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Surprise

from by Harmonica Pocket

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:: THIS SONG'S STORY ::

(Written April 2013)

I have the raccoons to thank for this song.

One night a big, fat raccoon was sniffing around my porch, knocking stuff over. I went out in my underwear to scare him off, then climbed back in bed. Ten minutes later he's back making a bunch of racket again. Didn't get much sleep that night and had a hard time persuading that raccoon to go party somewhere else!

The next morning, guitar in my lap, I wrote the verse melody to this song. I didn't know where the song was going, but it was a fun phrase to sing, so I added some other animals. If you count it out, this song has a 7 1/2 measure phrase. Usually songs have even-numbered phrases (4, 8, 10, or 12 bars). By cutting two beats off one of the measures you get this unanticipated turn around which keeps the tune on its paws.

Over time I kept asking myself and other people "What are all these animals doing on my porch?" I found a lot of answers, but the one I liked best was that all these animals were showing up for a surprise party.

lyrics

:: LYRICS ::

Blackbird why you on my front porch?
Blackbird why you knocking on my door?
Blackbird what are you here for?

Turtle why you on my front porch?
Turtle why you knocking on my door?
Turtle what are you here for?

Raccoon why you on my front porch?
Raccoon why you knocking on my door?
Raccoon what are you here for?

Eagle why you on my front porch?
Eagle why you knocking on my door?
Eagle what are you here for?

Bull Frog why you on my front porch?
Bull Frog why you knocking on my door?
Bull Frog what are you here for?

Cougar why you on my front porch?
Cougar why you knocking on my door?
Cougar what are you here for?

But we only
Decided
To come because
We were invited
And we can see
By your eyes
That the party
Was a surprise

Surprise it's your birthday today
Surprise it's your birthday today

credits

from Sundrops, released May 19, 2015
:: TRACK CREDITS ::

Keeth Monta Apgar - Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Bells
Nala Walla - Vocal Harmony
Johnny Bregar - Drums, Claps, Shakers, Wurlitzer, paper plate
Mike Derzon - Harmonica
John Jewell - Fiddle
Toby (age 10), Jameson (age 7) - Hand Claps
Caspar Babypants - Vocals
Alex Mitnick - Vocals

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Harmonica Pocket Port Townsend, Washington

The Harmonica Pocket is all about swinging acoustic story songs sprinkled with hula hoop and dance. Their music is recorded at Apple Tree Studio -- a solar-powered recording studio on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest. They sing about sunshine, dirty fingernails, and monsters, love Woody Guthrie and Dr. Seuss, and eat a lot of ice cream. ... more

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