Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wake up singing

Around here we sing in the morning. It's always been this way, I think.  Joe generally wakes up with a song in his head, and we sing the words we know, make up the rest.  Mostly we make up the rest because it's more fun, singing about folding laundry or whatever is in front of us.  I always sang nonsense songs to The Kid when he was little to get him out of bed.  And I spent 13 years singing nonsense to Jasper every single morning, absurd lyrics about his ever-growing cuteness and how much I loved him -- every single day.  When The Kid sleeps here, which happens less and less often, it puts a bit of a damper on the morning sing, but we still do it, quietly, big birds chirping sedately behind the closed door of our room, egging each other on with stranger and stranger punny variations, always eager to make the other laugh or ooh-and-aaah over our cleverness.

Sometimes the song is awful.  There was a while when we were stuck with Bruno Mars.  Don't get me wrong: Bruno Mars has a lovely, lovely voice and I love the melodies, but the lyrics to "Grenade" are a horror.  

I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah , yeah)
You know I'd do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, oh
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same

Fortunately, there are any number of goofy combinations you can make out of these lines, so we're not always singing about causing ourselves grave injury.  Incidentally, I don't really have a problem with the "bullet in the brain" concept -- this is not about the violence of the lyrics themselves (Black Flag, anyone?).  It's more the bizarre juxtaposition of the melody with these words.

Anyway, there really are days when we're stuck singing a song we don't like so much, its catchiness catching us up.  I think there might have been a period of Black Eyed Peas, oh horror of horrors.

So I was really glad when Joe woke up this morning singing "Dear God" by XTC, a song I hadn't thought about for years, and which has really really amazing lyrics.  The video is sure dated, but this is a great song.  On this one, we're not as interested in changing up the lyrics.  We like to sing it as written, a simple anthem for morning birds greeting the day.

Dear god, hope you get the letter and...
I pray you can make it better down here
I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer
But all the people that you made in your image
See them starving in the street
'Cause they don't get enough to eat from god
I can't believe in you

Dear god, sorry to disturb you but...
I feel that I should be heard loud and clear
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
And all the people that you made in your image
See them fighting in the street
'Cause they can't make opinions meet about god
I can't believe in you

Did you make disease and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!

Dear god don't know if you noticed but...
Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book
And us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look
And all the people that you made in your image
still believing that junk is true
Well I know it ain't, and so do you
Dear god
I can't believe in
I don't believe

I won't believe in heaven or hell
No saints, no sinners, no devil as well
No pearly gates, no thorny crown
You're always letting us humans down
The wars you bring, the babes you drown
Those lost at sea and never found
And it's the same the whole world 'round
The hurt I see helps to compound
That father, son and holy ghost
Is just somebody's unholy hoax
And if you're up there you'll perceive
That my heart's here upon my sleeve
If there's one thing I don't believe in

It's you
Dear god 

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