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November 6th, 2007


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02:45 pm - and we would play together, like fine musicians should
I couldn't remember what song Guitar Hero and Rock Band reminded me of until now, when this Harry Chapin goodie popped into my head. For those who don't know the song, the verses are all played on an acoustic guitar ... very badly. But the other instruments come in for the chorus and it sounds like music, and the music does sound good.

Six String Orchestra
Harry Chapin

The very day I purchased it, I christened my guitar
As my Monophonic Symphony Six String Orchestra
In my room I'd practice late, they'd leave me alone
My mother said "You're nothing yet to make the folks write home."

I'd play at all the talent nights; I'd finish, they'd applaud
Some called it muffled laughter, I just figured they were awed
So I went up for an encore, but they screamed they'd had enough
Or maybe I just need a group to help me do my stuff
And so I'd dream a bass will join me and fill the bottom in
And maybe now some lead guitar so it would not sound so thin
I need some drums to set the beat and help me keep in time
And way back in the distance, some strings would sound so fine

And we would play together, like fine musicians should
And it would sound like music, and the music would sound good
But in real life I'm stuck with that same old formula
Me and my Monophonic Symphony Six String...
Orchestra.
Oh, I write love songs for my favorite girl and sing them soft and slow
But before I get to finish, she says she has to go
She's nice and says "Excuse me, I've got to find a bar
I think I need refreshment for I hear you play guitar."

Oh, I sent a demo tape I made to the record companies
Two came back address unknown, one came back COD
Of course I got form letters all saying pleasant things
Like suggesting I should find a trade where I would not have to sing
And so I'd dream a bass will join me and fill the bottom in
And maybe now some lead guitar so it would not sound so thin
I need some drums to set the beat and help me keep in time
And way back in the distance, some strings would sound so fine

And we would play together, like fine musicians should
And it would sound like music, and the music would sound good
But in real life I'm stuck with that same old formula
Me and my Monophonic Symphony Six String...
Orchestra.
I've been taking guitar lessons but my teacher just took leave
It was something about a breakdown or needing a reprieve
I know I found my future so I will persevere
And hold onto my dream of making music to their ears...

(CHORUS, THEN OUT)


The Smothers Brothers performed this live at a Harry Chapin tribute concert. It's a lovely track, punctuated by some of their older chestnuts.

DICK: Gee, Tommy, that's some of the best guitar playing I've ever heard from you.
TOM: Thank you!
DICK: That's not a compliment.
TOM: But you just said it was the best guitar playing you've heard from me!
DICK: Yes, I did, but it's not a compliment.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:off_coloratura
Date:November 6th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
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God, I love that song. Scooter sang it on "The Muppet Show."

I remember Harry Chapin sounding so pathetically hopeful at the end: "Oh... I'm gonna be a star." Always broke my heart, that song.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 6th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
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I remember the Scooter version too. He got some great songs during his run: Harry Chapin, Randy Newman's "Simon Smith and his Dancing Bear"...

The chorus is always so hopeful and happy. Who hasn't imagined a similar scenario?
[User Picture]
From:limax
Date:November 6th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I was going to comment the same thing. It's a good thing that I checked before I dooped.
[User Picture]
From:p_x_l
Date:November 6th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
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yay Harry Chapin love! (says the corey)

it's on youtube, too: http://youtube.com/watch?v=2CPldnVLYCI

i can't listen to this song and not get goosebumps when the chorus kicks in the first time.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 7th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
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His live shows looked and sounded like they were a real blast. At least, for the light songs. He's always foolin around with the rest of the group, cracking jokes, and having a good time. He just loved what he did and he did it so well.

I still love that live version of 30,000 Pounds of Bananas, especially the part where he talks about testing out two alternate song endings on his brother and bandmates. And the first one of course starts with "Yes, we have no bananas..."
[User Picture]
From:p_x_l
Date:November 7th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
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yup yup yup, the concert version of that is amazing. my dad saw him several times before he [Harry] died and he said they were just amazing shows.

I have a DVD of him doing a show in Germany somewhere, and while the audience seems to be really enjoying the music, it's obvious that they don't speak english and can't figure out how to participate. When he does bananas, there's like 2 english speaking people who know what to do. It's funny but still really enjoyable.
[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:November 6th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
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Speaking of Smothers Brothers...



Enjoy.
[User Picture]
From:limax
Date:November 6th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
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Ah yes... Smothers Bros with the Boston Pops. That was a great concert.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 7th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
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The Yo-Yo Man song always makes me happy cause A. it's a happy tune and B. I know that when I hear it, I'm gonna see me some yo-yo tricks.

(my favorite is still the Rock The Baby, Cha-Cha-Cha)
[User Picture]
From:cursethedark
Date:November 7th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
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I always liked Shoot The Moon.

When we saw the Smothers Brothers last year, Tommy closed out his Yo-Yo Man set with Blast Off. Got some pretty impressive height on it, too.
[User Picture]
From:cursethedark
Date:November 6th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
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This is the first I've ever heard of this song. God, that's depressing.

But it's great.
[User Picture]
From:littlegirltoast
Date:November 7th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
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B-but Harry! A guitar is polyphonic !!
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 7th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
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He can't hear you. :(
[User Picture]
From:gwynethfar
Date:November 7th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
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FYI, you mention a Tom, Dick and a Harry in this post.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 7th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
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Well, that's not such a hard accomplishment; any T-- oh.

now cole porter is in my head, hello cole

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