Friday, October 27, 2006

Laugh, kookaburra (grumble, camel)

I've been working on "Water for the Elephants," my song for Sunday's Coffee Shop Jam. Here is my version, with some different animal sounds:

(Played in the key of E, but capoed up to G)

Circus came to town and to the circus I went
Didn't have a ticket, didn't have a cent
The circus man said, “To see the show without a cent
You've got to carry water for the elephants.”

So I carried water for the elephants
Back and forth to the well I went
My feet got sore and my back got bent
But I couldn't fill up the elephants.

I said to that man with the standing up collar
“I bet two bits the elephants are hollow,”
The circus man said, “Well, first you'll see
The animals in the menagerie.”

First saw the lion and the lion he roared (roar)
Saw the wild duck and the wild duck quacked (quack)
Saw the wild cats, and the wild cats meowed (meow)
Saw the wild cow and the wild cow mooed (moo)
Saw Mister Possum sitting on a limb
Two fruit-bats sitting next to him
Saw the wild python like in the zoo
Wild rooster said, “Cock-a-doodle--doo.”

Saw the wild birds and the birds sang sweet (too-wheet)
Saw the wild dogs and the wild dogs barked (ruff ruff)
Saw the kookaburra and the kookaburra laughed (ho ho ho ha ha ha)
Saw the wild camel and the camel complained (grrr-um, grrr-um)
Saw the hippopotamus splash in the water
Trying to flirt with the crocodile's daughter
Saw the giraffe and a big kangaroo
Wild horned owl hollered, “Hoo hoo hoo.”

I went down to the circus tent
Sure am doggone glad I went
Saw the whole show, it didn't cost a cent
Because I carried water for the elephants.

Some of the animal noises are standard, while some of them are a bit more uncommon for storytime singing. My guitar teacher and I were working on animal sounds this morning. His kookaburra sound was akin to the Tarzan monkey cry, whereas my rendition was "something funny from a cartoon, but definitely not a kookaburra." There are a number of renditions of kookaburra sound files, but I'm aiming for the one featured in Common Birds of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and camel sound number 5 on this Free Safari Sounds page.

So far, my two main challenges with this song are:
1) Plucking the 5th string on the B7 chord without looking at the guitar
2)Keeping from laughing while I make the camel sound


Nonny said...

Is it possible for Bede to record your little jam session? That would be priceless :)

Have an awesome weekend honey!

Lone Star Ma said...

Sounds wonderful. Have a great time.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny: Some day (soon I hope), Ulric will help me to get a sound file together. Then, I'll post it!

LSM: Thanks! My music teacher said that some of the families are keen to go especially because of the song and story.

Lady K said...

This is REALLY REALLY great. You need to post a recording of it! Wow, you never cease to amaze me. Keep doing what you do; the world needs more people like you. I can't say that enough. :)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thank you, Lady K! I'll do a studio version that requires a lot of tweaking.:)