Sunday, June 1, 2014

I Write the Songs (That Made No One Sing)...

It was the early 90s.  The world was still enthralled with hair bands, but that genre was already starting to melt into the shadow of grunge. Those of us who had spent our teen years rocking out to Def Leppard and Whitesnake, however, refused to let it go.  And there comes a time in every young man's life when he utters these words to one or more of his friends:

"Hey, we should start a band!"

And so it was that my guitar-playing pal Rich and I decided to start our own hard-rocking band.  Did we have any other dudes to be in it?  Not yet, but surely we'd find dreamers like ourselves to fill out our ranks.  Could I play more than two songs on the Yamaha keyboard that I'd bought?  No, sir.  But I could learn along the way!  And I could write some awesome lyrics, too!  And we even had a name for the band.  We'd call it Twenty-One!  Because, you know, some other hair band probably already called themselves Blackjack.  And who wants the hassle of a lawsuit when you just want to rock?

Rich and I got together and wrote (started) some songs.  For the band that never happened.  The dream of Twenty-One was short-lived,  but it was a nice one while it lasted.  And I'm left with the legacy of the partyin', head-banging words I wrote for us.  Finally, the world can enjoy them in all their Poison-like glory.  Unleash the cheese.

[Note: the use of (parentheses) indicates the whole band singing and harmonizing that portion]

[All songs are copyright (c) 2014 by Michael O'Connell and Rich Straub.  And no one cares.]

A party anthem

Time to punch out, gotta go
May I be excused?
I gotta take off this name tag
And these Florsheim shoes

The night is waiting for me
I'm outta this cage
The time for work is over
Now it's time to rage

Lock up your daughters
Better clear the streets
'Cause this boy is loose and set to overheat

This town is
(Mine tonight!  Mine tonight!)
I'll tear it down, it's
(Mine tonight!  Mine tonight!)
Look out girl, 'cause you're
(Mine tonight!  Mine tonight!)
This whole world is
(Mine tonight!  Mine tonight!)

You can keep your nine-to-five
I've had my fill
You gotta learn to relax, man
Just take a pill

Me, I need some action
I'm ready to go
The sweet life is my stage, oh yeah
On with the show

I'm fully loaded
Don't want no flack
Just aim me at a good time and pull the hammer back

[Repeat chorus]

[Guitar solo]

Forget tomorrow
That's another day
But tonight you're here and now
So take me away

[Repeat chorus]

While it might look, on the surface, like a depressing (or maybe suicidal) song, it's actually a hard-rockin' and inspiring song about a dude finally getting out of his small town and going off to live his dream.  Note the reference, again, to not wanting no "nine-to-five".  This seemed to be a theme I kept hitting.  I don't know what I had against nine-to-five jobs, since I hadn't even had one by that point...

Kiss me goodbye
Bid me adieu
Say your farewells, 'cause this life and I are through

Dry up your eyes
Wipe off your tears
You can keep my baseball cards, 'cause boys I'm outta here

Say aloha to the boy you used to know
Sayonara, au revoir and adios
Take your last look, 'cause this man is finally free
Hope you like what you see
'Cause what you're seeing is the last of me

(Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahhhhhh)
You've seen the last of me
(Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahhhhh...ahhh ah ah)

Bye-bye, my girl
We've had some fun
But now it's time for me to ride off in the sun

This big ol' world
Is all mine at last
Hasta la vista, baby, see you folks, it's been a blast

How I've waited for this moment to arrive
You can keep your old beloved nine-to-five
I've seen tomorrow and it suits me to a tee
Take your snapshot, please
So you can frame and hang the last of me

[Repeat chorus]

[Guitar solo]

Arrivederci, friends, that's all I've got to say
Auf wiedersehen to you, I must be on my way
Follow the yellow bricks to find out where I'll be
I'm history
You just saw the last of me

[Repeat chorus 3 times]

Another fast-moving, fun song, this one about a dude trying to convince his woman that he's not going anywhere.  Also, I apparently I thought head-bangers would know what the word "fallacy" meant.

I know you've been hurt
I've been there too
I know what you're thinkin'
'Cause I know you

(You're wondering what the point is of trying again)

You're checking the odds
On this pony [pronounced "po-nay"]
You wonder if I'll run the race
Or just run away

(Your fallacy is assuming I'm like other men)
But I'm a man who likes to finish what I begin

(Trust in me)
And I will see you through
(Bank on me)
I'll honestly be true

(I'll be around)
For you tomorrows
(I'll be around)
Whatever follows
Your heart's in good hands
My promise still stands, and
(I'll be arouuuu-ound)
Forrrrrr you

Don't give me that look
I know it too well
You're thinking that I'm gonna bail
Like a bat out of hell

(You don't get it, do you, baby?)
I'm just not that kind.
If you think I could live without you
You're out of your mind

(I'm here to stay)
For richer and for poor
(There's just no way)
I'm walkin' out that door

[Repeat chorus]

I know you've heard men
Promise and swear
But just turn around
And see if I'm not there

[Guitar solo]

(Forget them all)
They're just bad memories
(From this day on)
Darlin', I'm afraid you're stuck with me

[Repeat chorus 2 times]