Elephino (1998)

by Mailbox

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about

Remix/remaster of 1998 album with bonus tracks. And a pony. And a lollipop.

Many people who have heard my older music have suggested I make a kids album. Sigh. I have never had any interest in this but I understand where these people are coming from. Elephino is my response. The music is fun and sing-songy but I had nothing lyrical to say that would qualify as being suitable for children. I want to talk about our dangerous views of gods and women, of our need to define things that don't wish to be defined, of letting love or friendship slip away out of fear.

OK, I'll admit some of the songs are just plain silly. I mean, dogs building rocket ships?

This album is definitely a product of my distant past but I have fond memories of recording it. Duncan, David and Greg all came by Sara's and my place over the course of a year helping me piece things together and fill out the sound. We had a real "writer's room" kind of vibe going on. Lots of laughing and nonsense. The album was just the vessel for some brilliant idea sharing.

---

"Mailbox has done it again. Their second CD, Elephino, is a refreshing blend of synths, acoustic guitars, and vocals that almost make sense. The CD starts off with Camille Saint-Saens' famous 'The Carnival of the Animals,' which sets the stage for Mailbox's zany feel ... This CD is a refreshing break from the roar of Marshall stacks and all those rockers who take themselves way too seriously. The song 'Bugs' has polka beats, fast paced vocals, and grumpy old men. 'No Elbows' toys with thoughts of gods and girlfriends without elbows-just think how many things you couldn't do without elbows. The last song, 'Doodle,' is my favorite on the album. It tells of the voyage of a super-intelligent poodle who builds rocket ships out of tin foil and cheese whiz, presented in a PBS documentary style. Its catchy chorus 'Doodle do what Doodle will do' and cheesy folk disco rhythms have been chasing each other around in my brain ever since I first heard the CD. So build yourself a rocket ship and go see Mailbox!" Izzy Maxwell - The Noise - Rock Around Boston - November 1998

credits

released February 2, 1998

written and performed by Adam Rabin with Greg Skillman, Sara Rabin, David Delaney and Duncan Pflaster

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about

Mailbox Burlington

Mailbox is Vermont songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Adam Rabin and whomever he can rope into sharing in his unique musical vision.

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Track Name: No Elbows
I decided long ago
to pick a god with no elbows
So he couldn't wrap around me
like he oughtta should
Just clap like a seal
and turn blood into wood

I decided long ago
to pick a chick with no elbows
So she couldn't wrap around me
like she oughtta should
Just clap like a seal
and long arm my wood

I'm in a tie with my dark side right now
Lost all my muscles inside. Holy cow!

I decided just today
to have my elbows sent away
So I couldn't wrap around you
like I oughtta should
Just clap like a seal
and stare at my wood
Track Name: What is Lissa Walking?
I chanced upon sweet Lissa
Six years old today
Walking with her elephant
up Cran De Lo Pablo Way

I asked her "How's your horsey"
And she looked at me with a laugh
She said, "Sir, this ain't no horsey!
'Tis truly a moose that I have!"

Well, lo, behold and my goodness,
I squinted my eyes to see
"Sweet Lissa I beg your pardon,
So what kind's your chimpanzee?"

She stomped with mild impatience
And let out a hefty sigh
"My falcon will attack your head
and pluck out your faulty eye!"

"Lissa, you are just a girl
A young and innocent miss,
But the pet you walk's not talking,
And you don't know what animal it is."

"Antelope?" I said, "An antelope?
Then pray, where is his snout?"
She said, "A schnauzer's counter-snout
Inverts when turned inside out!"

"Lissa, you are just a girl
A young and innocent miss,
But the pet you walk's not talking,
And you don't know what animal it is."

Sweet Lissa, you are a pickle
And I tire of your silly talk
You dare to doubt a wise man's eyes,
And don't know the animal you walk

"Sir you are no wise man,
And you should get out of the biz
No one knows what it be,
But the animal knows what it is."
Track Name: What's Ever Become Of Julie?
When she walked into a room
She turned it into Mars
She turned ice cream parlors into bars
Violins into guitars
How I wish I knew where you are
What's ever become of Julie?

When she went to the zoo
She turned lions into cats
Alligators into welcome mats
Flamingos into bats
How I wish I knew where you were at
What's ever become of Julie?

Julie - I never knew anyone quite like you
Julie - I never knew anyone
could do what you do
Julie - Could you turn me
into something, too?
Turn me into someone new.

When she walked out of my life
She turned it into tears
She turned days into years
and loving into fears
How I wish that you were here
What's ever become of Julie?

Julie - I never knew anyone quite like you
Julie - I never knew anyone
could do what you do
Julie - Could you turn me
into something, too?
Turn me into someone new.

Julie - I just went back to the zoo
Julie - I was hoping I'd run into you
There you were, a chameleon
Then, I became one, too
You've turned me into something new.
Track Name: Henry the Mouse's Tea Party
Henry's Tea Party
was smart and gay
No one fought and
no one got sick
From moldy old crumpets
or from cream
For everyone, Henry had tea.

Henry The Mouse's
Tea Party was planned
It was a revel unparallaled.
He did all the things that
a good mouse should do.
He ordered fresh crumpets.
He bought fresh cream.
But when Henry sought guests
he got lost
in the list of mice
who live in those parts
And Henry drank tea
alone in his heart.

Henry knew the mice all
but loved them none.
The one he called friend was
a cat outside his wall
Henry grey and small
Cat big and white
And Henry wanted the cat to tea
But there are things done
and there are things not
And Henry drank tea
alone in his heart.

Henry called the mice
who made him ill and queasy.
He made a long list
He invited them all
The mice came to Henry's
They sat and they sipped and
they ate they talked

and the cat just wanted
to sit and sip
(or maybe just sit)
But there are things done
and there are things not

and Henry knew better
'cause Henry was smart
But there are things done
and there are things not

and the cat wanted a friend
but Henry was smart
Smart Henry drank tea
alone in his heart.
Track Name: Ahoy! (An Epic Tale of Serology)
I filled up my knapsack with kneecaps and knick-knacks and knivings and knurls of knights I once knew
I jumped in my jumbled and juggled up junker with junto of jubilant jurists named Judah

So call me your knight-errant
call me your burgeon
Call me a Juggernaut or
just call me your surgeon

We squirmed in our square-rig so squalid and squamous with squids and squilla and squinty-eyed squirrels
Our xyloid xebec had xanthic xylographs as we xailed the xeven xeas

So call me a xylophone, call me your burgeon
Call me a squib-o-phone or just call me your surgeon

For 23 days and 23 nights
We ate all the fish that gave us a bite
But biting us harder than any fish can
was the bite of desire to set site of land

We missed all our families,
We missed all our friends
Back in our homeland
where life may soon end
It seems that our children,
our cattle, and our wives
Are dying from something,
they're dropping like flies

Rather do, rather do, rather do I do
Let us sail on save further ado
'Cos all that I see when I cover my eyes
is the land over sea where the jellyfish lies

I once read a book, I know it was true
it told of the magic of jellyfish spoo
And now tis but I and my mateys of three
In the name of our land we've set out to sea

Wave after wave we were looking for shore
To look for the cretin who carries the cure
The first mate cried, "Ay! Land Ho! I see ya!
Behold the fish that secretes panacea!"

Rather do, rather do, rather do I do
Let us sail on save further ado
'Cos all that I see when I open my eyes
is the land over sea where the jellyfish lies

Our maritime marvel marooned in a marsh
We marched toward the mascot to make marinette
But the fish got quite fistic and fiesty and fistled
But we fishers fissioned that fish into fisc

Call me a mariner or
call me your burgeon
Call me a fisherman or
just call your surgeon

We hovered back home to a hero's hurray! (HURRAY!!!)
Peasants and princes they pranced in parade
They summoned a speech shedding salutant sobs
I jestfully jeered, "It's just'a my job!"
Track Name: Zoo Du Jour
Remember the time I climbed a tree
I saw you and your ball of string?
Remember the time you found a world
And crowned yourself the almighty king?

I threw you down a walkie-talkie
just so we could keep in touch
I said, "Your majesty, what is new?"
You said, "Oh, not much, how about you?"

Remember the time we laughed a laugh
for at least a week and a half?
Laughed all day and laughed all night
Didn't sleep a wink or eat a bite

And as the time went on
Nothing reall zoo
Just to cater to folks like you
It just might give us something to do
At least for a day or maybe even two.

So we set up in our backyard land
Nailed down any pets that we had on hand
We bought a spot on Channel 1
And opened the gates to anyone who would come

Oh, what a lovely day
The zoo was full of noise we made
The zoo was cool but no one stayed

Then as the time went on
Something had to change inside
The animals were caged inside

Remember the time I climbed a tree
And read a book on how to sing?
Remember the time you found a world
In your stupid ball of string?

...come up and meet me in my apple tree
bring a rake and a trampoline...
Track Name: Bugs
I torture bugs with my magnifying glass
I like to watch them squirm
They turn red and then they turn black
Those little bugs they can't fight back.

Gramps attracts bugs because he smells funny
They're waiting for him to croak
They fly into his mouth and into eyes
But, at least he gets his exercise

Now, I stick bugs to my wall with pins
When they're not even dead
I laugh when they try to escape
Then, I stick them to my face with tape
Track Name: The Fish
Late at night, I sit awake
and think about a thought
I wonder if it was worth the trouble
for the trifles I had bought

"Well, can you prove substantially
that I am not a fish?"
"I'm not so sure that I can."
Replied the silver dish

The dish was laden with lovely things
Foods to please the eye
And the more I think of eating some
The more I start to cry
and I cry...

"Why the tears my lad?"
Asked a turquoise albatross
"Is there anything worth gaining
That's greater than the loss?"
Track Name: Doodle
Doodle says Hello
Doodle is my pet poodle
He spends his days at poolside
and he likes his biscuit streudel
Say Hello to Doodle
Let's be courteous now
Doodle don't eat cheesesteak,
'cos Doodle don't like cow.
Doodle know no prejudice
He stands at 2 foot 5
Doodle sleeps at will,
Please say Hi!

doodle do what will do doodle do what doodle will do!

The world serves it's own needs,
I know that I've got mine

Doodle's lead a good life
putting on his welding mask
Doodle's got his blueprint,
Doodle's got his task
Don't you question Doodle,
he hasn't had his fill
Doodle's one of one,
he's got no time to kill

For days and nights worked Doodle,
Not a drop of sweat or cry
Doodle likes his rocketship
Just say Bye!

doodle do what will do doodle do what doodle will do!

The world serves it's own needs,
I know that I've got mine

Doodle knows the great life now
Doodle is way past Mars
Tickertape in from NASA
Doodle says ...

"It's full of stars"