Digital audio media on Roger M. Wilcox's site


I've made several digital-audio captures of music that, previously, had existed only on analog audio tape in my collection. If you want to hear any (or all) of them, they can now be found here:

Roger M. Wilcox's Digital-Audio Rescues.


I've also made several digital-audio recordings of parodies with lyrics written by Mike Gorgone. Most of them deal with the Food Babe. They can now be found here:

Roger M. Wilcox's Recordings of Mike Gorgone's Song Parodies.


Roger M. Wilcox's digital audio that wasn't rescued from cassette

The Honor Harrington Song (.WMA format), or The Honor Harrington Song (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

A song about everyone's favorite Manticoran space navy tactician. (A YouTube rendition can be found here.)

Harrington, Honor Harrington
Harrington, Honor Harrington
Honor Harrington, Harrington, Harrington
Harrington, Harrington, Harrington
Harrington, Harrington, Harrington
(What a Mary Sue!)


Pickin' Up Puppies (.WMA format), or Pickin' Up Puppies (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

A song about the Kalu'ak daily quest "Preparing for the Future" in World of Warcraft. (A "music video" for this can be found here.)

Oh, I go pickin' up puppies, yes I do,
Pickin' up puppies, woo woo wo,
Pickin' up puppies, Pickin' up puppies,
Doodle oodle oodle oodle oot doot doo doo.
Pickin' up puppies, da da dom,
But first I gotta kill their mom,
Pickin' up puppies, Pickin' up puppies,
Doodle oodle oodle oodle om!

They say they want the puppies to preserve the population
Because of their impending all-out war,
But I hear that in Korea puppies are might good eatin'
Maybe that's what they really want 'em for!

But what do I care?
They're gonna give me a fishing pole!

So I go pickin' up puppies, yes I do,
Pickin' up puppies, woo woo wo,
Pickin' up puppies, Pickin' up puppies,
Doodle oodle oodle oodle oot doot doo doo.
Pickin' up puppies, yes I am,
Pickin' up puppies on the lam,
Pickin' up puppies, Pickin' up puppies,
Doodle oodle oodle oodle am!

Yeah!


The Paladin Song, lyrics by Roger M. Wilcox.

Another song inspired by World of Warcraft. This time, though, the tune isn't mine. It's David Arnold's drunken barnstorming biplane pilot's theme from the movie Independence Day. (A YouTube rendition can be found here.)

I'm a paaaaaladiiiiin,
I'm a paaaaaladi-i-i-in,
I'm a paaaaa-la-a-din,
I'm a paaaaa-la-a-din,
A paladiiiiiin,
A paladiiiiiiiiiiin!

Elites don't scare meeeeeeee,
And it takes all day to kill me in PvP.
I stand for truth and justice and the American way,
I bubble hearth,
I bubble heaaaaaaaaaaaaarth ...

Yeah!


Time to Give My Dog His Denamarin (.WMA format), or Time to Give My Dog His Denamarin (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox.

(A "music video" of this song can be found here.) My dog has colitis. So he needs to take medicines to reduce the problems in his colon. But these medicines have the side effect of taxing his liver. So, at the behest of my Internal-medicine-specialist veterinarian:

It's time to give my dog his Denamarin.
It's a little bluish pill, this Denamarin.
Because I give him steroid pills
His liver is impacted, so
I'm making up for it with Denamarin.

He won't just up and swallow Denamarin,
So I mush it with his dog food, Denamarin.
But not with too much dog food, 'cause
Officially you're s'posed to take it
On an empty stomach, Denamarin.

I don't mean to advertise for Denamarin,
There might be side effects from Denamarin,
I have a vet'rinarian
Who does internal medicine,
She said to give my dog some Denamarin.

It's not classed as a drug, this Denamarin,
So it hasn't been subjected, Denamarin,
To the same rigorous testing
That we give to pharmaceuticals
But there are published studies
That show measurable benefit
Compared with a placebo
In reducing bilirubin
So I'll keep giving my dog his Denamarin!

(Denamarin® is a registered trademark of Nutramax Laboratories Inc., for their combination formula of S-Adenosylmethionine and Silybin A+B. Both of these substances are classified as nutritional supplements rather than pharmaceuticals, they have not been subjected to the same kinds of rigorous trials that pharmaceuticals have. Heaven knows how effective it really is at this point, or how bad the side effects are.)


Tritium (.WMA format), or Tritium (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

(A "music video" of this song can be found here.) In 1983, I recorded "Deuterium" with Ken Tamura (as linked earlier on this page). Three decades later, in 2014, I suddenly got inspired to write a sequel. This required me to reverse-engineer the accompaniment touches Ken came up with for "Deuterium", and then add my own new touches.

Tritium is yet another hydrogen isotope, formally known as hydrogen-3. Like deuterium, it's used in both nuclear fusion research and thermonuclear weapons. Unlike deuterium, it isn't found in nature in quantities that are anywhere near useful, and has to be manufactured by bombarding lithium-6 with neutrons. It is also, unlike deuterium, radioactive.

An isotope of hydrogen in a thermonuclear blast,
Three times as heavy as normal, but not stable — it won't last;
The nucleus, called a triton, holds two neutrons in its sway.
That's one neutron too many, so *woops!* nuclear decay!
The nucleus spits out a beta ray, an electron to you and me,
And a neutron becomes a proton then, and you've got helium three!

It's tritium! It's tritium!
A half life of twelve years.
It's tritium! It's tritium!
Made by the hand
Of clever Man,
Without us, nearly all disappears.

Now there are those who are trying to use tritium as a fuel,
To make some of our electric pow'r, and help the climate to cool;
They fuse it with some deuterium, but there's the problem you see —
To make them fuse together takes a whole lot of energy!
In fact, it takes more energy than the fusion reaction gives off.
We haven't hit the break-even point; it's still a long way off!

It's tritium! It's tritium!
No tokamaks or polywells yet thrive.
It's tritium! It's tritium!
And Cold fusion's bunk,
For now, we're sunk,
It's only hope that keeps this dream alive.

But there's one place where the pressure and heat combine to give more:
The center of an atomic blast is hotter than the sun's core!
And there's where nuclear fusion pays back a hundred fold,
Turns A-bombs into H-bombs to flatten countries untold.
Don't try to build one in your garage, the plans are still classified.
They might not even use tritium, but lithium-6 deuteride!

It's tritium! It's tritium!
The heaviest hydrogen there is.
It's tritium! It's tritium!
In bombs galore
Oh, nevermore
Can any nation say, "None of my biz"!


Chariots of Video Games (.WMA format), or Chariots of Video Games (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Written in 1982, this was based on my mis-remembrance of the theme from Chariots of Fire. (For some reason I thought it was in a triple meter.) The subject matter was several of the arcade games I was playing at the time.

Just call me The Tempest, I ride on a storm,
Through different mazes of color and form;
The name of a play by old William Shakespear
[sic],
And the name of a V-8 cut in half about here.
I fire, and I spin and super-zap;
I kill all the monsters, and I find
There are no Flippers, no Tankers, no Spikers, no Fuseballs, no Pulsars —
It's all in my mind.

For I am The Phoenix, among flying birds,
Some turn into clouds of space debris, some split into words;
The name of a missile, and a show on TV,
Named for an eternal firebird we never will see.
I go left and right, forcefield, and fire;
I kill all the birds, and I find
There are no warbirds, no wing-clips, no bombers, no eggs, no Starbase —
It's all in my mind.

They made me The Vanguard, out ahead of the crowd,
To shoot every moving thing in sight, and then explode loud;
The name of someone out ahead of the game,
And although the mission's different, the object's the same.
I move, fire, and fly through energy,
I kill everything, and I find
I always get 3 lives, and never win — this is no game —
It's all in my mind.

And then I'll play Pac-Man
[yicch – no I won't], and Blast your Astro,
And Cresta your Moon, and all other things like it can go;
I may not be the greatest, but I'm sure not the worst,
To think that I imitate someone, and call it a "first!"
I'm wondering whether things exist,
I've done everything, and I find
There is no arcade, no vision, no world, no matter, no universe —
It's all in my mind!!


Go Out to the Arcade (.WMA format), or Go Out to the Arcade (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

(A "music video" of this song can be found here.) Written in 1982 or 1983, this is sung to the tune of "Go Out With Joy" by Hank Beebe. I'd sung "Go Out With Joy" with the Festival Choir the previous summer at ISOMATA, and I carried that tune with me all the way into the video arcades that were so popular at the time.

Asteroids, Tempest, Defender-Stargate, Berserk,
Star Castle, Pac Man, Astro Blaster, Missile Command, Tail Gunner,
Lunar Rescue, Battle Zone, Moon Cresta.

Centipede, Make Trax, Galaxian, Laser Base,
Red Baron, Phoenix, Gorf, Astro Fighter, Lunar Lander, Scramble,
Space Invaders, Space Invaders Part II.

Venture, Starship 1, Crazy Climber, Galaga,
Super Missile Attack,
Star Fire, Qix, Donkey Kong, Kick, Vanguard,
Super Cobra, Mayday, Rip Off, Gun Fight, Targ!

Frogger, Omega Race, Pleiades,
Eliminator, Warlords, Jungler, Monaco, 280-ZZap,
River Patrol, Star Hawk, Space Wars, Zaxxon...

And all they ever do is eat up time & quarters,
With bad guys dropping bombs, and good guys launching mortars,
I wonder if the aliens can get through our borders....
I'm addicted to this day — hey hey!
Go out to the Arcade!

And then, there are the pinball games...

Evil [sic] Kinevil, Gorgar, Xenon —


Tracer's Theme (.WMA format), or Tracer's Theme (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

The musical theme for this guy. The words are only sung during the slow recap of the theme near the end.

Homeworld will never die here,
Tracer will always fly here,
Nobody left to cry here,
It's done — the empire has won!

(No one to know) my world has lost,
Fin'lly crossed,
Wha-at a cost!

The above lyrics coincided with Jeff Boeing learning that the alien energy-armor he wore came from the Last of the Armored Warriors, the losing side in a war against an oppressive star-spanning empire. I imagined the theme being recapped at the end of the story, or in a hypothetical sequel where Jeff Boeing discovers other Armored Warriors, with more triumphant lyrics:

Homeworld will never die here,
Tracer will always fly here,
Nobody needs to cry here,
It's done — the homeworld has won!

We are not gone,
Nothing drawn,
Live the new dawn!


Lost in Meditation (.WMA format), or Lost in Meditation (.MP3 format), music by Roger M. Wilcox, lyrics by John Q. Anon

The last piece I wrote as a graduate student in music composition. 'Twas for a little end-of-year party for the composers in our class. We were to take the classic lyrics from a Duke Ellington piece and, without hearing Duke Ellington's treatment first, set them to music in our own way. My inspiration was Cole Porter — or rather, Tom Lehrer's style parody of Cole Porter for Clementine.

Credit for the lyrics was given as simply "John Q. Anon" at the time I wrote this.

I am lost in meditation
And my reverie
Brings you back to me
For in my imagination
Love has lingered on
As though you'd never gone.

This is just a dream that cannot last
When the magic of this mood has passed.
So I sit in meditation
Trying to pretend this mood will never end.


Don't Ride the Bus (.WMA format), or Don't Ride the Bus (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Shortly after Weird Al Yankovic debuted "Another One Rides the Bus," I had a dream involving a killer Santa Monica city bus (the big blue buses that would later be made famous by the movie Speed). And as the bus pulled away from another victim, I heard the beginnings of this song. This ended up being the first of my songs that I ever wrote actual accompaniment for and performed.

Well, those death-dealing thingies of green, black, and blue,
They are whizzing on past you, so what will you do-oo-oo?
So you get up and chase it with all of your might,
And it starts to speed up then — faster than li-i-ight.
And although you run faster, and pray to the pope,
You know deep, down inside you, that there is no hope —
Do-on't ride the bus!

If you want to catch one, you'll regret when you do,
'Cause inside that speed demon, it smells worse than yo-o-ou.
And each passenger on there is sixty years old,
And they talk of things that are exciting — like mo-o-old!
And the noises inside there are louder than hell,
But when you raise your voice, then the driver will yell:
"Do-on't make a fuss!"

When you read in the paper, you find that each day
There's a bus accident when its hull cracked one wa-a-ay.
(or "when one turned the wrong way")
"Sixty were killed and two hundred injured,"
And you wonder how this kind of thing is endu-u-ured.
On the site of the crash are reporters galore,
Each all saying the same thing that they've said before —
"Do-on't ride the bus!"

They will hog up two lanes on the big city streets,
And in running to catch one, all you'll get is sore fee-ee-eets.
When they step on the gas, they pollute all the air,
And although they chug madly, they ge-et nowhe-e-ere.
And yet each day you insist they're needed — that's poo,
You're risking your life, here's my advice to you:
(Guess what it is?)
Do-on't ride the bus!!!
[in Mr. Rogers voice:] (How 'bout that, boys and girls, you got it right!)

Now I've more than put down the city bus system,
But there's another kind of bussing that's even worse than the-e-em.
By now you've prob'ly guessed, and now know what it is —
It's the school bus system for integrating "ki-i-ids".
And each parent and congressman knows that it's wrong,
Because if you're inside one, then you won't last long —
Do-on't ride the bus!!!!!

(Oh no.)

(The "Oh no" at the end was my parody of Barnes and Barnes, who ended all their songs with "Oh yeah!".)


La Tuá ti Torméntire (.WMA format), or La Tuá ti Torméntire (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

This was a composition assignment during my junior year as a undergrad at UCLA. Due to what turned out to be my mishandling of the tape recorder, it didn't record the first two times I read through it in class, prompting two of my classmates to volunteer as "backup singers" for the third recording. Sadly, copies of this recording were never made available to us mere students and in all likelihood it got recorded over next semester.

The words are pseudo-Latin nonsense, with a smattering of Spanish thrown in for good measure.

La tua, ti tormentire,
Lo deum lagrimas, a deo iss a de...
La tua, ti tormentire,
Lo deum lagrimas a deo iss a de.
Cav'eat emtor, cav'eat memtor, let the buyer beware...
I may be wrong and I may not be strong, but at least, show that you care....
La tua ti tormentire
Lo deum lagrimas, a deo is a de.


My Lovely Star (.WMA format), or My Lovely Star (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

This was an assignment in my undergraduate music composition class, to set a given text to music. The text was an English translation of "Mein schöner Stern," which had been previously set by Robert Schumann. We were supposed to come up with our own setting and then compare it to the one Schumman wrote. The interrupted "Amen" at the end was my idea, what with me being Plagal Cadence Man at the time.

My lovely star! I beg of thee,
Let not thy clear and radiant light
Become obscured by vap'rous clouds.
Instead what now I fail to see,
My lovely star, reveal to me.

My lovely star, I beg of thee,
Because thou seest my sorry plight,
And knowest well my saddend heart,
Take me at last unto thy care,
My lovely star, to dwell with thee.

My lovely star, I beg of thee,
Take me at last unto thy care.
A ... m—
... nah.

If you're really curious, here's the original German text that Schumann set:

Mein schöner Stern! ich bitte dich,
O lasse du dein heitres Licht
Nicht trüben durch den Dampf in mir,
Vielmehr den Dampf in mir zu Licht,
Mein schöner Stern, verklären hilf!

Mein schöner Stern! ich bitte dich,
Nicht senk' herab zur Erde dich,
Weil du mich noch hier unten siehst,
Heb' auf vielmehr zum Himmel mich,
Mein schöner Stern, wo du schon bist!


My Time in the Light is Short (.WMA format), or My Time in the Light is Short (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

In September of 1986, The Transformers season 3 opened with the 5-part miniseries "Five Faces of Darkness." In it, Rodimus Prime or Arcee or somebody claimed, incorrectly, that Optimus Prime's dying words were "My time in the light is short." Since I didn't have a copy of The Transformers: The Movie lying around, I couldn't verify this and I ended up just taking 'em at their word.

I decided to use this line as the basis for a song in my undergraduate composition class. This was the result. The lyrics were ... kinda emo. (But what do you expect from someone who was recently a teen-ager?)

My time in the light is short,
I can feel my resources fading,
I have seen the restful dark,
It lies not far from here.

I suppose what I've had has been good,
At least for the times that were sweet;
Now my sorrows can die as they should,
Now my sorrows can die as they should,
And I'll worry no more from defeat.

Soon all that I was will be gone,
And soon after, forgotten my wake;
I have no regrets for the path I was on,
Save maybe for misery's sake.

But I can't forget all that I've left behind,
I can't forget joy, or loss, or my plight —
I can't forget! I can't forget!
I can't forget all that I chose in the light.


God Rest Ye Unitarians (.WMA format), or God Rest Ye Unitarians (.MP3 format), words by Christopher Raible, vocals by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBxsf0IzAlw

A traditional melody, with words by Unitarian Universalist minister Christopher Gist Raible. It was originally written some time in the 1970s, to poke fun at the Unitarian Universalist willingness to celebrate every holiday in December except Christmas. Since then, it's become a Christmastime anti-Christian anthem in some circles. It appears here because my brother wanted a video of me singing it.

God rest ye, Unitarians, let nothing you dismay;
Remember there's no evidence there was a Christmas Day;
When Christ was born is just not known, no matter what they say,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

There was no star of Bethlehem, there was no angels' song;
There could have been no wise men for the trip would take too long.
The stories in the Bible are historically wrong,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

Our current Christmas customs come from Persia and from Greece,
From solstice celebrations of the ancient Middle East.
We know our so-called holiday is just a pagan feast,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.


She Are Green (.WMA format), or She Are Green (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ooKOJecAAs

Yet another song I heard in a dream, this time from 2004.  It's a poignant, heartrending Irish folk ballad about the long lost green of youth, or the Irish countryside, or something, set against a comical fabric softener commercial involving a lady whisking her way through a black-and-white landscape that turns full-color in her wake (implying that the laundry product she's hawking keeps your clothes as brightly colored as the green grass).

Imagine it's an old Irish woman singing it. I didn't have any handy when I made the recording.

Unfortunately, I didn't hear any real lyrics for it in my dream. So, I had to make some up:

When I was a lass in the green of my springtime,
It seems a lifetime ago,
My joy, like the shamrock, burst forth from the meadow
Like buds through the first melting snow.

My youth were as green as the wild Irish hillside,
I'd dance and I'd sing and I'd play.
And the lads all aglow from the spell of my beauty,
They'd look and they'd smile and they'd say:

"She are green! She are green!
The greenest that ever were seen.
She are green! She are green!
Like crocus and primrose,
She's all that blooms and grows;
As bright as the morn — she are green!"


But just as the springtime gives way to the summer,
And summer gives way to the fall,
The green of my youth slowly waned from its zenith
Until it was nigh there at all.

No more did my dances
Command the lads' glances,
No more would my charms hold the day,
Too late did I learn just how brief was the garland
And what else it means when they say:

"She are green! She are green!
The greenest that ever were seen.
She are green! She are green!"
Green like fruit on the vine,
Green like the tyro's line,
Lord count the ways she are green!


And now I look back near the coming of winter,
My chariot's race nearly run 'round,
And my green has gone brown, like the leaves on the branches
Will wither and fall to the ground.

My spring is long over;
How I miss the clover
And grass on the field from the day!
And I look to that girl of the next generation,
Still wild and still fresh, and I say:

"She are green! She are green!
The greenest that ever were seen.
She are green! She are green!"
Wear proudly the label
As long as you're able,
'Cause just for today, she are green!

Wear proudly the label
As long as you're able,
'Cause just for today, she are green.


Everything is Everything (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

The very first song I ever wrote, evar! I created the melody and lyrics in 1973, when I was 8 years old — and it shows. I perform it here exactly as it would have sounded, had I still been 8 years old when I recorded it.


Everything is everything
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
Depending upon how you look at it
Depending upon how you look at it

Suppose you take a glob of cla-ay,
Mash it and squish it all around,
Leave it there for a long long time;
That's the everything is everything
That's the everything is everything

Everything is sometimes nothing
Everything is sometimes nothing
Everything is sometimes nothing
Depending upon how you look at it
Depending upon how you look at it

Suppose you take a glob of cla-ay,
Put it under a machi-ine,
Disintegrate it right there and then;
That's the everything is sometimes nothing
That's the everything is sometimes nothing

Everything is everything
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
Everything is everything

(fade out)

My intent with the second verse — as much as I can remember it — was to imply what I would later learn was called the conservation of mass. Matter can neither be created, nor destroyed. It's a fundamental property of the universe. (Einstein had to come along with that damn energy equation and ruin everything, of course, but for most normal situations we mere mortals find ourselves in, the conservation of mass is a good enough approximation to the way the universe as a whole behaves.)


Inspired by Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, "Laudate Dominum" (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

This was a composition assignment during my senior year as a undergrad at UCLA. I actually got lucky enough to have instrumentalists and a small group of singers read through it at the time, though as far as I know no tape recording was made.

Oh — and the words are largely nonsense. "Crist lag in todes banden" came from a piece I heard in my medieval music history class, "Laudamus te, ..." comes from the Gloria in the ordinary of the mass, "Der er, der herrlichste" comes from Robert Schumann's Er, der Herrlichste von Allen, and "sum ergo no" is a play on Descartes' "Cogito, ergo sum."

Alleluyah

Crist lag in todes banden, Dominum.
Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te!

Laudate dominum in virtutibus
Der er, der herrlichste sum ergo no.

Alleluyah, Alleluyah, Amen!


O Allison (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

I heard this very short song in a dream, being sung by a barbershop quartet. By sheer coincidence, the UCLA madrigal singers group I was part of at the time had somebody in it named Allison.

The lyrics came directly from the dream. No hint of bestiality was implied, so get'cher mind outta the gutter.

Oh Allison, Allison,
Limit the crime to humankind.
Oh Allison, Allison,
Limit the crime to humankind.

Other lyrics I heard in the dream include "She plays space invaders without [needing] the invaders." Sung solo by the quartet's bass, of course.


If I Die Before I Wake (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

This song came to me at age 20 . . . the darkest evening of the year.  It is supposed to be the voice of Orpheus, having learned that his darling Euridice has been slain by a snake bite and that the only way to bring her back is to march into the Underworld himself.  I later did a rendition of this song in GWBASIC.

The last little verselet comes from a 16th century poem by Edmund Spenser, which had been set as a 4-voice a capella piece by Halsey Stevens that the UCLA Madrigal Singers performed that year (the melody and harmony here bear no relation to the Stevens setting, however).

If I die before I wake
At least I will have tried for her sake.
I'd rather join in death with her
Than try to live without
mon coeur.

(Like as the culver
On the bared, bared bough
Sits mourning for the absence
of her mate.)


Words (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Yet another song that came to me in a dream, this time of when I was in the old Isomata festival choir.  (Or perhaps it was the even older Isomata youth choir.)  The dream could not have occurred any later than 1985. I later did a rendition of this song in GWBASIC, and finally got around to recording it in 2015. The accompaniment comes from the MIDI rendition; the voices, as with all of the recordings on this page, are all me.

Words
Living and free
Expressing our thoughts
And the way we want things to be.
Telling our love
Telling our lies
They try to say things that can't be read in the eyes.
But can they talk?
Can they talk?
Can they talk? Can they talk?
Can they, can they, can they, can — can they talk?


Words
For all that they're worth
They only describe time we've spent and not spent on Earth.
As we try to hold,
Recapture the past,
Recorded words are all we have to make our thoughts last.
But can they talk?
Can they talk?
Can they talk? Can they talk?
Can they, can they, can they, can they —
Can
They
Talk?


For Donn Weiss (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

I wrote this in 1985 or 1986 for Donn Weiss, the director of the UCLA Madrigal Singers, on his birthday (and in general all-around appreciation). It was my first 4-part a capella choral composition. I was lucky enough to find a teaching assistant and a group of lab rats volunteer singers who were willing to give me a chance to perform it for Mr. Weiss.

If the climactic melody sounds similar to the middle section of "La Tuá ti Torméntire" (above), or to the closing phrases of "Feeble Ground," that's because it is. I first heard that particular progression in a choral song called "Holy (Wholly He)", performed at a concert alongside the Southern California Sight-Singing Honor Choir in 1982 or 1983, and I really really liked it — and not just because the girl who was signing the words in ASL for the audience looked really really cute.

The final line of the final verse was inspired by the opening theme song to the British sitcom Butterflies.

For twenty-five years you've given your life
To make us the best we could be...
And now that another year has rolled 'round,
We're glad for your affinity.

Though we may yawn in apathy,
You've always pulled us through.
For that we're here to pay regard
For what (for all) you do.

You'll never slow no matter what the years say,
And we can never go when you need us to stay.

"Love is what's happening"; so you have said —
Even winter gives birth to spring...
What you've born here
Is something to hold dear;
A rare and gentle thing.


Yet Strew Upon My Dismal Grave (.MP3 format), music by Roger M. Wilcox

I composed this for 4-voice a capella chamber choir during my one graduate year at UCLA. Words by Thomas Stanley, Esq. (1651).

Yet strew
Upon my dismal grave
Such offerings as you have:
Forsaken cypress and sad yew

For kinder flow'rs can take no birth,
Or growth from such unhappy earth.


Rowsdower River (.MP3 format), music by Henry Mancini, words by Best Brains Inc.

I got a request from a pretty lady to do a cover version of the "Rowsdower" song from the Final Conflict episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. And, well, I'm a sucker for a pretty face. But instead of a straight cover, I decided to sing their words to the tune of a very different, but well-known, song.

You can also hear this over on YouTube.

Oh baby, Rowsdower saves us and all the world.
He comes to save the day in a broken truck,
With a stinky denim jacket on his back.
He couldn't help this movie, which really (really) sucked.
But at least we didn't have to watch him play ... hacky-sack
What?
I'm sorry, I panicked.
Well wake up, this is important to me, damn it
Rowsdower saves us and all the world
Rowsdower saves us and saves all the world.


I'm Never Getting Laid Again (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPGXIX9ySnE

Sung to the tune of "The Arkansas Traveler." Not that I'm bitter. (Note: I recorded this song in 2015, but as of 5-March-2016 it no longer holds true.)


I'm
Never getting laid again, again,
I'm never ever getting laid again,
I'm never getting laid again again,
Never ever ever getting laid again!

Though there've been a few times when I had a blast,
My sex life's now completely in the past,
Though reality can be a bitch, it's no help to complain,
I'm never ever ever getting laid again!

(Dat da da da dah), Oh well!


The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme), With Lyrics! (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKJId_U35UE

Sung to the tune of "The Imperial March" from the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack, by John Williams. According to the canon of the Star Wars extended universe, the Galactic Empire has an official march. This is undoubtedly it.


We're the Evil Galactic Empire,
We're the Evil Galactic Empire,
Don't ask us to be merciful with you,
To be merciful with you,
You pathetic vermin scum;
We'll crush you like a bug beneath our heel,
Like a bug beneath our heel,
And then, scrape you off!


Genetically Modified Food (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE0igWnSCyI

There are many songs damning GMOs. This song from 2015 is in praise of them.


Three meals a day is an awful lot of food.
You'll starve unless you can eat four times your weight in food each year.
Now multiply that by seven billion, and you begin to see
Just how big a challenge feeding the world can be.

Not ev'ry land and clime is good for growing,
There's drought and cold and disease and heat and bugs and weeds and bad soil.
We've overcome each hardship by any means that we could.
But one tool stands alone above them all:

Genetiiiiiiiiiiiic modification!
We've been doin' it since before his'try began.
Genetiiiiiiiiiiiic modification!
Ev'ry cross-bred crop or selective breeding plan.

We're slowly workin' toward a world where famine's in the past,
Imagining abundance for the throng;
And now we have the means
To engineer these dreams
Into the light of day where they belong.


Each time you breed new seed, there can be errors.
New traits appear, some good, some bad; you keep the seeds you like best.
It's a long slow random process with side effects galore,
But a better way has given us something more.

Take a gene that codes for one trait only,
Insert it into the stem cells of a plant you want to improve.
They'll grow and give you seeds to plant, with the trait you want and no more;
Precision to give hope where there was none...

Genetiiiiiiiiiiiic modification!
We can give crops any gene under the sun;
Genetiiiiiiiiiiiic modification!
Less waste, less harm, more food for ev'ryone!

Cure vitamin deficiency, or fight the coming drought;
Each incremental win helps us along.
'Cause engineering genes
Has given us a means
Of uplifting the world where we belong.

Let's not forego the means
To engineer these dreams;
Let's keep them in the light ... where they belong.


Stand in Silent Requiem (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcb-cDm5xp0

I wrote this during my senior year as a music composition undergraduate student at UCLA, and was lucky enough to get a live performance. (Which one of the tenors didn't show up for, unfortunately.) A recording of the live performance can be found on my Digital Audio Rescues page.

This here, however, is a re-recording in 2015. I took a few liberties with instrumentation, which wasn't available in the original performance.

The setting here is After The End.  Here is the complete text:

O la virtus manistratō . . .
Dusk has fin'lly made its descend.
[sic]
The last rays ebb golden from a ghost town,
Our stay has fin'lly come to an end.

The only sound's the wind rushing across the ground,
A dead wind through the skeletons of trees,
Blowing dead grains of sand into concrete spires
Once lived in by such fools as these.

All we ever were is gone
From the lifeless face of Earth, our womb.
All record of our passage stands silent, wrapp'd in concrete,
A fitting stone to mark our tomb.

We were but transients, but ephemeral,
Soft creatures on a bed of stone.
And yet we survived, and yet we thrived,
And made this world our own.

And from the life here sprang intelligence,
And tools in its machine.
And weapons, and dominance,
And hatred that was never before seen.

There was a time when living people walked these streets,
When they could live amid their vic'tries and defeats.
The sand slipped between their toes, and the wind blew through their hair,
And shady leaves rustled from trees in lazy air.

Their love saw the best and worst,
Then came the fear of what came first;*
What we were searching for, we never found.

With power to control,
We struck ourselves, and took our toll.
Now all life's been driven away —
Or driven into the ground.

That was how we played
For the time we stayed;
Dusk has fin'lly made
Its descend.

All lost life grieves on our remnants:
"Oh, how could we have nurtured them?"
This dead town, the wind, the sand, the dead trees
Stand in silent requiem.

*) In early drafts, this line read: "Then came the need to finish first;".

Since the opening line is basically nonsense Latin, in the live performance I just had the singers sustain an "O" sound there. This recording sticks to the fake Latin, though. Oh — and I changed one chord during the transition from the A section to the B section, which made all the difference in the world.


Let's Go Bomb an Abortion Clinic (.MP3 format), by Holy Christ Almighty (pseudonym of Roger M. Wilcox)

An extremely sarcastic song, which I wrote in 2000 in reaction to certain Contemporary Christian Music lyrics I heard. If you're not offended by this song, you're listening to it wrong.

Ev'ry day, sev'ral thousand little cute, helpless babies
Are all killed while they're in the wo-omb still.
Don't they know that getting pregnant is God's mandated punishment
For having sex against His holy will?
We can't let them get away with this, they've got to pay the price;
The time has come to act, the time is past for being nice!
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic.
Make the world once more Huckleberry Finn-ic.
With some primer cord and some C4
We'll keep 'em from killing any more,
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic!
Come with me, don't be such a cynic!
Stop the killers by killing them ourselves.


I've been all through the Bible, but I can't find a place where it says
Abortion explicitly is wrong.
But my pastor says that Moses only meant unborn babies
By that "Thou Shalt Not Kill" thing all along.
And if it's good enough for Moses, well, it's good enough for me!
God help the doctors I send to Hell for all eternity.
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic.
While they're still inside with their next-of-kin-ic.
We'll park a rented truck out front,
Like that Oklahoma City stunt.
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic!
Come with me, don't be such a cynic!
Blast them all, they deserve it for their crimes.


With the fear of getting blown up, they won't dare go near a clinic,
So they'll have to keep their babies like God said.
Now you may begin to wonder 'bout all those unwanted children
With a mother who would rather they were dead.
Well, frankly, I don't give a damn about them once they're born.
God says we've got more bombs to plant, we've got no time to mourn!
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic.
We'll keep them from committing a mortal sin-ic.
And don't worry if one of our caste
Or an unborn baby's in the blast —
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic!
Come with me, don't be such a cynic!
Kill them all, and let our God sort them out!
Boom boom boom boom, ka-blam!


Chemical Slow Dance (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

A short bumper segment for a Food Babe parody. Maybe.

Chemicals!
They're ev'rywhere, they're lurking in your food!
How are you even still alive?
Chemicals!
Dihydrogen monoxide...
(fade out)

I also made a Food Broad™ branded version:

Chemicals!
The Food Broad says they're lurking in your food!
How are you even still alive?
Chemicals!
Dihydrogen monoxide...
(fade out)

For those of you playing along at home, yes, dihydrogen monoxide would be H2O.


And the Word Is Love (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Written in 1991, performed at a wedding in 1994, re-recorded in 2015.

Fun fact: The lyrics at the end of the first verse were inspired by the last sentence in "30 Seconds Over Broadway" from the book Wild Cards.

Since long before
We wrote our lore
Before we wrote down time,
The feeling came
Through us, the same
As now they sometimes must climb;
The gentlest thing
Would loudly sing
In silences all heard.
Wherever it came down,
It made the sound
Of just a single word.

No Secret lay
In night or day,
Intense the word was known;
Yet so much so
That by some cruel blow
It's possible to be thrown.
Sometimes we cry,
"We'd rather die!",
The word seems so unsure;
But it's still there,
It's ev'rywhere,
The only thing that will endure.

And the word is love!  Love!  Love!  Love!
Love for all your life!
And the word is love!______
Be you husband, child, or wife!
The strength you draw
From natural law
Can never be absurd.
You might forget
What you have learned,
But don't forget the word!

(short instrumental refrain, played on a flute)

For the life that we live,
And the love that we give,
And the truth that we know
We cannot confuse;
Reach down to that deep desire,
And let it show its fire,
It's the reason for being here —
What have you got to lose?

This does not mean that you must always love upon demand,
Nor does it mean to love by coming down with an iron hand,
This does not mean to love afar upon some distant shore,
It merely means to love yourself, and your close ones all the more.

And the word is love!  Love!  Love!  Love!
Love for all you're worth!
And the word is love!______
Feels like a second birth!
It's all around
In ev'ry sound,
And rock, and tree, and bird.
You can forget
All you've been told,
But it's impossible to forget the word.

And the word is love.


O Mio Babbino Caro (.MP3 format), from Gianni Schicchi, sung by Roger M. Wilcox

Recorded on a dare, as it were, when someone wondered if I could hit the high notes in the soprano register.

O mio babbino caro,
mi piace, è bello bello,
vo’andare in Porta Rossa
a comperar l’anello!
Si, si, ci voglio andare!
E se l’amassi indarno,
andrei sul Ponte Vecchio
ma per buttarmi in Arno!
Mi struggo e mi tormento,
O Dio! Vorrei morir!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!


It's Not Too Late to Back Out (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t5pQtSZiYk

Conceived in January 2016 as the perfect song to sing for a wedding processional, when the bride is walking down the aisle.

You've found the love of your life,
It's all you ever imagined.
You're ready to take the plunge,
And commit for the rest of your life.

Day in, and day out,
Over and over again,
Your feelings will change,
But you'll stick it out to the end —

Until you cry "no more!"
And you know 'twas your biggest mistake.
And you cry, and you cry,
And you pay for your error in blood.

(chorus)

It's not too late to back out!
It's no-o-o-o-o-ot too late to change your mind!
There's no law in the land that can make you say "I do" —
It's not too late to back out!


(mmm hmmm...)

You've many years left ahead,
Don't throw them away on a pipe dream —
The grass always looks greener
On the other side of the fence

You're in love, and you're sure
You can work through the problems you've seen,
But some things cannot be changed,
And the slate will never be clean —

Your futures will dwindle away,
Trying to save this sinking ship;
And the longer you try,
The worse it will be in the end!


(chorus)

It's not too late to back out!
It's no-o-o-o-o-ot too late to change your mind!
There's no law in the land that can force you to say "I do" —
It's not too late to back out!

(mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm...)
Dum dum da dummm!
(a la the Lohengrin bridal chorus)

The line "Until you cry 'no more!'" was borrowed from "You May Run Through Endless Darkness," which is on my MIDI page. The melody on "There's no law in the land that can force you to say 'I do'" should be recognizable, if you've seen "Interplanet Janet" from Schoolhouse Rock. The humming at the end was inspired by John Denver's "Farewell Andromeda."


The Mary Poppins Imperial March (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2urWN2fYjvY

Sung to the tune of "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" from the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack, by John Williams. One of my high school buddies back in the early 1980s noted how well "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins fit the meter of the second phrase in Darth Vader's Theme. So in 2016, I finally decided to record it.


And ev'ry task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake,
A lark, a spree,
It's very clear to me
That a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine ... go down
Helps the medicine ... go down
Medicine go down,
Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine ... go down
Helps the medicine ... stay down
In the most delightful way!


We Are the U.S.A.! (.MP3 format), music by Bill Conti, lyrics and vocals by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK-7xO0YV2A

Sung to the tune of Bill Conti's "We Are the Mighty Bruins," one of the two UCLA fight songs. George Carlin once commented that America has the only national anthem in the world with rockets and bombs in it. I figured it was high time we had a national anthem that didn't try to beat around the bush about it.


We are the U.S.A.!
We've got more guns than you!
We've got more missiles,
And we've got more bombs
And tanks and airplanes too!
Don't dare try to oppose us!
Don't tell us what to do!
If you try
We'll say "bye-bye,"
'Cause we've got more nuclear warheads too!


Ninja Lovers (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Another song that came to me in a dream, this time in 2009 or so. Situationally inspired by Elan and Therkla in The Order of the Stick. Musically inspired by "It Can't Be Wrong," sung in homage to Frank Sinatra on at least one Warner Brothers cartoon. Imagine a girl ninja and a boy ninja fighting it out, each determined to kill the other, swinging and parrying and riposting, getting fiercer and fiercer — and then:

And then he took my hand,
And we began to dance,
I looked into his eyes,
And he looked into mine,
His smile could melt the stars!


And then, I pulled him close,
He held me in his arms,
The beauty of his face,
The warmth of his embrace —
My lifetime for his charms!


Pi (.MP3 format), by Roger M. Wilcox

Music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDeTTV-P94o

Inspired by both the "Down, down, down, down" song in Bugsy Malone, and the background sound effects in Space Invaders, I conceived of this song when I was in high school, shortly after having memorized the first 100 digits of π. The bulk of the non-digit lyrics didn't come to me 'til 2015, though, and I didn't actually get around to recording it 'til early 2017.

Note: I went on to memorize 200 digits of pi before the end of high school. And at last count, I could still recite them. (Though I sometimes get hung up at the 161st decimal place — I can never remember whether it's supposed to be a 4 or a 5.)

(Background chorus repeats "three point one four")
A transcendental number I will sing you,
With non-repeating digits to the sky,
Known to the ancient Greeks,
And to the modern geeks,
The glorious number called pi.

The ratio of a circle's circumf'rence
To its diameter's this quantitie;
Periphery, you see
Is abbreviated "P"
And the greek letter for P is pi.

The sum from n equals zero to infinity
Of four over two n plus 1, but multiply
By negative 1 to the pow'r of n,
And you add 'em all up, and you get pi — pi — pi — pi — piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

3.14159265
358979323
84626
433832
7950288
(Background chorus: "41971 69399 37510 58209")
7494459230
7816406286
20899
86280
3482534211
7-0-6-7-9!

That's the first one hundred digits of this number,
It keeps on going to infinitie.
It shows up in formulas found throughout the cosmos:
From alternating current, to the waves upon the ocean,
From the strength of a magnet, to the failure of a bridge,
From the quantum level, to the orbits of the planets,
To the motion of a weight upon a spring —
It's pi! (Pi!)


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