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 202011

I got this by email this morning, and it’s too funny not to share. I laughed. I cried. Mostly, I laughed….


Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife… A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry’s Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest…

The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse- sized tazer. The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety….??

WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home, loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I’d get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.


Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn’t be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target.

I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and then thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and tazer in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; and a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I’m looking at this little device measuring about 5″ long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference (loaded with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries); pretty cute really, and thinking to myself, ‘no possible way!’ What happened next is almost beyond description, but I’ll do my best …

I’m sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side so as to say, ‘Don’t do it stupid,’ reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny li’l ole thing couldn’t hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and …


I’m pretty sure Hulk Hogan ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs!

The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note: If you ever feel compelled to ‘mug’ yourself with a tazer, one note of caution: there is NO such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor! A three second burst would be considered conservative!

A minute or so later (I can’t be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs.. I had no control over the drooling.

Apparently I had crapped in my shorts, but was too numb to know for sure, and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head, which I believe came from my hair. I’m still looking for my testicles and I’m offering a significant reward for their safe return!

P.s… My wife can’t stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift and now regularly threatens me with it!

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)