Singing to Sarah: Boo comes a’visiting

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on May 30th, 2010 by admin

Next in the series of Milne poems set to music: Buckingham Palace. Our friend Brian was visiting from Michigan for the weekend, and I had him sing this one.

It will probably eventually get a more complicated arrangement, with the backing track building over time (keeping Boo’s vocal; I love the ‘folk opera’ sound he got!), but here we have the live take: one voice and one guitar (and one toddler, who was good enough to keep quiet for 2.5 minutes).

Click for the audio file!
Buckingham Palace
Words by A.A. Milne, published 1924
Music © 2010 Mark Frey and Brian Matthews

Singing to Sarah: Guest Artist Week

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on October 19th, 2009 by admin

Hey-yo! Sorry for the long silence hereabouts. Life intruded, and then there was the Great Studio Computer Meltdown of ’09. Shudder. I’ve got a couple of more Milne songs in the pipeline, and even a non-children’s composition or two. In the meantime, we’ve got a recording here from guest singer/songwriter Rachel .

Rachel was in town for a visit this weekend. She brought with her this little number, written for her nephew. Sarah, as usual, got into the spirit of things.

As always, click on the title link below for the .mp3; for those of you reading this on Facebook, remember to check out the Squeakyanimals recording archive. Whee!

The Bugaboo Song
Words and Music © 2009 Rachel Rosenberg
Vocal, Rachel; Guitar, Mark

When Auntie Rachel comes
She gets into her car
She drives a long, long way
Cause she lives so very far.

She walks up to my house,
And knocks upon my door,
And when I open up,
She says, as she has said before,

“What’s new, Bugaboo?”
I came a long way just to see you!”
And I say, “What’s new, Bugaboo?
That’s you and me.

I put on my shoes
And we go to the park,
Where I run across the grass,
Which is long and green and dark

I climb each red step
And bounce upon the bridge
I might go down the slide,
Please encourage me a smidge

She says, “Come down, Bugaboo!”
I love rhymes and goofy words, too.
“What’s new, Bugaboo!”
That’s you and me.

Once my Mommy said,
We could get in the car
And go see Auntie Rachel
Though she lives so very far

We drove a long, long way,
And ate food at the Med
Then I saw a nearby park
With a see-saw painted red

It had a sandbox and
Sand upon the ground
When I ran to the pirate ship,
I slipped and I fell down.

I looked up but Rachel
Seemed so nonchalant,
That I called out “Rescue me!”
Come, prove you are my aunt.

And she said, “What’s wrong, Bugaboo?”
She picked me up and started to coo.
“You’re fine, Bugaboo!”
That’s you and me.

“What’s new, Bugaboo?”
I say it to Auntie Rachel, too,
What’s new, Bugaboo?
That’s you and me.

Singing to Sarah: the Duke of York Edition

Posted in Songs for Sarah on September 4th, 2009 by admin

Ok, I think this may be turning into its own little project. This is the third Milne poem from When We Were Very Young that I’ve set to music. Might have to do the whole book eventually.

What’s that, you say? Third? Where’s the second? Well, just like a Joss Whedon show, the Milne series will be aired out of order. The second piece is still being recorded; Joe and Isabel tracked some backing vocals last week while they were visiting, and now I have to fly the rest of the tune in. Soon, soon!

This one’s short and sweet: page 81 in my copy, Halfway Down. Sarah cackled when I played it to her, but Marg thought it was too dirge-like with just electric piano (and she was right). So I layered some clarinets on top. She wanted Calliope, but I don’t have one. So it goes.

Halfway Down <--get the song here!

Words by A.A. Milne, published 1924

Music© 2009 Mark Frey

Singing to Sarah 7: Special Georgian Edition

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on August 3rd, 2009 by admin

This week’s recording is an awesome guest appearance by Rho. She sings Shapenote and Georgian Folk music. The Georgian choir she works with recently did this piece in 3-part harmony, but I like the plaintive sound of one solo voice on the melody here.

This is a lullaby, traditionally sung to lure the evil spirits that cause infectious diseases out of a sick child. With any luck, it’s also preventative!


Batonebis Nanina

trad. Georgian
vocal: Rho

New Recording: Lines and Squares

Posted in Songs for Sarah on July 6th, 2009 by admin
Really, I’m not going to turn into a writer of children’s songs. Promise. But indulge me this week!

I’ve been reading Sarah poems from A.A. Milne’s charming “When We Were Very Young” collection. Fun stuff. Even though she doesn’t get the words, she seems to like the sound of them. One day last week, I started singsonging a little melody to “Lines and Squares” instead of just reading the poem. This went over well with Sarah, and Marg liked it too. Then it got stuck in my head, and so I had to record it for y’all.

Lines and Squares (click for audio file)
Words by A.A. Milne, published 1924
Music © 2009 Mark Frey

Singing to Sarah 6: Cover Tuneage

Posted in Covers, Songs for Sarah on June 24th, 2009 by admin

I had an original number in progress for this week. However, despite a fair amount of effort it’s not clicking yet. Can’t figure out why, but it isn’t. Maybe not enough cowbell. Hopefully I’ll figure it out in the next week or two.

Instead, here’s the next in the “Singing to Sarah” series of impromptu acoustic performances. This time I’m playing a cover tune that Sarah really seems to like. I’ve noticed she seems to prefer sad songs.
Using the first take on this one. I did a second run-through, but the baby noises near the end of take #1 seemed to fit the concept better.
Singing to Sarah 6: tiv.mp3

Singing to Sarah 5: Guest Artist!!!!

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on June 8th, 2009 by admin

This week, we feature fabulous guest artist (but not exactly Special Guest, if you know what I mean) Captain Ambivalent in the Singing to Sarah series. He’s got a delightful little ditty for us about love and redemption.

Precious<--Yesssss, clicksss here, Precioussss!
Words and music © 2009 by Dan Biemer

Singing to Sarah, part 4: I’ve got your toes!

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on May 18th, 2009 by admin

Caution: contents may induce sugary coma. You have been warned!

This week’s entry is a song Marg wrote for Sarah. It’s a catchy little baby-cute number that she sings to her while holding and wiggling Sarah’s toes, feet, arms, and so on. It’s incredibly effective at distracting a baby in the early stages of fussiness. For now, you’ll just have to imagine the visuals for yourselves.

I’ve got your toes! <--Click to get your .mp3!
Words and music © 2009 Margaret Frey
Vocal Marg, guitar Mark. Backing vocal Sarah.

Singing to Sarah, part 3: Guest Artist!

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on April 20th, 2009 by admin

Matt came by and sang to Sarah yesterday, joining the Squeaky Animal crew as guest songwriter for the week. This number is a little cautionary fable about the evils of Rock & Roll. The important life lessons start now, little Sarah!

Photographic evidence of the session can be found on Sarah’s Blog.

Rock Band [MP-three HEAR!]© 2009 Matt T. Mullane

Matt: Lead and backing vocals, guitar, wooden frog

Mark: Bass, organ, backing vocal, tambourine.

Singing to Sarah, part 2.

Posted in Songs for Sarah on March 16th, 2009 by admin
This week we feature the second in a series of quick, no-overdub demos sung with the baby as audience. 

Today’s post is a new song, an angsty little number about loss and doubt. The first verse had been in my head, with a different melody, for a while, but yesterday I put together a new tune and more lyrics. Practiced a bit, then played 3 takes this evening. This is the one I liked best, warts and all.

The baby fell asleep during the recording. I suspect she’s going to keep doing that until I write some songs FOR her, rather than just bringing her in the room while I’m playing. 

Diary [Get the .mp3 here]
© 2009 Mark Frey

There’s a dog-eared page in my diary
from the day I first met you
I’ve been back there more times than is healthy
trying to get a better view

Even now, I’ve no idea
if I did all that I could
should I have pushed through your defences?
would it have done you any good?

the bright light of our history
is like a burning sun
focused through the lens of what came after
I scramble for cover, finding none

my hindsight is as blurry
as a Tarot stained with red wine
you left this blot on my memory
in a shape I can’t define

so there’s a dog-eared page in my diary
from the day I first met you