Last Saturday, something really cool happened! It all began last summer, when bad-ass YA novelist Heather Demetrios came to visit the Bushwick Book Club’s Phantom Tollbooth show. She had a book of her own launching in February, and wheels started to turn in her head. Soon she reached out to the BBClub, and before we knew it, five of us had been tapped to write new songs based on Something Real and play them at her launch party last weekend.
I had a blast — I’d enjoyed my advance copy of Something Real very much (funny, dark, very involving), and it was great to meet Heather and hear what my fellow BBCers had come up with.
There’s a video of me playing my song, which *gulp* I guess I should post here. I look like a super dork to myself, but the audience keeps laughing, so…I guess it was okay? It’s sung from the perspective of the protagonist, Chloe, about Patrick Sheldon, the dreamiest boy a girl could hope to crush on. (Lyrics below.)
Actually, I’m really proud of how well this one went over. Some songs I’m really confident about, but this wasn’t one of them. I was nervous about it right up until Saturday afternoon, when my awesome music-director housemate volunteered to coach me. (This is the same one, btw, who encouraged me to finish “Professor Arden”, so — I have a lot to be grateful for.)
But it went over like gangbusters! Heather really liked it, which thrills me — I’m proud I could capture her characters in a way she recognized. (I was very scrupulous: every single detail about him in the song is almost verbatim from the book.) The song even got a nice notice in this eyewitness account of the launch party by a YA devotee. Yay!
I’m thinking about making a recording, but in the meantime, enjoy the video!
wantwantwant (Patrick Sheldon)
There’s a word that I’m afraid of,
Starts with “l-” and ends with “-ove”,
And a boy who drives me wild
Who sits in back of me in gov;
Oh, I say that I don’t like him,
But I know I’m in denial,
‘Cause I get so shaky every time
He smiles that crooked smile;
— I wantwantwantwant him…
— Patrick Sheldon, have you seen him (!) —
Walking down the hallways
With his hands deep in his pockets,
With his long hair in his eyes,
And such direction in his walk, it’s
Almost more than I can take —
The patchy jeans, the thrift store shirts! —
My whole body starts to shake,
I want that boy so much it hurts!
— I wantwantwantwant him…
— Have you seen him — have you —
Can you picture me with Pat-
With Patrick Sheldon?
Oh god, just even saying that
Starts my heart meltin’!
…I have this dream, where he talks to me ‘bout 1984
Then takes me in his arms, and whispers, “Chloe, I want more”…
…But there’s not much sense in dreaming dreams
That never can come true,
‘Cause even if he said he wants me
(Which I’m sure he’ll never do),
Still, we come from different cultures,
And he’d never understand
About the cameras, and the Vultures,
And how everything’s pre-planned,
And even if he tried to join me,
I won’t let them lay a hand
— God, I wantwantwantwant him…
— Patrick Sheldon, have you seen that boy?!