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April 4, 2013 / John Sieger

Semi-Twang / The Why & The What For / Epic Lyric Page

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Here are all the lyrics to all the songs on the new Semi-Twang recording The Why & The What For. Click on the artwork to travel to CD Baby and buy one… Then get your hootenanny organized!

1. The Wrong Side Of The Tracks

There are flowers

And there are weeds

Nags and thoroughbreds

Lap dogs living the life of ease

And mutts that won’t get fed

There are mansions on the hill

And shacks in shanty town

Bluebloods tryin’ to look away

When poor folks come around

You can wish upon a star

But that won’t change your luck

Drop some coin down in that well

And wish that you had a buck

Some folks can fit everything they own

In a dimestore paper sack

But a man can’t help if he was born

On the wrong side of the tracks

You can’t move a mountain

If the mountain sits on you

And there is no accountin’

For the things some people do

They drop some coin down on the ground

And tell you how you should act

No, a man can’t help if he was born

On the wrong side of the tracks

2. 52 Jokers

 

The lion’s head is mounted on the wall

The bearskin rug beneath you starts to crawl

Oh 52 Jokers — They all know your name

On silver trays the champagne flows like wine

You rock the cash bar trying to numb your mind

Oh 52 Jokers —  Find you just the same

Laugh track’s cranked up through a Marshall stack

And everything you think is feeding back

Oh 52 Jokers —  They all criticize

Another toast — another glass

Another dance — just might be your last

Best man’s weaving — he’s half in the sack

The band just tried to murder Paint It Black

Oh 52 Jokers — Cut you down to size

The lights are spinning way above your head

The chandelier now hanging by a thread

Oh 52 Jokers — Wearing joker capes

The Mickey Finn is kicking in you feel

Like lying down and quitting this whole deal

Oh 52 Jokers — there is no escape

Another toast — another glass

Another dance — just might be your last

3. Au Contraire

 

Au contraire

I beg to disagree

You say it wasn’t you

I know it wasn’t me

Au contraire

We’re not seeing eye to eye

And now I must point out

What you have let slip by

Just a little thing

Far as you’re concerned

But I feel like

Yes I’m getting burned

Au contraire

Please let me call your bluff

You’re selling me thin air

I believe I’ve had enough

Au contraire

Looking in the horse’s mouth

And now I see the truth

I see that I want out

You just walk away

With what you haven’t earned

I’ll just chalk it up

One more thing I’ve learned

Au contraire

Just one minute of your time

While we add up two and two

And try to make it rhyme

Au contraire

Let’s just make that au revoir

Now it’s the longest day

And it’s the saddest hour

People treat you well

Everywhere you go

But the way you act

Man you’d never know

Au contraire

Au contraire

Au contraire

Au contraire

4. The More She Gets The More She Wants

 

Not Content

Not content with her old haunts

The more she gets

The more she gets the more she wants

Practicing

Those jibes and taunts

The more she gets

The more she gets the more she wants

Coming out

Coming out a debutant

The more she gets

The more she gets the more she wants

Like a flag

Unfurled she flaunts

The more she gets

The more she gets the more she wants

Losing sleep

Losing sleep looking gaunt

Cause what she gets

What she gets she don’t want

She steps in line

Right near the front

The more she gets

The more she gets the more she wants

The more she gets the more she wants

The more she gets  the more she wants

The more she gets the more she wants

 

5. You Love Everybody

When you think of

Everyone you hated

seems so easy

to be jaded

But you love everybody

You love everybody

You love everybody

Like the first one

In your head

Like the last one

Up in your bed

But you love everybody

You love everybody

You love everybody

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Whooh!

Tell me baby

Honey please

Don’t you want

Want a man like me?

If you love everybody

You love everybody

You love everybody

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Whooh!

I know it

And you know I know it

6. Contents Under Pressure

Sign on your head — Contents Under Pressure

Someday you’re gonna blow sky high

People gonna point and say my my

The one that blew he was the quiet kind

Let it go now — let it go

Something’s got to give— contents under pressure

Why you want to live like you do

Building up inside of you

The big explosion it’s overdue

Let it go now — let it go

Pointing out the one you’ll get

You can’t forgive — you surely can’t forget — oh no

Saying you won’t budge — contents under pressure

How can you hold a grudge for so long

It tears you up — it brings you down

The gauge on your head it’s spinning round

Let it go now — let it go

Everyday you walk the ledge

So afraid that you might lose your edge

7. Love Interest

Yeah she’s my love interest

Yes she’s a real princess

I can call her when I’m low

And she’ll be there

She will I know

She’ll be there

She will I know

And we’re nocturnal creatures

Going to a double feature

Says she’s gonna meet me at the show

And she’ll be there

She will I know

She’ll be there

She will I know

Did I neglect to mention

She’s got all my attention?

And if there’s somewhere that we want to go

She’ll be there

She will I know

She’ll be there

She will I know

She’ll be there

She will I know

She’ll be there

She will I know

8. Making Everybody Cry

Is anybody in their right mind?

Or has this great big world gone mad?

There’s people treating people unkind

They’re making everybody sad

Did anybody see what happened?

Or was it just too much to face?

With all our troubles overlapping

It makes the world a sadder place

And I wonder why

It is this way

The way it is and it’s always been

And it’s going to stay

Now everybody make your own bed

You know that’s where you’re going to lie

I ask you keep these words in your head

Stop making everybody cry

And I wonder why

It is this way

The way it is and it’s always been

And it’s going to stay

Now everybody make your own bed

You know that’s where you’re going to lie

I ask you keep these words in your head

Stop making everybody cry

Stop making everybody cry

9. Miss Watson

Elementary Miss Watson

Let’s discuss this in my Datsun

You want love I believe I got some

Elementary Miss Watson

Young Miss Livingston I presume

Let’s slip out and take a look at the moon

My head is reeling from your perfume

Young Miss Livingston I presume

Alas Miss Yorick I know her well

Down on the beach playin’ with her shells

I hear the ocean she hears wedding bells

Alas Miss Yorick I know her well

Elementary Miss Watson

Let’s discuss this in my Datsun

You want love I believe I got some

Elementary Miss Watson

Miss Watson

Miss Watson

I believe you got some

Out in your Datsun

And you know I want some

Miss Watson

Miss Watson

Miss Watson

10. A Handsome Man

The reason why I’m walking round

Without a bloody trail

A handsome man

A handsome man

A handsome man can’t go to jail

Take a look at you average con

He’s ugly without fail

A handsome man

A handsome man

A handsome man can’t go to jail

Every single time

For every single crime

He’s gonna get away

He’s never gonna pay

Open up them iron doors

And give me back my bail

A handsome man

A handsome man

A handsome man can’t go to jail

Every single time

For every single crime

He’s gonna get away

He’s never gonna pay

Open up them iron doors

And give me back my bail

A handsome man

A handsome man

A handsome man can’t go to jail

11. Dark Out

Dark out

It’s dark out

Left me in no-man’s land and it’s dark out

Talk out

Baby talk out

Say you don’t need a scene and so you walk out

Yeah you walk out

One little thing you ought to know

One little thing before you go

Oh I love you like anything

And it’s dark out

Dark out

It’s dark out

Left me in no-man’s land and it’s dark out

Talk out

Baby talk out

Say you don’t need a scene and so you walk out

Yeah you walk out

And it’s dark out

Yeah dark out

12. Foghorn

 

Everything is true

That you thought was false

Things come out to get you

When the nightbird calls

And when the foghorn blows

Gonna tear down these walls

Sittin’ by myself

At the end of the pier

Cryin’ man oh man

Get me outta here

Cuz when the foghorn blows

Gonna shed another tear

To the ships at sea it’s a long long way to go

Lyin’ on the waves you can’t see the shore

Listen to the foghorn blow

Blow baby blow

It’s an S.O.S.

From some poor S.O.B.

It’s a distress signal

From some soul lost at sea

And when the foghorn blows

They’ll be comin’ after me

To the ships at sea it’s a long long way to go

Lyin’ on the waves you can’t see the shore

Listen to the foghorn blow

Blow baby blow

Everything is true

That you thought was false

Things come out to get you

When the nightbird calls

And when the foghorn blows

Gonna tear down these walls

All Songs Written By John Sieger

Except #4, 5 & 10 Written By John Sieger & Michael Feldman

Published by Stwangtoons/MCM BMI

 

 

October 4, 2012 / John Sieger

List Of Bob Jennings’ Stolen Gear

Making music can be a mean enough business with out someone stealing all of your gear. Unfortunately, one of Milwaukee’s favorite musicians, utility man extraordinaire Bob Jennings, has had this rotten experience twice in the last three years. It happened overnight last night as thieves busted into his garage and took the tools he uses to make beautiful music. Today his Nord keyboard was recovered by the very alert staff at Record Head. That still leaves some pretty valuable stuff un-recovered. Here is a list of the stolen gear, with serial numbers. If you come across anyone trying to sell it, contact the police and try to do so discretely so that maybe we can nab the villains who did this.

SELMER MARK VI  TENOR SAX  # 125024 in a black zippered soft case; Otto Link #9 gold metal mouthpiece in case; Red Vandoren mouthpiece in case

Horn valued at $4500.00

Case: $200.00

Mouthpieces: $120.00 / $130.00

YANAGASAWA DORADO “600″ BARITONE SAX  # 373992 in a J. Winter gray vinyl hard case; RPC hard rubber mouthpiece (handmade by Ron Coelho) in case;

Horn valued at $1200.00

Case: $200.00

Mouthpiece: $285.00

 

Peavey MK4 4 channel mixer/amp                                                                       $100.00

 

1 Sonic 15” speaker cabinet w/horn speaker                                                       $150.00
 

Red/Orange cube-shaped flight case ($100.00), containing:

 

 1. Roland sustain pedal                                                                                        $35.00

 

 2. 1 Baritone & 1 Tenor sax stands                                                                     $40.00/$15.00

 

 3. 4 Stereo instrument audio cables (2 are double cables)                                    $40.00

 

 4. 2 Audio direct boxes (bound together as one)                                                  $30.00 ea.

 

 5. Rectangular plexiglass (roughly 8’x15’) w/mic stand clip                               $25.00

 

 

July 9, 2012 / John Sieger

Traveling Scales Man

Hello aspiring guitarists! I am happy to announce a paradigm shift (my first!) in the way I teach guitar. I am now offering lessons in the home and how convenient is that? I come to your house, you show me a song you would like to learn, we listen to it and I show you the chords. If you are just beginning to play, we will have you up and running in four lessons or less — if you like “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” or “This Land Is Your Land,” four weeks. “Strawberry Fields Forever,” a little longer.

1/2 hour lesson $35

1 hour lesson $50

Payable in advance

 

June 28, 2012 / John Sieger

Too Hot!

Summer Song List Part Two

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As we move into the blazingly hot part of summer and Wisconsin starts to feel more like Mississippi or Alabama, it’s time to add a few weather related titles to our growing list of summer songs.

In The Summertime, Mungo Jerry: A simple, fun and oddly mysterious ditty that raises two questions. One, who or what is a Mungo Jerry, and B, what kind of music is this? Is it an update of skiffle? That style never really caught on stateside, but I’m assuming it was somewhere between folk and jug band, but with a more british flavor. Of course, neither of these questions stop you from enjoying this absolutely loony-tunes rhythm and lyric.

110 In The Shade, John Fogerty: As a native of the Bay area who sounds like a yooper when he talks, nobody would have guessed John Fogerty would be laying down the swampiest sounds this side of SlimHarpo or Tony Joe White. I guess it doesn’t matter where you live — if you love a musical style, it’s yours. Just be sure to do it justice, and that’s exactly what Fogerty does with this sizzling meditation on the joys of picking cotton in an outdoor steam bath. The authentic and deep vibe is supplied by the Blind Boys Of Alabama, this storied gospel group never sang a note that wouldn’t make you shiver — even on the hottest day.

Too Darn Hot, Cole Porter: From Kiss Me Kate and recorded by a slew of great American artists from Ella Fitzrerald to Mel Torme. The protagonist lays out a lengthy and convincing argument for laying out: It’s too darn hot! Full of manufactured rhyme and the casual genius Porter flashed without any visible strain.

Too Hot, Kool & The Gang: For a song with that title, it’s surprising to hear the music lingering somewhere in the mid fifties. Conjuring an air-conditioned penthouse this song barely crosses the threshold of Muzak to the lower levels of disco-lite. The tinted glass windows hide the blinding sun and singer JamesTaylor (not the Fire And Rain guy) pours a sweetly smooth vocal over the always professional track provided by Kool & The Gang.

Sunny Afternoon, The Kinks: A pixillated tale of resignation in a voice so perfectly British you feel as if you’ve travelled there, the charm of this devilish delight runs about a mile deep. A unique talent, Ray Davies, and an astoundingly sympathetic band create the kind of magic you expect from legends. This is has to be on a lot of desert island discs — and what a pleasant fantasy it is to picture yourself there with the waves lapping, the palms swaying, listening to Ray’s mild complaint— lazing, basically.

Girls In Their Summer Clothes, Bruce Springsteen: This is historic, I rarely say nice things about the Boss Of Bombast, but I admire what he does when his subject matter shrinks from global to the more manageable personal. He must view gift for pop confection as too light or not challenging enough. That’s a shame, especially for those among us who feast on songs like this. It’s a perfect example of what he can do when he isn’t trying to save the world or write it’s latest anthem.

The Summer Wind, Frank Sinatra: Johnny Mercer is one of the great lyricists and his words were often sung best by Sinatra. You Tube invites you to disprove this theory. Another example of how wonderful a “cool” track can sound when the mercury climbs.

©2012 John Sieger

June 11, 2012 / John Sieger

The Songs Of Summer

Oh the joys of summer songs! The more I think about it, the more I want to start a list. These are some of my favorites and a line or two about them.

In no particular order:

 

Hot Fun In The Summertime, Sly And The Family Stone: There are times I am convinced Sly Stone came from a different planet. I find most of his music other-worldly in it’s brilliance and execution. This one has more hooks than velcro, but the main one for me is the rhythm. It’s 4/4 with a heavy triplet feel but I could just as easily say it’s a fast 6/8. It makes me think about time in many different ways.

 

In The Summertime, Roger Miller: There was no end to Roger Miller’s inventiveness and this song is a testament to it. A brilliant funny man at the height of his power, he managed to make a broken heart sound like the more fun than a day at the beach.

 

Summertime, The Gershwins: This song is so good, I would be hard pressed to find a bad version. I suppose that award would go to any revival of the original opera. I don’t like that style of singing, but I love opera singers because they have so much dang confidence!

 

Almost any song by the Beach Boys: They own summer in a way no other group has or ever will. Can

you think of one Beach Boys song that reminds you of winter?

 

Summer In The City, The Lovin’ Spoonful: Rock’s answer to Roger Miller, John Sebastian probably could match him song for catchy song. This is the first “summer” song I learned and it conjures up a lot of fun with it’s day versus night structure.

 

Rain On The Roof, The Lovin’ Spoonful: Hitting the list twice because the Spoonful are a close second in the race for summer dominance. This song, if you haven’t heard it, is google worthy. The joy you will experience is worth the short 20 second search on the internet. I’m guessing it it inspired the next song.

 

When It Rains At The Drive In, NRBQ: An exquisite pop melody that conjures steamy windows and a B movie nobody will be able to recall the next day. Again, Google/Youtube awaits to take you to an enchanting musical place… and the most underrated band in American history.

 

Blackbird, The Beatles: This is the ultimate campfire song of the modern era. For a lot of critics, that is a knock —  but the last thing I would want to do in the summer is sit around and read a book of rock criticism. Having taught this to countless students, it’s still mystifying in the way all great songs are: Where on earth does something like this come from?

 

Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran: There is no way to leave this off a list like this, it’s probably number one for a lot of people.

 

Summer Song, Louis Armstrong & Dave Brubeck: A masterpiece of hip melancholy with two of America’s greatest. A little harder to find (try iTunes) but so worth the trouble. NOTE: This performance will flatten any unsuspecting soul, so exercise caution!

 

©2012 John Sieger

May 24, 2012 / John Sieger

Union Man

Watch the video!

Sometimes you see a bumper sticker supporting a corporate puppet with national ambitions pasted right next to a Mercedes emblem and it speaks to you:

This was the picture I had been waiting for and fell right into my lap. So I took out my little Coolpix and fired away. For a couple months I had bee struggling to put together a video for the song I wrote and recorded with Peter Mulvey called To The Union Man. I had shot dozens of Recall Walker signs in front of modest homes in Milwaukee neighborhoods and wanted to end with a freeze frame like the one above.

The trouble is, I’m not Hitchcock or even an entry level iMovie guy. Yesterday, my friend Chris Hanson took over and created a much better video, starting from scratch and scrapping everything but the bumper sticker. He had already remixed and mastered the song, adding a nice bass part along the way, so I guess you can say I’m really appreciating Chris right now.

The song is supposed to be a throwback to the union songs you might have heard earlier in the last century—the kind where you might have raised your voice and possibly a tankard of fine MIlwaukee beer as you joined a chorus of voices ringing out in the night. Normally, I dislike anthems and other overwrought excuses to join the fight. But, if the tea party is right about one thing, it is this: We do have a class war on our hands. It was declared by the rich and the corporate against the middle class, the working class and the poor. As the old tankard-lifter once said, “Which side are you on?”

This recall election is important, it’s about reclaiming power from special interests like the billionaire Koch Brothers and putting an end to the demonization of teachers and other public servants. If this song helps in anyway to get you fired up in the days leading up to the election, I will be very happy. Now get out and vote!

© 2012 John Sieger / Peter Mulvey

March 21, 2012 / John Sieger

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