Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org). We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs. Sheesh.
In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website. I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time.
Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up. I’m including those as well.
19 Hayes (The Beard of God)
In order to truly comprehend the glory of this song, you must understand The Winter of the Beard. Myself, and 9 others (including Jeff Pitcher, my cohort in Presidential madness) are involved in a film project wherein we all grow beards for 6 months with absolutely no trimming allowed.
The first thing I noticed about Rutherford B. Hayes was his beard. An enormous, shaggy, imperial looking beard. I thought about it as I ate my dinner of supermarket sushi (awful, but desperate times call for desparate sushi orders) and wondered what it would be like to sit with a man who had been wounded 5 times in the Civil War and had a beard that would make God feel like a sissy.
Frankly, the thought made me feel like crawling up into my obviously inferior scrotum and hide from the sheer manliness of the man.
In any case, I’ve also used a drum loop on this: My first experiment with drum loops ever. It was fun having an absurd, ridiculous beat to go with this absurd, ridiculous song. It’s also the first song I’ve ever written that could fit into the “novelty/humor” category, although I grant you that it’s something of an in-joke.
Enjoy. More Presidents to follow as always. And if you’re really wondering what all this Presidential stuff is about: http://www.christiankiefer.com/presidents.htm.
- j matthew gerken | 2006-02-21 @ 12:32pm (EST)
What do you mean humor/novelty? This rocks! I love the drum tone and the super high Michael Anthony singing.
- elizadonelittle | 2006-02-26 @ 05:49pm (EST)
CK, this has got such a great groove. And my husband laughed, so there. Humor. I do tend to think it kicks more ass than it gets laughs. Clip it off and hang it out to dry! This one’s done. xox