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Monday, December 6, 2010

263. "If I Had a Boat" by Lyle Lovett

I wish I'd cooked up a more inventive way to present this song, which has been in my repertoire since before I could really be said to have had one, but at least there is now a version of it without the phrase "kiss my ass" in it. The "ass" line is actually a superb moment in the original, but the thing is that this song is so great for kids-- I mean, what could better symbolize childish longing and the purity/absurdity thereof than riding a pony around on a boat?-- that it's hard not to want them to be able to enjoy it without fretting about the raised eyebrows of parents perhaps more restrictive than oneself.

My library does, in fact, contain a "clean" edit of Lyle's version that I constructed myself for inclusion on Miranda's iPod (she and Ridley knew the song from the bowlderized version I'd sung for them many times, occasionally subbing out the pony for a unicorn or some other unconveniently multisyllabic equie variation). It is lame. I didn't want a gap or a bleep in there, but the best I could do in terms a vocal edit was to create the nonsensical line "kiss my boat, I bought a boat" with an improbably leap in both the vocal and steel guitar lines accompanying the first "boat".

At this point, most of my kids are in grades during which I personally recall hearing more (and more bizarre and/or physically impossible) profanity and innuendo from my classmates than I have from anybody anywhere at any time since, so I don't worry so much about this kind of stuff. I do still have a nutso ex-wife who will occasionally and with little warning and no internal logic trot out made-up or garbled-at-best accusations about my parenting, so, you know, I don't get crazy or anything... but the kids basically know the score at this stage.

As a side note, I'm not sure how the guitar on this recording got slightly out of phase with itself between the mic on the guitar and the bleedover onto the vocal mic, but it sounds like it's got some intentional chorus on it. I have a sort of allergy to chorus as an effect treatment, so I just wanted to point out that it's an accident.

Personnel: Rex

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