Saturday, October 3, 1998

Song fragments

These are unfinished bits or bits that don't show enough promise to be a real song. Many of them come from an attempt I did at writing "high-tech folk songs," few of which actually worked. The idea seems too contrived, now. Oh well. Hooray for the art of punmanship.

Didn't pay the bills on my Cellular One
I fought McCaw and McCaw won
I fought McCaw and McCaw won
Didn't have the money to pay none
I fought McCaw and McCaw won
I fought McCaw and McCaw won

I lost my cell phone and I feel so bad
My phone number's gone
Don't tell me cellular's just some fad
I fought McCaw and McCaw won
I fought McCaw and McCaw won

I took (and later helped teach) a class in university about the art and practice of desktop publishing. I did a project to evaluate textbooks for the class. One of the books about how to use PageMaker was so badly designed that I couldn't recommend it even though the content was in fact very good. It was set entirely in Lubalin Graph, with keywords set in scaled small caps (that is, small caps that are simply scaled-down versions of the big caps). This looks bad anyway and looks absolutely horrible in a face where all the lines appear to be the same thickness, as in Lubalin Graph. I learned to really hate Lubalin Graph after that. (And later I bought a laser printer that had it built in. Ugh.)

Anyway, when I realized that "Cumberland Gap" had the same meter as "Lubalin Graph" I couldn't help trying to write a parody. It never really worked. I find longer verses make parodies much easier to write.

I cried so hard it made me laugh;
I read a book set in Lubalin Graph.

Lubalin Graph, Lubalin Graph:
Just can't stand that Lubalin Graph.

Typographic arts and crafts
are demeaned by Lubalin Graph.

Of the faces Egyptian
None are worse than Lubalin's.

My eyes squint with Avant Garde;
Lubalin Graph is twice as hard.

Small caps scaled from full size
Show imbalance to the eyes.

CHORUS: (sing twice)
Weave, weave, weave me a web site
Out on the internet.
Weave me the hope of a new IPO,
And fill up my wallet.

Well I've seen the Apple and the Commodore crumble
Shine on me again.
Even Microsoft has stumbled,
Shine on me again.

If only I could money borrow
Shine on me again.
I'd help you to fund your new IPO
Shine on me again.

Come all of you webmasters,
Good news to you I'll tell
About that new ISP
Who's come in here to dwell.

Which site are you on?
Which site are you on?
Which site are you on?
Which site are you on?

This has been running through my mind forever. I never could think of a verse though (to take the place of "I got a mule and her name is Sal," and so forth).

We've hauled some music in our day,
Mozart, Chopin, and Bizet,
And we've run every inch of the way
From the outer ear to the cochlea.

Low note, everybody down,
Low note, for we're haulin' down a sound.
And you'll always know your Elgar, you'll know your Pachelbel
If you've ever navigated on the Ear Canal.