I’m on the edge, with Loralee

Dear Evan and Lulu,

There are so many things you are good at. Too many things to even list them all. Lulu could walk into a packed gymnasium and perform an impromptu one-child show that would keep people entertained for hours. Evan could sell them all their tickets, create a seating chart for them and sort them into a pattern throughout the entire audience. Afterward you could both challenge the audience to a game of almost anything and I’d put all my money on the two of you. Because you are so good at so many things it is only fair that you have to be equally as horrible at other things. This is not the type of letter where I tell you what bright children you are and all the endless possibilities that await you. This is a letter where I tell you that under no circumstances will you ever have a future in determining song lyrics.

I wish I could blame your father. Unfortunately he is one of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever met and he makes money correctly singing song lyrics. I, on the other hand, not quite so much. I’ve been infected with the case of mistaken song lyrics for as long as I can remember. One of my funniest experiences came a few years back when I got invited to a Citizen Cope concert. I told my friend I loved his music but I was really disturbed by the message behind some of it and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do.

“What message behind it?”

“You know, the part about the drama kid and all that happens to him.”

“What drama kid are you talking about?”

“Their best known song is all about letting the drama kid die. I really relate with drama kids and that hurts my feelings.”

“The song is about letting the drum kick die. The drum kick.”

Right. So it was no great surprise to me that lyric identification was not your strong suit. I recently got asked if I worry about you listening to certain kinds of music. I very honestly answered that I used to until I realized you have no idea what songs are actually about.

It started with Pumped up Kicks. That song was everywhere and you heard your dad singing it. I desperately didn’t want you to listen to is because it talks about shooting people and outrunning bullets. I cringed when I heard Evan burst into the tune when she was only 5. “She is too young for this!” I cried the second I heard the melody start. Then I heard her extremely off key but rousing rendition of “I’ll be with the kids with the hump back whales.” Now isn’t that sweet? A song about swimming with whales. Who could get mad at that?

And we can’t forget the apprehension I faced over exposing the two of you to Lady Gaga. I myself am a big fan of hers. Her music graces most of my running play lists and I’ve been known to put some of her songs on repeat at parties where they let me touch the music. Yet she isn’t necessarily someone I chose to have my kids idolize. Until we were stuck in traffic for 2 hours on our way back from Stanley because of a bad wreck outside of Banks with no radio and only one CD in the car. In that instance I would gladly play Black Sabbath for you without a hesitation. So when Lulu fell in love with The Edge of Glory, by Lady Gaga, I got to hear it for the next 6 months. Except instead of “I’m on the edge of Glory” I got to hear “I’m on the edge, with Loralee.” All I could imagine was Lulu hanging out on some ledge with a sweet pastry maker.

There are more. Many many more.

We sing about Penny and her pets. (Benny and the Jets).

We sing, in a questioning tone, “should I give up, or should I just keep chasing penguins?” (Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavement)

We sing about “Ohhhh, ohhh. You take me much higher.” (Sex is on fire)

We rap “I wake up in the morning feeling like a pizza party.” (I wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy.)

We’re not gonna make it in the song lyric biz, I’m sorry to tell you loves. But we are going to have a lot of fun with our mistakes. At least we have each other to navigate these tricky lyrics with. And we’ll always have Loralee.


  • Penny and the pets…bwahahahahaha! Love it. My sister used to sing “I found your diarrhea (diary) underneath the tree which left me with a rather disturbing image. I kept thinking, while knowing it made no sense, that some lyrics went “stuck here in old diaphram (Lodi, again) and was at least in my 20’s when I saw a road exit sign for Lodi and the lightbulb went on. Perhaps I shouldn’t frighten you but as an adult I took a psych class and in a non-controlled environment, we had to listen to words from a voice on a recorder and choose which similar sounding nonsense word had been spoken. I scored in the “brain damaged” range. Did I mention that I am a visual learner? 😉


  • At some part in Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart my friend and I used to think he said “Diet Shasta, baby.”

    Also, in Push It, I used to think the words were “Ah, this is bullshit,” while my friend Annette thought it was “Hot, and smooshy.”


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