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Random Play Songwriting Contest

On April 25th, Alan will be hosting an exciting night at the Ottawa International Writersfest, called RANDOM PLAY...

The idea was this: Alan took his i-pod, put it on "random shuffle" and wrote down the first 10 songs that came up. Now he's tasked with analyzing those songs...And on stage to help him present them will be an all-star cast: Jim Bryson, Jenn Grant, Kellylee Evans, Measha Brueggergosman, The Acorn and more!

But we wanted to give you a chance to win tickets to the event too...
by putting your own song-analyzing skills to the test.
Every day this week, Alan will put his i-pod on shuffle and play the first song that pops up.
Your job is to take ONE line of each of these songs, and write a TWO MINUTE tune of your own.

You have until MONDAY the 15th, 9 a.m.,

to send us your tune to

Remember: two minutes or less is your time limit!

Now here are those songs...

(click through for rest of entry)


"Flashbulb" by Minotaurs

When it came through the window

I thought it was going to be the rapture.

But the spinning blade,

the spinning blade kept on spinning.

And my peace of mind it was howling like the wind,

 and everyone was speaking in tongues.

When I took it apart all that I found was crocodile tears
Does anybody know what time it is?

The shots rang out and the flashbulb exploded,

but the camera wasn't loaded.

Stick to the plan, just stick to the plan,

when everybody scatters

and the clubs start a' falling and the wind starts a' blowing.


A Good Man is Hard To Find (Pittsburgh) by Bruce Springsteen

It's cloudy out in Pittsburgh, it's raining in Saigon
Snow's fallin' all across the Michigan line
Well she sits by the lights of her Christmas tree
With the radio softly on
Thinkin' how a good man is so hard to find

Well once she had a fella
Once she was somebody's girl
And she gave all she had that one last time
Now there's a little girl asleep in the back room
She's gonna have to tell about the meanness in this world
And how a good man is so hard to find

Well there's pictures on the table by her bed
Him in his dress greens and her in her wedding white
She remembers how the world was the day he left
And now how that world is dead
And a good man is so hard to find

She ain't got no time now for Casanovas
Yeah those days are gone
She don't want that anymore, she's made up her mind
Just somebody to hold her as the night gets on
When a good man is so hard to find

Well she shuts off the TV and without a word
And into bed she climbs
Well she thinks how it was all so wasted
And how expendable their dreams all were
When a good man was so hard to find

Well it's cloudy out in Pittsburgh
Music Makes Me (Reprise) from Flying Down to Rio (1933)
Music by Youmans/Kahn/Eliscu; dialogue by Caldwell/Brock/Gelsey/Hanemann/Hume; performed by Fred Astaire and chorus
All right, girls sit down, we'll talk this thing over
Now the first thing we've got to do is concentrate, understand?
If we don't.. uh...
Hey boys, wait a minute will ya?
Now the idea is...
Hey Rog!
Listen girls...
Hey Rog,
how do you expect me to teach these follies girls if you don't...
Hey girls.
Now girls, listen!
CHERRY RED (recorded by Esther Phillips, 1972)
written by  Pete Johnson and Joe Turner
Run here pretty baby,
sit down on your momma's knee
I want to tell ev'rybody,
all the things you've been doing to me.
Now if that's your secret,
you better keep it to yourself
'Cause if you tell me,
I'm gonna tell somebody else .
I ain't never,
Lord I ain't never been loved
and I hope I never will
Because this lovin' proposition,
will get a poor body killed.
Lead me, lead me pretty baby,
'cause you know I can be led
Squeeze me
Hold me and squeeze me, pretty baby
until my face turns cherry red.
(And that ain't easy to do, lord knows)
I said, lead me,
 lead me pretty baby,
'cause you know I can be led
I want you to squeeze me
And hold me and squeeze me, pretty baby
until my face turns cherry red.
I said squeeze me, hold me, lead me
And keep squeezing me.
I want you to come on here, come on here,
Squeeze me,
Until my face turns cherry red.
Blackout (Miss Emily Brown, 2010)
Music and lyrics Miss Emily Brown
Rope tie a rope
from the barn to the farmhouse,
follow that rope through the blinding snow.
Rope tie a rope
leave the bread by the road,
or the dark dark stranger will be knocking at the door.
Rope tie a rope
 from the F to the C#
D# G# - rope tie a rope.
Rope tie a rope
from the silent picture
to the organ player who is sitting in the dark.
Blackout, dust-bowl, miles of nothing,
brand new theatre, armoury, parlour.
Blackout memory, children swimming,
fields are flooding, mother is singing.
Rope tie a rope
from the youngest sibling
to the eldest living
in the mother country.
Rope tie a rope -
they are weeks on a boat,
God bless that ship, the Aquatania.
Rope tie a rope
from the last word written
to the first word spoken on his safe return.
Rope tie a rope
from yourself to your neighbour,
streetlight's gone and the moon is waning.
Blackout bicycle, midnight riders,
your hands fixing Halifax bombers.
Blackout telegram, short-hand lovers,
stay indoors and stoke the home fires.
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