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Prose, Lyrics, Lead Sheets & Audio

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by R. J. Marks II

Here's the list of Saber Tooth Duck songs, some commentary and links.


Background: All the early lead sheets are written by hand. The audio is of mixed quality - some is really great. The mp3 files were taken from a cassette and are mono. Ray Marks made a digital recording directly from analog reel-to-reel tapes for many of the songs. The digital DAT recordings sat around for years on tapes until 2011 when Ray made the WMA (windows media audio) and WAV files. The WMA files are much shorter. Many of the recordings are in stereo. I've included everthing here, including some recordings that are musically very bad. I note some of the worst ones. There is also DAT degradation on a few songs where the DAT tape degraded over time. For some more philosophical commentary on my music, click HERE.



120. Who Heals Eyes With Spit?

This was initiially a halloween song:

      "Who smells like a pumpkin?

      "Jack -o - lantern"

These lyrics are better.

Saber Tooth Duck


119. Tenured

Well it's the truth ain't it?

Saber Tooth Duck


118. You Can't Milk a Chicken

I'm not sure where this expression came from. The first time I remember using it is in college. There was a test with the question I couldn't answer. It began "Why can't you ...?" I don't remember the rest. So being the smart-elic I was, I wrote "Because you can't milk a chicken without a chicken milker and they don't make chicken milkers anymore." I received my test back with a big red X through my explanation. Beside it was written "John Deere makes chicken milkers." I believe the professor was Dr. Hal Sabbaugh who had a great sense of humor. Anyway for years when asked an unanswerable question a common response from me was "because you can't milk a chicken." My kids even use it occasionally. So, with that background, here is a song of the same name.It has fun repetitive lyrics alternating between nonsense and references to things from the Bible. It's kind of a kid's song.

Saber Tooth Duck


117. Atheists Always Seem Angry

After writing Eutychus in the Dirt, I came up with some better lyrics. This is the same as Opus 116 but with new lyrics. The melody and the lyrics go well together.

Saber Tooth Duck


116. Eutychus In The Dirt

Monika and I were reading Acts and came accross this strange story in Acts 20:7-12. Melody is from Opus 7.

Saber Tooth Duck


115. Big Ten Pack of Eight Bar Melodies

I wondered what it would sound like if I played a bunch of my melodies at the same time, This work starts with a melody from Opus 3 played on trombone. The counterpoint melody from Opus 3 is played with a clarinet. Then they're played together. A melody from Opus 45 enters with a cello followed by a violin counterpoint from Opus 45. A lead guitat playing a motif from Opus 74 follows with a motif from Opus 11 as distortion guitar counterpoint. Then a few more melodies are added and everything is played at the same time. Then there is a violin swell. Lots of things going on at the same time can sound pretty cool.

Saber Tooth Duck


114. Dance of the Bipolar Darwinist (Punctured Equilibrium)

A rewrite of Opus 52. Dance of the Libertine the motif of which came from 22. Dance of the Libertine written when I was 17 years old. I really like this tune.


113. The Difference Tween Love And Being Horny

Written when my kids were going through their hormonal years. I don't think a lot of kids really know the difference. This song is for you!

The melody is the same as I used for 64. Druthers.


112. The Lord is My Shepard (The 23rd Psalm)

  • With The Lord's Prayer (below #111) finished, the 23rd Psalm was next! The more I read the Psalm, the more I felt the prose was a celebration rather a somber monotone "Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" sad faced prayer. I visualized David joyfully skipping past death, smiling, raising his fist and mockingly pronouncing "I will fear no evil! God is with me!" There are two versions. The first is upbeat and happy. The second is a bit more somber.This is a wonderful use for the melody in 74. Broke Opus in F.

  • 111. The Lord's Prayer (KJV)

    Possibly the most beautiful melody (Opus 44) I ever wrote dedicated to some of the most beautiful words.

  • 110. Waiting for WINDOWS to Boot

    Frustration from Microsoft. There are two versions. The second is in the unconventional 5/4 time signature. Melody from: 27. Bitter Lemon..

  • 109.Lossless, Matched & Reciprical

    A really nerdy song. A three port network cannot be lossless, matched & reciprocal at the same time. Only 2 out of 3. This is a three port lamenting this limitation. The idea was Charlie Baylis's.

  • 108. From Mud to Guppies

    I cannot fathom arguments of from atheists about why they are moral. Athiests can be moral, but I don't think they can defend the reason. Here is a fun song with a string of implications. The beat is really cool. Unconventional heavy metal-like song contrasts the difference between atheistic Darwinism and belief in Christ. The title is in regard of the emergence of life from primordial ooze. I really enjoy the throbbing beat of this song. Finished in September 2011.


  • 107. Tristan Robert Marks

    Written for my awesome #1 grandson, Tristan Robert Marks. He was born in May 2011 and this was written at the end of August 2011.


  • 106. Break Forth In Oscillation

    Same melody as Jesus Christ is Coming Back Again.


  • 105. The Fall

    This instrumental starts with the motif of the third movement of Irrespective Dementia.  Lots of dissonance!

    Saber Tooth Duck

  • 104. `Lil Isaac

    This instrumental starts with Bubonic Obature but takes a fun turn with a solid rock guitar motif.  Abraham is taking Isaac to be be sacrificed and `Lil Isaac pleads "Daddy Don't!"  I had fun writing this. In details, the account is not Biblical. Isaac never begged for his life - but, hey. He probably thought it. I would have.


  • 103. Lazy Bum

    Connie and I got into a fight one day and she called me a "lazy bum" so I wrote this song.  She dislikes this song about the same as she dislikes In Good Time.


  • 102. Pickin' Manna

    A fun melody I wrote when we visited Perth, Australia. 


  • 101. Do We Darwin, Yes!

    This song is a sarchastic view of Boy Scouts without God. It is sung to the melody of Lost.  I wrote this song for a web site called The BRITES.  I found it is hard to parody hard nosed Darwinists, but this is a pretty good effort!

  • 100. Lazarus Waltz & Fanfare

    This is the first movement of Irrespective Dementia.

  • 99a. Marilee's Melody

    A wonderful song from all viewpoints. They say that a little girl steals her Daddy's heart. They are right. I hope this song expresses a dimension of that love.

    • Lead Sheet (pdf)
    • Lyrics 
    • Here is a MIDI version of the song's melody
    • Web page cover
    • 99b. Marilee's Wedding Song

      Marilee's song written for her wedding to Kris Kahler on June 16, 2012. The last verse is new.

      98. Don't Eat That Stew!

      Chris Marks wrote a melody that needed lyrics . The first verse is a very efficient use of words.

    • 97.The Sonya Glossclossnovich Spontaneous Kazoo Band Incident

      A fun song about a new folk story. Needs story elaboration. Good melody.

      96. Glossclossnovich's Tea Dance

      Another great melody.

    • 95. Boiled Asparagus

      Joshua inspired this. We wouldn't let him leave the table until he ate his asparagus (steamed -not boiled). He pleaded, threatened, cried and, about two hours later, ate a portion of his cold asparagus. The song was a natural.

    • 94. Trophies

      A serious song about storing up accomplishments on earth -where moth and rust doth corrupt. A very personal song. I wrote it when I was very depressed. The recognition of man by man has the same flavor as sin -it feels good for a while and then rings hollow. The song ends with the easily forgotten contract of salvation. This is one of two songs I wrote that can bring tears to my eyes.

    • 93. Jesus Christ is Coming Back Again

      This is my best Christian song. Bouncy and foot-stompin'. It captures the joy of the hope of Christ's return. Catchy from alpha to omega.

    • 92. Iron Grits

      Another GREAT instrumental! It is haunting! It is an acquired taste! The melody must be played with an instrument of weird tonal color. The tune was used by brother Ray and I for the theme for Theatre of the Ears and, our only joint video attempt, Eyeball Theatre. A great tune!

    • 91. Ugly Sally

      A dream song. Great melody. I want to someday rewrite this with Quasimoto (the hunchback of Notre Dame) as the singer. The first lyrics are


    • 90. Joshua the Yazoo Kid

      This was Joshua's song. When he was a small boy, Josh would wind up at the end of the hall, enthusiastically run at full speed, anns pumping and yelling 'yazoooooo!!!'. I captured this period in his life with this song. Ah, the spontaneous energy of youth!

    • 89.Fun to Fly

      This was written by Jeremiah. I helped to polish it a bit. A wonderful round.

    • 88. Who's the Best Daddy?

      This was spontaneously written while diving the kids home from church. They wanted to stop at the 7-11 for slurpies. I explained to them the concept of Biblical importunity by singing this song.

    • 87. Durango

      My effort at a western. Is okay -except it's too much like Lorne Greene's Ringo. Mine's built on the solid cliche that reputations for gunfighting were sought by young western delinquents. 

    • 86. Who Smells Like a Pumpkin?

      Traditional Halloween gets kind of evil and we discourage participation of our kids. Here's a nice alternative.

    • 85. Together in the Lord

      Connie and I sung this to each other at our wedding. It is a dedication to each other and God. A wonderful song where the male and female voices echo. Same melody as Jelly Beans (Opus 66) and Please Don't Go (Opus 13 ).

    • 84. 'Till Jeremiah Moved in Our Home

      The first of my songs about me kids. Jeremiah was first and quite special. Compare with Conceived in Love for a reality check. This kid really changed my life in a quantum jump. Wonderfully. In the recorded version, there is actually a recording of Jeremiah's baby cries and laughs. I used to ask him 'What does b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b spell?'. Then I would flub his lips while he cooed. I thought this was hilarious.

    • 83. This Same Thing Happens Every Year

      A sad song -but very good. Connie's Mom, Mary Lou, passed away after long suffering of a terrible disease. This song was written from the perspective of Connie's Dad, Charlie Jewett, as he reflected each year on their anniversary. 'This same thing happens every year. Our day comes around -and you're not here.' When I sing this song with feeling, tears well up. Good melody also. I've never shared the song with Charlie.

    • 82.Johnny Gurnball

      I thought I was so clever when I wrote this. Johnny Appleseed traveled around the United States planting apple trees. This song is about a guy that went around planting gumball trees. I liked the idea so much, I chucked at my cleverness as I wrote the lyrics. 'Rock back and wiggle your toes! ' Problem is -no one gets it. I suppose this is one of the consequences of true genius.

    • 81.In My Mind

      I would like this song to be sung by Leon Redbone. Its the story of a recluse whose recollection of his dead love lives on in a photo. Good dixie-blues melody. Strangely wonderful lyrics.

    • 80. The Clean Room Song

      An evil fox lives under the beds of small children. The fox lives on things that are not put away -like discarded clothes and toys. The more the children clean up the room, the smaller the fox will grow. If the room is kept clean all of the time, the fox will die. Pretty good encouragement for young minds, eh? The song was motivated by my fear of letting my feet hang over the foot of my bed while I slept. The fear was that somebody or something would bite them.



    • 79.The Boltzmann Machine Rap Around

      Ray, Mom and I wrote and recorded this. It's a fun well produced rap song. The lyrics peter out at the end. The enthusiastic drive does not.

    • 78.As Much As I Love You

      This song is solid from all around. The lyrics stand alone as a poem. The melody is kind of Dixie-land. The song was written for Connie's Grandfather, Jack Jewett, who published the Farrnersburg News. The first few verses claim the measure of the singer's love, if compared to feats such as kicking a football, would be of sufficient newsworthiness to make the newspaper. The last verse says the paper will also cover the singer and his lover if she consents to marry. The coverage, of course, be on the social page. This song is one of my favorites.

    • 77.Murky in the Delta Mississippi Swamp Gas Blues

      Dan Kato and I wrote this. It's about getting General Lee's revenge in the deep south. Lovely.

    • 76. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke

      This was written by Doug Haldeman, Ted Ford and me. Doug and I smoked like chimneys when we were writing the song. My favorite line is 'Today they cut out half of your right lung. Tonight they start on the other one.' When Dad got lung cancer, he recalled this prophetic verse. Maybe.we can sell this to the Surgeon General?

    • 75. The Hardships of Sammy

      This is kind of a folk rap song. It is a shaggy dog story set to rhyme. Rank it slightly above a freshly popped blister. (wma | wav | mp3)

    • 74. Broke Opus in F

      'Broke' is a word play on 'baroque'. Great acoustic instrumental. It gives the old fingers a work out when played. The melody can also be nicely played in 5/4 time. At first I had lyrics to this. They went something like




      This was one of the first times I ever censored myself. The decision was a good one! In fact, I used the melody later in 112. The Lord is my Shepard (The 23rd Psalm). It works well!

    • 73. One Soul's Journey

      A song about a sick man dying and meeting Christ.

    • 72. In Good Time

      I love this song! Its a bluesey song about a lazy man on a hot day being nagged by his wife to do chores. Connie says I sing it almost every time she asks me to work. I first wrote it, believe it or not, as a prayer. The lyrics were



      This reminded me too much of country singer Tom T. Hall's song 'I Love' where he listed everything from his girl to onions. Writing a song where pleasent things are listed takes the talent of an ear swab. Thus, the 'For all the good times' was replaced by 'In good time' and a classic was born! Connie likes the first version best.

    • 71. Pre-Marital

      A slap at teen dating.  Connie and I recorded it.  Great melody.  R-rated theme. 

    • 70. Pepin the Short Revisited

      I am proud of most of my instrumentals, including this one.  I love the motif.

    • 69. Pregnant

      Some more good atonal music.  The title adds to the overall rebel image of the song.

    • 68.Glossclossnovich's Tune

      Another pretty melody -kind of Greek or Slavic folk in flavor

    • 67. Chaw 'Bacee

      A fun one! My Grandad Jim Marks and his mother, Blanche, 'rubbed' snuff. Snuff is tobacco ground into a brown powder. When I was a kid, we'd mix cocoa and sugar, put it in an empty snuff box and pretend we rubbed snuff. The spit looked really authentic. Anyway, Grandad was used to hitting the spit can which was usually an empty coffee can. When he missed -about once a month -he ranted and raved. This song is dedicated to Grandad. The lyrics are pretty good and stand alone as a poem.

    • 66. Jelly Beans

      This is the music to Please Don't Go (Opus 13 ). I did a cute electronic version and thought I should write down the music in a manner where they were not polluted by the lyrics.  The melody is later used in Together in the Lord (Opus 85 ). The song just got better and better.



    • 65.Arthur, the Drip

      I guess if there is any song with which I am identified, this is it. Everyone loves it. Mom and Aunt Justine wrote a children's book using the lyrics as the books narrative. I receive kind comments almost every time I play it.

    • 64. If l Had My Druthers

      I actually had this song published by Hit Kit Music in Nashville Tenn. Its a great formula country song. There are a few phrases I particularly like. 'Fightin's good for only making one and one from two. It takes a we and chops it up into a me and you'. Commercial stuff in the 1970's! No, Hit Kit never got the song recorded.

    • 63.Daddy's Puncture

      When I was in high school, I sat on a pair of barber scissors. They punctured my right buttock. I fainted cause I shot out of the chair so fast. Mom drove me to the hospital. This song, with myself as Daddy, tells the story. This was written before Arthur the Drip but in the same style talking-folksong style.  

    • 62. Conceived in Love

      This is a song about a man's first baby. Do you need to experience something in order to write about it? I used to think not. Looking back at this song, written before I had children, I see I was wrong. Driveling cliches about having a baby is all that is here.

    • 61. Connie

      This was my song to Connie. I pained for hours over the words to make them say what I felt. The melody is magnificent. I sang her the song at our wedding. A wonderful and personally meaningful song for me.

    • 60. Yellow Yokes

      When we were dating, I told Connie when I could write a song about anything. One does not have to experience to write. This song, about eggs, was my illustration. Its pretty good. I cheated, though. I knew a lot about eggs.

    • 59. Daniel Two

      One of my songs where the lyrics actually make a nice children's poem. The lyrics are taken from the second chapter of the book of Daniel in the Bible. Nice melody also.

    • 58. Chew Your Stew

      A wonderful happy light melody! Weird lyrics. I'm not sure what I was thinking about when I wrote them. Probably eating and girls.

    • 57. The Greasy Clown Blues

      A song about a masochistic clown who liked to eat paint and have fat ladies sit on him. Kinky lyrics. Good blues potential with other lyrics.

    • 56.Bubonic Obature

      One of my favorites! An 'in your face forceful fanfare. 'Obature' is a word play on 'overture'. 'Bubonic' makes it large in some way. I don't think of the disease, but of power, albeit somewhat evil. (In the dictionary, 'bubonic' means having buboes.) A great title to a great piece! When I play it, I'm proud. Portions of Bubonic Obature were used in `Lil Isaac (Opus 104). 

    • 55.Round Brown Plurble (With Fifths)

      Fun tune. Lots of unforced 5/4 and 7/4 rhythms. A fun guitar piece. I recorded it with Doug Haldeman and Ted Ford. We also played it at Ted's high school talent show.

    • 54. Wet Stone

      Interesting chord progression with farce lyrics. I think this would be great if it were sung by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis or, more recently, Ray Connick Jr. The words would have to be redone.

    • 53.Log in Eye

      My first attempt at a Christian song. The melody is straight from Motown, and is quite good. The theme is a dying evangelist who, despite winning many to the Lord, still just doesn't get it.

    • 52.Dance of the Libertine

      A neat instrumental. In college, I learned the meaning of being a libertine form the writings of the Marquis de Sade. It was the most twisted stuff I have ever read. The melody is spooky and somewhat evil sounding. The title is fitting.

      This is a rewrite of the second movement of Irrespective Dementia. (Opus 22)

    • 51.Albert & the Ice Cream Truck

      When I wrote this, I thought it was the lyrical equivalent of the great American novel. A boy who stole money from his mother to buy ice cream was run over and killed by the ice cream truck. This was true poetic justice. Now, I don't think it's very funny. Great melody.

    • 50.Free

      Anarchy with an anarchic rhythm! The song holds together pretty well in 5/4 time throughout. In hindsight, I was confusing freedom with lack of responsibility.

    • 49. Baby

      This was a classic fifties chord progression -the same used in 'Young Love' and 'Silhouettes'. Nice melody with trite words. This would be a good song for a teenage Barney.

    • 48. Mother's Hot Yeast

      Farce lyrics in a pre-punk melody.

    • 47. Throw Down Your Rose

      A song about an evil man attempting to talk a girl into loosing her virginity. Whew. Thus the title. Melodically inspired by Hendrix' Foxy Lady. I tried to play a song I had heard on the radio, and couldn't. In the attempt, a new melody formed and I write a song. This is either a statement concerning my abundance of talent, or lack of skill. The lyrics demonstrate a lack of good taste.

    • 46.Baby Doll

      A sad song that first sounds trite. A girlfriend in the imagination is the baby doll. Singing it makes me lonesome. I like the melody. Others I have polled do not.

    • 45. Red Eyes

      A lyrically slick allegory concerning academia through student's eyes. In retrospect, there's some sour grapes here. Someone has to be blamed! The wizards are the Professors. The blizzard is the 'snow job' we used to call opaque lectures. The red eyes were mine. Nice vertical melody. There's a two part melody in it I have only heard in my head until brother Ray recorded it. Sounds great.

    • 44. Goober Too

      Great melody! Haunting, powerful, deep. I play a flamenco version on the guitar. Words are strange. Typical of my search for weirdness at that time in my life. Favorite lyric -'I watched them and told them about the iron bed. That fell from my pent house and hit your head'. Close second is 'It's getting so dam late. I really gotta go. If you die, the garbage guy will pick up all your bones. But if you live, won't you please let me know." Pretty weird, eh?

    • 43. Ork, Wubber Ducky, Oink Oink & the Grommits

      Total whacko farce lyrics set to a twelve bar blues progression. Written in college. My favorite line -'All of the Grommits lay groaning in their pools of wubber blood, when the voice of Ork came through the bubbles in the mud'. Overall, drivel.

    • 42. Wondering Why

      This one was penned in 1968 at Rose-Hulman. A guy killed someone for drug money and received $2 and a death sentence. He is executed tomorrow. A great song for birthdays. The melody is beautiful -especially when played on piano.

      I want to rewrite the lyrics as "Jesus is Alive!".  It would be about the sadness of the crucifixion followed by seeing Jesus.  I haven't  written the lyrics yet.

    • 41. The Time of the Evening

      This was supposed to be a song that parodies teen age love and commitment. I skipped out of high school once to be with a girlfriend and got caught. The advisor, a guy named Mr. Faust, gave me a lecture about the difference between teen love and marriage. In a marriage, he said, fights could not be resolved by breaking up. You had to be around your mate even when she got sick and was throwing up. I guess it made an impression on me when I wrote the lyrics to this song. I also have found out Faust was right. This is also the only song I wrote totally in my head -during the summer I worked construction. It was against the culture to carry around a pen and paper while you worked. Some blue collar rule I guess.

    • 40. One Endless Night

      Great chord progression and melody! Another song ruined by Jerry's lyrics. This would be worth a rewrite.

    • 39. Come Back

      I broke up with a girl named Cathy. This song was written during my depths of depression. For some reason, it reminds me of the mood of Dead Man's Curve by Jan and Dean. The lyrics are degrading to all manhood.


    • 38. So 1 Cry

      Yet another song with lyrics by Jerry. I love this melody. Major seventh songs are so classy. I'm sorry Jerry. The lyrics are awful.


    • 37. Only a Fool

      Another one of my melodies with Jerry's words. I used part of the melody later in the bridge of Albert and the Ice Cream Truck   (Opus 51).


    • 36. Singing My Troubles Away

      Great Dixie type melody. (Hear it with a banjo!) The melody is mine. Some of the lyrics are by a guy named Jerry. Jerry used to be the lead singer in my band, the Torques. He was cool -he could dance and his mother let him grow his hair long. Jerry, though, couldn't sing worth a lick. We used to play the guitars so loud that we couldn't hear him. Jerry obviously couldn't write lyrics either. This one is full of bubble gum cliches. The melody, though, remains great.

    • 35.By the Fireplace (I Sit & Watch Your Body Rot)

      This one has a wonderful initial impression. Classic folk melody with romantic words. Then a body rots. Kind of a Gahan Wilson or Charles Addams sort of song.

    • 34. Heartburn

      Great melody! Fun nonsense lyrics! Surrealistic! Weird! One of my favorites.


    • 33. Cause You're Weird

      This is a theme of a teenager. In college, I was dubbed with the title Freaky Bob. This was in the spirit of the hippy generation -and the name was a complement. There is such a feeling of being different, that it soon was adopted as one of celebration. College, for me, provided the escape referred to at the end of the song. This feeling of awkwardness is characteristic, methinks, of all teenagers. I'm glad its over.


    • 32. Uncle Freddy

      Written in high school. Weird. I have no idea where this came from. A song for a punk Herman's Hermits.


    • 31. I Was Once Loved

      This is a nice song. Quiet lyrics with a booming bridge. If done right, it would cause chills.


    • 30. Back Alley Blues

      This was written in high school, but put down on paper later. A song came out with the lyrics 'clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.' The melody was almost the same as this song -though I did it first! The lyrics to this song border on Satanic. ('How I long for the witch's hour when all goodness begins to sour') These ideas stemmed from my days as a 'greaser'. The lyrics reflect the attitudes of a blackboard jungle culture. It wasn't me -just something I was trying to write about.


    • 29. I Think I'm in Love

      This is a sweet simple song. It makes my teeth hurt. There was a guy in college named Doug Forbes who 'pulled a Forbes' by registering for the quarter and not going to a single class. I was his hero. I was playing and singing my songs in my room alone. Doug came in, thinking I didn't know he was there. I remember singing this song as best I could. Doug thought it was beautiful. It made my teeth hurt.


    • 28. Think Again

      This song wrote itself.


    • 27.Bitter Lemon

      This is the first song I recall writing at college. The intent is to be ingeniously symbolic. The era was one of anti Vietnam. Political correctness required condemnation of the government. The yellow hunchbacks were the plastic politicians sending their children to die in the war (stabbing them in the head). The mushroom pie was nuclear war. The melody has always been one of my favorites. The melody is later used in Opus Waiting for WINDOWS to boot. The melody does well in 5/4 time. Click HERE for the 5/4 version done as Waiting for WINDOWS to boot.


    • 26. Die Hard Blues

      A mechanistic melody with lyrics reflecting a vindictive hateful attitude towards someone. I should sue Bruce Willis.


    • 25. Lady Fair

      This was written with a guy named Harry. He was a good fat singer that John DeFranco (aka Chaluch) and I worked with. Chaluch, who was expelled from Junior High School for punching the Assistant Principal, Mr. Witter, later dissolved his mind on acid and thought he saw Satan. The song is fluffy polka with vacuous words and a bouncy melody. It needs a bridge. Maybe Harry wrote one.


    • 24. Impressions of a Disillusioned Suitor

      A nice roller coaster melody that chastises a man chaser. I seem to have written a lot of songs with this theme. This one was written when I was 18 before I went to college. Where did I get such ideas? The melody was later used in Boiled Asparagus (Opus95).


    • 23. On My Turpentine Farm

      If I remember right, I stole this title. It was mentioned in an article about folk songs that I was reading. Okay melody. Stupid lyrics trying to be profound. One star.


    • 22. Irrespective Dementia

      My attempt at some serious atonal music in 1967 when I was 17. The first movement, titled Virgin Cancer, is based on a nonstandard progression of major minor sevenths. The lead, played on fuzz guitar, is haunting. I recorded this in 1969 at Rose-Hulman, my undergraduate college. John Lawrence, a school chum, was a weekend red eye DJ on WBOW-AM in Terre Haute. (BOW = 'banks of the Wabash'.) The recording was so good, John played it one night and asked callers to guess who the artist was. I remember one said Frank Zappa. It was a complement. The second movement of Irrespective Dementia could be used as background music for a chase scene in a movie. I've never heard the music I wrote -I just imagined it in my mind. The last movement was later redone as Dance of the Libertine (opus 52). It's a good spooky minor melody,. The fourth movement is an attempt to fuse the first three.

      • Lead Sheet (pdf)
      • The first movement is used in Lazarus Waltz & Fanfare (Opus 100)
      • FIrst Movement, renamed Virgin Cancer.  An old and corrupted recording.  Saber Tooth Hoosiers ( wma | wav | mp3 )
      • The 2nd movement motif is used in The Fall (Opus 105)
      • The 3rd movement motif is used in Dance of the Libertine (Opus 52)

    • 21. You Just Run

      Lots of 60's rock used chord progressions where a chord pattern was slid up and down, the guitar neck. Such is the case for this song. The melody that goes with it is great. The words are poor pop song cliches.


    • 20. You Done Lost Your Baby

      Wonderful melody! I used to sing this with Jim Fosnight, a teen friend who taught me to steal and pick up girls. His only redeeming quality was his beautiful singing voice. When we sang this together acapella, all were in awe. The chord progression is one you'd hear in the 50's. Mom loved this song. I think it's her favorite of my songs.. The words are okay for a pop song, Jesus Christ is Comin' Back Again (Opus 93), has the same melody and is a much better song. The last I heard of Jim was that he was in jail for military desertion.


    • 19. You Ain't Gonna Die, You're Gonna Ugly Away

      This was for a time my most famous song. I sang it so much, that it lost its meaning. Kind of like chewing gum for a week All the flavor goes away. I pity the poor recording artist who sings the same songs over and over again in concert. How hollow, In 1971, the Rose- Hulman Glee Club went on tour to Indiana, Illinois and Missouri high schools. I did a solo in the act, and this was my song. The response was incredible, including two standing ovations. Professor Peter Partial, the Glee Club's director, told me that letters had been received from one of the school administrators saying that the song was inappropriate for a high school audience, How things have changed.


    • 18. Wishes

      Written to a high school girl I had a crush on. One and a half stars.


    • 17. Trying Not to Get Upset

      This song is largely Blaise Pascal/Kurt Cobain whimsy, with an attempt to make effective comment on the certainty of death. Light lively tune.


    • 16. Sweet Death

      Thoughts of teenage suicide have been around for quite some time. (More grunge, I suppose). I remember holding a butcher knife in a self stabbing position when I was five years old. Our family then lived in an apartment on Harvard Avenue in Cleveland. I was curious what it would feel like to stab myself and die. I dismissed the thought, put down the knife, and went to play with my Lincoln logs. This song was not written when I was depressed. It was written in an attempt to intellectually walk through the process, and possibly to shock. In college, I sang it at a coffee house in Terre Haute. The guy who ran the coffee house, a pastor, said I was preoccupied with death. I wasn't, but took the comment as a complement. I confused it for a complement about the depth of my serious intellect. The melody here is quite mechanical. The words make me want to go to sleep with the television on.


    • 15. Someday

      I remember writing this at my Grandma Ormeda Marks' in West Virginia when I was 15. I associate it with a bloated gaseous feeling for some reason.  This was my second attempt to use color chords, like major sevenths and minor ninths. Trite lyrics with a beautiful melody. I do the melody as a guitar piece solo.

    • 14. She's Mine

      Another song that wrote itself of which I'm still not proud. This is bubble gum music. In 1973, Pat Kelley & I did a farce bubble gum recording of this with a guitar solo drenched in reverb. We laughed at our parody so hard, we cried.


    • 13. Please Don't Go

      This has one of my favorite melodies, especially the echo singing part. Used again in Jelly Beans (Opus 66) and Together in the Lord  (Opus 85).


    • 12. Opus 12

      I like this song, especially the haunting melody. The lyrics have a bit of pompous 'I'm too mature and am no good for you' immaturity.  But so did I.


    • 11. On the Bananaboat

      I was a great fan of Bob Dylan. His protest work was great. This song contains my impressions of what was politically correct. But I was a rebel withourt a clue.  The resulting lyrics are trite and immature. The lyrics certainly don't sound doesn't sound like a conservative Republican wrote them. The song title, I remember, went perfectly with the music. The melody was later used in Marilee's Melody. (Opus 99)


    • 10. My Happy Family

      I was a Frank Zappa fan. On their We're Only in it for the Money album, they had a song about the goings on in a weird family. This was my inspiration here. Doug Haldeman & I used to have a great duet presentation of this song. It doesn't seem as funny now as when I wrote it.


    • 9. Lost

      This song sounds like I wrote it when the teenage male hormones started kicking in, Wow. What a statement of loneliness, isolation and fear. The last verse refers to a mythical land where everyone felt this way. I found this land -it was college. Grunge lyrics before their time. 

      The same tune was applied to a parady ditty about the Darwin Scouts.


    • 8. I'm Sad and I'm Lonely

      This song wrote itself. I never liked it much, but felt obligated to write it down. This song has the melody of an American folk song.


    • 7. I'll Love You Always

      I took guitar lessons for a year. I think it was during my junior year in high school. There, I learned the wonders of major and minor seventh chords. This is my first song using them. The melody is quite beautiful. As a senior in high school, I used to skip and spend lunch periods in the music department. Another senior, Ed Kozy, would also skip. He was a singer that had sung at some of the school's assemblies. I would chord the changes on a piano and he would sing. He said it was one of the most beautiful songs he had ever heard. I remember this as the first complement I ever had about my music. The lyrics are trite.


    • 6. I'll Keep on Waiting

      A song of cliches written around a sugary melody. Makes my teeth hurt.


    • 5. Hungarian Lazonia

      I remember the feeling that this song wrote itself.


    • 4. Go On Home

      A I'm-a-slimeball-and-will-skrew-up-your-life ballad. The lyrics are mediocre and the melody is great. The quite phrases contrast powerfully with the bridge. It's a Barry Manilow melody. The instrumental riffs are good sad minor key stuff.


    • 3. Delirium Tremens

      I had never drank alcohol when I wrote this. The lyrics were published in a book of poetry when I was at college at Rose-Hulman. They are sophomoric. The melody, especially the two part duet at the end, is quite good.

    • 2. Dear Sergeant

      A private in boot camp naively asks his Sarge to teach him killing skills. This was a politically correct theme in the late 60's. I remember hearing the topical motif from somewhere, and thought it was neat. The melody was later used in The Clean Room Song (Opus 80).  


    • 1. And Then Came You

      A recurrent themes in teenage lyrics:  You're good, I'm a slimeball. You either changed my life with a near rebirth experience or I ruined yours.