Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Getting the band back together

By fourth grade I was pretty serious about my burgeoning career as a YA author—but that didn't stop me from moonlighting as a singer/songwriter (emphasis on the "songwriter," because I wasn't all that great at the actual singing part). What I was great at, however, was keeping all of my rock 'n' roll paraphernalia in one spot—namely, this 1985 "Jukebox Junkie" folder, which features an onslaught of rainbow-colored records inexplicably hurtling through the air like ninja stars. Notice how I reinforced the spine with duct tape, because that's how integral the folder was to my songwriting endeavors.


The inside pockets of the folder contain a glossary of computer terms. ?! Oh, 1985, you're so adorable!

The "band" (we'll be using that term extremely loosely, as the band members' combined instrument-playing ability was limited to a duet of "Heart and Soul" on the piano—a talent that my friend Jessica wisely exploited by penning a song set to the tune of "Heart and Soul") went through several incarnations in fourth and fifth grade.

Band #1:

People in the band:
1. Katie
2. Jessica
3. Sada
[I love how I listed myself THIRD.]
4. Aja
5. Leah
6. Sherron

Names for our band
[and the name of the amazingly clever band member behind it]:
1. New Sensation - Sada
[Thanks, INXS.]
2. Everlasting Dream - Katie
3. The Dreamers - Katie
4. Lightning Streak - Sada
5. Rainbow Splash - Sada
6. Super Shades - Katie
7. Sparklers - Katie
8. Girls will be Girls - Sada
9. Pazazz - Aja
10. Mysterious - Katie
11. Sugar Babies - Aja
12. The Jump Clique - Aja
[I'm pretty sure this was based on a T-shirt Aja owned.]
13. The Twelve Footsteps - Leah

According to my notes, Super Shades, Girls will be Girls, Pazazz, and Sugar Babies each received one vote, but as you read in my diary, Girls will be Girls ended up the overall favorite. Tough luck, Mysterious!

Songs for our band
[and the songwriter, natch]:
1. He said he's gone - Sada
2. I gotta get outta this now - Sada
3. She thinks she's so hot - Sada
4. Walking down the street - Jessica
5. No One - Sada
6. Somewhere - Sada

So you've heard the old adage "write what you know." The problem is, that's extremely difficult to do when you're in fourth grade and you're trying to compose a love song. Have you ever tried to work in lyrics about how your true love got switched to another class and oh-so meaningfully asked you whether you were glad? It's tricky. But at any rate, I felt I could empathize with those who had loved and lost.

He said he's gone

He said he's gone. Why did he have to leave me? He said he's gone. Why did he have to go? 'Cause I miss him and he just said he's gone.

Is it because of some other girl or didn't I treat him right? Why can't he just come back and see that I'm the one for him?

He said he's gone. Why did he have to leave me? He said he's gone. Why did he have to go? 'Cause I miss him and he just said he's gone.

Why does everyone keep following me and asking me what's wrong? Why can't he just come back and see that I'm the one for him?

He said he's gone. Why did he have to leave me? He said he's gone. Why did he have to go? 'Cause I miss him and he just said he's gone.
He said he's gone.
He said he's gone.
He said he's gone.
Forever.

This one is kind of screwed from the get-go. Who says they're gone? Can you imagine that conversation? "So, you know how I just broke up with you? I'm worried you might be a little confused, so let me clear things up for you: I'm gone. No, seriously. I'm gone. Like, forever." Ouch. Also, the "Why can't he just come back and see that I'm the one for him?" line is so pathetic it makes me squirm a little.

The next song is heavy on the repetition, light on the explanations:

I gotta get outta this now

I hope that I can get out of this mess. Seems like I'm always stuck in the middle. I gotta get outta this now. I really have to get out of this now. I gotta get out now.

You got me into this mess. Now you're gonna get me out. Seems like you always stick me in the middle. Now it's my turn to get outta this now.

I hope that I can get out of this mess. Seems like I'm always stuck in the middle. I gotta get outta this now. I really have to get out of this now. I gotta get out now.

I really thought I could trust you. Now I know I was wrong. Seems like you're always usin' me just to get to him or her. I gotta get outta here now.

I hope that I can get out of this mess. Seems like I'm always stuck in the middle. I gotta get outta this now. I really have to get out of this now. I gotta get out now.

So many unanswered questions. Who am I singing to? What exactly does the mess entail? All we know is that:
a) There's a mess.
b) I'm stuck in said mess. And not on the fringes, but directly in the middle.
c) I gotta get out. Like, ASAP.

"She Thinks She's So Hot," on the other hand, was written about a specific girl in my fourth grade class. Looking back, she was a bit of a priss, but I don't recall the "I'm so hot" attitude or wardrobe malfunctions that this song describes.

She thinks she's so hot

She thinks she's so hot. What is her problem? She thinks she's so hot. What the heck is wrong with her now? She just thinks she's so hot.

Look at that skirt, up way too high. Look at that shirt, gonna fall off. How can she be dressed like that in public?

She thinks she's so hot. What is her problem? She thinks she's so hot. What the heck is wrong with her now? She just thinks she's so hot.

With the stroke of her hand she can win the boys' hearts over, she thinks. She can do anything if she puts her mind to it, she thinks. Why does she think such things?

She thinks she's so hot. What is her problem? She thinks she's so hot. What the heck is wrong with her now? She just thinks she's so hot. She thinks she's so hot.

Yes, my self-esteem was so low that I resorted to picking on girls who exhibited actual confidence.

Next we have "No One," a song that contains at least one attempt at rhyming and a dramatic usage of the CAPS lock.

NO ONE

I GUESS I'M JUST LONELY,
LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO STAY.
I GUESS YOU WERE STANDING BEFORE ME,
STANDING IN MY WAY.
AND YOU DON'T-

NO ONE KNOWS (no one knows),
THE WAY I FEEL (way I feel).
THE WAY I FEEL INSIDE (way I feel inside. Inside.)

I GAVE YOU 1, 2, 3, CHANCES AND YOU
RUINED THEM ALL.
IT TOOK US TOO LONG TO REALIZE,
WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
AND YOU DON'T-

NO ONE KNOWS (no one knows),
THE WAY I FEEL (way I feel).
THE WAY I FEEL INSIDE (way I feel inside. Inside.)

NOW I'M SITTING HERE CRYING (ooo-ooo-ooo),
AND I'M SURE YOU'RE SOMEWHERE DOIN' THE SAME
THING (ooo-ooo-ooo).
IT'S ALL BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS THE WAY WE FEEL
INSIDE (Inside. Inside. Inside.).

Oh man. I did believe that no one knew the way I felt inside, though God knows there were no boys anywhere crying their eyes out over me (oooh oooh oooh).

Finally, we have "Somewhere," which owes perhaps a small debt to a certain Russian immigrant mouse. Yeah, there's even a line that begins "Somewhere out there..."

Somewhere

Somewhere is a special place,
Somewhere out there I know you're waiting for me
and with the look on your face,
there's no other place I'd like to be.

Somehow something went wrong,
it was just the human race.
Somewhere you're singing a song,
and I can't see your face.

Somewhere is a special place,
Somewhere out there I know you're waiting for me
and with the look on your face,
there's no other place I'd like to be.

Somewhere in that special place you're
waiting for me.
and I'm sitting here waiting for you.

For those of you who were thinking that at least we'd be sleeping underneath the same big sky and/or wishing on the same bright star, SORRY, but not in my song. In my song, the only one singing a lonesome lullaby is the possibly faceless dude I'm trying to meet up with. Well, "trying" might be a stretch. Mostly I just seem to be moping about the fact that I just... can't... get... to... him, for whatever reason. Thanks for nothing, human race!

Band #2:

Six band members may have resulted in too many cooks in the kitchen (or rather, too many "Heart and Soul" players on the piano bench), so we scaled it back.

The Go-go's

Soooo uninspired. What happened to Super Shades?

President: Jessica
Vice President: Katie
Treasurer: Sada

That's right, I was the band treasurer. You are so jealous.

What do we do?

Katie - vocals/keyboards
Jessica - vocals/keyboards
Sada - vocals

My, were we an eclectic group. You better watch your ass, Jane Wiedlin!

Band #3:

In fifth grade we tried the six-person band again. This time we ditched all but the best of the original tunes and focused instead on covers. Apparently our main influences were:
  • Rags to Riches. I think that goes without saying.
  • The Dirty Dancing soundtrack. During the summer between fourth and fifth grade, my friend Sherron and I worked out several elaborate dance routines to this soundtrack. I believe there were lifts involved.
  • Paula Abdul. Because it was 1988.
  • Carole King. I was way into Really Rosie, and everyone's parents seemed required by law to own a copy of Tapestry on vinyl.
The Groups name; Cool & Clutzy

I think Sherron was the brains behind this band name. Here's what I'm not sure about: Were all of the band members considered simultaneously cool and klutzy, or were some of us designated klutzes while the rest of the band was cool?

The Groups Performers:
Sada
Sherron
Jessica
Casey
Katie
Mendi

The Songs The Group Hopes To Sing:
"I'VE The Time Of My Life"
"Straight Up"
"Be My Baby"
"I Feel the Earth Move"
"So Far Away"
"Walking Down The Street"
"Somewhere"
"I Love Him"
"Born To Be Wild"
"To Know Him"
"Hey Baby"

High Pitched Voices
[uh, also known as sopranos]:
Sherron
Jessica
Sada
[For the record, I'm an alto.]

I got back into the songwriting in seventh grade with classics such as "Luv" and "I Hate Cupid" (featuring the catchy chorus "Die, die, Cupid, die"). It took several more years before I would finally admit that I have little to no musical talent. In adulthood, the closest I've come to rock stardom is dating an array of musicians. And karaoking "Hot Blooded."

NEXT TIME: Gossip Central, the first chapter book of fifth grade, features more clueless parents and electronics-loving elementary schoolers. And an entire club devoted to spying for no apparent reason. Get ready!

Edit: I managed to find some elementary-era photos of myself without involving my mom and the USPS, so those are going up next. Then it's back to the literature!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

love u sada and love your blog- HOW THE HECK DO YOU THINK SUCH THINGS? brought back memories of driving u and your friends to geauga lake with all of you singing along with STRAIGHT UP on the radio.-MOM

Lisa said...

I got such a kick out of this one! You mock, but your 4th grade songs songs were really just about as good as anything on Top 40 radio, lyrically speaking.

I love this line: "With the stroke of her hand she can win the boys' hearts over, she thinks." Sounds pretty suggestive, don't you think?

zanne said...

I thought your songs were pretty good, actually. They are much better than anything I could have come up with in 4th grade! That is so funny that you were the band treasurer!

carey said...

this post made my day. i am so, so, so glad that none of my elementary school song lyrics still survive.

Linley Dolby said...

No words, dude. I have no words.

Sada said...

I ACTUALLY HAVE SOME OF THESE SONGS STUCK IN MY HEAD! Shoot me now.

BadKat said...

I vote for Rainbow Splash…

obie119 said...

If it makes you feel better, in 8th grade we made up a musical about Depeche Mode (no, really - there was also a board game!) and I still get the songs in my head.

NoseInANovel said...

I helped a girlfriend 'choregraph' her music videos on the playground at the park when we were 11. All the songs were just montages of country lyrics we knew.

It was over when a hair whip ended up with a mild concussion on the jungle gym.

AC said...

Ok, honestly some of your songs look like they could be actual songs on the radio!

That is so funny about them being stuck in your head. I only ever wrote one song for a novel I wrote in like sixth grade, and I could sing it today. Yiiiikes.

Sada said...

That's because I listened to copious, COPIOUS amounts of Top 40 (on my Fisher Price radio with the built-in microphone). I prided myself on knowing the words to every song that came on—or at least what I thought were the words. Time has proven that many of these perceived lyrics were in fact far from correct.

For example: "Always" by Atlantic Starr.

Real lyric: "Ooh, you're like the sun, chasing all of the rain away"

My lyric: "Ooh, you're like the sun, chasing along the railway"

Because the sun is definitely known for running alongside the railroad tracks?

ms jones said...

"...She's like the wind..." When I hear this song there's a lucky few that I think of. Yes! There were lifts involved! What the heck were we doing! I love going down memory lane!!