Five of Spades: Options


Note: This is a song-like thing. Here is an mp3 of my Mac singing it to approximately the right tune, just so you can get the same tune in your head that I had in mine when I wrote it.

Feel free to make your own recording of it with human vocals and actual music if you wish. I make no claim of being musical, and I probably accidentally copied the tune from something. Sosumi.

If I can’t have this, then I’ll have that
If I can’t have a dog, I’ll have a cat
If I don’t like today there’s always tomorrow
If I can’t be Superman, I’m Bizarro
If I can’t have coffee I’ll have tea
If I can’t have a pool I’ll have the sea
If I can’t have chocolate, I’ll have cakes
If I can’t have cities, I’ll have lakes
But if I can’t have you there are no good fakes
So I’ll be very sad.

Well you can’t always get what you think that you want
But you can get something that’s just as nice
It is not very likely the thing that you crave
Will be the only thing that will suffice

If I can’t have Mars I’ll take the moon
If I can’t be first I’ll be there soon
If I can’t have shuttles, I’ll have Soyuz
If I can’t fly from you I’ll fly for youse
If I can’t have Skylab I’ll have Mir
If I can’t leave Earth then I’ll stay here
If there’s no zigazig I want all your base
If there’s no E.T. I’ll take the human race
But if I can’t have you there’s an empty space
And I’ll be very sad.

Well you can’t always get what you think that you want
But you can always want what you’ve got
It is not very likely the thing that you crave
Will be the only thing to hit the spot

If I can’t have ATLAS there’s CMS
If I can’t find the Higgs I’ll make another guess
If I can’t prove that, I’ll become a believer
If I can’t go to PAX I won’t be a reaver
If I can’t write songs then I’ll still write Things
and if my voice sounds bad my computer sings
If I can’t have Hexley, I’ll have Tux
If I can’t have a princess, I’ll have ducks
But if I can’t have you then that just sucks
And I’ll be very sad

Well you can’t always get what you think that you want
But you can always rehypothesise
It is not very likely the answer you seek
Is the only one that satisfies

If I can’t have some things I’ll have others
If I can’t have sisters I’ll have brothers
If I can’t have rhythm I’ll have rhyme
If I can’t have space then I’ll have time
If I can’t have proof then I’ll have trust
If I can’t make love then I’ll take lust
If I can’t have lovers, I’ll have nudes
And if I can’t have ladies, I’ll have dudes
But I can’t have you so we’ll have feuds
’cause I am very sad

Well you can’t always get with the person you like
but you can always find someone new
It is not very likely the one that you want
Will be the only one that’s meant for you

Well, they say there are plenty more fish in the sea
Though I don’t think they mean that literally
And while I can’t seem to stop the overfishing
I always can be careful what I’m wishing

‘Cause if I can’t be linked then I’ll be free
If I can’t have you there’s another three
And if I can’t have them then I’ll have me
And you’ll be very sad.
But you can deal with that:
Just find another lad.

Options. If you’re in a species numerous enough that you have a reasonable hope of meeting another member of it to possibly mate with, and if you have enough clean water and food to live, and if you can read and write and access the huge repository of knowledge and misinformation and pussycat pictures that is the internet, you probably have some.

I got the idea for this last week, while discussing with a guy who can’t be Superman why I don’t bother pirating things that are difficult or impossible to get by means condoned by their creators. But even though I had the idea and the tune a week in advance, and Friday was a holiday due to Easter, I still didn’t deal the cards and really start writing this until Friday evening. I wanted to add in some instrumentation using various source tracks I have from actual musicians, but in the end I didn’t even have time to perfect the timing of my robot choir‘s singing of it. I did add in some noises from the rainstick I bought in Aruba during JoCo Cruise Crazy II, though, so despite not being a musician, I can proudly claim that all instrumentation is by me.

I should probably have used a male voice for this, since it does say ‘find another lad’ at the end, but I just think Victoria is better at singing. I did discover while recording this that Mac OS X Lion has a whole lot of new voices, which can speak in different accents and different languages, so I’ll have to see if I can get the French ones to sing Les Éléments.

Most of the things in this song were inspired by the cards, or by rhymes with the cards. A few might need explaining, or at least I should introduce you to some new decks. The one with a beach and a pool on it is a Lingo Pix deck, which I’m not sure whether to put with my collection of playing cards or my collection of dictionaries. Each card has a picture on it of something you might want to gesture hilariously about wherever you don’t speak the local language.

You probably can’t read the caption on the lake below that, but it’s Emerald Lakes, Mt. Tongariro. It’s in a land much nicer than Oz, where you can go instead of Emerald City. Next to that is Buzz Aldrin stepping onto the Moon. He wasn’t the first, but he stepped on the moon soon after Neil Armstrong. That’s from the Kennedy Space Center cards I got when I visited Kennedy Space Center before JoCo Cruise Crazy. Below that are cards from other decks I got there; Space Shuttle Columbia before its first launch, and Skylab, from the Space Shuttles and NASA 50 Years decks respectively. Next to Skylab is the ATLAS card, which I also used last time. Below ATLAS is a nude lady, from a deck of cards I found while looking for novelty panties to throw at Paul and Storm.

Apart from obvious card-inspired things, there are a few other references. The line ‘If there’s no zigazig I want all your base’ refers to the zigazig-ha, which is what the Spice Girls really really want, and the zigs you should move when all your base are belong to us. The line ‘If I can’t go to PAX I won’t be a reaver’ refers to the fact that many of my JoCo Cruise Crazy friends are at PAX East this weekend. It also refers to the origin of reavers in the Firefly universe.

Hexley is the mascot for DarwinOS, which forms the core of Mac OS X. Tux is the mascot for Linux, which I suppose I would grudgingly move to if I couldn’t have Mac OS X for some reason. I mainly put those in to rhyme with ‘ducks’, from a playing card. ‘If I can’t have a princess, I’ll have ducks’ refers to a line I enjoy discussing from the science fiction story ‘You Pretty Thing‘: a lifetime of ducks is better than an evening of princesses.

By the way, Bizarro (as seen in the picture linked above) is also writing a small thing a week, which you should check out. The last thing he did was a translation of Clément Marot’s ‘À une demoiselle malade’, as suggested in Douglas R. Hofstadter’s book, ‘Le ton beau de Marot’. I wrote my own translation of that once, translated not to English but into a half-French, half-English poem about a sick Macintosh. Select the text of the message to see some extra notes written in white.

In case you want more of my inept attempts at music, I teamed up with some other non-musicians on the cruise who had bought instruments in Aruba, to form the Souvenir Quartet. Here is our début performance:

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