mneme: (harp2)
Kathy Mar's wonderful Drink Up the River has long been a mainstay of my filking -- and I've had occasion to bring it back to the forefront given our current troubles. But as much as I love the song, it was pretty clearly written in '88, and while the nativism of this decades echoes that of three decades ago, it's hardly identical; more, while there's plenty of anti-science talk, the universal adoption of the web has clearly changed its focus and tenor.

So I've written an updated version entirely keeping Kathy's first and last verses identical, while switching out the middle verses for ones a bit more suited to our times (which, not that surprisingly, are -still- based around immigration and science/technology). (although it's trivial to add her Technology verse back in if one wants an extra verse, as the two are basically non-overlapping). Feel free to share and use with love.

Drink Up the River (2017 JK remix)
Copyright 2017 Joshua Kronengold (with a lot of incorporated and/or adapted suggestions from Lee Gold), to the tune of and heavily reusing the 1988
Drink up the River by Kathy Mar


I was sitting by a river, when a thought occurred to me:
There are a hundred thousand rivers that we never even see,
They are the boundaries of all we know--of truth and right and wrong,
And I have written some examples for you here within my song.

Some are bridged and some are forded--some are swollen from the rain,
Some are the ultimate result of all our joys and all our pain,
But when the rivers in your life are full, and starting to wash down,
You've gotta drink up the river,
Before you drown.

[Chorus]
You gotta drink up the river x 3
Before you drown
You gotta drink up the river x 3
Before you drown

Throughout our nation's history, in times of peace and war,
An overwhelming wave of refugees have washed up on our shore,
They fled from death and persecution, and from poverty and pain,
And they made our country greater, as they strove to rise again.

But immigrants are turned away, "they're terrorists" we cry,
Or we say they'll take our jobs away, so passage we deny,
Our nation's based on courage, should we let the helpless down?
No--We must drink up that river, before we drown,

[chorus]

Since we learned to kindle fire, we have sought to understand,
How life began, how lightning works, the sea, the sky, the land,
And our science brings us wonders, as we wage a war with death,
And spin a World Wide Web of friendship nearly limitless in breadth.

Yet some folks are scared of Science, 'cause it means that nothing's sure.
They don't want its doubts and warnings, and they've learned to fear its cures.
We must not close our eyes, but keep on looking all around,
That's how we'll drink up that river, before we drown.

[Chorus]

There's a river of humanity that's passing through your life,
There is a sea of heavy sorrows and a stream of pain and strife,
There is a river of tomorrow that will carry you away,
And there's an ocean full of endless love to fill each passing day,
There are rivers all around you, in the life you have to live--
All the rivers you've been given and the ones you have to give,
So sing out this final message to the people all around,
You've got to drink up the river before you drown

[Chorus] x 2
mneme: (Default)
So apparently there's a measure that's been submitted to amend or remove the "5% rule" for the Hugo awards. This is a good idea -- that rule was put in place to avoid the case where you have, say, three works that get 50%, 25%, and 20% of the ballots -- and then the next work has 4% or less of the ballots, thus not really in the running for competing with the more important works. But in fact, when a category is saturated enough, the field gets large enough and we no longer have central places where everyone is reading the same things, we end up with situations like Best Short Story -- where for most of the last 5 years we've had fewer than 5 things on the ballot (sometimes as few as 3) with even the successful nominees not getting much more than 5% (or mabye even that; the 5% rule has an exception that you still have to have 3 nominees even if you need to bend it to do so) of the ballot, and thus no significant difference between what made the cut and what didn't -- but a much thinner field than there really should be.

They call it "The 5%" solution.

The reason for the following one verse filk, therefore, should be obvious.

(Also, thank you, [personal profile] drcpunk for remembering to write down my brainstormed chorus couplet so it was still around when I finished the verse and got around to writing the chorus).

"The Five Percent Solution"
TTTO: "I Never Do Anything Twice/The Madam's Song", by Stephen Sondheim
By Joshua Kronengold

Before I was a neo,
I don't recall the date,
We made a rule for our premier award,
Even if it made the cut, a nomination met its fate,
If one in twenty didn't think it scored

At first it proved a good rule,
Avoided the long tails,
But later, when the field ballooned in size,
If our population fails,
To all read the same tales,
Where the ballot's concerned there's too much for the prize,

Then, yes, the genre was small,
Now, though, you can't read it all,
Then, tastes were more concentrated,
The best stories rated,
And found themselves slated

We must this rule amend,
At this point, it's hard to defend,
I think that it makes no sense,
To limit works by five percent.
mneme: (oldharp)
Reposting this here, since I'd somehow only put it into facebook, where it is -trivial- for it to get lost (whoops).

I should come up with a title for this at some point.
(to the tune of Santa Monica Pier, of course). And maybe a second verse (or two).

I've got half a dozen apples in my pocket, rolling round and getting bruised,
I should cut them up into pieces, and soak them up before they're stewed,
The nutmeg smells a little bit like home, like mulled cider on New Year's Eve,
I've got a cup of oatmeal measured out, and the flour is sieved.

I am a baker here, setting up all my kitchen gear,
Greased up pans and cooking shears, planning food like a brigadeer,
Oh, there's a baking pan, covered up in a spray of pam,
I have dreamed of sweets like these, all of my life.
mneme: (oldharp)
I first heard [profile] talis_kimberley's "Cotton Tail Girls" in a Lady Mondegreen concert or oneshot -- with Batya, Merav, and Seanan kicking it out of the park with a triplicate lead and fantastic multi-part harmony. I'd not hear the original--didn't even know there was an original, but it was great stuff.

But, here's the thing about me and music:

I can't pay attention to everything at once.

So..I love clever lyrics, and rhythms, and harmony and melodies--but the first time I hear a song, I'm going to miss some stuff. So while grooving on Cotton Tail Girls for the first time, the only lines that really stuck were the chorus and demi-chorus, plus the lines about hearing for miles and about how if Hefner hadn't chosen a rabbit for the Playboy theme animal, the "Girls" would have been relegated to working in the cotton mills instead of the Playboy club.

This? Made me at first assume that the girls had some attributes that made them -particularly- well suited to working as Playboy bunnies. Of course, that's not the song Talis wrote. OTOH, it doesn't make a bad song idea...

Bunny Eared Girls
Joshua Kronengold
Heavily borrowed from and inspired by Cotton Tail Girls (Talis Kimberley)
To the tune of Cotton Mill Girls (c) Hedy West
(Note that the first verse has one extra stanza before the chorus)

(Jess)
Well, the silver screen has always made me swoon,
'cause my Pa was a human but my Momma's a 'toon, and it's

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

(Betty)
I was born in a test tube in back in '93
When they tried to make a woman who could leap a tree, and it's

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

(Luna)
I got bit by my boyfriend on a Saturday night,
Then I found he was a a rabbit when the moon was bright, and it's
Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, x3
hard times everywhere

(Betty)
I serve plenty of drinks, I make plenty of quips,
I give plenty of winks, I make plenty of tips, and it's

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

It may look like you can break me but I kick like a mule,
(So) If you think you can take me, you will end up the fool, and it's

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, x3
Hard times everywhere

(Luna)
I have to change my style as the moon grows brighter,
I can hear for miles, but my hair gets whiter, (and it's)

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

My teeth are scary, but I don't eat meat,
My legs are hairy, and I've got big feet, and it's,

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, x3
hard times everywhere

(Jess)
The ears are natural, but the tail's brand new,
As for my little black nose, well, I ain't telling you, and it's

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

I work my tail off from five to one,
Then you can find me at the drive-in till I see the sun, (and it's)

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, x3
hard times everywhere

(various, as appropriate)
You may think it silly that I (we?) wear these clothes
But we're glad it was a rabbit Mr Heffner chose, and it's

Hard times bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

Cos if he'd had a spider or a lizard as a pet
We'd all be in a freak-show and we couldn't pay the vet, and it's

Hard times bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere, yeah,

Hard times bunny-eared girls, hard times everywhere.

Hard times, bunny-eared girls, x3
Hard times everywhere


Older Lyrics behind the cut )
mneme: (oldharp)
Strike the Rail
Joshua Kronengold
(ttto "Strike the Bell" -- trad)

You're heading for an interview--and starting to run late,
You hope they'll offer you a job, and don't want them to wait.
You swipe right at the turnstyle,
Hear a beep, head forward, when,
The turnstile goes ke-chunk and stops,
it says: "swipe again!"

"Swipe again at this turnstile"
It says repeatedly,
A line forms quick behind you and they murmur angrilly.
You try to calm your heartbeat, raise your card once more and then,
You hope for "Go" but still it says to you: "Swipe again".

You're heading to pick up your date, and due at half past six,
In one pocket's a metro card--the other Broadway tix,
But at the only turnstile, there's a line and you can ken,
That at the front there's someone getting "please, swipe again."

"Swipe again at this turnstile"
It says repeatedly,
A line forms quick behind her and you murmur angrilly.
She tries to calm her heartbeat, raise her card once more and then,
You hope for "Go" but still it says to her: "Swipe again".

You've gotten to a worldcon, and you're paying at the door,
You hope the con will rock, and that your roomate will not snore.
You strike a conversation with a girl whose badge says "Wren",
When the volunteer at reg says "could you please swipe again?"

"Swipe your credit card again--it didn't seem to scan,"
You know the volunteer means well, but this was not your plan,
You don't want to be on line, but join the other fen,
And so you hope, that you won't hear these words: "swipe again!"

"Swipe again at this turnstile"
It says repeatedly,
A line forms quick behind you and they murmur angrilly.
You try to calm your heartbeat, raise your card once more and then,
You hope for "Go" but still it says to you: "Swipe again".
mneme: (oldharp)
The Ruined Tower
Joshua Kronengold
ttto Under the Gripping Beast
inspired by Horsetamer's Daughter

With a circle made of horses, and a plain first level screen,
I fought and beat the wizards who would rule what they had seen
They granted me an eight domain, which was not theirs to give,
And I shall strive to keep it free as long as I can live

Inside the ruined tower, my horses run and play.
Inside the ruined tower, the wizards stay away.
My people love my power, for it keeps the plains folk free
As I have won our freedom, so shall we forever be.

I know that I grow older, so I search the land for power,
I hate to be the only one--alone within my tower.
But though there's power in the land, there's no one here like me.
No one with strength that's great enough to make the wizards flee.

Inside the ruined tower, I pace upon the straw
Inside the ruined tower, time is an open maw,
For I'm an only child, and I dare not have a babe,
For I would lose my power, and my land would be enslaved.

The years have fallen on me, and I know my sun will set,
But my people still have freedom, for I have not fallen yet,
I know the lords will rule again as soon as I am done.
Each day that I can have is like a year that I have won.

Inside the ruined tower, the horses come and go
Inside the ruined tower, I stand against time's flow
Though he yet hunts my footsteps, still I will not yield to death.
My power keeps my people free while I can take
a breath

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Joshua Kronengold

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