Cabbage Rolls and Coffee

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Walter_Ostanek_in_2011.jpg

An odd thing happened in the last week: I wrote a polka, or at least something polkaesque. In no way am I trying to parody the genre; every style of music has its stars and virtuosos. I had the good fortune to know one of them during my nine years working at Yorkville Sound. Walter OstanekCanada’s Polka King, was a client as he also owned a store in St. Catherines and would regularly drive in to pick up his order of Traynor gear. The visits generally lasted far longer than the time it took to load his truck as Walter is a great story teller, and would often spend quite some time recounting interesting events from his career, which includes three Grammies, a star on the Canada’s Walk of Fame, and an Order of Canada.

Even in cases when comedy is at the core of a polka performance, such as Al Yankovic‘s medleys or the beloved Schmenge Brothers (see below), there is still an evident delight in the music itself, and its infectious bounce.

Of course, the version I have recorded has a darker twist to it. Entitled Wilomena (The End of Times Polka), it is based on some truth, but quickly drifts off into imaginary land. A very few people know where that line is drawn, but I will not be sharing it further. I submit it for your listening pleasure and hope you will find it mmm, mmm good.

Wilomena (The End Times Polka) ©2017 R. Pelletier/Félix and the Cats (SOCAN)

Chorus 1
Oh Wilomena!
You are so scatter brained
Oh Wilomena!
I’m sorry to complain
But please keep it straight
I want another date
For the End Times polka.
Oh Wilomena!
I think you’re paranoid
Oh Wilomena!
It’s making me annoyed
Please offer me a chance
Just another dance
At the End Times polka.

Verse 1 & 3
I sang your praises
On mountains near and far
You were the stairway
To lead me to the stars
How could you tell me
They do not represent?
You said you liked them
But now the truth is bent
So now you recant
The words that you’d embraced
You want deletion
But they can’t be erased
I kept a copy
For future reference
Don’t say I’m lying
I have the evidence

Chorus 2
Oh Wilomena!
I think you’re paranoid
Oh Wilomena!
It’s making me annoyed
Please offer me a chance
Just another dance
At the End Times polka.
Oh Wilomena!
Why won’t you be kind?
Oh Wilomena!
What is on your mind?
Show me naked to the world?
Can’t I get another twirl
At the End Times polka?

Verse 2
You stick your nose in
Where it does not belong
Muddy the waters
Although you know it’s wrong
You make pronouncements
That have no base in fact
And ride the coat tails
Of those that you detract
Don’t write the thoughts down
That you should keep inside
And slander all those
Who should be on your side
I kept a copy
For future reference
Don’t say I’m lying
I have the evidence

Verse 3

Chorus 3
Oh Wilomena!
Why won’t you be kind?
Oh Wilomena!
What is on your mind?
Show me naked to the world?
Can’t I get another twirl
At the End Times polka?
Oh Wilomena!
You are so scatter brained
Oh Wilomena!
I’m sorry to complain
But please keep it straight
I want another date
For the End Times polka


Songwriters’ Circle #4

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Photo by Michael Cuddy

I continue to be blown away by the kindness and talent of the musicians who agree to be guests of the ABC Songwriters’ Circle. Last week was no exception. Jace Traz gave us a sneak peek into his process, but also told the most amazing stories. I finally realized a wish to sing the backups to many of his songs. Chelsea Reed was charming, funny, and filled the room with her warm voice. David Macmichael shared some of his most heartfelt songs and added tasteful guitar playing to the other performers’ tunes. These latter two also for the first time put the onstage piano to good use. It was a wonderful night!


ABC Songcircle #5

Yet another outstanding Tuesday is coming up with Lawrie Ingles, Henry Lees and brilliantfish performing. For their bios, please go to the songcircle page, but more importantly, come down to the show. It is a great and one-of-a-kind performance, guaranteed to please.

ABC SWC#5

Until Tuesday (best choice!) or next week, be well!

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