Life And Death

Waiting For My Time

This song is really what kicked off Undead Monkey. Gymshoes had gotten this site. Ronnie had written this song. She added drums and some ambient stuff. Ronnie kept Gym’s drums, tweaked the lyrics, replaced the ambient loops with synths. She suggested backing vocals, Ronnie did some…and by this time Gym had lured Ronnie over to Undead Monkey.

Prior to being officially released Ronnie featured the song on his Virtual Songcast, a podcast which spotlights a song and discusses its development and the songwriting process with the songwriters (in this case, Ronnie himself). To find out more about this song, check out the podcast! πŸ˜€

Waiting for my time: This is a song I wrote about he death of my mother, and the regrets that I cary for not growing our relationship when I had the chance. In life there is death. The Song’s message and my unsolicited advice to you, Tell the people you love how you feel, when you feel it. Don’t wait.

Ronnie

Download the song or stream it. .

Credits:

Title: “Waiting For My Time”
Album: Life and Death
Artist: Undead Monkey
Lyrics and Music: Ronnie Marler
Copyright: 2006

Ronnie Marler: guitars, synths, engineering, mixing.
Gymshoes: drum loops

The Sellafield Bakery

“The Sellafield Bakery” is a dark lullaby of a protest song. The “bakery” is the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in England, which dumps technetium-99 into the Irish sea. When absorbed by humans it accumulates in the thyroid gland and intestine and causes cancer. Although Gymshoes isn’t involved in the “Stop Sellafield” movement, she was inspired to write this song in the summer of ’92 after reading a Rolling Stone article about U2’s protest in hazmat suits and zodiac boats off the shore of England along with pertinent facts about Sellafield’s dumping of nuclear waste into the water that laps on the shores of Irish beaches. She wrote the lyrics: July 8th, 1992 and the music July 9th, 1992 on her old Harmony nylon strong guitar. (She used an acoustic electric for recording.) Though the song is old, the topic is unfortunately still relevant. πŸ™

Download the song or stream it. .

Credits:

Title: “The Sellafield Bakery”
Album: Life and Death
Artist: Undead Monkey
Lyrics & Melody: Gymshoes
Copyright: 2006

Gymshoes: Lyrics, melody, guitar
Marty Keil: vocals, pennywhistle, engineering and mixing

Incandescent Life

Gymshoes wrote the lyrics for “Incandescent Life” in March and April of 1992, then the music on May 10th of that year. She played and sang it her acoustic-electric guitar for a number of years before getting the programs that allowed her to make a backing track for it. That done—for other songs as well as this one—she burned a CD of backing tracks and for a few years played and sang along with it. Then Undead Monkey happened. As the working title of the first project was “A Matter of Life and Death” she immediately thought of “Incandescent Life” with its uplifting imagery. The melody line needed work, but Ronnie Marler took to the song immediately, transforming a rather ordinary melody into one that soared in a way that it never could have with Gymshoes’ limited vocal range. Marty Keil added his own bass part to the song and did the mixing and engineering.

The imagery in the lyrics is a bit unusual—and the song was written so many years ago that Gymshoes no longer remembers exactly what she had in mind for every symbol or image. The basic idea of the song is that the narrator is a guy who has had a sort of epiphany. He has realized that he is in the wrong place in his life, he took a wrong turn way back when. Leaving behind the girl he left behind was leaving behind the best, most ultimate happiness in his life. In the song he’s driving all night from dusk to dawn to get back to her, arriving at her doorstep at dawn. Dawn, of course, symbolizing a new beginning, a new life with her.

Ronnie brought his own take to the song, focusing on the idea of a river of life (which in turn prompted him to write White Water inspired by a rafting trip he’d taken). Later Ronnie wrote of “Incandescent Life”, “I like it, I was listening to my MP3 player this morning on my way in to work…One other thing I would like to reiterate is that the symbolism of these lyrics set in this music is oddly inspiring. The lyrics mean nothing to me but when I hear it, I feel uplifted.”

Download the song or stream it.

Credits:

Title: “Incandescent Life”
Album: Life and Death
Artist: Undead Monkey
Lyrics:Gymshoes
Music: Gymshoes and Ronnie Marler
Copyright: 2006

Gymshoes: Lyrics, melody, and backing track except guitars and bass
Ronnie Marler: Additional melody, guitar, vocals
Marty Keil: Bass, Engineering and mixing

The Sidewalk Is Alive

This song is weird. Trippy. Kinda funny. Gymshoes wrote the first part of the song back when she had major surgery. Prior to that she was in sufficient pain that the doc prescribed pain meds. It killed the pain alright, but made her high as a kite. πŸ˜‰ She was actually less functional on the pain pills that with just the pain. About all she could do was walk around the neighborhood, so she did that a lot while waiting for the surgery to be scheduled. (She swears she couldn’t feel the concrete beneath her feet.) She just bounced along watching the kids with their skateboards and bikes and dogs, all the grass and gardens so lush and green with spring growth.

Gymshoes hated the high, hated the crash, hated not being able to think, hated the pain, but told her friends and family that since she had never done drugs that this was her big chance to write a druggie song. πŸ˜‰ So she did. Sort of. She was dismayed to find that the pills really knocked down verbal skills—and putting it to music was out of the question under the influence. So she managed to come up with one verse and one chorus while floating around the neighborhood—then did the backing track after she had recovered from surgery. πŸ™‚

The song still felt unfinished, though. “The Sidewalk Is Alive” is just so wacky that it seemed to her like ought to be attached to something called “Undead Monkey”. πŸ˜‰ So, she pitched the song out there and asked Marty Keil if he could come up with a few more lyrics to finish it out. He made some alterations in the melody line, added a spoken word section, and a very schmoo sax. πŸ˜‰

Download the song or stream it.

Credits:

Title: “The Sidewalk Is Alive”
Album: Life and Death
Artist: Undead Monkey
Lyrics: Gymshoes, Marty Keil
Music: Gymshoes, Marty Keil
Copyright: 2006

Gymshoes: lyrics, backing track (except sax)
Marty Keil: lyrics, vocals, sax, engineering and mixing

Cartoon Ninja Girls

Ronnie Marler wrote this song after getting caught in what he calls an internet “pornado“. He wrote the first two verses and recorded vocal and guitar. Gymshoes came up with two more verses, Marty Keil added bass, drums and began experimenting with additional oriental samples. Then Ronnie, stuck for a bridge, came up with the inspired idea of adding yells in the break. Gymshoes (aka “Ninja Shoes”) added the clacks and her own yells which Marty mixed in to make a complete fight sequence.

The Ninja Girls begin as fantasy—aggressively marketed fantasy—but they can’t be contained; they moves into his home to wreck who-knows-what-havoc on his real life. 😯 Our last view of the Ninja Girls are of them going down the hall…

Cartoon Ninja Girls: There are 3 things that are certain in life today. Death, Taxes and Internet Porn. This song I wrote after my internet browser exploded in a flurry of popups containing images of Japaneese cartoon porn. (a cartoon pornado) The song is a metephor for internet porn and the havoc it can reign.

Ronnie

Download the song or stream it.

Credits:

Title: β€œCartoon Ninja Girls”
Album: Life and Death
Artist: Undead Monkey
Lyrics: Ronnie Marler, Gymshoes
Music: Ronnie Marler
Copyright: 2006

Ronnie Marler: lyrics, vocal, guitars
Gymshoes: lyrics, percussion, ninja yells
Marty Keil: bass, drums, Oriental samples, Engineering and mixing

Licensing Information:

These songs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 license.

Undead Monkey is the owner of this music and retains copyright but this license allows you to download, copy, file-share, trade, distribute, and publicly perform (e.g webcast) the music if…you meet the following conditions:

  • Noncommercial: You may not sell copies of this music or make any other commercial use of this music.
  • No Derivative Works: You may not sample or remix this music. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this music (this includes synching the music to a moving image).
  • Attribution: You must give Undead Monkey credit, and leave our name in the files.
  • License: For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this music.

Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the Undead Monkey.

2 January

2 Responses to “Life And Death”

  1. Mary Ener says:

    I was going to ask who was on acid when they wrote The Sidewalk Is Alive… from reading the notes above, now I see. πŸ˜‰

  2. Gymshoes says:

    And this was just a low-does painkiller. Acid would probably send me so far out there I’d never come back. πŸ˜† There’s a good reason I’ve never taken illegal drugs: I’m naturally an “up” person and I have waaaaaayyyy too active an imagination. πŸ˜† I should point out that the “mind on glide” bit in the song was written by Marty. So me and my over-active imagination are in good company. πŸ˜‰

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