Happy Valentines Day! This track comes to you hot off the presses – recorded just this morning for your listening enjoyment, The Ogre I Adore! Quick, listen to the song, and then meet me down below after the lyric for the customary palaver…
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
I don’t understand at all
How I ever came to fall in love, do you?
Double, double, boil and bubble,
Someone’s in a lot of trouble.
Better tell me, on the double, what do I do?
I have a notion that a potion wouldn’t do it.
I had it made, but I’m afraid I really blew it.
Things were just great
Til he showed me the gate,
Now I’m in a state
Since I lost my mate!
I don’t know what I’m living for.
It’s an ache I can’t ignore.
I lost The Ogre I Adore!
I sit alone all day and cry,
And though he made me want to die,
He’s got me crawling back for more.
If I could cast a hate spell,
It would be a great spell
Because it might make him love me again!
He might begin to beat me,
Or treat me like he did
When he was a wizard
And I was a kid.
Won’t you send him back to me?
Won’t you end this misery?
I can’t take this any more!
He’s a brute and a beast
And I wish he were deceased
Or dismembered, at least,
And stuffed in a drawer
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t
The Ogre I Adore!
This song was written back in Pittsburgh in 1978 for a children’s musical penned by my classmate Scott Cummings called Tales of the Dingo Forest, and was sung originally by Laurie Klatscher, who remembered the song with some fondness when I saw her here in Philly a few months ago. I made the distressing discovery that none of the songs from this project were in my files, which, given my packrat proclivities, seemed incomprehensible! Turns out, though, that I gave my manuscript of this particular song to D’Arcy as a present early in our courtship, and that she saved it in her trunk of memorabilia; it required some work, since what I’d given her was a pencil sketch of the melody and the lyric sheet. No matter; an hour or two of Finale transcription and it was ready for performance. (Hit me up if you’d like a copy of it!)
As for the other songs – The Junkman’s Jump, The Master of Disaster, Down The Hatch – I fear they’re gone, swept away by the sands of time, though I still have memories of Conal O’Brien J. J. Cole and, of course, the charming Miss Klatscher in that production. For some reason, I also recall that the band had a particularly feisty trombone player, for whom I wrote the counter-melody line in the main refrain. This particular ditty is in the Lorenz Hart mode of love-as-affliction, and is chock-a-block with quotations and musical pilferage. The alert ear will detect references to Stairway to Heaven, Sweet Georgia Brown, The Man That Got Away and some fifties doo-wop song that Laurie remembers but I don’t, while the lyric offers quotes from Macbeth and Snow White, all befitting a song sung by a witch about her estranged magician husband.
As always, massive bouquets of gratitude are due to my beloved D’Arcy, who sang this track at 10am on a Saturday morning, morning coffee in hand, before dashing off to rehearsal. Hi ho, the glamorous life! We’ll be performing it live, along with some other ditties from the Chazzy songbook, at the second Project 194 soiree on March 1. Wanna join us? It promises to be even more fun than the first one, so let me know.
Milestones to report on Project 194: over 1000 sessions to date, and over six hundred visitors as we reach Day 45. With five months to go until the big day itself, July 13, the project has begun to attract interest in other places, like this article on Phindie.com, Philly’s independent theater-and-arts blog. If you’re enjoying the music and the stories, help spread the word about this project, and consider participating in my Hear My Song composition. And thanks for visiting!
If you missed them, these are the songs already posted on Project 194; the links on the right are songs chosen at random from previous posts. Want to contribute to my interactive composition, “Hear My Song?” Read more here. Want to receive daily songs delivered direct to your inbox? Sign up here!