Sunday, November 30, 2008

Can I Recover Christmas?

World War II Christmas, AnnieinaustinMore than a year ago I decided to add some dramatic tension by putting character Caroline through a breakup in late fall, giving her the opportunity to sing a very sad song as she faced Christmas without her love, and giving me the opportunity of writing a very sad song for her to sing. If this were part of the play on a stage it would be Caroline's song, and it would be about a broken romance. But there are many kinds of loss that must be faced when holidays approach, and the video of this song demonstrates that the same lyrics can have more than one set of meanings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Austin Entomologist - The Bug Geek Song

My Austin Entomologist,AnnieinAustin
Although it's just me singing for this video, the song "My Austin Entomologist" would belong to a character named Loralynn in the play. In my imagination she's like some of Marilyn Monroe's characters - every male is a potential target, and while sometimes appearing to be a dumb blonde, when she allows herself to pursue knowledge as well as romance, the results can be surprising.

This copyrighted song was composed and performed by "Annie in Austin" and the video was made by Philo in Austin. Fellow Austin garden blogger Vertie's posts about her classes in entomology and nature photography, especially the post "Work It, Grasshopper" provided much inspiration!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Pond Song

I want to go to the water..... go to the ponds and to the streams...

"The Pond Song" is meant for the hot days of summer, when humans and wildlife crave the many man-made ponds and streams that dot the Austin landscape.
The Roots In Austin characters to whom this song belongs are a mature couple who are both gardeners. It would work well if they sang at least the final refrain together. I haven't given them names yet, but they sound a lot like Annie and Philo, don't they?

This copyrighted song was composed and performed by "Annie in Austin" and the video was made by Philo in Austin.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Don't Want to Live in Texas When It's May

"I Don't Want to Live In Texas When It's May" is a family collaboration - I wrote a poem which became lyrics once my son Ted set them to music. For the video the instruments are all played by Ted, Diane is in charge of images and your blogger "Annie in Austin" is the singer.

But for my play Roots In Austin this song belongs to the character Caroline.

I don't want to be in Texas when it's May ... no, the place I long to be is far away.

She may be having fun as an Austinite now, but she misses Illinois when the lilacs bloom at Lilacia Park in Lombard.

Most of this song sounds like a rollicking beer joint tune, but one stanza was designed for flower geeks. If you can't catch some of the lilac names, here's a transcription:

Just the list of names is wonderful to me -
"Ludwig Spaeth", "President Lincoln", "Charles Joly".

The Syringa roam worldwide -
let petite "Miss Kim" inside,
Happy members of one great big family.

All songs, performances and videos are copyrighted. This video made for station stsrec.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spinning, Spinning, Spinning Underneath the Christmas Tree

Dinah, the character who sings "Arizona Ash", also gets to sing "Spinning, Spinning, Spinning Underneath the Christmas Tree" - one of the Christmas songs I wrote for the play Roots in Austin.

It's a sweet and simple tune about a pleasant Austin custom. Several generations of Austinites have gone to Zilker Park in the days before Christmas to spin themselves dizzy under a Christmas tree made from many multi-colored lights suspended from a Moon Tower. People like Dinah were once spun in circles by their parents - now they spin their own children.

Spinning, Spinning, Spinning Underneath the Christmas Tree

Arizona Ash

The song "Arizona Ash" was written soon after we moved to a house with 3 of these aging trees in the front yard.

For Roots In Austin, this is one of the songs I've assigned to a mellow character named Dinah, a woman who grew up in Austin, left for a few years but once
she realized she couldn't live anywhere else it was time to return. She was a kid when these trees first became popular and she hates to see them go. Unlike some of the other characters in the play, Dinah is at peace with living in Austin - it looks beautiful and normal and right to her. Deep snow and a world of leafless trees are what freak her out!

Arizona Ash

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Transplantable Rose

"A Transplantable Rose" isn't the first song that I wrote but as a tale of an Illinois-to-Texas gardener it seemed suitable as a name for my main blog, slightly changed to The Transplantable Rose.

The character who sings this song is may have come from Illinois, but she's not me and a job was not the reason for the move. In the play, Caroline comes to Austin hoping for a new and different life and a place where she can forget a lost love. (I always liked that name 'Caroline'. It was an alternate choice for a baby name once upon a time and it's fun to be able to use it. )