I Love Tea Parties on the Ceiling

December 7, 2007 12:17 AM

An old song based on this scene from Mary Poppins that I told melissa may I'd post a long time ago.

My friend Matt used to bring his Tascam 4-track recorder to my house for the weekend (or I'd go to his, that's why this is "skunk and the fat man take two"--skunk and the fat man being two action figures he kept on his TV from something or other; although the lyrics are from an earlier, uh, session) and we'd record/write music, watch movies, and go out to bars (among other things). This one's from about 1996.

The lyrics are mostly from a bar conversation between Matt, myself, and my roommate at the time (John, the mechanical engineering PhD student, although he didn't have a paddle for an arm, that's just what it looks like to me when you have your hand in your pit to keep it warm when it is cold and I answer the door at 3am when you come home; by the way, he was the first person I ever knew to mention merkins and came up with the chorus, for some reason, which made sense at the time). There are also things that were going on at that exact moment ("Block it out and send out for a pizza." and "Ding dong here comes John..."), and things that were running through my head that seemed relevant ("This is no waste of time."). Of course, there are also words there just to make sure things rhyme/fit the timing of the cadence.

"Good times, great times," as Jerri Blank used to say.


I love tea parties on the ceiling, macaroons and brine. Ding dong here comes John with a paddle for an arm. This is no waste of time, lace doilies on your counter. We're all dressed up like heads of a Nevada cult. I don't love you since you ate my dog. I don't love you since you ate my dog.

Put on your pussy wig we'll dance a jig at 3 a.m. We'll sit on mountain tops and freeze our toes in fields of valium. I don't love you since you ate my dog. I don't love you since you ate my dog. I don't love you since you ate my dog. I don't love you since you ate my dog.

Blast off was short, the Japanese girl has chlamydia. Block it out and send out for a pizza. We watched the tires roll; Bartholomew interjected, "It's nothing like the candle on my toilet." I don't love you since you ate my dog. I don't love you since you ate my dog.

posted by sleepy pete (11 comments total)

Holy shit, I never knew those were the words. Yikes. You guys were high every second of life.

"I don't love you since you ate my dog" is still the best country lyric ever, though, and it still brings a tear to my eye that all the percussion came from kitchen implements.
posted by melissa may at 12:30 AM on December 7, 2007

This is fantastic, truly fantastic. Is that a washboard doing the trrrrrrr tr trrrrrrrr?

And I know taco stands in Mexico where "I don't love you since you ate my dog" wouldn't be an unusual thing to hear.
posted by micayetoca at 7:12 AM on December 7, 2007

Actually, micayetoca, it's a cake pan I used to have that had dimples on it being scraped by a fork, but it worked well as a washboard. The other drums are a cardboard box, Matt's couch with distorted mic (added after the initial recording), and an overturned metal trash can with some coins underneath a loosely taped paper towel on the top. There's a few metal bowls in there for cymbals as well. I'm glad you liked it.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:52 AM on December 7, 2007

beautiful! the cake pan has a really pleasing chunky quality. is there a dulcimer in the mix, too? (unfortunately i'm listening over crappy laptop speakers so some of the details are hard to make out).
posted by saulgoodman at 9:00 AM on December 7, 2007

Ha! So great.
posted by cortex at 9:05 AM on December 7, 2007

saulgoodman, it's a toy called a lap harp. Man, whatever happened to that thing? There's also a little xylophone in there and a Juno 6.

The recording is actually pretty mushy (that's the technical term) without a lot of distinctive clarity, so it's not just your speakers.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:37 AM on December 7, 2007

Lap harp! we call them salterios in Spanish, and now that I googled it to see if I could find an image I could use, I was rather surprised to see that wikipedia calls it a percussion instrument. Very rock n' roll of them to be beating up instruments meant for picking and plucking.

And mushy is a great term. That's a tag that I could easily add to all my recordings.
posted by micayetoca at 10:02 AM on December 7, 2007

This rules. Has an early-Beck carefree, jangly guitar thing going on.
posted by ORthey at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2007

Man, this is so great to listen to. For being a "fun" song it still has so much integrity. Depth.

(Confessing to eating your dog: it was in Tijuana, late '80s, Santana playing in the Bull-Ring. Sorry.)
posted by snsranch at 6:01 PM on December 7, 2007

This sounds like a really good Beat Happening side project.
posted by escabeche at 12:45 PM on December 8, 2007

wow, thanks for this.
posted by garfy3 at 11:38 AM on December 9, 2007

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