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iTom 2​.​0: Transitions

by Tom Smith

Woke up this morning, fell outa bed and got dressed, Burnt my eggs, toast, and newspaper -- wish I could get depressed, But I ain't got time for the blues, better give it a rest. The neighbor's dog attacked me, bit my leg clean through, I'd locked my keys in my car, and when I got in, the radiator blew, But I ain't got time for the blues, I got things to do. My girlfriend up and left me, and so did my wife, I had lunch at the Japanese steakhouse -- shouldn'ta tried to juggle the sushi knife, But I ain't got time for the blues, I gotta get on with my life. Headed for the highway, didn't see the sign that said YIELD, Got intimate with a semi, ended up in an open field, Well, now I've got time for the blues -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
For Us All 04:51
Once upon a time we were together Once upon a time we were a team The problems all were shared, and everybody cared About everybody living in the dream But something happened and we were divided Tearing at the things that we held dear We started calling names, we started laying blame, We started to forget why we were here For us all We are the people, with the same red, white and blue For us all Because it's not the same if it's just me or you, it's For us all To bring it back to everything that we once knew, And we do the things we do for us all Once upon a time we had our problems Once upon a time we did things wrong But as one we lived and died, put our differences aside Did our best to help each other along But some of us were blinded by ambition, Instead of helping out, they wanted power The things that once were great got lost in all the hate And they led us to the country's darkest hour For us all We must remember all we have to fear is fear For us all To be a part of us we have to volunteer For Us All To be together means we have to all be here And we do the things we do for us all Minorities aren't doing it to spite you, The poor aren't trying to take away your wealth, A pregnant woman doesn't want to fight you, She's trying to take control of herself A gay man doesn't want to wreck your marriage He only wants to have a family We've got so much to do that's more important You have to open up your eyes to see For us all We are the people, and it's up to us to win For us all We must remember it's a game we all are in For us all It's time to heal the wounds and here's where we begin And we do the things we do for us all For us all We are the people, there's so much we must undo For us all Because it's not the same if it's just me or you, it's For us all To bring it back to everything that we once knew, And we do the things we do for us all For us all We are the people, with the same red, white and blue For us all Because it's not the same if it's just me or you, it's For us all To bring it back to everything that we once knew, And we do the things we do for us all
Three o'clock in the morning and I can't frickin' sleep. I've tried showers, music, milk and cookies, wine and counting sheep. But a zillion little random thoughts are driving me insane, It's like hamsters on a wheel running right inside my brain. Death to hamsters, death to hamsters, Death to hamsters except for Miranda's Death to hamsters, death to hamsters, Except Miranda's 'cause she has one as a pet. I'm not crazy, suicidal, overworked or overstressed, It's just when I start to think of stuff I can't give it a rest, And it rattles shakes and rumbles from the moment I disrobe, I don't want a frickin' Habitrail inside my frontal lobe. Death to hamsters, death to hamsters, Death to hamsters except for Miranda's Death to hamsters, death to hamsters, Except Miranda's 'cause she has one as a pet. I told my little niece Miranda, About the hamsters who keep me up all night And she cried and said, "Please don't hurt them, It's not their fault, you haven't got the right" So I've written New Age hamster music, Put Hamster Sominex inside a bedside cup, Even tried some hamster hypnosis, I'll take a mallet to my mullet if they won't... shut... up! Then one night I couldn't take it, and I sat up in my bed, Grabbed the mallet, started playing Whack-A-Hamster on my head. And I'm so sorry, Miranda, I was mean and I was weak... But lemme tell ya, it's adorable -- you hit 'em and they squeak. Death to hamsters, death to hamsters, Death to hamsters except for Miranda's Death to hamsters, death to hamsters, Except Miranda's 'cause she has one as a pet. So I don't think that I'll mention it just yet.
So, Thanks 03:24
The fourth Thursday in November, I'm sure you all have heard, Is when we offer thanks for stuff and devour roasted bird But I'm not sure who I'm thanking, I'm not sure it's a him, And I'm not sure what's deliberate, accidental, or a whim. Then I thought, perhaps generic thanks will cover every base Random gratitude for everything might help me save some face, But it didn't seem appropriate, and it surely wasn't fair Spouting platitudes anonymously into open air So... Thanks to mom and dad for having me, because of you I'm there Though if you'd chosen differently, I guess I wouldn't care Thanks to Brother, whom I fought with over who had cooler toys, Thanks to Sister, who still liked me even though she hated boys Thanks to all the kids who beat me up because I was a nerd, And then asked for help for homework, which I offered undeterred, Thanks to the first girl I asked out, she said she liked my smile, I have so much to be thankful for, so this could take awhile Thanks to Popcap and Bethesda, 'cause your games are so much fun Thanks Anne Hathaway and Kate Winslet for the topless scenes you've done Thanks to all the pigs who've died to make my pulled pork barbecue Thanks to Quentin Tarantino for Kill Bill one and two Thanks to J. K. Rowling for screwing up Harry Potter Volume Six, If she hadn't, I might not have found better-written fannish fics, Thanks to Joel, Mike, the Robots, Dr. F and TV's Frank, Bobo, Pearl, and Brain Guy -- and I still have more to thank. Thank you to the Dutch who got annoyed at all the Puritans For saying public dancing was lewd Thank you to the native tribes who welcomed all the Pilgrims here And sorry that you got so badly screwed Thanks, Ben Franklin, though you didn't have much luck in getting folks to think that turkeys were okay Thanks to the inventors of tofurkey and turducken They're just an awful lot of fun to say Thanks to those closest to me, my love and my best friends, I could go on for hours, but at some point this song ends, Thanks to everyone who listens to my music with delight, And if you don't, keep listening -- someday I'll get it right. Thanks to everyone who keeps me sane, you lovely bunch of loons, Making sure the voices in my brain are all from old cartoons, Last but not least, thanks Bill Dial and Mike Zinberg, who gave me, "Turkeys Away" on WKRP. It's on WKRP in Cincinnati....
Exactly Whose idea was making out in the backseat? There’s nowhere to put my elbows, nowhere to put your feet, It’s not wide enough for a moonlight tryst, It’s not long enough, I’m gonna sprain my wrist. Why are we Naked on cold vinyl so far out of town? Risking hypothermia, or cops with flashlights and a frown? We had a fancy dinner, we ate so well, But I’d prefer Mickey D’s and a cheap mo- Tell me that you love me, tell me you’ll be true, Tell me that this isn’t happening ‘cause we didn’t know what else to Do, This tangle couldn’t get much denser. Your smile kicks me out of MENSA. Exactly Whose idea was making love in the backseat? I’m thinkin' that this Lincoln bedroom won’t make us complete, Although the thought of Continental breakfast can’t be beat....
Bodyhacking 05:53
My body is a temple I'm rebuilding I need to do some work on my facade These changes are like prayers, I'll get a lot of stares, And With every step I'm closer to god I started with a tattoo and two piercings, A dragon and my lower lip and tongue I'd often heard it said that would make me good in bed Turns out it matters more which way I've swung I've got to change, But not how mother wants of me, I'll rearrange It's just a bodyhack It's not so strange, It's just like plastic surgery taken to extremes, And all my hopes and dreams Are looking in the mirror Hoping I'll be looking back I got some eyebrow spikes and other implants, Some talons for my fingernails and feet Telescoping bones, new skin with crimson tones, The scars across my back draw a Magritte The catalog from slashdot helped immensely My eyes are different colors for each mood, I hear my own heart pound in 5.1 surround, As of next week I'll no longer need food I've got to change, But not how mother wants of me, I'll rearrange It's just a bodyhack It's not so strange, It's just like plastic surgery Taken to extremes, And all my hopes and dreams Are looking in the mirror Hoping I'll be looking back I'm sure there was a version of me that I liked at one point But I know... I don't know I barely can recall those days before my tungsten ball joints, That was so... long ago And some would cast aspersions but they miss the bigger picture They can't see... A to Z These nanobots and waldoes may seem ancillary fixtures But I'll be... soon set free The other day I ran into an old friend she said she hardly recognized me now I killed her where she stood, it was for the greater good, Sometimes when you change, you don't want folks asking how I've heard some say you should find god within you And I know now evolution's not the key But intelligent design, the intelligence was mine, And I'm wondering what kind of god I'll be I've got to change, But not how others want of me, I'll rearrange It's just a bodyhack It's not so strange, It's just like plastic surgery Taken to extremes, And all my hopes and dreams Are looking in the mirror Hoping I'll be looking back
When you open up the drier and half your socks are gone, When the cell phone's not on the table you put it on, You're not sure what, but something has gone wrong. When the TV remote has simply disappeared, When the twenty you had in your wallet's been commandeered, Where can you turn to when stuff starts getting weird? It's the Alternate Universe Lost & Found, That's the place you oughta go, When you're looking for things no longer around, They're the ones who oughta know, When the fizz in your soda has all gone flat, When you can't find your glasses, the keys or the cat, The Alternate Universe Lost & Found is here. When the kids find a cupboard that leads to a whole new place, When you've gotta deliver a pizza 'cross time and space, When you're in New York City and you want some salsa by Pace. When your evil twin murders and you end up doing the time, When you fall through a wormhole to Chiron Beta Prime, When you wake to a world where Mel Blanc was a famous mime. It's the Alternate Universe Lost & Found, Better give 'em a call tonight, When reality's springs have come unwound, They're the ones who get 'em tight, When the Mongol Hordes are invading your den, Or the aliens want to probe you again, The Alternate Universe Lost & Found is here. We got smooth transitions between dimensions So you can enjoy the ride, We can fix the most futuristic inventions, We do our jobs with pride, We got Wacky Wafers and Black Jack Gum, Tootsie Pop Drops and Fizzies too, Major Matt Mason and Mrs. Beasley Are all waiting here for you! When you miss the innocent youth you used to be, When you make a mistake and want back your virginity, We can do it all, for only a modest fee. When the world you live in isn't the world you want, When you're tired of the rat race and want a relaxing jaunt, Let down your guard, and we'll make your garde avant. It's the Alternate Universe Lost & Found Stop in for a free brochure, If you're Oz, Barsoom, or Wonderland bound, Come schedule a guided tour, If you feel like you got the short end of the stick, The next world over might do the trick, All kinds o' fantasies, small and large, Happy endings, no extra charge, If you can't make your dreams come true, Just give us a call, we're here for you The Alternate Universe Lost & Found is here.
A Pirate Christmas (free) 04:58
We three kings of orient ARRR... Swab the decks w' boughs of holly fa la la la la, la la la la Hoist the Roger if it's jolly fa la la la la, la la la la Don we now our pirate trappings, Fa la la, la la la, la la la Caught me peg leg in these wrappings fa la la la la, la la la la From the portside to the starboard And from transom to bow We are covered with invading bivalves They latched on when we were harbored, And nobody knows how To remove them and get the ship clear. Barnacles, barnacles, Give me a friggin' damn crowbar barnacles, barnacles, Soon they will eat this whole bay. Said the lookout to the bosun's mate, Do you hear what I hear? (Do you ARRR what I ARRR!) (a cappella) O Cannonball, O Cannonball I'll shoot you through the stockade wall All I want fer Christmas is me two front teeth, Me two front teeth, me two front teeth.... My cap'n told me, Ba-rum pa pum pum ARRR, RUM! RUM! I'm tryin' ta SING! We LIKES rum! Ye better watch out, ye better not cry, Get the rum out, I'm tellin' you why, Cap'n Jack is comin' ta town He walks with a list, talks a good game, Blade, kiss or fist, it's always the same, Cap'n Jack is comin' ta town. He seizes any treasure The rum and wenches too, He knows if you've been bad or good (Cap'n Jack voice) And either one will do! Don't follow his lead, it's gonna get grim, The only survivor likely is him, Cap'n Jack is comin' ta town. Christmas, Christmas time is here, Time fer loot and wine and beer, Santa, bring your big ol' bag, We want treasure, we want swag Want a map from some old book, Me I want a brand new hook We can hardly stand the wait Please Christmas don't be late. I saw the Cap'n kissing Santy Claus Down below the bulwark late last night ... Not that there's anything wrong with that. Arrr! The herald angels sing, Here's a letter from the king Up in the crows nest, it's my watch, Keeping warm with rum and scotch, Icy winds and freezing sleet, Too darn slippery to keep my feet Yo ho ho, who wouldn't goOOOOOOO.... Silent night, holy night, Shush the cat, douse the light Round the back, the door isn't locked Grab their stuff, we'll go get it hocked Sleep in heavenly peace, The constables' palms have been greased. All right, ye swabs! Big finish! Dashing through the snow Is somethin' we ain't done, Because we never go Away from tropic sun, Keep yer cold and ice, We think it's kinda dumb We've got our Christmas paradise With beaches, girls and rum! ARRR! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, Oh what fun it is to sail the Caribbean today-ay! Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas on the sea, Yo ho ho, yo ho ho, a Santa's life for me! Yo ho ho, yo ho ho, a Santa's life for me!
Who changes the diapers on the baby new year? In only five days he ages one year, Assuming three score years and ten, That's what I've heard is the span of men. There've been almost two thousand since Jesus died, That's a hell of a lot of infanticide But before then I'm sure it was worse 'Cause I bet that he aged in reverse. I've got a lullaby for the Baby New Year So he can get some sleep, He's got so much that he has to do here, Especially if he's leap. A year is a difficult thing to be, There's strife and stress and such, And I don't want a lot, just the promise he Will try not to suck so much. Three weeks of filling your checks out wrong, Of singing some dumb catchy Christmas song, Of snow and cold and of feeling squirrelly, Of swearing you'll do your taxes early. Three months of waiting for winter's end. Two months of hating the thaw again. One month of wishing they'd fix the street. Three months of bitching about the heat. Here's a lullaby for the Baby New Year As he lays there in bed, I want him to know that there's nothing to fear Except the months ahead. People call him names and vent frustrations And he's just passing time. How can he live up to their expectations When he's just past his prime? Then the autumn comes and the winter's after. He feels the chill in the children's laughter. It's not that anyone wants him gone, But Christmastime is a-comin' on. After Halloween, there's the cold and snow, And he's starting to feel so old and slow. But there's one bright moment in the sun, When we all give thanks for the good he's done. Here's a lullaby for the Baby New Year, The Older Year as well, 'Cause they bring us everything we hold dear, As far as I can tell, There's a lot of hope for the year ahead And some stuff that just won't take, But it's not the Baby New Year's fault So give the kid a break. He's only a Baby New Year -- Shhh. Soon enough, he'll wake.
The sacred duty of a knight is to do good deeds and true, When a dragon steals a maiden, he rides to her rescue, While vanquishing that dragon, he keeps all he can from harm... Yeah, I know all that. Let's get back to the damage to my farm. I was minding my own business, in the backyard with a hoe -- No, a garden tool, ye stupid fool, back where the praties grow. The sun was warm, the breeze was soft, the grass had all been cut, When a big-ass flippin' dragon crashes head-first on my hut. Well, right behind, Sir Gallywho on horseback sets his lance, The dragon took the point, went slidin' backwards through me fence, He hit a log, and stopped, and then Sir Whats-his-face went over, And landed on my sheepdog, who's now pushin' up the clover. The sheep, they all went runnin', while Sir Dinkus got upright, And I'll admit he challenged Mister Dragon to a fight, The dragon set the maiden down -- he'd held her in his jaws -- And he went right after the knight, all flames and wings and claws. Now, I couldn't rightly tell you who did what to whom or how, But they cleared my forty-seven acres quick as any plow, Except, o' course, I only plow before the crops are sown, And this was bloody August, when the bloody things are grown. Well, finally, the dragon fled, Sir Shrinky-Dink stood tall, He'd killed off half my animals and all my crops for fall, And I still can pay my tax, Your Honor, I don't need my hut, But I raised that sheepdog from a pup; Sir Doof here squashed his butt. So what I want is simple: have him sell his metal tights. Without 'em, maybe next time, he'll be mindful where he fights, And with the proceeds, I'll rebuild my hut and fix my farm (You'll notice this fair maiden, who's now hangin' on my arm). Your Honor, thanks for lettin' me explain this whole attack, And you, Sir Whatsis, sittin' starin' daggers at my back, In case you're thinking vengeance, sir, there's somethin' you should know That dragon's now my sheepdog, and he wants another go.
Dave 01:53
I had this friend, not close to me, But still someone I liked, and he Had passed away quite suddenly, Had passed away quite suddenly.... "Passed away" -- how soft a phrase, How gently on the heart it plays, It shields you from life's harsher ways, He died, he left, ran out of days, We'd share a laugh, we'd share a tune, And then we'd both move on, I was supposed to see him soon, But now the chance is gone Well, I could tell you 'bout my friend, But it's been said much better than I ever could by other men, No need for me to speak again Except to say at last I see The face of my mortality, The face of Death in front of me, And I won't go the same as he. I make that empty promise now, That I'll choose how to die, A shallow, hopeless, useless vow, But still I've got to try. So take the time to sing your song, Ask those you love to sing along, You'll never know till things go wrong, And then the chance has come and gone. I had this friend, not close to me, But still someone I liked, and he Had passed away quite suddenly, Had passed away quite suddenly....
Well, this is it, the day it ends, the day we say goodbye, You know I'd hoped that we'd stay friends, but you won't even try, You've gone through my possessions, claiming everything in sight, Stuff I got when you weren't with me, but, you know? I just won't fight. 'Cause it's worth it to be rid of you, you can strip the walls and floors, But there's one thing you're not getting, there's one thing that's not yours You can have my new computer, and my favorite easy chair, But there's no way you're getting my stuffed bear Take your hands off Mister Gumpus, he don't belong to you, And I don't want him traumatized just because we're through I've had him since I was a kid, before you were even there, So take... your... hands... off the bear. You can take my games and comic books and every DVD, You can take my leather trenchcoat that looks all Matrixy, You can take my amplifier, and my classic Fender bass, You can take an anvil to the skull, or a smack upside the face But get your hands off Mister Gumpus before you leave for good, Oh, and, by the way, he hugs me better than you ever could, You'd complain when he would shed on you, like your cat has no hair, So take... your... hands... off the bear. The kind of bear that you don't see anymore, The kind of bear that you don't buy from a store, Whenever I would talk to him, you'd laugh at me and nod, And slowly back away, like I was doing... something... odd.... Well, at last our time is over, and I guess it's just as well I'd say don't let the door hit you, but I hope it hurts like hell, And as we part, I'm wondering what you ever saw in me... There's a lump beneath your jacket. Mister Gumpus! Where is he? Take your hands off Mister Gumpus! Now we're brawling in the street, And I didn't know you could punch that hard, or that you had such quick feet, But you're trying to steal my childhood, and it really isn't fair, So take... your frickin' hands... off the bear. Mister Gumpus is between us, and we've both got a good grip, And of course this is the point where Mister Gumpus starts to rip... But I won't risk that, I let him go, you laugh in victory... And Mister Gumpus comes to life, and runs right back to me. You thought you owned Mister Gumpus, but he can't be owned at all, He's been my bestest magic friend since I was three feet tall, You can break my heart and take my stuff, but there's one thing you can't share, So keep... your frickin' hands... off the bear. And when I go to sleep tonight, my bed will not be cold, Mister Gumpus will stay with me, and he won't let me get old, For whatever you and I once had really can't compare... To the love of a boy for his stuffed bear.
As I drive through the mountains, the sky is so cold But the leaves are still green and crimson and gold With the sun shining down, it's so cool and bizarre That I don't even notice when I wreck my car My mom was a singer, a painter as well, She lived with frustration, her art didn't sell, But then she went west and her fortune was made, Though only one millionth of Thomas Kinkade. And life is change and change is good I'm tryin' to write the songs I know I should The ones that touch your soul but all I got Is stuff that sounds important and is not When I was a child, we were so darn poor I had to beg for my first Commodore 64 All my clothing was hand-me-down, never replaced, But I got 'em from sister, and she had good taste I remember the first time I ever had sex, It was down at the pound with a collie named Rex It was really romantic, except that alarm, And it truly prepared me for life on the farm. And I'm trying hard to be profound While everybody yells "Shut up, sit down" There are so many songs about what life is, I'll never understand the music biz. You're s'posed to write about things that affected you intensely The changes in your life that we as humans all can feel But every lyric that I write is used as evidence against me And I don't mean metaphorically, my lawyer's trying to cut a deal. And so my life's in transition, the cycle renews, And I think I know now why I can't write the blues. I've gone through so much since the day I was born And my soul is reflected in my choice of porn. And if you're in transition, it can change your life, It can kill with a word, it can cut like a knife, It's a day at the beach, it's a walk in the park, And I think that my metaphor just jumped the shark. The more things change, the more things change, If you've got something else goin', that's mighty strange But if you want to get on M T V Just set some music to your therapy. There's lots of things that happen every day, And everybody thinks they're doin' okay They never see it coming till it hits, Goin' from high on the hog to bacon bits. And all the changes that your life goes through Are prob'ly gonna impact most on you And when I say "impact", it's not a trope So cover up your head and rope-a-dope And if you still are listening to this song, Please have your head examined, something's wrong I don't have much to say, and I took too long But you suspected that part all along. And if I had a dime for every time I wrote another line just 'cause it rhymed I'd have a lot more dimes than I guess I should But then I understand that change is good And every change you make should be done with care Especially motor oil and underwear. Think of transitions as life's golden cup, Now my producer says to just shut up.


The second iTom collection is a crazed and eclectic mix of brand-new songs, mostly on the subject of change and transition -- from being awake to being asleep, from Republican control of Congress to Democratic, from your S.O. leaving to your self-image leaving, from how much you want to grow up to how much you want to stay a child. Includes the bonus track "An Ecclesiastes For Rose", about the transition between the ninth and tenth Doctors.


released January 26, 2007

Songs written and recorded Nob. 2006-Jan. 2007

Special Thanks to:
Anne Schneider
Leslie Larkins
Jonathan Coulton




Tom Smith Ann Arbor

Weird Al with more books, JoCo with more jokes, Carlin with more Cthulhu. Since 1985, Tom Smith has been breaking hearts, minds, and laws of propriety and physics with his insane blend of sf/fantasy, Life With Computers, pop culture, politics, and puns. More than twenty albums later, he maintains the best is yet to come. ... more

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