Thanks to the Wishing Well

April 30, 2009 6:41 PM

If not for MeFi Challenge deadlines, I might never actually finish a song. This one has only two chords (D and G). Instruments used, in order of appearance: Autoharp, marimba, marxophone, triangle, glockenspiel, and accordion.

I have a couple of other songs in different stages of completion that might only use two chords, but when I was messing around with one of them I accidentally wrote this one instead. Lyrics came about through one of my favorite methods, the "open your mouth and start making sounds" method; once I knew what the song was about I was able to figure out the rest of it.

Technical notes: There are actually two autoharp tracks. When figuring out the structure, I took single autoharp chords and cut and pasted and looped them; that track is still there, panned all the way to the left, and then there's a straight-up 'harp track dead center.

No electronic instruments, a rarity for me. Everything was recorded with the ShinyBox ribbon mic. Backup vox were recorded through the Electroharmonix Voice Box, and they're doubled with a second, higher octave on top, but I can't pick it out in the mix.

posted by Karlos the Jackal (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite


This path leads to the wishing well. Some people say the well leads straight to hell, but I believe if you toss in a coin it multiplies a hundred times. I walk down there each and every day, every penny that I scrounge and save goes in the well and every cent counts toward my just reward. I don’t need to get a job -- leave the hard work to the unwashed mob -- I’ll sit and grin and wait for the money to roll in. Thank you, wishing well.

So now I lie here lazy-boned, I get up now and then to search the family home; anything of value that I find I throw into the well – heave-ho! My father sighed and sadly said, “It’s like pulling teeth to get you out of bed.” I had the last laugh when he died, for I then threw in his gold teeth, too! I don’t need to find a bride: she’ll simply show up, starry-eyed. I have faith the wishing well will soon provide. Thank you, wishing well

Eighty years went by so fast; all my chances came and passed. I could have got it all myself by now if not for that wishing well.

posted by Karlos the Jackal at 6:43 PM on April 30, 2009

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-ha! I knew we were going to get a last minute song by you. Even if it was for that alone, it would be a great reason to keep the challenges going.

This one's really nice. I like the way you used that The-Doorsy keyboard thing. The Marxophone-- ooh, the accordion just came in. That was very nice-- But sorry, I was talking about the Marxophone. Last time I think it was very high up in the mix and you played it all the way through, (probably because it was its debut), but this time it is just perfect.

I like the "bed" you made with the autoharps, it gives it some sort of "hammock swinging" feel that suits the song. I like the voices as well. I like all of it. I'd favorite it but I can't favorite stuff anymore. Still, very nice song. Ready for the next challenge?
posted by micayetoca at 7:02 PM on April 30, 2009

Fantastic. I really like the way the marimba sounds -- there's something about the frequencies that really makes it kind of pop or something and it interacts really well with the autoharps. The breakdown riff (on the marxophone, I'm guessing is what that is) is also cool.
posted by raisindebt at 8:29 PM on April 30, 2009

One of my favorites, Karlos. Way to go! The marxophone makes a really spectacular song. Good backing vocals, and I think the accordion is wonderfully added in the most subtle way it can be. You and your collection of instruments... whew.
posted by Corduroy at 10:32 PM on April 30, 2009

I love it and, as always, envy your array of awesome instruments. What nifty sounds.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:34 AM on May 1, 2009

Love the chimey quality of this! It reminds me of Madagascar music, particularly the traditional string instrument of that island nation, a lovely and rather unusual one called the valiha.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:01 AM on May 1, 2009

This was like an audio magic trick. I didn't even realize it was two chords until I read the description. Love all the instruments - they don't compete at all with each other which is great.
posted by quadog at 3:31 PM on May 1, 2009

Great. I really like your singing on this one.
And, marxophone? I thought it was a dulcimer. Love that sound. I remember when that first Portishead song, Sour Times, started being played on the radio, I would stop everything: what is that sound? Love it.
posted by chococat at 9:02 PM on May 1, 2009

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