Monday, February 22, 2010

King Ahasuerus's Midnight Band

Let’s be fair. I’m not a real musician.

Oh, I can sing pretty well, certainly well enough for our synagogue choir and well enough to have served as a lay cantor for a small congregation in Colorado about decade ago. Sure, I can read music, and once upon a time, I could play mellophone well enough to play second horn in the IU Marching Hundred. But I don’t have that enviable ability to pick up an instrument (or, in the case of a piano, sit down at an instrument) and lead the assembled throng in a rousing chorus of Flight of the Valkyries. Or Kumbaya. Nor do I have the ability to write a wildly creative song a week and publish it to the Web with full orchestral back-up, a la Jonathan Coulton.

However, having said all that, I have to tell you all...I wrote a song. This all stems from my yearly rant about Purim music; my annual complaint about the appalling lack of good holiday songs and albums. It is hard enough trying to find Chanukah music, but Purim music? Feh. Here we have a holiday ripe with intrigue, silliness, love, passion, hatred, violence, royalty, heroism, etc. And the best we can come up with is “Oh, today we’ll merry, merry be and nosh some hamantaschen.”

Retch.

So, I finally put my money where my mouth is and wrote a song for Purim. It follows my four cardinal rules for Chanukah songs modified slightly for Purim:


  1. It should not retell the story of Purim.

  2. It should not compare Purim to Mardi Gras.

  3. It's sole purpose should not be to retread an old joke.

  4. I should be able to listen to it in July without vomiting.

Is it a brilliant song, written with lyrical poetry, astute political commentary, and technically sound musicality? Probably not. But I think it’s kind of catchy, and it talks about King Ahasuerus’s week long party, a topic that has been sadly overlooked in most Purim songs. Besides, it uses every software trick in my Windows XP arsenal, which sadly, isn’t a whole lot. However, I would like to recommend a piece of freeware called MuseScore, which is an excellent musical notation software.

Herein lies my challenge to you all. I am releasing my song to the wilds of the Internet for any of you to cover. I am publishing it under the Winicur Music copyright, although since I don’t own a legal copyright on the name, it propably won’t do me much good in court. So, for now, I won’t require any royalties from you as long as you give the song an interesting treatment: reorchestration, a new lead vocalist, a snappy new video, or all three. I have written the lyrics below, and I will send you the notated music if you ask me politely. I do ask, however, that any use of this song properly reference me with the following attribution, “Wildly clever music and lyrics by Zev Winicur.”

Chag Sameach.

video
Click on the play button above to play the song.


King Ahasuerus’s Midnight Band

From India to Ethiopia
One hundred twenty-seven provinces
The Persian-Median sovereign
One hundred eighty days of promises

Come all you noblemen
Come all you common men
Come all you gentleman throughout the land
Come see the majesty
Come see the pageantry
King Ahasuerus’s Midnight Band

One week of partying
One week of reveling
One week of dancing in the desert sand
One week of gluttony
One week debauchery
King Ahasuerus’s Midnight Band

Persian nights are waiting
Stop procrastinating
Start anticipating
Stay a while

Wine is freely flowing
Golden treasures glowing
Dancing girls are showing
Off their smiles

Tables of golden plates
Tables of figs and dates
Tables of luscious grapes peeled by hand
Tables of jasmine rice
Tables of exotic spice
King Ahasuerus’s Midnight Band

Music with harmony
Music with symphony
Music with melodies free and planned
Music that celebrates
Music that syncopates
King Ahasuerus’s Midnight Band

Persian nights are waiting
Stop procrastinating
Start anticipating
Stay a while

Wine is freely flowing
Golden treasures glowing
Dancing girls are showing
Off their smiles

There's no waiting list
Be a hedonist
At King Ahasuerus’s Midnight Band!

2 comments:

  1. One more try to post a comment. Mom

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey. How about that. I did it. I just had to create a Google account. Thought I had one. Mom

    ReplyDelete