Nov 182011

Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea,
and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honna Lee…

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff, oh

Together they would travel on boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff’s gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name, oh

A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
Painted wings and giants’s rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave
So, Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave, oh

The Tune: Puff the Magic Dragon in D (PDF)

Nov 162011

This one’s for Megan.

The World's Largest Shovel... or, at least one big enough to take the top off of a mountain and ruin the land.

When I was a child my family would travel
Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born
And there’s a backwards old town that’s often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn.

And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

Well, sometimes we’d travel right down the Green River
To the abandoned old prison down by Adrie Hill
Where the air smelled like snakes and we’d shoot with our pistols
But empty pop bottles was all we would kill.
Repeat Chorus:

Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.
Repeat Chorus:

When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam
I’ll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin’
Just five miles away from wherever I am.
Repeat Chorus:

The Tune: Paradise (in G). (PDF)

Nov 152011

Here’s a short little tune chocked full of accidentals. The Gray Goose. Lord, Lordy, Lord.

Oh, early Sunday mornin’, Lord, Lord, Lord
The preacher went a huntin’, Lord, Lord Lord

And he carried along a shotgun, Lord, Lord, Lord
And along came a grey goose, Lord, Lord, Lord
Well he shot down a grey goose, Lord, Lord, Lord
And down come the grey goose, Lord, Lord, Lord
Took six weeks a’ fallin’, Lord, Lord, Lord
And six weeks a’ haulin’,Lord, Lord, Lord

And they put him on the table, Lord, Lord, Lord
And your wife and my wife, Lord, Lord, Lord
They had a feather pickin’, Lord, Lord, Lord
And they put him in the oven, Lord, Lord, Lord
But the oven wouldn’t burn him, Lord, Lord, Lord
But the fork wouldn’t stick it, Lord, Lord, Lord
And the knife wouldn’t cut it, Lord, Lord, Lord

And they him in the hog pen, Lord, Lord, Lord
But the hog couldn’t eat it, Lord, Lord, Lord
And he broke the hog’s teeth out, Lord, Lord, Lord
So they threw him in the sawmill, Lord, Lord, Lord
And the sawmill wouldn’t cut him, Lord, Lord, Lord
And he broke the saw’s teeth off, Lord, Lord, Lord

And the last time I seen him, Lord, Lord, Lord
She was flyin’ ‘cross the ocean, Lord, Lord, Lord
With a long string o’gosling, Lord, Lord, Lord
And they’re all goin’ quack, quack, Lord, Lord, Lord.

The Tune: The Gray Goose [in G(ish)] (PDF)

Sep 172011

This is a communion hymn. I particularly like it for its ancient sound. I’ve posted two versions of this tune. The first (in “G”) is a little more accurate and the second (in “D”) is a little bit easier to play. The original is in D-flat-minor or something like that…. which sounds more like a punchline than a musical key. Anyway, here are the tunes:


The Tune: Draw Near in G (PDF)

The Tune: Draw Near in D (PDF)

Sep 112011

How Great Thou Art

I spent another weekend with the Big Guy in a monastery… with no Internet… no big screen television… no happy hour… not much of anything, really. But I did have a little free time on my hands to catch up on listening to some organ music and thinking about how cool it would be to get my hands on a set of those pipes so I could drill fingering holes and play them like whistles. You know… like they ought to be played.

Somebody distract the abbot. I’ll grab a hand full of the smaller ones and make a break for it!

The Tune: How Great Thou Art (in D) (PDF) (Play on a Bb Whistle for Original Key)

Sep 082011

So, on weekdays when the Big Guy goes off to work, he usually leaves me at home with Sneetch the Wonderdog. Sneetch watches Nickelodeon in the morning and when I wake up – usually mid- to late-afternoon – Sneetch and I start channel surfing and usually watch a little Cops or Lost in Space or something. Sneetch can’t change the channels by himself… no opposable thumbs.

Well, the other morning I just couldn’t get to sleep. I’d been playing Star Wars Battlefront II all night (and let me just say if I had been born a Super Battle Droid long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, then that whole “revolution” thing would have ended completely different) and I just couldn’t get to sleep.

So, I went in and watched Nickelodeon with Sneetch. He was watching something called Bubble Guppies. I’d never heard of it before. But these little tadpole characters would ask questions, and Sneetch would answer them. (I think he thinks they can actually hear him. Silly puppy.)

Anyway… they asked “What sound does a cow make?” and Sneetch said, “Moo! Moo!” They said he was right.

Next they asked what sound does a horse make, and Sneetch said “Nay, nay!” He got that one right, too. I don’t know why creatures that live under the sea are so interested in the vocabulary of terrestrial animals, but there it is.

Finally, they asked what sound a pig makes. Sneetch and I shouted out the answer together. Apparently, the right answer – or, at least the one they were looking for – was “Oink, oink.” We still think we were right, though; we said, “sizzle! Sizzle!”

Bacon. It’s what’s for dinner. Pity there isn’t a song about it.

The Tune: Bacon in D (PDF)

Sep 072011

A tune with a thousand names… I just kinda like this one. Planxty. Maggie Browne.

Maggie Browne

The nice young lady in the red pants is named Maggie Browne. The nice young lady in the foreground is named Concussion Muffin. Did I ever tell you about the night I fell in love with a roller derby queen, round and round, oh, round and round....

The Tune: Planxty Maggie Browne in G (PDF)