A cappella birthday silliness — much of it composed by me

arts and entertainment, music, personal

Back in high school, I was not only a band geek, but a choir geek as well!  But I did far more than just sing your standard choral music :-D.  I loved composing, arranging and teaching, and often performing short songs in vocal quartets, and I founded my very own singing telegram business (“The Birthday Brigade”) to support this habit.

For $3, students could hire us to sing a special birthday song to one of the friends—in class, no less!  We even had teachers and administrators hiring us to sing for other non-students.  And by the end of our two year run, we earned enough money to purchase a sizable first-ever music CD collection for our school library (and back in the 80s, this was a big deal!).  Oh, and we also sang the national anthem at various school sporting events; one of the trios even got to sing at Dodger Stadium!

Anyway, in the middle of our second year, we decided to sit down at my place and record a bunch of our songs.  We didn’t do many takes, we didn’t use a fancy studio (just my dad’s old tape recorder!), and the results were certainly not perfect, but I think we did manage to capture a lot of the fun and also show off our love-of-singing :-D.

And alas, the “album” below (from 1989!) is missing some of my favorites, including “Mr. Roger’s [Neighborhood] Birthday” and “A Muppet Birthday” and no doubt others I’ve forgotten about.  But I hope you enjoy the songs nonetheless. [and feel free to see more detailed notes below the player widget]

(I’m singing on all of these except “Love Me Tender”; I think tenor on all tracks)

1) “And Why Not!” – music and lyrics composed by me.
2) “Ole!” – lyrics (as they are) composed by me, and music arranged by me (original melody from “Mexican Hat Dance”)
3) “Love Me Tender” – not sure who composed/arranged this one; the girls might have arranged this one themselves
4) “Star Spangled Banner” – composed by Francis Scott Key, not sure who did this arrangement
5) “Beethoven Birthday” – all composed by me, with deep apologies to Mr. Beethoven
6) “Celebrate!” – music by me, and I think (but am not sure) that I wrote the lyrics, too
7) “Merry Christmas” – sung to the tune of “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” with a tiny bit of lyrical substitution. I think I did the arrangement for this one.
8) “See ya!” – composed, um, on the spot 😉

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Edited on December 20, 2008 to add:
I’ve gotten in touch with most of the people in this recording, which I previously didn’t list because I wanted to make sure my memory wasn’t failing me!  My fine co-singers were Robin (bass), Jen aka “Moose” (alto), Stacey (soprano) and Cathy (soprano).  Oh, and Robin insists that it was *his* tape recorder.  I’m still not convinced of that 😀 [and, yeah, I should ask ‘em if they’re comfortable having their last names here, and if so, I’ll add ‘em so they really get their fair notoriety :-P)

5 comments… add one
  • Johan Brugge Mar 10, 2009

    How can I build such a flash musicplayer myself?

  • Alex Apr 11, 2009

    Johan Brugge, you can hire people on websites like Getafreelancer, who will do it.

  • Adam Apr 11, 2009

    Many of the online music services make it very simple, so you can do it yourself in 2 minutes and for free. The one above was done with Grooveshark.

  • Afif Apr 19, 2009

    You sure have a weird music taste Adam. If I got caught listening to those songs my ‘friends’ won’t let me forget about it.
    @Johan – You can create Flash MP3 players with XML Playlist. I used to use Pimp My Profile’s Flash MP3 player for my Friendster’s page. Worth a try 🙂

    p/s-hey, where’s the smiley option :p

  • Adam Apr 20, 2009

    Weird music taste, okay, possibly :D.  And yep, I have heard of XML playlist… should check it out.  Thanks for the idea.  re: smiley option… there’s a link right above where you typed in your comment labeled “Pop-up smiley chooser.”  It’s slightly broken, but mostly works 😀

What do you think?