So it all started when my husband Nathan put on an album our daughter Luthien made when she was maybe seven, with her band “Luthien and the Awesome Band.” While now-teenager Luthien groaned with embarrassment, we her proud parents reminded her she was only seven and this was a very fun glimpse into the beginnings of her creative life (check out this song she wrote and performed entirely by herself last week!).
When the album was over, my younger child Silas said, “hey Mom, let’s start a band! I’ll sing and you can write songs for me to sing.” Realizing this could dovetail nicely with my #songaweek2018 project, I agreed.
I’m not sure I had ever written a song for someone else to sing before, and it wasn’t easy. I think I was too focused on Silas himself, his personality, his likes and dislikes. So I wrote a cheesy-silly song for him to sing about being a vegetarian (a decision he made on his own when he was five) with a little bit of running thrown in.
“Mom, I’m not going to sing that,” he responded.
To which I sheepishly replied, “yeah, I don’t blame you.”
Then I asked him, what if we write a song together? He wasn’t sure about that. Wouldn’t it take a long time? No, I told him, if you’ve got something good rolling, it doesn’t often take more than an hour, might even be more like twenty minutes.
“But I don’t know what to write about,” he sighed. “How do you get ideas?”
Just then we heard the ice cream truck coming up the street, playing “Lullaby,” its pitch shifting as it drove past and away. My kids (and probably most kids!) have always thought that Doppler effect makes ice cream trucks seem a little creepy.
“What about the ice cream truck? How about we write a song about that?” I suggested.
Silas looked at me a little dubiously and then almost instantly launched into, “here it comes, down the street, the demented ice cream truck,” to the tune of “Lullaby.”
“Yes!” I exclaimed. “That’s perfect!”
“But we can’t steal that tune,” Silas said.
Oh but we could. And I explained the glories of public domain to my middle-schooler.
So with the frame of an old tune, Silas set to work writing lyrics. He sat at the computer and typed in the lyrics while I sat behind him and played the song on the guitar to help keep him on track. I contributed some of the lines and ideas and helped massage some lines to fit, but the general thrust of the song and most of the lyrics came pretty directly from Silas.
And it all took about twenty minutes!
So here it is, my song for week 33, cowritten with my fun-loving wordsmith son Silas Bloom:
And here are the lyrics exactly as he typed them:
Here it comes down the street the demented ice-cream truck
Selling kids icecream shaped like cartoons. If you stray too close they will suck out your soul. But other wise it’s a jolly good time.
There it goes up the road making boat loads of money.
Be careful they’ll get mad if you stand there too long. Then they might leave the block cuz time is money and there rent on the truck is almost overdo.
It’s not even a truck it’s really more of a van
With some speakers and a freezer and a driver slash cashier you may call it what you like but you better beware they will catch your credit card and will make you go broke.