WikiRiffs Volume Two

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 Two is the second album of material written for the WikiRiffs project.

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released March 10, 2011

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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: Richard Phillips
I’ve been researching the works of an artist
From the United States
I wonder what thought processes go through his brain
when he’s painting those portraits
He’s inspired by fascinating fashion illustrations
straight from magazine pages
he paints their faces, faintly tracing lines that intertwine
until the wasted beauty shines through
I’m telling you that

I’d commission Massachusetts artist Richard Phillips
For some pop-art in acrylics, oh so hyper-realistic
of pop music personalities distinctive and artistic
paint me a picture Mr Richard Phillips

I’ve been amazed by his attention to detail
it’s practically perfect
He constantly captures the enraptured expression
of his female subject
He’s inspired by the desires of humankind and designs
a stylistic portrait
he paints the facial features of these fascinating creatures
and the teeth they bleached are white as snow
Don’t you know that

I’d commission Massachusetts artist Richard Phillips
For some pop-art in acrylics, oh so hyper-realistic
of magazine celebrities distinctive and artistic
paint me a picture Mr Richard Phillips

His latest exhibition has the critics in a whirl
his artwork’s even been on Gossip Girl

I’d commission Massachusetts artist Richard Phillips
For some pop-art in acrylics, oh so hyper-realistic
of political luminaries distinctive and artistic
paint me a picture Mr Richard Phillips
Track Name: Stetson
Stetson, I’d like a Stetson, but not just any one
I want one with a sun-drowned, golden brown brim that’ll stretch in every direction
Stetson, I’d like a Stetson, a ten gallon fella decked out like a Texan
riding ‘round a one horse town, vigilante in a vintage western

It’s a hat with a timeless pedigree and it really is the one for me
Gonna saddle my horse an’ be boss of these plains
Then ride away, never to be seen again

Stetson, I’d like a Stetson, but I’d also like love and affection
All I got’s this bottle of gut-rot liquor and a poor man’s pension
Stetson, I’d like a Stetson, but I suspect that, on reflection,
I am asking too much of a hat that ain’t gonna be my salvation

It’s a hat with a timeless pedigree and it really is the one for me
Gonna saddle my horse an’ be boss of these plains
Then ride away, never to be seen again
Track Name: Ron Bolton
Here is a man who was drafted in 1972
Here is our game plan, with it we can
recapture the play and push on through

His cornerback technique is close to hypnotic
Eyes on the prize as you’re taking your aim
Played for the Patriots, still patriotic
Born in Virginia and destined to win us the game

Browns interception made by Ron Bolton
defensive back, he’s the best in Cleveland
Worthy of praise he consistently plays
and delays your attack plan

Here is a team who have seen what a defense line we’ve got
Here is a player ex- Norfolk State
who will take you down
ready or not

Browns interception made by Ron Bolton
defensive back, he’s the best in Cleveland
Worthy of praise he consistently plays
and delays your attack plan

but a team isn’t only one man
but a team isn’t only one man
and he knows that, and he knows that
but he won’t back down

His cornerback technique is close to hypnotic
Eyes on the prize as you’re taking your aim
Played for the Patriots, still patriotic
Born in Virginia and destined to win us the game

Browns interception made by Ron Bolton
defensive back, he’s the best in Cleveland
Worthy of praise he consistently plays
and delays your attack plan
Track Name: Krasnoludek
You might see them from the corner of your eye
when you’re walking in the park
Or turn around at a sound when it’s getting dark outside
In the clouds a-gliding by
these are the places they will hide
They are common but in fact they’re rarely seen
outside stories that we tell
where we invoke cheeky folk who seem to dwell between
all the rushes and the reeds
on the wind and in the tide.

A Krasnoludek is hiding out there
somewhere

You might think you’ve seen a couple in your time
hiding underneath your floors
when the kitchen door is closed on the furniture they climb
tell yourself they’re just a lie
something from a nurs’ry rhyme
They are cautious and respectful of your home
but they steal a bit of food
They’ve got to eat now and then and they’re sweet-toothed little gnomes
Who enjoy a crumb of cake
or a tiny slice of pie

A Krasnoludek is under your stairs
somewhere
They come out at night to smell the air
but don’t be scared

They are tiny little men with pointy hoods
and some mischevous designs
but they don’t mean any harm, they are still benign and should
leave no trace or show their face
unless they’re doing good
If you hear a tale from someone who is sure
A Krasnoludek is bad
They are sadly misinformed, they don’t know their souls are pure
They aren’t little thieves at all
they are just misunderstood.

A Krasnoludek is hiding out there
somewhere.
Track Name: Ollie Bejma
September nineteen-oh-seven
a baseball player is born in South Bend, Indiana
He sits on his father’s knee
and says Daddy,
I want to play in the major league

He makes his debut in thirty-four
his team come away with a losing score
he plays short stop, second and third base
he doesn’t have a permanent place

How could Ollie Bejma win us the ball game
He’s a major league player but an unknown name
A baseball infielder, glove and bat wielder
waiting for the hall of fame

He gets picked up by the white sox
He bats in forty-four and rocks ‘til october
He quits in thirty-nine
he’s had his time
no better year to resign

His name was in Peanuts in seventy-four
forty years after that first score
he played short stop for St. Paul
but that would be his curtain call

How could Ollie Bejma win us the ball game
He’s a major league player but an unknown name
A baseball infielder, glove and bat wielder
waiting for the hall of fame
Track Name: Gothic and Vandal Warfare
I’ve lived my life with few cares
but now I’m scared and aware
of the world out there
and it’s closing in
there are shadows outside
in the dark of the night
and we can not hide
we can’t let them win

The Gothic and the Vandal races
the menfolk and their wives
Existing in their own places
Living out their lives
In peaceful farming villages
with naturalistic charms
but invaders’ rapes and pillages
have become a call to arms

Ostrogoths, Vandals, Willenbergs, Visigoths,
Dacians, Sarmacians
All threatened by the might of Rome
Ostrogoths, Vandals, Willenbergs, Visigoths,
Dacians, Sarmacians
All threatened by the might of Rome

In the Third Century on the Baltic Sea
Two enemies collide
And their blood would be spilled as each one killed
a man on the opposite side

Anatharic led us to war

The Visigoths in Gaul
were conquered by the Frankish
And the kingdom of the Vandals in Africa fell
The Ostrogoths in Illyria
were taken by Justinian
and the Visigoths in Hispania
would follow soon as well

What’s to become of me?
Now my people are all gone
there’s no reason to carry on
But there’s still hope out on the Black Sea
A tribe has survived
Our ship will sail soon
Goodbye to the world...
Track Name: Jardin Exotique de Roscoff
So we're looking for a place for our second date
In Roscoff, Finistere
It'd be a lark to have a walk in the park
'cause it's good to get fresh air
and the sun is shining, we're intertwining
fingers and we're both aware
of the feeling that lingers between us
you know we make quite the pair

If you've got some Euro that'd be nice
'cause I don't wanna pay the admission price
or we could just sneak in
While they're busy at the weekend

We'll beg the pardon of the gardener and find a place to go
take advantage of how high the hedges grow
We'll duck behind a shrub and snog each other's faces off
At the Jardin Exotique De Roscoff

We'll be wandering round the garden grounds
As they give the trees a prune
Got the feeling France just breeds romance
on a sunny afternoon
They're closing, hey, I wish we could stay
on this day in early june
The time just seems to pass so fast
We'll be back here soon

If you've got some Euro that'd be nice
'cause I don't wanna pay the admission price
or we could just sneak in
While they're busy at the weekend

We'll beg the pardon of the gardener and find a place to go
take advantage of how high the hedges grow
We'll duck behind a shrub and snog each other's faces off
At the Jardin Exotique De Roscoff

We'll sing and dance
amid the subtropical plants

Passiflora, Yucca, Pelargonium geranium
Cactus, Eucalyptus, Acacia and echium
We could spend hours
in the garden with the flowers

We'll beg the pardon of the gardener and find a place to go
taking advantage of how high the hedges grow
We'll duck behind a shrub and snog each other's faces off
At the Jardin Exotique De Roscoff
Track Name: Sara Sommerfeld
The stage is set for your final steps
the mics checked, your breath ragged
your voice wrecked, in short staggers
you’re dragging your leg behind your sorry carcass
wounded and torn
Bloody as the day you were born.

She breaks from the far shadows,
takes a step and hesitates
waiting to see if you fall
she picks up her pace
in two seconds she’s there and
it shows in her face
that this is your curtain call.

You felt compelled to touch her
‘cause Sara Sommerfeld held you in her arms
alarm bells rang and voices sang
but all you felt was calm

She laid you down and told you to rest
you confessed as she caressed your hair
and whispered, I’m here and there’s
nothing in the world that will hurt you, my dear
stay with me, please
trying to put you at ease.

You surface and look at her
taking in her face and trying
to focus on her eyes as they shine
They’re wet from the tears
she’s already been crying
at the memories of years
your hands would intertwine

You felt compelled to touch her
‘cause Sara Sommerfeld held you in her arms
alarm bells rang and voices sang
but all you felt was calm

You felt compelled to touch her
‘cause Sara Sommerfeld held you in her arms
one last time.
Then the cut’s called
and the lights fade
and you’re fine.
Track Name: Garwick Glen Halt
Bordered by the Irish sea
Running on three legs and electricity
Grab yourself a souvenir
An ancient station used to lie here
Watch this walls of this place crumble and fall apart
reclaimed by the island's beating heart

I'm tied to the rails at Garwick Glen Halt
And none of this was my fault
This disused rail stop in the rain
is a perfect place for a ghost train

Leading down towards the beach
the Garwick Glen hides secrets you can't reach
Sunnycott to Ballagawne
Overgrown with brambles and thorns
Watch the ghost of the train moving without a sound
still running in the castle grounds

I'm tied to the rails at Garwick Glen Halt
And none of this was my fault
This disused rail stop in the rain
is a perfect place for a ghost train
Track Name: Religion And Alcohol
Religion is a wine, it gets finer with age
I'd expect nothing less from the bible, the pages
are filled to their brims
take my hymns with communion wine

Some people abstain, they take pains to avoid it
whilst others partake and they claim they've enjoyed it
say it's slaking their thirst
they're the first ones to drink from the vine

and with the holy spirits shining on me I feel so divine

This liquor is rotten but before you can blink
all my sins are forgotten, they say there's no link but
I'm drinking and I think it's absolving my soul
I'm dissolving myself in Religion and Alcohol

Drinking's forbidden if you practice Islam
it's distracting from prayer so the act is haraam
The Qur'an is quite strict
on dictating the rules you obey

Some places of course they enforce prohibition
they're a little divorced from the human condition
tradition dictates
they even rate moderation a stray

And me, oh my, I'm gonna drink anyway

This liquor is rotten but before you can blink
all my sins are forgotten, they say there's no link but
I'm drinking and I think it's absolving my soul
I'm dissolving myself in Religion and Alcohol

Religion's a good mixer washed down with a quick whiskey
fix me another, we're tipsy, it's risky
but I've just got this bottle
and when my bottle's empty
I'll find god at the bottom
whatever god happens to be
Track Name: Contagion (film)
A classic cinematic fictional account
of a man out of his depth by an unfeasible amount
because disease is spreading, getting out,
infecting and it's setting up
the story for a gory and glorious resolution
By no means systematic but it isn't static
a pandemic is elastic and unfeasibly erratic
it's a drastic situation which will pitch several nations
into chaos as they assist its distribution

Matt Damon's gotta combat contagion
Got all the makings of an action thriller
CDC have got a crisis breaking out
How do you beat an invisible killer
When you can't run
when you can't hide
when you can't fight
How do you sleep at night?

A simple situation growing more complex
and now the team is helping out it goes from one stage to the next
they're tearing out the pages of their medical textbooks
to find a method of ending the hex that fuels this plot
By no means systematic but it isn't static
a pandemic is elastic and unfeasibly erratic
this dramatic tension's mounting and the clock is ticking, counting
the minutes until you kick whether you're ready or not

Matt Damon's gotta combat contagion
Got all the makings of an action thriller
CDC have got a crisis breaking out
How do you beat an invisible killer
Jude Law, Kate and Gwyneth will be no help
The cast is looking pretty good star-studded
But the villain hasn't been anounced quite yet
You never know who could be so cold-blooded
When you can't run
when you can't hide
when you can't fight
Track Name: Postage Stamps and Postal History of Yugoslavia
There would come a day when a kingdom formed
of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians warmed to
the idea of uniting under a frontier
combined, I wonder if forefront in their minds
was the news they would send to their foreign correspondants

First King Peter, later Tito, Tesla and landscapes were depicted
Alexander in demand for lower values and restricted

As the borders blurred into one
all the letters did the same
And the countries they started from
all stamped with just one name
The only traces now they’ve gone
the republic they all became
And the country they’ve become
lost in the post-game

In the second war that the world had fought
the Yugoslavian countries sought to
maintain order and retain the lands they had owned
before the world war left them dethroned
and they clung to the country their enemies had squandered

Post-war propaganda stamps began to feature industry
Progress planned, in printed hand still clear to the addressee

As the borders blurred into one
all the letters did the same
And the countries they started from
all stamped with just one name
The only traces now they’ve gone
the republic they all became
And the country they’ve become
lost in the post-game
Track Name: Rougemont, Switzerland
We found ourselves in Rougemont, Switzerland
Population 911
We woke up late and we couldn’t understand
What we had or hadn’t done
The night before on the dancefloor
in the Canton of Vaud
I’m sure we meant to end up at a ski resort, uh-oh

We found ourselves in Rougemont, Switzerland
stumbling through the village streets
We got odd looks and verbal reprimands
from policemen on their beats
The night before our feet were raw
from the local disco
I’m sure our room and board wasn’t meant for this chateau

But that night on the town we danced and
drank away our romantic wishes and sang
til our throats were aching and then we danced some more

We found ourselves in Rougemont, Switzerland
Population 911
We had to gather what happened second hand
We were too busy having fun
To remember what went on,
the night had come and gone
I’ve got very little detail that I dare expand upon

But that night on the town we danced and
drank away our romantic wishes and sang
til our throats were aching sore, then we danced some more
Track Name: Arden School Of Theatre
The night is young and so are we
All the world’s a stage, I’ll tell you that for free
You’ll make mistakes, forget your lines
Painting hasty words over the set designs

You and I grew up expecting to be stage stars someday
Even though we didn’t know what was expected
we were selected
to give blood, sweat and tears to a play

Welcome one and all declares
The Arden School of Theatre where
the Bard and Fools are here to entertain
Students focus on the show
And aspects of dramatics, grow
in knowledge, at the college where they train

In Manchester a school was made
In nineteen ninety-one had its foundations laid
Rehearsal space, connections drawn
It’s come a long way since it was first born

You and I grew up and looked for a school of arts to attend
Even though we didn’t know any playwrights
we might have known shakespeare
couldn’t name any works that he’d penned

Welcome one and all declares
The Arden School of Theatre where
the Bard and Fools are here to entertain
Students focus on the show
And aspects of dramatics, grow
in knowledge, at the college where they train
Track Name: John McEwan
Hey there John McEwan, watcha doin’ staring at the fire
Like five whole years went by you don’t remember
A former U.S. soccer star feels warmer now he has acquired
the time to forget Mexican goals from September
of 1937, when the United States eleven
found themselves melting under pressure and their goals looking few
Hey there John McEwan, watcha doin’ looking at the wounds
of long forgotten matches when they never laid a scratch on you

Hey there John McEwan, when you’re brewin’ up your coffee
don’t you often stop to wonder how you got there?
Those heady days at syracuse, with little but the games to lose
a two year soccer letterman just learning to play fair
It really didn’t matter if you won or lost, the latter
would be a shame but games came easily to you in your youth
Hey there John McEwan, watcha doin’ stewing coffee beans
the memory kicks off, it means the world to you and that’s the truth

Hey there John McEwan, you’re pursuin’ different trains of thought
you bought a one-way ticket to reflection
You’re stuck on luck and chances, conceded balls, broken advances
now you’re dwelling on the flaws and the small imperfections
And these thoughts just drag up all the pain of sprinting down the pitch again
you’re squinting through the rain and now you’re feeling your nerves
Hey there John McEwan, what you’re doin’s somewhat negative
You’ll never give the past the lasting love that it deserves

You struggled through those five embattled years
and you were rattled by the fear that nothing mattered in your mind
You stumbled and you buckled, but somehow you still knuckled
through the luckless shots and scots who could retaliate in kind
Your passes, some were intercepted
and when you passed the mourners wept
did anyone succeed you in the end?
Hey there John McEwan, did I ruin this for both of us?
I’ll leave you with your memories, my friend.
Track Name: Eurochannel
Turn on your TV screen
Internationality’s the new scene
Eurochannel airs what it can, all on its own
reaching out to teach you from a frequency unknown

Broadcasting entirely in original audio
Subtitled in languages you don’t know
We watch as you notch another demographic
In effect redirecting all the TV traffic

Don’t go, don’t fall asleep
I’ll be counting shows while you count sheep
Satellites from such great heights will fall as stars
Stopping static with acting and playing rock guitars

Programming cinematic content for the world to see
showcasing musicians on their TV
We observe as you serve another broadcast showing
and contrast with the last to keep the airwaves flowing

Don’t go, don’t fall asleep
I’ll be counting shows while you count sheep
Turn on your TV screen
Internationality’s the new scene
Eurochannel airs what it can, all on its own
reaching out to teach you from a frequency unknown