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it came out of the wordwork

Utah Billy Jones -- the song
So it happened again last night, or this morning, something that's been happening for the past few weeks -- and this time it was so persuasive that I got up and, before I made coffee, came here to the computer to Google a name and to write something down...

You see, I woke with a song in my head.

I know, I know, everyone gets earworms, right?

But it isn't like that, really. I've been waking up with, uhm, new songs, in my head.

That's scary. I can't play a chord and I don't write music... but these things have been charging ahead in the night, regardless. This one came to me in a dream. I woke up knowing I'd been standing in front of people and there was a guitar and and a fiddle, and a bass, and heck -- maybe even a bongo! -- and I was singing Utah Billy Jones... like about a half dozen songs that have been popping into my head in the dark.

I'm not saying they're good songs, understand, because they're likely not -- but damn, what a strangeness. I've been concentrating on Theo Waitley -- you know, Liaden Universe® novels like everyone wants -- we spent the weekend working  on Ghost Ship. Well, that and a story for Lee Martindale's The Ladies of Trade Town anthology (Lee doesn't officially know I'm working on it, and it is called "Team Player" ... ). I ought to be off tweeting about Fledgling or doing buy-my-books (thanks Barry Longyear!) for Saltation or exclaiming over Dragon Variation or ... doing work. But here I am, waiting for the coffee pot to go twee twee twee twee twee....

I'm blaming it all on Pandora, the music service that lets me have basically non-stop music when I'm in the office. The key is that there's no ads -- and that I don't know all the songs that they play for me, at least not the first time that they play for me. Instead they take the songs or groups I've anointed by asking for them and the other ones I've put thumbs up besides, and they ... stretch what I'm hearing. they give me similars and sort-of-likes, and live recorded versions I never heard before ...

So this morning I got jolted awake, with that classic folk-western song "Utah Billy Jones" in my head. I had two or three verses going around when I realized that this was no Carpenter's earworm, no Rolling Stones remix, but another one of these things that have been popping into my head. Original.  Really -- go Google it for yourself "Utah Billy Jones."  

Right: Information No results found for "Utah Billy Jones".

Well, that's what it did say, anyway, but now, once I blog this, I guess this blog will come up.

Hello? Coffee pot? I need you

So this could be based on something  I saw in a comedy skit, or maybe something out of The Three Stooges, or something. I don't know why now, except that I did listen last night to some Liaden filk songs over on the Filk Archive and then Peter Cady told us we can use and share his excellent Seven Silver Bracelets (based on Priscilla from Conflicts of Honor on our web pages)...
Heck, I'm no Janis Ian or Ian Anderson or Rambling Jack Elliott or J.J. Cale or  Van Morrison.  Really!  To hear me sing Brown Eyed Girl is to know why showers and sound-proofing were invented. I can't carry a tune in a bucket. When I shared a house with two other guys (Tom Kemp and Bil Hilgartner) in the hippie era they both sang and played guitar and banjo and stuff...  I used a $10 recorder from music class so no one heard my voice and banged on a tambourine, sort of in tune. We'd play all night just so I could mess with the recorder doing the high windy notes for All Along the Watchtower...

So, anyhow, about this song.  Refrain's gotta be, with the deep import imparted to western and folk songs by the sound of someone like Johnny Cash or maybe harmonized by three or six  gruff voices singing slow and : "Utah Billy Jones" ... easy as pie. Anyhow, it night something like this eventually ...

Utah Billy Jones

There's one long name feared across the west,
one name long name scares the sheriff  out his vest,
it's the man no one wants to see
who'll track you down with glee
to blame Poppa and his Momma and a foreman in Cheektawoga

Utah Billy Jones

That boy bought himself a saddle and horse,
went for cow hand down by a New York State water course
told the foreman the he was hight Jones, William
but the lad's boss said Billy's the name that thrilled him
That skinny tow-head rover he was a weak-willed kind of drover

Utah Billy Jones

Now he calls to the unwary, closes face to yours
his shirts six weeks dirty and you worry about them drawers
hear he say his full complaint, "nothing really rhymes with Utah,
and Billy is as Billy does, and the Joneses all eat coleslaw!"

Utah Billy Jones


To be continued.  The coffee is done but I gotta pour it ... you can probably tell I need coffee.  if i come up with a good line I'll twitter it from bechimo ... sigh...

So OK, I really ought to be pleased that we've got 4 novels in Amazon's top 100 Space Opera list this morning; actually in the top 47 as I write -- John Scalzi has a book at #18 and another closer to 100, David Weber one at # 9 ... and maybe three more as well, downlist, and John Ringo has a couple but ... geesh, what's Brave New World doing in that list? Or Earth Abides? I  see at least one by Charlies Stross, a few by Elizabeth Moon ... a bunch by Anne McCaffrey... really -- go check out that list, there's some good reading, and some oddities, too, like the books for sale for $0.00!

Remember folks, Utah Billy Jones is not done -- ... i mean, I at least have to get"Moab" in there somewhere, and when I go to the office today to pack books I'm going to keep a pad by my side, so I can add those elusive verses that ran through my head last night ...  I know I need to get to work ... and I'm reminded of Lawrence Watt-Evans when he was working on one of his fantasy series and then started, just for a day or so, a game ... gah, am i goign to lose myself to music? Well, we all hope not.

But -- there's gotta be a song in there, really!

Utah Billy Jones ...