WikiRiffs Volume One

by WikiRiffs

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about

WikiRiffs is a project started in 2010 by UK songwriter Jonny Ardern. Every week a song is written about a Random Article from Wikipedia, made into a music video and uploaded to YouTube.
youtube.com/WikiRiffs
Volume One is the first album of material written for the WikiRiffs project.

credits

released March 9, 2011

Jonny Ardern - Guitars, vocals, programming
Kristina Casto - Additional vocals

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about

WikiRiffs Brighton, UK

WikiRiffs is a YouTube-based songwriting project which began in September 2010. Each week (more or less) I click "Random Article" on Wikipedia and write a song about whatever comes up first. Whilst the articles that appear are mostly pretty obscure, I strive to make the quality of songwriting and video-making as high as possible. ... more

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Track Name: WVNY
If you live in the state of Vermont there’s only one place you go
The station for your favourite syndication television show
Like Deal or No Deal, Family Feud
And Who Wants to be a Millionaire (I do!)
They aren’t paying me to say this but I promise you, dude,
it’s a station beyond compare

They call it ABC 22, WVNY
It’s owned by LLC, it broadcasts quality TV
To that portion of America, my oh my,
And its newscasting attempts aren’t always up to snuff
but to casual TV watchers the game shows are enough
So if you live in Burlington or somewhere nearby
you can tune your television in to WVNY

From the Mount Mansfield transmitter to the HD Plasma in your front room
Channel 13 will give you something to alleviate the gloom
‘cause Everybody Loves Raymond, yes it’s true
Sometimes we even love Debra too
If you’re a couch potato there’s no better place to be
Than in the comfortable alphabet of ABC

They call it ABC 22, WVNY
It’s owned by LLC, it broadcasts quality TV
To that portion of America, my oh my,
And its newscasting attempts aren’t always up to snuff
but to casual TV watchers the game shows are enough
So if you live in Burlington or somewhere nearby
you can tune your television in to WVNY

And if you’re a Canadian, what the heck
Its broadcasting radius reaches Quebec
Any Montreal residents won’t be left behind
Because even in French Canada I think you’ll find

They call it ABC 22, WVNY
It’s owned by LLC, it broadcasts quality TV
To that portion of America, my oh my,
And its newscasting attempts aren’t always up to snuff
but to casual TV watchers the game shows are enough
So if you live in Burlington or somewhere nearby
you can tune your television set to WVNY
Track Name: Glenlara GAA
The year is 1939 and Europe is at war
The Nazi party’s angering the English boys nextdoor
But here in County Cork we’re a sporting bunch of folk
We spend our days in different ways as the world goes up in smoke

We’ll pick the finest we can find from the nearest mile or two
Get all the boys with courage for their footballing debut
We’ll don our boots by the oak tree roots, paint me black and green
We’ll be the fearsome warriors, The Glenlara fifteen;
And we’ll play the finest football County Cork has ever seen.

The local teams can keep their dreams of how they’re tall and tough
We’ll show the boys at Newmarket we’re made of sterner stuff
The black and whites at Kiskeam are no match for The Glen
And we’ll see how Boherbue do against fifteen angry men

We’ll pick the finest we can find from the nearest mile or two
Get all the boys with courage for their footballing debut
We’ll don our boots by the oak tree roots, paint me black and green
We’ll be the fearsome warriors, The Glenlara fifteen;
And we’ll play the finest football County Cork has ever seen.
Track Name: Gates, Oregon
Welcome to Gates, Oregon, population four-seven-one in two thousand
recently revised to five-oh-five
Established eighteen-eighty-two, changed its name in ten years time
covers nought point six square miles
covers nought point six square miles

And the people of Gates sit and await the tide
but there’s no water in sight,
Eighty-seven point four seven white
Sitting on the county line
Spare a thought when you pass through
maybe stopping to provide us with a smile
and ninety-nine point nine percent of your time

Welcome to Gates, Oregon, where we don’t feel put upon
by the income median of thirty five thousand dollars
for the men, women more like thirty-one
signs of sexist segregation?
margins called into question
Where did your kids get their education from?
Gates school is elementary
They go to high school in Mill City
They go to high school in Mill City

And the city of Gates sits and awaits the tide
but there’s no water in sight,
Eighty-seven point four seven white
Sitting on the county line
Spare a thought when you pass through
maybe stopping to provide us with a smile
and ninety-nine point nine percent of your time

Living on pacific time, summer spent in DST
Area code is five-oh-three,
that’s what I’m led to believe, sitting here at nine hundred and forty-five feet,
between Linn and Marion County
between Linn and Marion County

And the people of Gates sit and await the tide
but there’s no water in sight,
Eighty-seven point four seven white
Sitting on the county line
Spare a thought when you pass through
maybe stopping to provide us with a smile
and ninety-nine point nine percent of your time
Track Name: Grand Hotel Prishtina
I’m stuck in a lift at the Grand Hotel Prishtina
Stuck in the gap between the fourth floor and the fifth
The lift is broken and I’m hoping someone knows
because I’ve spoken to no-one since six a.m.
I guess I’ll press the call button again.

I’m stuck in a lift at the Grand Hotel Prishtina
Being slowly driven mad by “Girl From Ipanema”
The lift is broken and I’m hoping someone knows
because the bossa nova won’t be over any time soon
Unless they put on “Fly Me To The Moon”.

Waiting for an engineer to come and let me out
I don’t know if they will hear me if I start to shout
I’d rather have calypso, give me island in the sun
claustrophobic bossa nova is not so fun!

I’m stuck in a lift at the Grand Hotel Prishtina
I’m a laughing hyena, I’m a nervous wreck
The lift is broken and I’m hoping someone knows
because I chose to leave my mobile phone elsewhere
I have to say this all seems quite unfair

Waiting for an engineer to come and let me out
I don’t know if they will hear me if I start to shout
I’d rather have calypso, give me island in the sun
claustrophobic bossa nova is not so fun!

I’m stuck in a lift at the Grand Hotel Prishtina
listening to One Note Samba being played on an Ocarina
The lift is broken and I’m hoping someone knows
but I suppose I could break out and try to climb
Because I have to go check out in five minutes’ time.
Track Name: Bagshot (Disambiguation)
Bagshot is a Surrey town
Had trouble with highwaymen way back when
Now people protested when the bank shut down
But it wasn’t enough to save it then
There’s a cricket club and a football team
And a village plan with a community theme

And if you’re a mountain biker or an enthusiastic hiker
Swinley Forest (or ‘Bagshot Heath’) will feed your habits
and far beneath are the Bagshot beds
consisting of sand, loam and clay
And to this day they stretch right to the sea
Displaying interesting geology

At Bagshot park they’ve got a sense of humour
I’m pretty sure this isn’t just an unfounded rumour
There’s a sign by the pond that says
“Please do not walk on the water”,
it says “Please do not walk on the water”!
Well done to the folks who put it there
because that’s hilarious.

There was a witch by the name of Bathilda
No longer with us, the Dark Lord killed her
Could have been helpful to Harry Potter
She was all good until Voldemort got her
Bagshot, b-b-Bathilda Bagshot
b-b-Bathilda Bagshot, b-b-Bathilda Bagshot, b-b-Bathilda!
Her existence was imperative
To the cohesion of the narrative

When it was designed the Bristol Bagshot was considered futuristic
And the mood in nineteen-twenty-four was somewhat optimistic
No existing aircraft could possibly compete
With the Bristolian design of the biplane elite
The Type 95 was fated not to fly
Beyond its maiden voyage on the fifteenth of July
For it was feared the wings would shear and fall out of the sky...

We come at last to Bagshot row
Where hobbits live and green trees grow
If you ask a local they would reply
That their good friend Bilbo lives nearby
When he’s not on those adventures with magic rings
wizards and dwarves and elven kings
But as long as there’s rain there’s grass to mow
And the hobbits will live their lives on bagshot row.
Track Name: Union State Bank, North Dakota
Going to the bank, bank, I’m gonna get some cash, cash
Got my walking sneakers on and now I’m looking real flash
Got my wallet in my pocket gonna get me some dollar
If your boys and girls want to come with me just holla

If you live in North Dakota and you make a tidy quota
Get your dollar bills down to the Union State
The headquarters in Pell City is where you should take your pretty
‘cause you wanna get this interest rate

Going to the bank, bank, I’m gonna get some cash
I’m just walking, why you talking all your trailer park trash?
Got my purse and my converse and now I need a cashier
You’re just hating ‘cause I’m waiting for my cheques to clear

If you live in North Dakota and you make a tidy quota
Get your dollar bills down to the Union State
the headquarters in Pell City is where you should take your pretty
‘cause you wanna get this interest rate.

Going to the bank
The Union State
Track Name: Leptocleididae
We’re a family of pliosaurs
Making our home on the British shores
We’re a-roaming the prehistoric
post-jurassic and pre-meteoric
We’re the ones with the blue-grey flanks
Colonising the riverbanks

Our name is kinda hard to say out loud
and I know we’re small but we’re always proud
of the heritage we display
we’re Leptocleidiae

Although I’m big and I like to explore
I’m technically not a dinosaur
My appetite may seem rapacious
But it’s a harsh world in the early cretaceous
we’re technically reptilian
somewhere near crocodilian

My fins are taking me far away
To where the city of London will be one day
I’m swimming across the ocean
cultivating some perpetual motion
One day my fossilised bones will be found
buried deep beneath the ground

Our name is kinda hard to say out loud
and I know we’re small but we’re always proud
of the heritage we display
we’re Leptocleidiae
hey, hey.
Track Name: Rhode Island Route 402
Driving to North Kingstown, smiling the whole way
reclining in a slick chevy, shining on a sunny day
We’re not gonna stop, yeah, we’re just passing through
riding Rhode Island Route 402

On a road inbetween two towns
gasoline and breakdowns
A state highway one point two miles long
East Greenwich is fading behind, soon enough we’ll find
a town where we belong...

The engine is quaking, it’s shaking the grease and grime
We’re braking for the next exit, taking our sweet time
The windows are down and the sky is so blue
riding Rhode Island Route 402

On a road inbetween two towns
gasoline and breakdowns
A state highway one point two miles long
East Greenwich is fading behind, soon enough we’ll find
a town where we belong...

The lights of North Kingstown are drawing us near
As we’re taking our exit it’s becoming clear
Our destination’s a place far away from here
Track Name: Pomacea Glauca
In the clear, clean water where a proper gastropod ought to be
In the lakes of South America
There’s a bright green cluster comprised of eggs the size of a pea
lying perpendicular; nothing in particular
happens for a couple of weeks
then slowly but surely an antenna peeks out of a shell
they bid their eggs a fond farewell

And go to become upstanding members of gastropod society
They’re all freshwater snails of the Pomacea Glauca variety
ah-ah-ah-iety

They have a shell of pale yellow with a mellow disposition to boot
With brown spiral stripes
But the colours often vary in shades ranging from scary to cute
when they need to procreate, they can find a mate
in any snail they want to woo,
‘cause chances are they’re hermaphroditic too and when they’re done
all their daughters will be sons

And go to become upstanding members of gastropod society
They’re all freshwater snails of the Pomacea Glauca variety
ah-ah-ah-iety
Track Name: Just The Way I Am
In October when the rain
was fallin’ down the windowpane
On the sleeve she was a-walking, walking in her pretty dress
blessed with sun and happiness
smiling by a tree

In a world that’s full of wrongs
Dolly played the good old songs
In the good old days when times were bad enough to sing about
Shouting like we’re falling out
gypsy, joe and me.

It’s just the way I am, little bird
mama say a prayer, little bird
Nothing warms my heart more than listening to Dolly Parton
When outside the rain’s starting to fall...

Dolly’s sweet and dulcet tones
music to my gramaphones
Pickwick records picked it up for late inspired re-release
In ninety-nine I found my peace
playing on CD

Put the album on
the good old days aren’t gone
the golden age
and nothing warms my heart more than listening to Dolly Parton
In the good old days when times were bad enough to sing about
Shouting like we’re falling out
gypsy, joe and me.

It’s just the way I am, little bird
mama say a prayer, little bird (my blue ridge mountain boy)
Nothing warms my heart more than listening to Dolly Parton
When outside the rain’s starting to fall...
‘cause recently it seems as though the sun don’t shine at all.
Track Name: The Ballad of David Terrien
Gather round for a story of automobiles and romance
Our hero begins by replacing his expired tyres in a pit stop in France

David Terrien was the talk of the town
A racing car driver of greatest renown
from Nantes where the wine and the women are pure
like the Loire that flows to the atlantic shore

He would drive his car in the races of Formula Three
Like a shooting star
He was blazing a trail to his holy grail,
the podium at the grand prix

It is here that our tale will come to a climax at last
He’s gaining a lead on the driver in front, who will shunt him before he has passed

David Terrien grits his teeth and decides
to trust his reflexes, his instincts, guides
his car past the leader, who gives him a nudge
then the steering locks up and the wheel won’t budge

He would drive his car in the races of Formula Three
Like a shooting star
He was blazing a trail to his holy grail,
the podium at the grand prix

But the rival has problems with his automotive as well
First Terrien’s car takes a hit, now his rival’s emitting a burning smell

And his rival’s gone in a pillar of smoke
The steering’s correcting, he’s going for broke
And before his mind’s eye are the terrible flashes
replaying the losses, the spin-outs, the crashes
his foot’s to the floor and he can’t take no more
And the engine is churning, the tires are raw
He’s burning the last of the fuel in his car
and he’s crossing the line and he waves au revoir
to the crowd of spectators and then he is gone
In a huge cloud of dust but his legend lives on
the tale of a driver who’s more than a man...
and his name was David Terrien.
Track Name: Ashland Township
My friends and I found ourselves in a bar despite
not having found a motel to stay the night
Being designated driver I was only drinking pepsi
which caught the eye of the girl who served me
She introduced herself as Ashley Townsend
I ask if there’s a place to stay she can recommend
She says she gets off work in a minute or two

She’s got a photographic memory, she studies sociology, and says as she sips on a rootbeer
“You’re clearly not one of the two thousand seven hundred
and twenty four people from round here...”
she steps closer to me and the room around us blurs
and I’m glad of all the townships in all the county I had to walk into hers...

In the Ashland Township, Saunders County, Nebraska
I gathered up the courage to ask her out
hand on my heart like a good boy scout
and there was no doubt in my mind
that she was the most intelligent girl I’d find
and I met her on a road trip when we were passing through the Ashland Township

And when the morning came it was crystal clear
of all the places I’ve been I think I belong here
I realised in the light of the morning sun
the population of Ashland has grown by one
I tell my friends to go enjoy the open road
Without me they will have a lighter load
But they can come back and visit any time

I’ve got a girlfriend to look out for me, a whole new opportunity to take life just as I find it
But she says she wants to explore, asks my friends if there’s room for one more, if they mind it
We sit in the back seat and the road behind us blurs
and I’m glad of all the townships in all the county I had to walk into hers

In the Ashland Township, Saunders County, Nebraska
I gathered up the courage to ask her out
hand on my heart like a good boy scout
and there was no doubt in my mind
that she was the most intelligent girl I’d find
and I met her on a road trip when we were passing through the Ashland Township

Goodbye Nebraska, hello world
Track Name: USS R-18
We’re bidding the port a farewell
Delve suddenly into the ocean swell
It swallows up our submarine
Dive, dive in the USS R-18

And now it seems my world is black
And I can’t go back
Diving to the ocean floors
the uncharted shores

Adrift in the water’s embrace
Seems airy, such a solitary place
We surface and float on the tide
breathe deeply then we burrow back inside

And now it seems my world is black
And I can’t go back
Diving to the ocean floors
the uncharted shores

The waters we’re bound to patrol
come closer to devouring us whole
The ocean around us unseen
I’ll never leave USS R-18
Track Name: Fearne Cotton
Fearne Cotton, I’m concerned my life’s been rotten
Ever since they took Top of the Pops off TV
I really miss you and Reggie
I remember watching the disney club and diggit
back when I could commit to getting up at ten past seven
for a slice of TV heaven
presented by Fearne Cotton

I’ve always been a fan of Fearne Cotton
ever since her career began
I wonder if she would stop on the street
if we should meet
maybe she’d tweet that she had met me

Fearne Cotton
Lately I believe I’ve gotten a little obsessed
there’s a lot on my mind
but the one thing you will consistently find
Is a certain presenter
You are the centre of my universe
for better or for worse I watched Eurovision
Way back in two thousand and seven
presented by Fearne Cotton

Even my mother has to admit I’m smitten
despite the fact she’s always mistaking you for Fern Britton

You are my favourite pescatarian
I don’t like eating fish that much but veganism’s scary
and I couldn’t give up dairy...

I’ve always been a fan of Fearne Cotton
ever since her career began
I wonder if she would stop on the street
if we should meet
maybe she’d tweet that she had met me

Fearne Cotton
I imagine you’ve forgotten
The time I called in to your Radio 1 show
I just wanted to say hello
Oh Fearne, I heard you spurned my affections
expected you would return my attentions
but I learned you’re engaged to Jesse Jenkins

I’ve always been a fan of Fearne Cotton
ever since her career began
I wonder if she would stop on the street
if we should meet
maybe she’d tweet that she had met me
maybe she’d tweet that she had met me.
Track Name: United States Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War
Well those Confederates do seem to have us backed against the wall
We’re gonna have to find a scapegoat if we want to win at all
We’ll form an organisation like none you’ve seen before:
the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.

for the glory of our nation we endorse emancipation
So we can send black soldiers off to help us in the fight
That beardy guy Abe Lincoln’s been doing too much thinkin’
and our country’s sinkin’ deeper into its plight
and we know that ain’t right.

The Union got beaten at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff
We thought our boys had balls ‘emselves but they didn’t have enough
Retreatists or defeatists got a lot to answer for
at the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.

for the glory of our nation we endorse emancipation
So we can send black soldiers off to help us in the fight
That beardy guy Abe Lincoln’s been doing too much thinkin’
and our country’s sinkin’ deeper into its plight
and we know that ain’t right.

So Gettysburg was farsical, I think we’re all agreed
and we can put the blame on Major Gen’ral George G. Meade
He’ll be an easy target and they’ll buy it, that’s for sure
the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War

for the glory of our nation we endorse emancipation
So we can send black soldiers off to help us in the fight
That beardy guy Abe Lincoln’s been doing too much thinkin’
and our country’s sinkin’ deeper into its plight
and we know that ain’t right.
Track Name: Traungoldhöhle
There’s a party in the cave tonight
We’ll be camping by the lantern light
We’ve restored the floor so we can jive
to a funky beat before we cave-dive
We’re on a mission, an expedition
to impart some funky wisdom
It’s a place to snack and bivouac
Where we’ll play a jumpin’ track

We put the funk back in spelunking at the Traungoldhöhle

There’s a DJ spinnin’ all night long
at the stone bridge, this can’t be wrong
There’s no better place to have a rave
than inside an Austrian Alpine cave
We all know that the Loser Plateau
Is the place you’ve got to go now
When the records drop the bad times stop
And you’re spinning like a top

We put the funk back in spelunking at the Traungoldhöhle

In the main expedition hub
for the Cambridge Uni Caving Club
Just keep in mind this firm advice
Keep your food off the floor, don’t forget the mice
Amid the many rocky crags
we’ll be snuggling in our sleeping bags
boogaloo baby, in our bivouacs
bringing in that funky sax

We put the funk back in spelunking at the Traungoldhöhle
Track Name: List of States and Union Territories of India by Voters
Now I understand how the states place their fates in the hands of other men
and each man has to wait to assume his own command
The meek elect a clique to their seats in higher places
they make their cases and choose to speak for their homeland

After fifty one there’s no Saurashtra or Bilaspur
Jammu and Kashmir both disappear for ninety-six and oh-four
Of all the states and territories the totals combine
About four hundred and fifteen million voted in two thousand and nine

Now I comprehend how they spend every day in a debate to then dictate
how the laws should run their course and society progress
It takes a game of chess to pass a session of discussion
in this place, the repercussions of congress

After fifty one there’s no Saurashtra or Bilaspur
Jammu and Kashmir both disappear for ninety-six and oh-four
Of all the states and territories the totals combine
About four hundred and fifteen million voted in two thousand and nine

And we sit and wait for them to tabulate

“This is a list of states and union territories of India by voters polled in the fifteen Lok Sabha elections from 1951 to 2009 based off data released by the by the Election Commission of India.”

Andaman and Nicobar, Gujarat and Chandigarh
Punjab, Delhi, Nagaland, Bhopal and Uttarakhand
Maharashtra, Kutch, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram
Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry

After fifty one there’s no Saurashtra or Bilaspur
Jammu and Kashmir both disappear for ninety-six and oh-four
Of all the states and territories the totals combine
About four hundred and fifteen million voted in two thousand and nine