Monday, April 21, 2008

Studebakers Revisited

A while back I wrote about the chain of events that led to my writing a tribute song to Paul Westerberg. His song about Alex Chilton + They Might Be Giants song 'We're The Replacements' = My song 'Blame It On Paul'.

However, there was a link in that equation that had gone missing. Justin and I had tried to write a tribute to They Might Be Giants one fateful day in his backyard. There are probably about 8,746 entries to come about that backyard but for now let's just say that he had a river on one border of his house and a turf farm on the other and a lot of loud musical equipment.

We wrote a great deal of material out on that turf farm, beers packed in ice, acoustic guitar on Justin's arm. This was before I'd learned to truly play the guitar myself so I was still the singer. I used to be the lyricist but Justin was quickly becoming a lyricist in his own right. He also started wanting to sing. I was starting to feel like Van Halen inverted.

But I'm a dedicated fan as well as a performer. So it was quite an easy transition to make. We still collaborated from time to time, most famously on a cassette tape that is now buried on a median strip in France for reasons that Justin and I cannot recall.

The following lyrics were to be sung in a counterpoint duet, a la They Might Be Giants. We may have actually sung it a couple of times but it disappeared into the ether. Or, at least, the music did.

The words? I found them. On my recent trip home I was burrowing in the attic. I found roughly 75 notebooks filled with scribbling torrents that more often than not rhymed.

Buried deep inside these treasures (ahem), I found the following...

They Might Be Studebakers

She was a studebaker she drove me crazy
It amazed me that a studebaker could
Grow so big
A pig with charms that alarmed
The gas station attendant
A dependent chile could not grow so wild
As she - the studebaker
She was a studebaker her high beams
The extremes that always seemed to
Grow so big
No car from the mar (that's the sea to you and me)
Could grow so large as the studebaker
She was a studebaker
She could eat all the stu the baker made for me and you
But stu many bakers
Spoil the broth
Time to change the oil
My blood began to boil
At the thought of the coil of her tail fins
Tho her name was Marge by en larged she was a barge
We called the studebaker


I can't tell you the depths of hilarity that this assumed in the moment of creation. If our enthusiasm were the only gauge this song vaulted right into the pantheon of novelty/tribute songs far above 'fish heads' and just shy of 'turning japanese'.

Things can get a little weird out there in Usquepaugh.

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