June 13, 2008 6:29 PM

For this month's LYRIC Challenge. Jessamyn's comment was the spark that got this song going. This was also a chance to do a little strummin' on my new Strumstick. I've been having fun with it.

You might notice I seem to have bent the rule a bit. Not on purpose, though: somehow, early on in the process of writing this, the comment got changed in my head, and right up until posting it here I'd been thinking that the comment was "life is a series of...", rather than "life is all about...". I'm kind of bummed, cause the point is to use the EXACT PHRASE (which would've worked just fine in this song) but, like Carol King said, it's too late, baby. I'm still tagging it LYRICchallenge, and hoping you'l forgive me!


life is a series of conflicting desires
you want to stay out of the frying pan
but you don't want to land in the fire
you want to find the perfect mate
of course you also want to be free
conflicting desires
as far as the eye can see
as far as the eye can see

life is a total disaster
of what they call "epic proportions"
they make you jump through all kinds of hoops
while you do your contortions
there's always a landlord somewhere
there's always some rent to pay
another little disaster each and every day
each and every day

life is a noisy party next door
when you're trying to sleep
life is a whispered promise in your ear
that you know she won't keep
day by day and night by night
we're just trying to beat the clock
at the end of the day you're another day older
with another new hole in your sock
another new hole in your sock

life is what you make it
i've heard it said a million times
but life is what everyone else makes it, too
and there's often no reason nor rhyme
you say you're a self made man
yeah sure, go tell it to your mother
and bartender, whatever you're pouring
i believe i'll have another
i believe i'll have another

copyright Samm Bennett / Directional Music

posted by flapjax at midnite (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I want a strumstick. I want a strumstick, I want a strumstick.

I am also happy that you got one, flapjax. I had never heard of the thing, but I fell in love with it immediately, and I gotta say it's a great addition to your arsenal.

As for the transgression of the rules. Let's wait till we have full quorum before the trial begins.
posted by micayetoca at 6:37 PM on June 13, 2008

awesome. thank you for sharing flapjax
posted by gen at 8:41 PM on June 13, 2008

Great! I was trying to work out how to incorporate the phrase as a lyric, and couldn't think how to make it fit. You came up with solution: pessimism of epic proportions! Good job.
posted by nthdegx at 1:20 AM on June 14, 2008

I'll have another too, please, but the next round is on me! Flapjax, this is really great stuff, man. I hope that you have plans to record more of you on the strumstick, it really sounds good!
posted by snsranch at 5:24 PM on June 14, 2008

Cool! I couldn't care less about the distortion of the "rules" -- do they exist to inspire us to make music? I think that's the point, and hey look they did, so yeah.

What's the tambouriney thing? What are the jingles made of?

I was thinking about getting a Strumstick, but I ended up getting a solid-body three-string electric dulcimer instead. Hopefully that will end up on MeFiMu sometime soon.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:40 AM on June 15, 2008

Thanks for your kind words, folks.

Karlos, the tambouriney thing is a... surprise... tambourine! With somewhat dullish metal jingles, not bright, ringy ones. I held a pair of small maracas in the other hand while doing that track, though, so it's actually tambourine plus shakers. I also held the tambourine sideways, so that the jingle sounds kind of linger in a loose and sloppy way after each hit, rather than cutting off more sharply, as they will when you bring a tambourine down with every hit.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:20 AM on June 15, 2008

this is excellent! every little thing about it works for me. and your wonderful lyrics just make the whole twangy, rattling concoction taste that much sweeter. so that sound is a strumstick, eh? never even heard of it before and now i want one. you shouldn't worry about slightly bending the rules--my entry this time (if it even qualifies as one) raises far more questions about what should be permissible than your minor transgression. What Karlos the Jackal said on the point seems like a pretty reasonable view.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:45 PM on June 15, 2008

Flapjax, the way your rhythm section always breathes makes me feel like I should swear off of using sequenced drums. It sounds great.
posted by umbĂș at 10:42 AM on June 22, 2008

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