A song about dreams, wishes and puppy dogs.
This is possibly the saddest, sappiest song Dolly Parton ever recorded.
So why does it give me chills?
You’ll have to wait until next week for the details, but ohmidog! is moving, and since we’re not sure how much time we’ll have to post stories in the days ahead, we bring you this three-day musical interlude.
Dog songs, of course — the first by a singer-songwriter once named Cat. (“I Love My Dog” was the first song Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, released.)
We’ll be back with fresh dog news next week, good Lord and internet connections permitting, once we’re semi-resettled..
Readers of ohmidog! and its sister website, Travels with Ace, may remember that our year-long trip, following the route John Steinbeck took with his poodle Charley, came to an end when I moved into my birthplace — a little apartment in Winston-Salem, N.C. that just happened to be for rent when Ace and I felt the need to, at least temporarily, settle down.
Having all but finished up the book version of Travels with Ace, and learning that our landlord has sold our unit, we debated hitting the road again and also started looking for a possible new place in the area to call home.
Trying to locate a particular one of those, we got lost. As was the case on our trip, all the best things seem to be found when you’re lost. We ended up in a different town, very nearby, where we stumbled upon a little non-historic house for rent, across the street from an historic one.
We’ll tell you about it next week. For now, we’ll just give you a clue as to our new hometown: It was established in 1759, has a population of about 350, and was the first planned Moravian settlement in North Carolina.
The first correct guesser — whose guess comes in the form of a comment — wins a copy of my first book, Dog, Inc.
Everyone else has to help me move.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 27th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cat stevens, dog inc., dog songs, dogs, i love my dog, move, moving, music, ohmidog!, pets, song, travels with ace
Written with LA songwriter/producer Rich Jacques, the song represents a departure for her. Most of her songs, she says, are “thematically intense.”
“I wanted to create something light, fun, and feel-good for the holidays,” she said.
For the video, Foster, who has a dog named Bug, invited submissions of photos of pets celebrating the holidays.
“Mom always told me I should write a Christmas song,” she notes on her website (where the song can be purchased and downloaded). “At the time, being a little younger, I thought that seemed cheesy … like something Barbra Streisand or Kenny Rogers would do.
“But as I get a little older, and hopefully wiser, I am very clear that ‘cheese’ is good. It’s endearing, in fact, and it makes people FEEL good. I love cheese!!!”
Foster says she and Jacques worked on the song at her home, finishing up at 2 a.m. on Dec. 5, which, she notes, was her mother’s birthday.
“It would have been Mom’s 74th birthday. I hadn’t planned that out or even thought about it. Pretty sweet… ”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: christmas, christmas time is here, donation, downloads, fundraising, funds, hope for paws, jen foster, profits, rescue, singer, song, songwriter
DEVO’s Jerry Casale has released, “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” a song that mocks Mitt Romney for strapping his Irish setter, in a crate, to the roof of his car on a family vacation trip.
The new single, subtitled “Seamus Unleashed,” was written by Casale and will be released in conjunction with a game app titled The Crate Escape: Seamus Unleashed.
The song and the game will launch August 26, which is both National Dog Day and the day before the Republican National Convention.
In releasing the single, DEVO joined forces with Dogs Against Romney, an online advocacy group with more than 70,000 members on Facebook, to help call attention to Mitt Romney’s “crate-gate” scandal.
Have a listen:
“I can’t overstate how excited we are to have DEVO’s Gerald Casale as a partner with us in making sure every voter in America knows Mitt Romney strapped his dog, Seamus, to the roof of his car for a 12-hour trip to Canada,” said Scott Crider, founder of Dogs Against Romney. “The new DEVO song Gerald created with his bandmates is awesome, and I believe it will be the soundtrack for Romney’s defeat in November.”
DEVO recorded the song as an anthem for pet lovers and as a message to others to never forget what happened to Seamus in 1983, when the Romneys drove from Boston to Ontario with the dog crated on the roof of their station wagon.
The single will be available at all digital music retailers; the game is initially being launched as an app on iTunes.
“We are delighted to have a new DEVO song as part of our game’s offering,” said Andy Berryman, chief marketing officer for Censault, LLC, the game’s developer. “It’s exciting to break new ground in the mobile/social gaming space – first as a game that is both fun to play and promotes a positive social message, and now as a new distribution medium for popular music.”
More info on the game can be found at www.facebook.com/CrateEscapeGame.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Casale, who has raised funds for Obama in Akron through a DEVO performance, said of Romney’s nearly 30-year-old mistake, ”It’s just a deal-breaker about the man … What you want in a leader is a guy with some humanity at his core … I think any animal lover that hears the story will learn so much about the character flaw of Romney.”
DEVO may include the song in its act when it tours America this fall with Blondie, he said.
While the song may or may not become the 1970′s-80′s-era band’s first hit in a long, long time, it has already gotten off to a better start than my suggestion for a Seamus song, a reworking of the Pink Floyd tune of the same name.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, app, campaign, canada, car, censault, crate, crate gate, devo, dog, dogs, dogs against romney, don't roof rack me bro, game, ipad, irish setter, jerry casale, listen, mitt romney, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, preview, released, ride, romney, roof, scott crider, seamus, seamus unleashed, single, song, the crate escape, vacation
Our original plan was to simply post this song and dedicate it to Marylanders who have pit bull type dogs as companions — they being stressed out now over the state’s highest court badmouthing their loved ones, and the implications that might carry.
But then, as sometimes happens, we got fascinated with its backstory, and attempted to pin down the song’s history, which is difficult to do nowadays with all the bogus flotsam — like pit bull myths — that bobs to the surface on the Internet.
We think we got to the root of it, though, and we still dedicate it to Maryland pit bull owners, whose dogs aren’t nearly as “inherently dangerous” as sweeping, ill-informed court rulings.
To them we dedicate all three versions of the song we’re showing you here, even the Yugoslavian one.
We began, above, with one by Lulu Belle and Scotty, a husband and wife, both now deceased, from the mountains of North Carolina. It was recorded during a radio performance, which Lulu Belle only slightly flubbed.
Next we offer you this rendition — combining a 1926 recording by Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers with some Walt Disney animation, circa 1924, in which a dog catcher gets his due. Don’t try this at home, for it would make you a terrorist, and, in the U.S., only courts and governments are allowed to instill terror.
It cuts the song short, leaving out a last verse, so here are the full lyrics:
Me and old Lem Briggs and old Bill Brown
Took a load of corn to town
Old Jim dog, the on’ery pup
He just naturally followed us up
Every time I come to town
The boys go to kicking my dog around
Makes no difference if he’s a hound
Ya gotta quit kicking my dog around
As we driv’ past the country store
A passel of yaps came out the door
Jim he scooted behind a box
Showered him with sticks and rocks
They tied a tin can to his tail
And run him past the county jail
That just naturally makes me sore
Bill he cussed and Lem he swore
Me and Lem Briggs and old Bill Brown
Lost no time a-getting down
We whupped them fellers to the ground
For kickin’ my old dog, Jim, around
Jim seed his duty there and then
He sure let into those gentlemen
He sure messed up that townhouse square
With rags and meat and hide and hair
While Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers are credited with first recording the song, it was written 14 years earlier and copyrighted in 1912 by Webb M. Oungst and Cy Perkins, a pseudonym for Mrs. William Stark, wife of a famous publisher of ragtime music.
Mrs. Stark used the pseudonym, it is said, because she was afraid the song would be rejected if it was known that a woman had written it.
The same year, Champ Clark, a Missouri Democrat adopted it as his theme song in his campaign for the presidential nomination. He lost. Woodrow Wilson won.
Given the exposure, though, the song became briefly popular, and Witmark & Sons purchased the copyright for $10,000. Some accounts say the payments weren’t met, which led to a lawsuit.
The Second Missouri Infantry chose it as their marching song, and there are those who have pushed over the years for it to become the state song, which given the state’s not yet totally forgotten and overcome reputation for puppy mills probably would be a mistake.
I think it makes a better theme song for pit bulls, for no breed or type of dog gets more kicked around than them.
Here’s the original sheet music
And here’s the version recorded by Yugoslavian — back when it was still Yugoslavia — pop singer Diego Varagic, “Krcma Na Putu Za Tenesi.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: appeals court, campaign, campaign song, candidate, champ clark, diego varagic, folk, gid tanner, history, inherently dangerous, lulu belle and scotty, maryland, missouri, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, presidential, ragtime, sheet music, skillet lickers, song, versions, video, walt disney, who wrote, ya gotta quit kickin' my dog around, you gotta quick kicking my dog around, yugoslavia
Here’s seven-year-old Ava Hudak singing about her dog, Hank.
The song was written and the video produced with help from her aunt, Jes Hudak.
Our recent post about Bobby, a Nicaraguan street dog, drew a comment from Mary Graham Bliss, the founder and executive director of Practical Small Projects, a non-profit organization that works to create health, education, and income-generating opportunities in West Africa.
She wrote to share a song, written and performed by her husband, Evan Bliss, who lives with her in Nicaragua.
Last year, they rescued a starving dog from the street in Nicaragua, and named her Tila. In addition to being “the most precious gift to our family,” Tila inspired Evan to write “Sweet Dog,” a song dedicated to rescuing stray dogs in the impoverished world where shelter systems often do not exist.
“The idea was to show people what amazing and loyal pets these dogs can make if given a chance. We also hope the images and song will inspire others to consider adoption and rescuing,” Mary wrote. “Tila will be traveling with us to Haiti for our next assignment.”
Evan Bliss, a Billboard Songwriting Contest-winning singer/songwriter from Washington, says on the song’s YouTube page that “Sweet Dog” is “the most important piece of music/art I have done to date. I have witnessed first hand how far off our preconceptions about stray/street dogs are and how vital it is to dismantle any misleading ‘facts.’ I was inspired to write, record, and create a video in order to share this idea with the world and to honor such deserving and beautiful animals.
“My wife opened my eyes to this dire situation, living in Nicaragua opened my mind to the reality of it, and our pride and joy Tila (our rescued stray dog) opened our hearts to sheer beauty that can arise from despair. I love this song and it is my hope that you share this with people that know or need to know about this often overlooked global issue.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoption, africa, animals, bobby, dogs, evan bliss, mary graham bliss, music, nicaragua, pets, poverty, practical small projects, rescued, singer, song, songwriter, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, sweet dog, tila, video
Given that the story of Mitt Romney’s dog, Seamus, refuses to disappear, some are suggesting “Seamus,” the old Pink Floyd song, should be revived as well, and perhaps played during his opponent’s campaign rallies.
The lyrics, what little there are of them, don’t exactly fit the tale of Romney’s dog and his 12-hour rooftop ride to Canada, but the 1971 song does have a sad and bluesy feel that seems just right.
Perhaps a slight reworking of the words could make it even more relevant to the 30-year-old story that David Letterman, Rick Santorum and others refuse to stop talking about – how the Romney family dog rode in a crate on the car roof to a family vacation, with a stop to hose him down after he soiled himself.
Here are the real lyrics of the Pink Floyd song, which already features haunting, dog-like howls:
I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, that’s the dog, was outside.
Well, I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, my old hound, was outside.
Well, you know the sun was sinkin’ slowly,
But my old hound dog sat right down and cried
Here are some suggested new ones (and yes, they are for sale), just in case Pink Floyd has any interest in redoing the song:
My dog was on the car roof
I was nice and comfy inside
Seamus, he didn’t mind it
A 12-hour trip, bonafide
Now, you know, I want to run the country
I hope that you don’t mind a bumpy ride
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, campaign, crate, david letterman, dog, dogs, hose, irish setter, lyrics, mitt romney, new, new lyrics, new version, opponents, pets, pink floyd, presidency, republican, rewritten, rick santorum, romney, roof, rooftop, seamus, song, suggested, the story of seamus, trip, vacation, video
Nancy Schutt was painting pictures of dogs.
Rich Reising and his son were writing a country song about dogs.
Like chocolate and peanut butter, they came together, Reese’s Cup style, merging their projects into the video above.
Rich, who has three Jack Russells, wrote the song, “Life Was So Much Better With You There,” with his son Dan, much of it by exchanging emails. That’s Dan Reising performing it.
“When it was finished, I brought it to work to play for some ‘dog loving’ friends,” Rich said. “When I saw their reaction to it, I wanted other dog lovers to enjoy it.”
Rich was contemplating posting it on YouTube when he crossed paths with Nancy Schutt, who was contemplating posting a video of her artworks on YouTube.
“So we took the paintings she planned on using and arranged them in an order to go with the story of ’Better With You There,’” Rich said.
“From the feedback we have gotten … we think we got it right — so many nice letters on how it reminds people of their lost loved ones.”
Rich reports that any profits made from the song being downloaded — from Napster, iTunes, Rhapsody, etc. — will go to Hearts United for Animals in Nebraska.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, artist, better with you there, country, dan reising, death, dog, dog art, dog lovers, dogs, grief, life was so much better with you there, loss, loved ones, memorial, music, nancy schutt, paintings, partnership, pet, pets, rich reising, song, tribute, video, youtube