Greetings my friends –
The days grow longer and that seems good. Right now, we Americans now live in world where each day is fraught with tension – there’s a lot of folks that see things one way and a bunch that see it t’other. Here at GMR headquarters we thought it was probably time to introduce a little levity to the planet. Ya gotta have some fun once in a while!
With that, Songs To Annoy Small Children is the latest bit of nonsense from the indefatigable Tom Dyer (uh – that’s me). This project began life in 1995 without any long-range plan or direction. These were simple, made-up songs to be sung to his long-suffering children, preferably in the car, from which they could not escape. The first annoyer was “Bathtub Plug,” an ode to a replacement plug in a claw-foot bathtub on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. There was a total of five songs composed. Three were recorded back then, including the embarrassing “Dyer Family Song.” In December 2016, without any tangible good reason, I decided to complete the song cycle and recorded, in two days, the final two (including the masterpiece “There’s A Great Glowing Gasbag In The Sky, It’s Called The Sun”) plus a newly-composed concluding composition, “They’re Old.” The latter contains the clearly articulated word fuck, so parents who mistakenly play this for small children may be annoyed as well.
Sound like enough? Nope. To add depth and muscle to this remarkable and irreverent artifact, two additional works are being presented herein.
First are the Pirate Songs of Cap’n Kat and the SS Mediocrity (which, the careful listener may note, are cited in “They’re Old”). Recorded in 2005 at the zenith of the Johnny Depp pirate mania, these songs a) reflect on health issues encountered by knaves on the high seas, and b) inventory the means needed for career success. The songs were composed and performed by Kat and Ben Dyer, who have most recently released the lovely “Wild Christmas,” performing as The Dyer Spawn on GMR’s 2016 Xmas album. These songs were written as a Christmas present for their yours truely in 2005 and were recorded the next day.
Next, we have five songs by my sis Susan Dyer, composed for the pantomime Aladdin & His Magic Lamp. The play was performed byThe Fremont Players in 2002 and then revived by the company in 2009. This original 2002 cast recording exists because I was ensconced on the East Coast and could not attend the play. I retained audio engineers to do a live studio recording of the entire performance. These selections are taken from those recordings. These were my sister’s first featured compositions; in these selections, Susan doubles as a performer in the role of Queen Dragona.
Introductions to each musical section are executed by noted Pacific Northwest improv actor Douglas Willott, who had the additional good fortune to be the offspring of Ms. Susan D. The introductions were recorded during the 2016 clan Christmas dinner. The cover photo was shot long ago by the family matriarch, JoAnn Dyer (MOM!), while the inside features period-appropriate art from Vicki Dyer, mother of The Dyer Spawn.
If one wishes to seek the common denominator of this song lot (other than it’s a family affair), these songs are simply cheesy fun. Stick your tongue deep in your cheek and enjoy!
There is a video for “There’s A Great Glowing Gasbag In The Sky, It’s Called The Sun” which features video footage from the NASA website, which currently remains freely accessible to Americans, regardless of scientific beliefs. It is mission-ready for the masses.
Given the dodgy nature of this release, physical copies of the album will be available only from greenmonkeyrecords.com. The digital version will be available from all the usual suspects.
There are no plans for live performance of these songs at this time, but we’ll let you know if we change our minds.
Crazily, this is my 10th album since reviving Green Monkey Records in 2009. A discography of my work can be found here.
There are some shows going on:
This concludes the morning bulletin.
Tom Dyer – Songs To Annoy Small Children
1. Introduction 2. Bathtub Plug 3. There’s A Great Glowing Gasbag In The Sky, It’s Called The Sun 4. She’s Pullin’ The Head Off The Dog 5. Old Tom McGurk 6. The Dyer Family Song 7. They’re Old
Cap’n Kat and the SS Mediocrity
8. Introduction 9. Scurvy 10. Rum & Grog
Susan Dyer’s Songs from Aladdin
11. Introduction 12. The Play Begins 13. It’s Coming Too Slow (opening) 14. Dragona 15. Horns Of A Dilemma 16. Abanazaar 17. It’s Coming Too Slow (closing) 18. A Final Word
Songs To Annoy Small Children
All songs written, recorded and performed by Tom Dyer.
Songs 1-5 written 1995/98, song 6 written December 2016.
Bathtub Plug, She’s Pullin’ The Head Off The Dog and The Dyer Family Song were recorded near the turn of the century. The others were recorded December 2016.
Cap’n Kat and the SS Mediocrity
Written and performed by Kat (Vox) and Ben Dyer (Gtr) as a Christmas present to their dad.
Recorded by Tom Dyer on December 26, 2005.
Songs from Aladdin & His Magic Lamp
Songs written by Susan Dyer.
Play perfomed by The Fremont Players:
Susan Dyer – Queen Dragona; Michelle Moore – Aladdin; Kay McKinnis – Princess Paprika;
Macque DaVís – Abanazaar; Terry Robb – King Timerous Rex; Simon Neale – Introduction.
The Jewels of The Nile:
Fred Hawkinson and John Borite -Trombone;
Ted Lockery – Cornet; Pam MacRae – Clarinet; Alan Friedman – Percussion.
Recorded by Jay Follette and Kevin Bressler at AIS in 2002.
Executive Producer – Tom Dyer.
Spoken introductions by Douglas Willott.
Front cover photo of Ben and Kate Dyer by JoAnn Dyer 1995.
Inside photo of Ben Dyer by Vicki Dyer 2005.
All songs ℗ Half The World Publishing © 2017 Green Monkey Records.
Produced & mastered by Tom Dyer. Cover design too.
Hampton was the dog.