PARODY TRA LA, DUM DE DUM DE DUM DUM … – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Parody

What is nearly tragic is even though these were written more than 50 years ago, they are maybe even more relevant now. We don’t learn easily, do we?

And who better than Tom Lehrer?

And finally, there’s Monty Python: “”What have you got to lose, y’know? You come from nothing, you go back to nothing. What’ve you lost? Nothing!”





A big thank to Melanie at sparksfromacombustiblemind for introducing this song to me. Talk about the right song for the moment …

It’s called “Don’t Lie to Me” …


FOWC with Fandango — Weight

I still see my brother Michael,
pressed and polished, shaking hands down at the store
Everyone had come to see the all-star hop the Greyhound bus and go to war
He punched me in the arm to say goodbye
It was the first time that I saw our father cry

I kept all my brother’s letters tied in ribbon in a box beneath my bed
Every night I read by flashlight with the covers in a tent above my head
His words said “Not to worry, doing fine”
It was his way of trying to ease my mind
While I was trying not to read between the lines

The weight of the world, too heavy to lift
So much to lose, so much to miss
It doesn’t seem fair that an innocent boy
Should have to carry the weight of the world

Then it was football games and homecoming and
picking out our dresses for the prom
With my brother in some desert dodging bullets when he wasn’t dodging bombs

While we went from the land of brave and free
To just being afraid to disagree
While I was being brought down to my knees by

The weight of the world, too heavy to lift
So much to lose, so much to miss
It doesn’t seem fair that an innocent boy
Should have to carry the weight of the world

It was the middle of December when the Army sent my brother home at last
While the flagpole by the football field flew the colors half-way down the mast
The wind blew cold and snow was coming down
Still everybody turned out from our town
As we laid my brother in that frozen ground

The weight of the world, too heavy to lift
So much was lost, so much was missed
It doesn’t seem fair that any boy or any girl
Should have to carry the weight of the world

Songwriters: Amy Speace / J Vezner / Judson Caswell
Weight of the World lyrics © DO Write Music LLC


FOWC with Fandango — Fierce

as sung by Professor Tom Lehrer

DAILY TOPIC SUBJECT – MUSIC! – Marilyn Armstrong

Daily Topic Subject – The Beauty of Great Music

There was a time in my life when I was “all music all the time.” I completed a music major in college (piano) with a minor in “what am I really going to be when I grow up?” I knew I wasn’t a good enough pianist to perform professionally, added to which I have stage fright so bad I get petrified. I can talk on a stage — even with a camera running — but not perform. Especially, not play the piano. My teacher had to pretend to make tea so I would perform for her.

If my minimal talent was barely sufficient, my stage fright was paralytic … but she was warmly encouraging. She felt I had talent. I don’t think she really understood that my hands are really small and I had a terrible time with ‘big hand’ music … I think she kept expecting me to grow. I started taking lessons when I was 4, so I suppose she never got used to my having actually grown up.

If she didn’t turn me into a professional musician, she did teach me to love music. So I read music, though I can’t play anymore so it’s a moot point.

And I can always tell if someone is off-key. Including me.

Q1] How important is music in your life?

Moderately, but I don’t like music playing all the time. If music is on, I want to actually listen to it. I don’t like it as background noise.

Q2] What is most and least favorite types of music?

Most favorite is classical except when it’s bluegrass, country, or 1960s rock. Yeah, I know. Call me eclectic.

Least would be either hip-hop or rap. Rap may be art, but it isn’t music. Hip-hop to me is just noise.

Q3] Do you own a music collection or do you simply listen to whatever on whatever?

We own CDs. Like, a lot of them. I just got a new CD player since when we got a newer car, we lost the CD player too.

Q4] Are you a singer, a hummer or a whistler?

I used to sing. Broke my voice many years ago. I hum quietly and can’t whistle.

PQ5] Show through links your five best songs?

I really can’t do that. Music for me is entirely changeable, literally minute by minute. I  DO like everything. Well, up through the late 1970s. After that, it got weird.

Q6] Have you ever been to an outdoor concert?

Yes. My two favorites were”Men At Work” and Ray Charles in the natural arena below the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

PQ7] Do you ever go out to listen to music live? When was the last time you went to a concert/gig?

We used to. Not recently, though. Last time was the 2015 Boston Pops Christmas Concert.

Q8] Do you sometimes feel like dancing when you hear music? Under what circumstances do you dance?

Yes, but I don’t. I can’t. I really can’t.

Q9] When do you listen to music?

In the morning while I try to sort out the morass of email in my inbox.

Q10] If you answered yes to Questions 6 & 7 – who did you go and see?

Men At Work, Ray Charles, and The Boston Pops (Christmas Concert)

Q11] Is there a song that makes you emotional?

All songs make me emotional. That’s why I don’t listen to it all the time.

PQ12] Do you feel that you have a special connection with some types of music? Which types?

Piano music that I used to play. I still see the notes in my head.

Another one I like playing

Q13]  Have you ever tried singing in a karaoke bar? What was the experience like?


Q14] Do you listen to music when writing? If so which?

No. When I write, I write.

PQ15] Have you ever gone to see a musical? What was it, provide link please.

We went to see the revived “Show Boat” on Broadway … like 15 years ago? Don’t have a link, sorry.

Q16] Do you know the lyrics to all the songs you like?

Some, not all.

Q17] When you are listening to music – are you listening just to the music itself or the lyrics too?

Both. Also, it depends on whether or not there ARE any lyrics. A lot of music is just music. No lyrics.

Q18] Do you listen to music when you go cycling/jogging or when you’re working out at the gym? [or any other physical activity]

We used to listen while driving, but when we sold our car, it took away the CD player. Maybe I’ll learn to like the radio.

Q19] Many operas are in French, Italian or German. If you listen to opera, do you understand the libretto (text) or are you happy to get the gist (main idea)?

I really hate opera, especially soprano solos. I like operettas, however. Gilbert & Sullivan does it for me.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?


Q21] Do you enjoy watching music videos? What sort of music videos do you enjoy most?

Very occasionally and it depends on my mood. Last time it was an old Dolly Parton show from way back, also starring a young Linda Ronstadt.


A couple of days ago, Garry had his one-month follow-up for his cochlear implant.

It’s hard to believe it’s just one month since the gear went on his head for the first time and it’s also hard to believe how much change there has been in his ability to hear in just one month.

I wish I had numbers of the actual percentage of change for each type of sound. Some of them were really shockingly good. My favorite was his ability to understand a complete phrase — something with context rather than a single word without context which went from zero — nothing — to 76%. That was the gigantic jump. It gave me goosebumps.

Individual words — no context — was closer to 50% (from zero). The hard one — the one which is always going to be a problem — was hearing what someone said when there is background noise, the kind you hear in a restaurant where a lot of people are talking. That was up to 20% from zero. I’m not sure if that will ever “top the charts” since as we get older — and by this I mean a collective “we” — our ability to hear one voice above many other sounds will diminish.

I won’t go to a restaurant where they constantly play music. I never liked it even when I was younger because it made conversation difficult. Since “going out to dinner” is one of the most common ways people get to know each other, why make it so much harder to hear the other person speaking? And this was when I had normal (if not slightly better than normal) hearing.

These days, I don’t hear as well as I did a few years back. I sometimes miss the beep from kitchen timers, and when the three dogs are barking, I can’t hear anything. I dislike noisy restaurants and live music when I’m out to eat will make me run from the room with my hands over my ears.

I suspect the music (especially loud music) played in restaurants is more to keep the staff moving than for the benefit of customers. I’m here to point out that it drives customers away.

I have a weird feeling that eventually, Garry with all his electronic gear in place will hear better than me.

Won’t that be an interesting turn of events!

Meanwhile, Garry can — in a quiet room — have a pretty normal conversation with a small group of people. How he will do at a party or in a large group? Or anyplace with nonstop background noise and music? Probably not so well. Otherwise, though, he can hear. The rain on the roof. The rush of a waterfall in the distance. The buzz of the washer and dryer in the basement and he can tell the difference between the washer (loud) and the dryer (soft).

He can hear the lyrics to songs assuming the lyrics are audible. He can watch TV with regular sound, not headphones — and is discovering that just because you are paid a lot to be a sportscaster doesn’t mean you don’t mumble.

It’s good news all the way around. He is doing as well as expected in most areas and better than most in several. Listening is more like work for Garry than for me. He has to try harder to catch the sounds, but the more he works at it, the better he gets.

But please, don’t everybody talk at once!



I am retired which is, by definition, at least a little bit adrift. This is a good thing and the real reason we retire. After a life of deadlines and commuting, some drifting seems like a pretty good idea. So here I am. Just drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweed … with memories of those great cowboy movies of childhood.

Hi Roy! Hi Trigger! Hey, Bullet! Hope y’all are doing well. I miss you. All of you. You were the good guys. We trusted you. Where are you now, when we need you?