The Piano That Jack Filled

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about

Part 1 of this song was written years ago on a long road trip. Central Florida highways can drive a man to write the strangest things. Such mundane experiences have inspired many other great works such as the classic, 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' and so on.

I played the demo of Jack part 1 to a friend of mine, Alan, and he said, 'Then what? What happens after he shoves everyone into the piano?' I never really thought there needed to be more to the song but it got me thinking. A few months later, when I started recording the album, I was working part time at a sandwich shop and business was really slow during the summer, so I killed time between deliveries by writing part 2 and part 3 and before I knew it I had an 18 part epic on my hands.

Aside from taking up 15 minutes on the album, it was turned into a live stage play and performed at Florida Playwright Theater in Hollywood, Florida.

lyrics

part 1-The Piano That Jack Filled
Jack was an ordinary man
with an ordinary life
Ordinary kids and
an ordinary wife
Then, one fine day
just for kicks
He shoved them into a piano
that he made from popsicle sticks
Jack could play Beethoven,
Jack could play Bach
Oh, how Jack could boogie,
My, how Jack could rock
But Jack's same old song and dance
had sent him amiss
So he wrote a new one
and it goes a bit like this...

Part 2-The Beat That Bob Walked
Bob was an ordinary cop
on an ordinary beat
in an ordinary town
on his ordinary feet
Then, one fine day
near quitting time
He got the call
about a gruesome crime
Bob had seen a lot,
Bob was a pro
But, now Bob would face
what Bob couldn't possibly know
Bob arrived at the scene,
the case was all his
But, there was only one clue
and it went a bit like this...

Part 3-The Show That Alan Shot
Alan was an ordinary cameraguy
giving ordinary cues
Shooting ordinary footage
for the ordinary news
Then, one fine day while
connecting some feeds
He got the big story
"If it bleeds, it leads"
Alan could shoot hand held,
Alan could shoot steady
Alan was a good P.A.,
Alan was always ready
He set his critical focus
and taped with minimal hiss
The piano that Jack filled
and the tune that went like this...

Part 4-The Job That Jane Worked
Jane was an ordinary girl
with an ordinary face
And an ordinary job
at an ordinary place
Each and every night
she worked over there
Taking it off
until she was bare
Jane danced for pleasure,
Jane danced for bucks
Jane danced for sickos,
Jane danced for drunks
Jane danced to Ozzy,
Jane danced to Kiss
Then she danced to a song
that went a little bit like this...

Part 5-The Bar Where Bob Unwound
Bob was walking home
to his ordinary pad
Thinking ordinary thoughts
about the mission he had
On stressful nights like this
Bob needed to unwind
So, he stopped into a bar -
The first one he could find
Bob soaked up his beer
and the girls up on the stage
Bob just sighed and wished
that he again could be that age
But the key to that murder
was in his head and ringing strong
and as Bob whistled out the tune
a girl danced to this song

Part 6-The Lam That Jack Was On
Jack was an ordinary fugitive
on the ordinary run
From the ordinary law
for the wrongs he had done
Jack hid across the street
behind a bush on his neighbor's lawn
He watched and he waited
until everyone was gone
When the last cop car left
Jack snuck back into his home
and picked up the tickets that
he had left by the phone
But before Jack took off
to meet up with his partner in crime
He sat down at his dear piano
one last time...

Part 7-The Room Where Jane Got Dressed
After Jane was through
showing off her pair
She went back to the dressing room
and Bob was waiting there
Bob pulled out his notepad,
Jane put on some clothes
Bob pulled out a cop badge
and Jane turned up her nose
He asked about the song
she danced to at the show
She played it off legit
and said she didn't know
Two dancers came backstage,
Bob turned to see the four
Jane was singing to herself
as she snuck out the back door

Part 8-The News That Everyone Watched
The opening theme was playing,
Alan counted down from 5
Then he pointed to the anchor
and it was time to go live:
"Last night around 8
a wife and her kids were killed
in a story we like to call,
'The Piano That Jack Filled'"
Everyone watched in fear
as the tape played over the air
Except for the executives,
"Look at our ratings share!"
"We Don't know why he did it
and we don't know where he is
We only have the transcript
of a song that goes like this..."

Part 9-The Trip That Pam Took
Pam was ordinary psychic
and an ordinary stoner
An ordinary flake
and an ordinary loner
She smoked her last bowl,
the worst of her traumas
So she pawned off her stereo
for a trip to the Bahamas
Pam read palms,
Pam smoked hash
But, Pam had connections
to replenish her stash
Pam was still stoned
when she boarded the plane
And some mystical music
was channeled through her brain

Part 10-The Trip That Jack And Jane Took
Jane met Jack on time
at the airport for the flight
They checked in all their luggage
and took off like a kite
To leave their lives behind
so they could be together
Jack and Jane in love,
Jack and Jane forever
They landed hand in hand
the height of all their dramas
Alone and free at last
down in the Bahamas
Jane knew how to cha-cha,
Jack knew how to rhumba
Jane knew how to tango,
Jack knew how to samba

Part 11-The Footage That Alan Reviewed
Alan reviewed his footage
for a follow-up story
Alan had to shudder,
it was graphic, it was gory
No new clues had surfaced,
just something about a dancer
The police were getting nervous,
the public wanted answers
Alan rewound the tape
and played it back once more
When he saw a pair of tickets
sitting on the floor
A perfect piece of evidence
was present all along
But there was still the matter
of that damned little song...

Part 12-The Smile That Jerry Wore
Jerry was an ordinary bellhop
with an ordinary smile
At an ordinary resort
on the Bahama isle
When Jack and Jane checked in
exhausted from the trip
Jerry took their luggage
and Jack gave him a tip
Jerry sees it all,
Jerry works everyday
Jerry runs the joint
in his own special way
Later on that night
while Jerry made the rounds
He stopped at Jack and Jane's door
and heard these lovely sounds...

Part 13-The Tape That Alan Played
Alan took the video
and went down to the station
He had to show Officer Bob
about the murderer's vacation
Alan showed the video to Bob
and to the Captain
Who went through the roof,
"How could this have happened?!"
There was no time for blame now,
They had the time, they had the place
And the Captain was just happy
to get Bob out of his face
Alan and Bob got on a plane
like the others had done before
With nothing to do until they land,
they reviewed the tune once more

Part 14-The Deal That Jerry And Pam Had
Pam was jonesing big time,
her skin began to crawl
She stepped out of her hotel room
and walked on down the hall
At last, Pam found her man
with his ear against a door
Pam made her connection,
Pam was set to score
Jerry and Pam went to the basement
where Jerry kept his stash
Pam's mouth began to water
as she handed over the cash
The stars were totally groovy,
her telepathic powers kicked in
Again it echoed through her head
and Pam began to sing...

Part 15-The Questions Ben Was Asked
Alan and Bob arrived at last
on the trail of a wanted man
They spoke to the hotel manager
to find out all they can
Bob pulled out his notepad
and licked the tip of his pen
And started asking questions
to the hotel manager, Ben
Alan shot away,
Alan didn't miss a frame
This was big time news,
this was not a game
Ben was glad to help,
proud to right the wrong
Bob said, "Oh, one more thing.
Do you recognize this song?"

Part 16-The Scam That Jerry Pulled
Jerry was spying in
as the song burned in his ears
Something big was going down,
their fate was drawing near
Thinking on his feet,
a clever sort of fella
Jerry told Pam, Jack,
and Jane to hide out in the cellar
In fear of some connection
to the deal he made with Pam
Jerry told Bob that
Jack checked out and flew to Vietnam
Jerry realized the song
that Pam was always cooing
was the same one Jack and Jane sang
in their room when they were screwing

Part 17-The Trail That Bob And Alan Sniffed
Bob, Alan, and Ben
marched up to Jack's suite
Sniffing out for clues,
putting on the heat
The room was totally empty,
Jack was surely gone
"Jerry must've been right.
We must move on."
Alan and Bob took Jerry's lead
and caught a flight to Danang
But terrorists shot the pilot
and the plane crashed with a bang
As Bob's blood dripped over Alan
who met his death
Bob whimpered out the song
with his very last breath...

Part 18-Epilogue
With all the evidence destroyed
they dropped the investigation
And without a follow-up story,
people changed the station
Pam sat with Jack and the girl
who would be his wife
Pam had a vision that Jack and herself
were twins in a previous life
This, perhaps, explained
why Pam was hearing the tune
As Jerry, Pam, Jack, and Jane sat
beneath the island moon
So, with a ton of tropical hash
to burn up in their bong
They spent the rest of their days
giggling that little song.

credits

from Chameleon In A Kaleidoscope [25th Anniversary], released January 1, 1996
written by Adam Rabin
Jack: Dave Moadel
Bob: Rian Gittman
Jane: Kathy Hof
Pam: Melissa Weinstock
Alan: Mark Urquhart
Jerry: Greg Skillman

Andy Rabin - electric guitar

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Adam Rabin Burlington

Where Prog Rock meets Geek Rock. Adam Rabin is a Vermont songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has also played with Elephants of Scotland, Mailbox, and musical improv troupe She Thicc. You can also hear Adam’s music on the podcasts: Improvised Weapons, Improv Overdrive, What The Hell Are You Watching, and Vermont Favorites. ... more

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