Balloon Boy ballad collaboration

November 3, 2009 5:58 AM

A couple of days after balloon boy I worked out some lyrics for a ballad while riding my bike around town. Now I just need a banjo player...

For some reason the old folk song "Darling Corey" often comes into my head as I start my bike rides, so these lyrics are to that tune. If someone capable of banjo-picking wants to take the lyrics and put them to music, feel free! I've uploaded a version of Darling Corey here for reference (warning, audio autoplays).


Throw up, throw up! Falcon Heene
You don't know what to do
Daddy told you what to say
But his words were all untrue

People call your daddy crazy,
but he says he's like a fox
He built a shiny balloon
And hid you in a box

"Hide away, hide away, Falcon Heene!"
That's what daddy said
The world thought you were flying
The world feared you were dead

Come on out, come on out of the attic
Show the world you're on the ground
Come on out, come on out of the attic
You are cable TV bound

Oh the last time I seen Falcon Heene
He was talkin' on TV
Getting sick to his stomach
While dad watched nervously

Throw up, throw up! Falcon Heene
But know we don't blame you
Your daddy's been a sinnin'
And now his time is due.
posted by mikepop (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Ha! Great lyrics.

"Darlin' Corey" is far enough out of my style, and Seeger's banjo picking so far beyond my own abilities, that I can't see being much help with anything remotely faithful as far as renditions go, but I know there's folks here who could.

I'm tempted to do an only gesturally-similar take, though. Turn it into more of a rocker. I'll chew on it.
posted by cortex at 11:13 AM on November 3, 2009

mikepop! Thanks for introducing me to Darlin' Corey. That is tight.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:23 PM on November 3, 2009

Cortex - thanks! Glad you liked them. I'd be happy to hear any take on them, banjo or otherwise.

Ocherdraco - I totally agree - lyrically, vocally, and, um, banjo-ily that song takes no prisoners.
posted by mikepop at 6:23 AM on November 4, 2009

mikepop, great job on these lyrics. If I can make the time, I'm gonna try to carve out a version of this that'll be in the folk spirit, but with something other than finger-picking banjo accompaniment. I've always loved Darling Corey, and I'm pretty sweet on her cousin Pretty Polly too.

As for Darling Corey, I'm real partial to Roscoe Holcomb's more rough-hewn version. All props to Pete Seeger for turning people on to American folk song throughout his long career, but I've never been able to really get with his performances, as they seem too codified and clean-shaven to me. Just personal taste, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:28 PM on November 4, 2009

Something that I don't know how to characterize other than as bordering on Bow Wow Wow started coming together in my head while I was in the shower.
posted by cortex at 3:44 PM on November 4, 2009

flapjax, I love Pretty Polly (and basically any murder ballad). They're fantastic. My favorite Pretty Polly is the one on this album by Kristi Rose and Fats Kaplin.

But that's not surprising, as they're my aunt and uncle.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:14 PM on November 4, 2009

The Bow Wow Wow angle mostly evaporated, but here's the song. Yards and Yards from Seeger, in any case. Lot of fun to record; thanks for the inspiration, mikepop.
posted by cortex at 2:12 PM on November 6, 2009

Ha, that is fantastic!
posted by mikepop at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2009

I went ahead and recorded the vocals in the style of the Seeger version.

I only had Windows and Sound Recorder available, so I had to do each verse as a separate file. I don't know if they are usable, but here they are.
posted by mikepop at 4:13 PM on November 6, 2009

I really want to listen to all of this, but alas, I am on a device which won't let me.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:33 AM on November 7, 2009

I've always been partial to John Hartford's version. I might take a stab at this, clawhammer style. mikepop, did you record these to a particular tempo?
posted by usonian at 1:16 PM on November 9, 2009

(and I suppose I should ask what key too!)
posted by usonian at 3:02 PM on November 9, 2009

Tempo/key: well, I basically imagined the Seeger version I linked above playing in my head and just sang along to the imaginary banjo. So, maybe something approximating that key and tempo. Whatever those are. I'm kind of going over the wall to the music section of the site if you couldn't tell :)

What might work better is if you just wanted to do the instruments track I could sing along to that and send you the resulting file for merging.
posted by mikepop at 3:35 PM on November 9, 2009

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