Songwriters are always looking for inspiration, and funny song-writers (like me) tend to look for weird events or funny stories to get the creative juices flowing. You might recall from my last blog post that I have an unreleased song about a fictional dog named Blue. Well, between that blog post and this one, we have added a very real dog (named “Lucy”) to the Swanson family.
Lucy is still getting used to the rules of the house. She doesn’t yet realize how important hamburgers are to me — they are by far my favorite meal. So she can be excused for roaming unsupervised through our kitchen yesterday afternoon (my boys were outside playing), finding a bag of buns on the kitchen countertop, and saying to herself (insert dog accent here), “Don’t mind if I do!”
The boys came inside to find a very happy dog (about 3 or 4 burger buns into a torn-open package), and crumbs all over the floor of the den. Thankfully, there was another package of buns in the fridge, so supper was not a complete loss. By the time I got home to cook, there was no point in correcting Lucy (plus, how could you get mad at such a sweet face?). The best I can do is file the story away for a future song — after all, the theme for this summer’s Summer Reading Program at the libraries I tend to play is “Tails and Tales.” How’s this for a start?
I dig a burger that is hot and juicy
Love to cook ’em for the family, for my wife and my sons
But my dog had other plans, that rascal Lucy
Pulled the package off the counter and made off with the buns
Last time I promised to talk about some of my songwriting influences. One of the first was “Weird” Al Yankovic. His single, “Hey Ricky” (a parody of Tony Basil’s “Mickey” and inspired by the sit-com, “I Love Lucy”), was one of the first records (yes, it was a 45) I ever bought. Soon enough, I was trying to write parody lyrics to the pop songs I was listening to. My interest in “Weird” Al led me to a radio show, “The Dr. Demento Show,” devoted entirely to novelty songs. My brother and I would tape the show and listen to those songs (from writers like Tom Lehrer — I’ll return to him in a future post) over and over again. Those songs managed to paint funny pictures in my head and made me laugh no matter how many times I played them.
So keep an ear and an eye out for funny events and create something (a song, story or drawing). Or, better yet, try to add to the song, “Burger Bun Burglar Blues,” that I started above. Post your ideas as a comment to the blog.