GETTING MORE TALE #632: Early Attempts at Songwriting
Because nothing we did in highschool lasts forever, I chose to keep as much stuff as possible. I have an entire binder full of our highschool comic book “Brett-Lore”. Everybody knew that it needed to be kept safe and sound, and so I was the one to do it. 27 years after graduation, I still have Brett-Lore safe and sound. I would never get rid of it. Too many great memories.
I also kept some early attempts at songwriting. Specifically: lyrics. Some of these songs had music written or recorded for them, but it is now lost. Not that it matters, since the lyrics are so hot.
On a page of lyrics “by Mike + Dan”, I found this potential smash hit song.
“Fuck, Hell is Hot”
Fuck it’s hot in this pit,
So damn hot I feel like shit,
I wake up in the morning,
From the torment of my bed,
I had spikes for my pillow,
That went straight through my head.
Guitar solo – end
This was a thrash metal song, which was all the rage in 1990. Obviously a novelty song, it was based off other joke thrash songs I’d heard. A local band called F.U.H.Q. had a song called “Jimi Hendrix Falling Off a Roof”. It was basically just them screaming “AHHHHHH!” and then “I’m dead!”
The next song down is scribbled next to a half-assed Van Halen logo. It’s another novelty song:
“Snake in my Pants”
I got a snake in my pants,
And it loves to dance,
Sometimes it spits venom,
Sometimes it bites victims,
But all the time my snake’s alive.
I remember that one. Definitely my work, not Dan’s. You can tell by the subtle use of metaphor.
Dan and I were really into Led Zeppelin at this time, because they had just released their first box set. We both found Robert Plant’s lyrics a little comical, so over-the-top they were with symbolism. We attempted to write our own version of a Led Zeppelin song. We called it “Abbis’ Stomp”. Abbis was a nickname for a guy in class who was actually named Andrew. I don’t know why they called him Abbis, but he too loved Zeppelin and we named it after him.
“Abbis’ Stomp” was recorded and I still have it on cassette. I sang it and a guy named Dave played guitar. There was a 20 minute instrumental section if I remember correctly.
The forest is alive and vibrant green,
And here she comes: the reigning Queen,
The moon is bright and over the lake,
And the Queen is on the make.
Oh, oh, ah!
The beat, it pounds in my heart,
The Stallion takes off like a dart,
The streets are deadly in these times,
But killing dwarves is a crime.
Oh, oh, ah!
Great Christmas Tree,
Someday you’ll come back to me,
Beautiful Christmas Tree….
I open the Book of Life and see,
The pages staring back at me,
The dragon breathes its acrid breath,
And fries the Christmas Tree to death.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, ahh!
Reading back, and singing the melody in my head, I understand now why Robert Plant never contacted us for songwriting help. And I see bits of lines that were directly ripped off from Iron Maiden. See if you can spot them.
There was better stuff on other pages. “Unleashed in the Middle East” was a topical song about the Gulf War, written by Dan, myself and a third guy named Andy. It was a more innocent time and this song reflects it. It’s all about driving out evil Saddam. “From this chaos rose a man, a tyrant for all to see…” Then there is “Night of the Serpent”, a lyric Dan wrote solo. It has religious overtones and it’s by far the best thing in the binder. He was a talented writer.
I should contact the guys. We should complete these songs and make an album! I know the binder alone contains more than enough material for one record. We always talked about sitting down and properly recording some originals and covers. We never did because we weren’t good enough. But in the glowing light of nostalgia, anything can have value.