Lyrics: Not One More Day

November 30, 2008

Not One More Day
Melody based on Oh, Freedom 
© 2008 Cairril Adaire 

I.
Oh, freedom (2x)
Oh, freedom from bein’ ignored
We don’t want no more
Of this endless, pointless war
Not one more dollar, not one more death, not one more day 

II.
No more suffering
No more killing
No more pain in my name (in my name)
Can you look me in the eye
And say all those people deserve to die
Not one more dollar, not one more death, not one more day 

III.
No more sending our poor
To fight a rich man’s war
No more blood
Blood for oil (no more blood for oil)
I’d rather be poor
Than see my country fight this war
Not one more dollar, not one more death, not one more day   

IV.
No more spying
No more lying
No more secrets
No more shame (we are better than this)
We take to the streets and say
We are standing in your way
Not one more dollar, not one more death, not one more day 

V.
Not one more dollar
Not one more day
Not one cent of my money
Spent in this wicked way

Not one more death
Not one more day
Not one more of our children
Not one more of theirs

VI.
No more torture
We’re forced to pay for
No more torture in my name (we are better than this)
I still believe
In the land of liberty
Not one more dollar, not one more death, not one more day


Vahine Taihara

November 30, 2008

SSAA. Mahoi (Polynesian) song transcribed from a field recording. Has a chant-like quality. Difficult to learn but very fun to sing, especially when imitating the “yowling cat” sounds of the field recording. Short solos and one wailing descant above the chanting, rhythmically interesting 4-part chorus. See KaiaSing.com for more info on the piece.


Everybody Loves My Baby

November 29, 2008

SSAA. Based very closely on the Boswell Sisters’ classic rendition. Voicings are almost identical. All instrumentation has been stripped or converted, such as the bass line combining several of the rhythm instruments from the originals ’20s-era recording. I kept the scat, but simplified it to make it humanly possible to sing.

This took Kaia about a year to nail and it’s one of the most technically challenging pieces we’ve done. You’d have no idea it was so difficult when you just listen to the Boswells doing it! Phenomenal musicians. I prostrate myself in homage.

Everybody Loves My Baby sample by Kaia


Not One More Day

November 23, 2008

Lead line only; harmonies are easy to devise. Tune based on civil rights song Oh, Freedom. Lyrics and overall arrangement by moi. Biting critique of the Bush administration, particularly the war in Iraq. The idea for the song originally came from a T-shirt with the slogan “Not one more dollar, not one more day, not one more death.” I changed the order and made it into the song’s refrain: “Not more dollar, not one more death, not one more day.”

Lyrics for Not One More Day


Required listening: Mahalia and Billie

November 23, 2008

Side note on my Sam Lowry post: “Sam” said he wanted to lay down a gospel choir sound at the end of the piece and have me wail like Mahalia Jackson on top of it. I’d vaguely listened to Mahalia before, but not intently, so I borrowed an album from Sam. As soon as I first caught a waft of “Trouble Of The World”, I shut off the lights, cranked up the volume, and laid down on the floor in front of the stereo with my eyes closed. I prostrated myself at the altar of greatness.

I was blown away by Mahalia’s simple yet completely authentic delivery. (“Delivery” is such a thin term, a term used by intellectuals who are unable to reach beyond the surface.) I was blown away by the greatness pouring forth from my speakers. I’ve rarely heard so much brilliance packed into such a small, un-self-conscious performance. Mahalia just sang. She sang from her heart—no, she sang from her soul. She didn’t mess about with funky ornamentation and syncopation just to “liven things up”—she was singing in praise of her Lord and she surrendered completely to it.

Before any singer believes s/he has talent, s/he should listen to Billie Holliday’s “Solitude and Mahalia Jackson’s “Trouble Of The World—in the dark, with no barriers of mind or spirit.


Kaia

November 23, 2008

October 2004-present. A cappella vocal ensemble of 7-9 women singing world music, jazz, originals, and anything else we feel like. Repertoire ranges from the raucous to the sublime. I founded the group in 2004 and remain its Anxious Facilitator. Based in Bloomington, Indiana. See Kaia’s website for way more info and buy buy buy our merchandise!


My epiphany: Jazz

November 23, 2008

My epiphany (that I had when I was around 9 but didn’t realize until I was in my late 30s): When I was around 9, I was at a jazz concert of my brother’s. (Everyone in my large family was required to do both sports and music up to high school, and then continue with either sports or music; consequently, I come from a very musical background.)

I’d already been to a zillion shows of all kinds, mostly choral and orchestral. But here was this casual group of guys up there, with some frizzy-headed “conductor” in a sportcoat and casual shoes. And the scruffy conductor just said, “One…two…” while snapping his fingers. Then silence. Then WHAMMO—the sound kicked in. And the conductor walked off the stage!

I could see him setting in the wings, bopping his head in time to the music, but my brother’s group wailed along just fine without him. Near the end of the song, he wandered back on stage for a lackadaisical but perfectly executed cutoff, then gave the cue for the next piece and walked off again.

In that moment, I knew with all my being that I wanted to be that good. I wanted to be such an accomplished musician that I didn’t need a conductor (I’d never seen such a thing before). I wanted to perform with other top-notch musicians who would know how to perform, with room for improvisation and total creative support. I wanted to reach the level where music was not only internalized to the Nth degree in myself, but where I was able to connect with musicians just as accomplished and respond in the moment to whatever they were doing—and in so doing, create art.

While my formal training is firmly rooted in the classical tradition, jazz remains the ultimate expression of musicianship for me. Structured spontaneity, creative excellence, supportive competition, and total acceptance of any performer who’s got the chops. Music trumps all.