Banana Boat Song

Time flies. The first weeks were slow and I can watch the passing hours. The second, still slow. Now, it’s just a week shy of the end of April, that would be my first unemployed “quarter”, and time is now moving very quickly (maybe coz I’m having too much fun, maybe I’m actually way too busy, maybe both).

After putting down the phone rejecting yet another head hunter, I looked at my calendar (which is now more like my diary than this blog) and asked: was I really fair to myself? Did I do what I set out to do and did I let people down? Certain projects were completed, others started, new contacts were built, and most importantly for me, music is written, even though it’s slowing down tremendously due to the large overhead of running a business.

So even as my output slows, I actually feel the strain on my mental capacity – already I don’t spend much time trying to get new melodies, but the engineering work of constructing usable and meaningful scores can actually take more effort that just cooking up something completely new.

This morning though, after someone begged for free scores, I had lunch with another band instructor who told me that he too, writes for the band he teaches, partly due to necessity, partly coz, it’s fun. That followed with some research on YouTube on some Hokkien song called Teh-O, where one click leads to another and I’m presented with the video that made my day.

This is the magic of the muppets – they took such a simple song, and made it so special, and created so much laughter. Yes the producer and the team probably worked under commission and under time pressure as well but look, the results is just hilarious.

At the end of the video, I suddenly realise, I haven’t written anything for fun since my last PhilBrass concert (where I have a group who will read anything I put in front of their face anyway). Maybe I actually forgot to “play” and “have fun” even in this line of work.

So there you go, thanks to the muppets (and sorry to those who are waiting for your orders), here’s a percussion ensemble version of Day-O that I challenge any school band to put up as a show, with a skit that can beat the muppets. You can tear the score apart for conversations, and sing using the score as accompaniment (just omit melodic lines if you’re singing).

Scores and mp3 here: (if this is broken in the future it means I took it down)

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