Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sherman's Lament, Live Video and Chords

I've made a new video for my original song Sherman's Lament and deleted the earlier one.

The new video can be found here.

A fully produced version of this song is available here.

Note that the chord changes I hit in the accompaniment on that version are slightly different, but not dramatically so.

If you want to play it, this song should not be too challenging as long as you can quickly transition between basic chords and you can do a little Travis picking. There are a few little grace notes and fills here and there but they shouldn't be difficult (and I never manage to play them quite as I intended anyway; the solo guitar arrangement is still pretty new to me). The verses and choruses are all basically the same with the exception of the bridge and coda, so I have only put chord notation on the first verse.

Please note that in the live video I am DOWN-TUNED (D to D) so if you want to play along with the video, you'll either have to down-tune or transpose the song. The guitar is my Babicz Identity Jumbo.

I've spent my career teaching history
       Dm7               G
But my colleagues always mock me
   Dm7          G
My papers are rejected
   C                     Em - F - G
My letters to the editor never selected

My memories of those days are mostly a blur
   Dm7               G
Of crudely drawn animation
         Dm7                  G
With our horn-rimmed glasses, we'd explore
    C             Em - F - G
The pasts of many nations

His bowtie he always kept impeccable
    Dm7                  G
The puns were completely unacceptable
  Dm7               G
I tell you this without much joy
    Dm7           G         C
For I'm no longer Peabody's boy


   F                Em
My life has been so ordinary
          Dm7           G
Since the day he went away
    Dm7              G
Now it's been almost fifty years
    Am           C
And I am old and gray
     F                Em
I've never stopped believing
     Dm7                 G
That he'll come back for me
   Dm7               G              C
My master, mentor, friend Mister Peabody


I followed Peabody's detailed instructions
To make sure our history functions
Fixing problems in our past
We righted wrongs and we had ourselves a blast

When our show got cancelled, he took it really hard
We heard him howling in the yard
On that fateful day, he broke his chain
And with nothing but his big brain

He trotted right through the door of his machine
We'd know where he went, but he broke the view screen
The government men took it away
Now how can I... get back... to yesterday?



Cartoons can live forever
But not so human men
I'm hoping that he gets here soon
So I can see his fuzzy face again
Maybe he traveled forward
And in some very different when
Some clever future doctors
Can fix me and make me young again
Now night is fast approaching
But if we meet up one day
F                G               Dm7 G C
We'll be dog and boy like it was yesterday


I had to pack up and go back to school
Which felt so very cruel
The history books all seemed strange
It's not nearly as fun when it can't be rearranged

Me, I just got older, and I discovered girls
But they never seemed to like me
Maybe the dog tags put them off
Or maybe they saw me scratch a flea

I never got married and I never had friends
I really hope this isn't how it ends
I hope my master won't forget me
And I'll make history with Mister Peabody


    F                   Em
Now you might think I'm just confused
            Dm7          G
And age has left me in a fog
But I never minded playing second fiddle
To a dog


Travis Norris said...

Irony: I am not very good at Travis picking.

Thanks for the chords, wouldn't mind seeing them for your other entries too... I've been planning on chording/tabbing my songs but it's always kind of low priority.

Paul R. Potts said...

I'm really just a beginner at Travis picking, but I am excited about how much "bang for the buck" I can get from it -- that is, a few very basic patterns make me sound like I'm playing a really complicated part when it is actually pretty simple chords + my fingers mostly running on autopilot. There are a lot of techniques and songs I want to work on, actually to the point where I am a bit stymied trying to figure out what I want to work on next. Fretless bass technique? Ukulele? Celtic-style acoustic? Theory and more chord types?

I'd be happy to put together chords for my other songs, but the difficulty is that most of them don't really have complete backing guitar parts. "Leaving Ann Arbor" has layers of ukulele and electric guitar accents. I had to piece the ukulele part together in Logic. The backing rhythm part in the Thomas Dolby sequel I can't actually play live either, since some of the chord changes are too fast for me. This is the first one that I felt like I could really play live. I want to make that a priority in future original songs but on the other hand I also like doing more electronic-y layered stuff.

I have a plan to try to put together some backing tracks into MinStage to allow me to do live versions of some of the others, but that is probably still a ways off.