Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A rare, digitally enhanced "Foto"
of the artist performing as
"The Yodeling Frog," Fatal Bert's,
March 17, 1976.

1. The Lion's Big Debut

A shaggy conductor perseveres though The Lion's Big Debut as his musical menagerie fizzles out: "The porcupine on bagpipes, Punctured them with holes."

2. A Little Red Bug

A Little Red Bug reminds the artist of his fictitious Volkswagen while painting a watercolor: "A drop of rain fell on a whim, It hit my work and drew me in."

3. Imaginary Mountain

Semi-insurmountable obstacles become Imaginary Mountains: "The sun shines on the mountain, The streams are charged with gold, There just might be some nuggets, In all that icy cold."

4. Blue Whale Blues

Two whales search for love in all the wrong oceans: "In the Atlantic Ocean, There's a whale with the blues"

5. Dinosaurs' Demise

Dinosaurs' Demise presents wacky theories as to why the big ones had to go: "On the rebound from a bungee jump mishap, The green dinosaur was ejected off the map."

6. Carousel Wind

See the smiles on the faces of kids spinning round: "O what do you dream, When you wistfully stare, When the wind from the Carousel ruffles your hair."

7. Favorite Pony

An unpainted pony is ridden by a Prince: "Imagine a merry-go-round, In a Kingdom of Fantasy." Story: The Favorite Pony on the Merry Go Round saves herself for someone special: "Long, long ago a roving merry-go-round made its way to a castle in the clouds."

8. Time To Say Goodnight

One man's sunset is another man's sunrise: "Please answer every human need, Children grow up much too fast, Heal the broken heart that bleeds, And may the time of wonder last."

9. Sunflowers

Sunflowers grow from the tears of former foes gathered on the battlefield: "I dreamed of endless rows of thousands of soldiers, They all threw down their guns."

10. Vision of Victory

A mountain climber, a little over the hill, returns to the scene of the climb: "You go as high as you can go, And then your climb begins ."

11. Yodeling Frog

Yodeling Frog ultimately succeeds when his progeny studies with an opera queen. "Jealous frogs would stop and stare, As he drove by in his Corvair."

12. Golden Children

"Red,golden, pink and green, are the colors of an apples' skin, They may come in different colors, but there's always the same star within."

13. Sugar Heart

A young girl waits for daddy to come home while mother ponders a second cup of coffee: "Though her Camelot had dissolved, She'd not be giving up, There would be another suitor, To fill her empty cup."

14. Tour de Farce

The artist hires a double-decker bus for a joy ride: "Picnic here at Philosopher's Walk, Passing the six strings around, This musical feast will rock and roll, Right up to the top of the town."

15. Messenger's Lament

A crumbling artist is humbled while scaling the tumbling tower of humanity: "I took the torch and followed, to the dungeon we went down — From here you work your way to the tower and the crown."

16. Handful of Stars

Celestial music emanates from a faded rock musician: "And like the light of an ancient star, That reaches us this day, I'd like my song too reach too you, After I fade away."

17. Heaven Could Use A Few More Stars

"I used to think that fame and fortune would bring a love that lasts."

18. When I See God in You

Never think you're just a little guy in someone's eyes. "The essence of the universe, Is reflected perfectly, When I see God in you, And you see God in me."

19. Sign of Hope

Life's frequently asked questions are riddled with holes: "XYZ pass the peas, Lousy hunters shoot the breeze."

20. Yellow Caterpillars

A budding poet stands in front of the old smithy's shop as Yellow Caterpillars loom ominously: "I was young when the town was small, Where the Yellow Caterpillars used to crawl."

21. Tiger Swallowtail

Did God give us the butterflies to dream of higher things? "Who gave the caterpillar wings."

22. Sweeping the Fog Away

Grandpa dances before Sweeping the Fog Away: "He did a little soft shoe, Like a raggedy rogue, One last time, Made pistons of his brogues." Story: Grandpa performs a soft shoe dance amid the dandelions: "His dance mimicked a locomotive, starting slowly, a little faster then roaring down the tracks with his heavy brogues blur."

23. Soft Shoe

Grandpa dances a Little Soft Shoe to a post Vaudeville følk tune: "With a bench for a bed all covered in dew, My only cover was yesterdays news."

24. When The Silver Whistle Blows

A world class clown trips through life's circus train: "The dice may be loaded, The deck may be stacked, But for hope I've never lacked."

25. Junkyard in the Sky

The resemblance of people to rusty rockets is noted: "My cruise control it is engaged, My toes are on the dash; I just might land upon my feet, If I hit Wall Street and crash."

26. Ball of White and Blue

The darkest hour for a passing astronaut: "Looking out my porthole at that Ball of White and Blue, I wish that you could see the world, The way I do."

27. Jet Fuel Folderol

Mr. Poet seeks financing to support his lofty craft: "I used to mix my metaphors, And splash them on the wall, Now I just extend them, With some jet stream aerosol."

28. Beyond Our Galaxy

A dapper Japanese couple gaze through coin operated binoculars: "You may think, The stars are brighter, Just beyond our galaxy, I don't know I've never been there, Except in flights of fantasy."

29. I Was a Teenage Folksinger

"I was once a human, Scarecrow at a cherry farm, On a tower with a shotgun, Didn't mean to do no harm, How the cow got in the air, Eludes me to this day."

30. The Lonesome Demise of a Wretched Poetry Coat

The artist documents the lonesome demise of a wretched poetry coat: "When men first landed on the moon, I was working as an armed human scarecrow at a cherry farm."

31. Magic Telescope

It happened in the mid-Sixties when "Esso" was having the "Put a Tiger in your Tank" campaign and would stuff a tiger tail in your gas-cap when you pulled in for a fill up. 32. Demented Doves

"The boss looked at the salesman, the salesman looked at Mr. Dove, and Mr. Dove looked at the ceiling. The ceiling looked at the floor, the floor looked at the door. And in walked the son of Mr. Dove."

33. The Foolish Mole

"Once upon a time in a tiny mountain kingdom there was a young mole couple who made their home on a vein of gold. They did not know they lived on a gold mine because they were just moles."

34. Soliloquy of a Worm in a Candy Apple

A thinly disguised allegory of an artist on the verge of subjecting the world to his art: "My little world is safe inside, It won't get bruised to the core, Should I leave this ivory tunnel, Or stay inside and just be a bore."

35. The Most Beautiful Worm In The World

A measly worm mistakenly perceives his match in the Candy Apple of My Eye: "One day the back half of Wilbur wriggled its way out of the hole in the candy coating and swung around in front of the rosy window."

36. Heart of Snow

An ambitious figure skater deflects a budding poets crush: "On a pond at the edge of wood, A young girl figure skates, Her eyes sparkle in a flood, Of endless figure eights."

37. Wind-up Monkey Dance

Everyone winds up a monkey: "The family tree was shaken, And no monkey dropped on you."

38. Maze of Metaphors

The woman come, and the woman stay, talking of Stefan des Lauriers: "I worked like an ant, Building castles in quicksand, Having time and broken glass on my hands."

39. Rise Above the Rain

Various rainbows glorify higher love: "The sun is hidden in full eclipse, A splendor too great for only a glance."

40. Fill the World With Song

The artist breaks the sound barrier after a seventeen years hiatus: "Too many clowns on the bandwagon, Don't know how to keep a beat."41. Revolution of Heart
Some ceilings are made of stone — some are ethereal stained glass — For women there is no high place — impossible to pass."
42 Why Don't You Sing

The singer sings of unsung songs: "Song of the beggar, Who eats bread alone, Song of the King, Who fears for his throne."

43. Spitting in the Eye of a Hurricane

The artist extends a hand to check for rain: "When the world was just a little ball, People huddled on top to avoid a fall, Then someone stood up and extended a hand, And that's when the world began to expand."

44. Hearts in Harmony

A trumpet shell echoes the universe coming together in song: "Walk on the edge of the shoreline, Gaze at the heart of the sea, You're touched by an arrow of sunlight, That lights the sand at your feet."

45. God's Majestic Crown

"True love endures like starlight, Two thousand years ago, the light of a passing star still appears to glow"

46 A Miracle America

Landmarks are illuminated as the poet takes a grandiose leap from the Grand Canyon to the Moon: "The Gateway Arch is shining, Afternoons on the plains, We're grateful to be sharing, In this harvest of choice grain."

47. The Poor Kid Down the Street

Inspired by Matthew 25. "The little boy came to our door, with a hungry look on his face"

48. Golden Footprints

The rising sun shines like gold in frozen footprints. "For where someone had gone before Footprints now had turned to gold."

49. Winter Wedding

"Who can match the elegance of nature, The snow like lace will fall softly down."

50. L'esprit de l'escalier

Fictitious mishaps under the whip of the mean lion tamer: "The Equestrian Director, He stopped this song and said, 'You might have been the lion tamer who lost his head.'"

51. Walking on Air

A deft succession of circus puns lionizes love: "The tall man's legs are straight and true, But he can't get very far, If I were as big as my love for you, I'd go tripping from star to star."

52. Imagine Being

"Life is but a cosmic ride on a carousel through space, with planets in a pirouette making up the galaxy's face."

53. The Philosopher and the Clown

A philosopher jumps on the circus bandwagon: "Meanwhile the clown said 'I think what I think, And man only thinks to avoid the big void.'"

54. Phantom Train of Thought

"Now there's a phantom locomotive train, In the expanse of my only brain, I ride that train more often than not, I'm just a hobo on a train of thought."55. Twilight of Steam
"Vague notions like smoke drifted along with the train."
56. Great Engineer
Love appears to spirit us away in a phantom locomotive: "Station master's gold watch, Makes time stand still it seems, Let's climb aboard and let our love, Pick up a little steam."

57 When Mother Earth Cracks a Smile

"Sure she has her tidal waves, Volcanic ash and hail, But her face is like pure heaven, and could launch a thousand sails"
58. Expressway

Written on August 4, 1973 — "When jogging through the streets of smog, Better catch your breath with care, There will be no second wind, When you've exhausted all the air"

59. Battlefield of my Body

"A company of Potato chip soldiers, March down the streets of my throat, They leave the marble statues of teeth to rot, While the cookie castles crumble in the moat.

60. I Can't Help it But When I'm Beside You I Am Beside Myself

"While walking through Ghirardelli Square Where flaming dragon kites fly, I met someone positively fair, Who lifted my heartstrings high."

61. Living Rooms May Up and Die

"Living rooms may up and die, Mud wrestling muddies up your eyes, Missiles get a bit misguided"

62. O Look Out Ma I Think

Spaceship Earth is piloted by millions of inflatable minions: "Little Brother's been watching us, with identities stolen from the trash."

63. Impromptu Symphony

The artist's only harmonica, crushed by a steaming locomotive, becomes a swanky hotel for a flea circus. "My flea circus was revolting..."

64. The Ballad of Fern Deslaurier

"O they couldn't dig a hole anywhere, So they stored him in a little brick shack, Grandma said "At least he'll be warmer there, Then he was in that house out back!"

65. Dirty Dish Rag

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, what is sarcasm? "Since when do you work overtime at the bar?

66. Talking Harmonica Blues

Wise advice for budding harmonica players. "Don't play the harmonica when your mouth is full"

67. Golden Harmonica

The little harmonica boy grows up and places a Golden Harmonica on his father's grave: "A French Canadian, His name was Fernand, Went off to war, With an old Marine Band.

68. Toddling Astronaut

An aspiring voyager learns a lesson about homemade space suits: "Somebody call my flight engineer, This goldfish bowl is really stuck."

69. Cardboard Spaceships

"Back in 1957, when I was four years old, I felt bad that Canada was lagging behind the Soviet Union in the space race and wanted to do my part. "
70. Ballad of a Smart Alec Kid

"He started out stealing milk bottle change, He'd blackmail a dime if it could be arranged, A daredevil kid who loved danger, Never seen anyone who did things stranger"

71. Lady of Labrador

"Past the worn down mountains, I traveled for many hours, Along a gravel road of fog, To a place where dandelions Are called flowers"

72. Leading Man Gets Lost

"Clouds roll in the scene begins, With a carousel and ocean's roar, Our spotlight finds a clown, Up to nothing and nothing more"

73 Jamboree

Even if yer flat pick broke you can still enjoy this Jamboree: "City folk, pretty folk, Itty-biddy kiddy folk, All good people like toe tapping tunes.

74. Stream of Thought

Play the song backwards and the water appears to go uphill: "Water falls with such a force, The stream carves out a groove, The sweeter song is near the source, Where stones begin to move."

75. Tragic Troubadour

"With long hair and white face, This walking comic strip, Got his break on Laugh In, And sang Tiptoe Thru the Tulips"

76 Talking CN Tower Blues

"They say it's the tallest free standing structure in the world... They have one in Russia — But it's the tallest Communist standing structure."

77. Talking Forest

Originally titled Talking Forest Fire Blues, the "song" only had one good line: "The lunches were unbearable as a matter of fact, The bears would steal them then bring them back"

78. Sirens Wailed

The budding poet's first assignment in grade nine: "Sirens wailed, People ran row upon row, Far from the city and neon lights, To a hole in the ground down far below

79. Symphony in A Flat Tire: A Poem

The poem that launched a thousand quips was once called "Paul's Visit to the Junkyard" "A silence before the dawn, Opens with a red horn, Rising silver sounds, Fall with the tools, In the work shed"

80. So Close to Being...

"I recall the day you appeared at my locker with a necklace you made for me,
And how we caught your pony with a handful of snow after riding recklessly."

81. Forever for a Minute

A budding poet builds a sand castle: "I looked at wrinkled fingers, Speckled with golden sand, And the universe, Was in the palm of my hand.

82. Tadpole and Comet

One clear evening, a comet appeared in the night sky. A tadpole broke the surface of his pond making ripples. He looked up and saw the comet with its long tail trailing. "Hello," the tadpole said to the heavenly visitor, "It is a fine night."

83. Broken Mirror

"Only someone close to you can spit in your eye."

84. Masterpiece of Heart

A sculpture symbolizing the hope of mankind is shattered: "The Master's heart was crushed, A multitude of hands Made a mess on their own, And then the wind scattered, What was once magnificent stone."

86. Castles in Quicksand

'Some people build mansions on top of molehills, Some have digs in doghouses down in the dumps"

87. On The Side of the Road

"Crow's on the roost And the rooster's crown Farm through the fog Is barely shown"

88. Between Two Vanishing Points

"A thousand sundials when I have no use for time."

89. Disaster Zone

"The waterbed was frozen, Our love was on the rocks, I turned on the electric blanket, And got quite a shock"

90. Sawing the Green Nickel Guitar in Half

When I was a teenage folksinger one of my songs featured a guitar being sawed in half. The ill-fated instrument cost five cents and was painted fluorescent green. "SK des Lauriers and his orange, Elvis Presley pants, Bought a genuine, Rubber Army surplus Maxi coat that's too big, But will barter for the guitar."

91. No More Miracles

One of the artist's numerous humorous doomsday ditties — this song was performed sitting backwards atop an upright piano using heels to voice the chords. (That's heels on the foot, not the artist's friends.)

92. Enigma on the Moon

"Since the dawn of time," Enigma mimed, "Man has done terrible things to one another. Each time a person did something bad a star would fall — like a tear striking the moon.

93. The Incredible Instrument

A young dilettante dabbles in various disciplines...

94. The Frog Who (Never) Refused to Croak

"Once upon a time a frog named Phobos decided he would become the greatest yodeler the world had ever seen."

95. Dying Cow Blues

An experimental instrumental where the artist plays four kazoos at once, invoking the pathetic sound of bovine demise. There are no lyrics to this song. When performing in public the artist would writhe around on the floor in mock agony. Sadly, the four kazoos were meant to conjure the image of udders.

96. Brave Little Flyer

"Mommy takes me to JFK, And puts me on a plane, Daddy waits for me in LA, Last Christmas was the same."

97. Tree and the Wind

An ill-fated romance between a sappy tree and an immature gust of wind.

98 Twelve Golden Strings"I had died and gone to heaven in a dream I had one night."

99. Keep on the Path and Out of the Woods

"A rain comes to the darkness And all nature will overflow..."

100. Death

All my life I thought "The Seventh Seal" was an aquatic creature — until I saw that Ingmar Bergman film and decided to brush up on my chess. "Glance above his shoulder at a phantom unseen, and when he isn't looking you can take away his queen."