Tag Archives: singing

Franny the Fish (a love song)

FRANNY THE FISH by Laura Munson

(Written when I was 24 years old. Living in Seattle. Upon the occasion of my goldfish, Franny’s, impending death.)

Goes a little something like this: (finger picked. Melancholy. A bit of schtick, but not too much.  Think “tortured” artist.  I used to sing this to my kids until they were old enough to say, “ENOUGH!  STOP THE INSANITY.”  Enjoy.)

 

Cmaj7

I’m just sitting here

Am

Watching my goldfish die

Am7                                     D

Sipping on a nice cold beer.

 

Cmaj7

Now she lies upon her side,

Am

At the top of her fish bowl

Am7                                                       G

Screaming silent pleas to a phony tide.

 

D                   G

Poor Franny

D                                                    G

Fighting for the life inside a bowl

D                                                     G

Maybe if you let yourself slip over

D7                                                      G

You’ll find your very pretty fish soul.

 

D                                               G

Not to say that your life is over

D                                                     G

But I must admit it looks pretty grim

D                                                                     G

When you’re floating sideways on the water

D7                                                     G

And it’s all that you can do to swim.

 

Cmaj7

Suddenly she sees herself

Am

In the glass, her eyes half mast

Am7                                                        D

And flaps a prideful fin in token health.

 

Cmaj7

Oh I could tap to show I’m here

Am

Oh Franny I’m sorry

Am7                                                             G

That I am just another outside force of fear.

 

D                                                             G

Frankly I must tell you one thing darlin’

D                                                  G

There’s no point in being a heroine

D                                                              G

You’re not salmon whale or even marlin

D7                                                                         G

You’re a bourgeois fish outside your bowl or in.

 

D                                                                           G

So with these last mournful chords I leave you

D                                                    G

Then a tear and a prayerful hush

D                                                                         G

I’ll scoop you up and help you to the next life

D7                                                  G

Drop you in the toilet…and flush.

 

D                                                            G

Oh a eulogy for you my dear fish Franny.

D                                                                G

Your plight seems like my own dim destiny

D                                                                         G

But instead of going with you down the sewer

D7                                                    G  (big finish!)

I go three times a week for therapy!

 

(…and  just as I was about to flush her, she sprang alive and lived another six months. Zooey didn’t last very long after her parting, his heart being broken.)

 

 

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Free Boys.

I haven’t put my kids’ faces on my blog before, but I just couldn’t resist this. My son and his dear friend made up a song and they sing it all the time. May we all sing. And sing. And make up songs. And smile. And shout them. And share them. Without self-consciousness. Yes is a world that children well know. I want to live in that world. (my kid is the one on the right.)

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A Guest Post for the Huffington Post

“Rain Song”

Click here to read!

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Rain Songs

rain_songRain Songs by Laura Munson

(as seen on the Huffington Post:  click here)

I used to sing.  On purpose.  In choirs and in singing groups…starting from the time I was a little girl, up until a few years ago when the band I was in broke up. 

 I used to sing to my kids every night—lie in bed with them and sing old folk tunes.  My daughter was born with perfect pitch and an ear for harmony so before she was old enough to form complex sentences, she’d hum along a third higher than my note.  My son didn’t like my songs though.  He said they gave him “the fire feeling” which I finally figured out was a severe reaction to the sadness so abundant in folk tunes.  He doesn’t like sadness.  He’ll never be a writer.  Not so sure about my daughter, who is more interested in the way the heart lifts and falls.

 She says that I don’t sing anymore.  She says that the only time I sing is when I’m angry with her.  “How so?” I ask.  She confesses to playing a little trick on me.  When I start getting aggravated, she starts singing, and apparently, I break into song too and the argument is diffused.  She’s brilliant.  But she shouldn’t have told me.  Because I’d like to believe that there’s still a part of me that bursts into song without meaning to from time to time.  And now I’ll notice and I’ll stop. 

 Singing hurts for some reason. 

Probably because all the people I used to sing with, are gone now.  Starting with my grandmother who wanted to be an opera singer but was sexually harassed by her professor and returned home to her high school sweetheart.  She’d put me to bed and pat my back and sing Lullabye in a way too good for most childhood bedtimes.  I loved that I got to be that special.         

And my father, in church and in our own private variety shows in the living room—The bells are ringing for me and my gal—a song and dance duo with an audience of one or two but we didn’t care.  We’d still get butterflies beforehand. 

My years of choirs—all so far from my small Montana town—especially the Trinity Church choir in Boston.  That was pure medicine, those years singing alto in that choir.  One time my dear friend, the then choir master, took us into the church and played the organ for me while I lay on my back on the altar in the dark, eight months pregnant, knowing my baby was getting those pipe songs deep in its waters.  The years of sitting on the front porch singing in four part harmony with my girl band and playing guitar, gone too.  Those sorts of chapters in a person’s life seem only to last so long.  The first thing to go, like the dentist bill is the last to be paid.  It’s a shame.  To lose a thing like singing.  Reckless, even.

I went on a road trip recently.  I drove hundreds of miles over mountain passes thick with flaxen larch trees to remind myself how my small Montana town is stitched to the ocean.  (Click here to read more)

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