Song Of The Year

March 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
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At the bank yesterday morning, some chicka named Kim (I know about four or five Kims) asked me to come over and look at someone’s computer, with the excuse that they were having trouble with it.
He has a officle.  It’s bigger than a regular cube, and it’s shaped like an office except the walls are only five and half feet tall, and portable, made of cube material, and there’s no door.  It’s kind of like shaping tofu into a t-bone steak–it may look nice, but it’s still tofu.  Steak sauce won’t help.
Anyway, several people–work-friends–are gathered there and my first thought is, “Shit, not another intervention.”  My second thought was, “What could it be for *this* time?”
Before I can protest, someone says, “Listen to this.”  It’s playing on computer speakers and it’s kind of low, so I can barely make it out.  Acoustic guitar and some singing.  A familiar tune.  Suddenly the light dawns on me.  *TOO* familiar.  It’s lyrics that I wrote.  Somebody STOLE my song!
I didn’t say anything yet, which was good, because I would have made an ass of myself.  “Sound familiar?” somebody said.
I turned, and she handed me a CD case and explained.  Last year in October or November, I sent around by email these lyrics that are a parody of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.”  They got to Linda, and she sent them to her husband.  Her husband and brother-in-law have a band.  They were tickled by the lyrics and they thought up a great idea.  The band practiced the song, performed it, and recorded it.  A girl at the bank clandestinely took my picture, and another woman took the photo and ‘shopped it onto the cover of the original Simon and Garfunkel album art, and changed it to my name and the name of the song.
I listened to the song again.  They really went all out on this.  I was amazed and just knocked on my butt at the lengths they went to.  I just felt–wow.  I felt like a rock star.  I felt like I won the Grammy.  I felt special, like a sitcom’s very-special-episode kind of special, but in a good way.  It warmed my heart and the cockles of my balls.

And all of this because 16 years ago or so, I heard the song and different words went through my head, and I knew I had to go with it.  I re-wrote the lyrics to be more applicable to something I could relate to:  Pizza Delivery.  The new song was called, “The Sound of Slices.”
Whenever the song comes up in conversation, I casually mention that I was with Art Garfunkel before Paul Simon was.  We toured the local bus station circuit doing folk music.  I had just written that song when Paul Simon came along.  I got kicked out, and they stole my material–it was this whole big thing.  Paul Simon rewrote the lyrics, but my version makes more sense.  Obviously.  It’s about my life delivering pizza back in the 1950s.
I told them that story, and then sent them the lyrics.  And they did all of that work.  It’s just amazing.  It makes me happy to know that I have friends that will do things like that, and people who actually think my material is good enough to do that do.  I am now–officially–a published songwriter.  Let me go ahead and give you the lyrics. 

THE SOUND OF SLICES

Pizza boxes my old friends
I’ve come to fold you up again
Because a GM softly creeping
Woke me up when I was sleeping,
And the threat of being fired still remains
In my brain
Within the sound of slices

Out on runs I go alone
Driving fast and getting stoned
Beneath the halo of a streetlamp
I deliver in the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash
Of a neon light
“Open All Night”
To serve the sound… of slices

And in florescent light I saw
10 thousand pizzas, maybe more
Pizzas stacking without leaving
Pizzas sitting and not going
Pizzas growing old and drivers never care
No one dared
Disturb the sound of slices.

“Fools!” said I, “You do not know!
“Sliced like that it cannot go!”
Hear my words that I might teach you
Grab my apron that I might train you
But my words, like pepperoni fell
And in the air the smell
Of slices

And the people bitched but paid
For the pizza that I made
And the sign flashed out its warning
See the words that it was forming
And the sign said the slices of the pizza
Are for sale near the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper the sound… of slices

 

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