve him, IMHO

Bill Harley tells funny stories
Occasionally mixed with a tear
23 Skidoo would say that
His name doesn't scan in here

Dean Jones has forgotten more
Instruments than we can name
Eric Herman's elephant
Has given him his YouTube fame

Ashley Albert and her Jimmies
Never take a solemn oath
Sara Hickman, Willie Nelson
Texas State Musicians both

Michael Rachap has his Readeez
Animated words and phrases
The Biscuit Brothers should be shown
In many more PBS places

Leadbelly's another giant
of Smithsonian Folkways heritage
I have no good Jim Cosgrove comment
Luckily he bears no grudge

Suni Paz records in Spanish
English, too, on the same song
Liz Mitchell's her labelmate
Who'd like you please to sing along

Renee and Jeremy's sweet voice
Blend together smooth as silk
Billy Kelly's little secret
Is that he likes beer not milk

Key Wilde gets animated
Singing with pal Mr. Clarke
The Nields recorded a 2-CD set
One for daytime, one for dark

Trout Fishing in America
One short, one tall, both with rapport
Caspar Babypants must have
A million songs in his desk drawer

Debbie Cavalier's at Berklee
The one out east, not way out west
Lunch Money, your songs so nifty
I chose you to end this list.