Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chopsticks: The Story of Phoebe Faith & an Unconventional Piano Lesson

Every week Phoebe Faith went to her regular piano lesson at Mrs. Acapella Clef’s mansion.
“Chop, chop!” Mrs. Clef said to Phoebe as she took her seat at her teacher’s grand piano.
“Let me hear how ‘Chopsticks’ is coming along! You should have memorized it by now.”
During most lessons, Mrs. Clef paid no attention at all to Phoebe’s piano skills.
Instead, she watered her plants and talked on the phone while Phoebe struggled to change keys.
Sometimes, Mrs. Clef's dog, Motif, needed fed or brushed or let outside in the back yard.
Phoebe, age 11, memorized “Chopsticks” months ago, but Mrs. Clef never acknowledged this triumph.
When Mrs. Clef said, “Chop, chop,” Phoebe imagined cutting carrots in her mother’s kitchen.
She even thought of eating Chinese food at the local market with long utensils.
If Mrs. Clef soon did not pay attention to Phoebe’s talent, Phoebe would quit her lessons.
Next week was the annual piano recital, and Phoebe would make her presence known.
When the big day arrived, she stomped on stage with chopsticks and a plate of chicken fried rice.
“I’m playing ‘Chopsticks,’” Phoebe said, as she ate the Chinese dish with her long bamboo sticks.
“Phoebe, what are you doing?” Mrs. Clef said as she batted her eyelashes at the eager audience.
“Oh, you want me to play the piano?” Phoebe said. “Good, I’m glad you are finally listening.”
Phoebe set her meal aside and said, "I will perform 'The Celebrated Chop Waltz' like Wolfgang Mozart."
She sat down at the piano and her fingers blazed across the black and white keys.
As Mrs. Clef looked shocked and embarrassed, the audience rose to its feet and cheered Phoebe’s success.
Mrs. Clef never again asked Phoebe to play “Chopsticks,” also known as "The Celebrated Chop Waltz."
Instead, Phoebe composed her own songs, and Mrs. Clef paid attention to every last note.

Copyright 2014 Jennifer Waters 

Dedicated to piano teacher Ann Layser.

Praying Mantis: The Story of a Very Evil Insect

Once upon a time there was a very evil mantis named Jude.
He lived in the deep, dark forest among the trees, rocks, and flowers.
With his triangle head and long neck, he mostly ate moths, crickets, and grasshoppers.
But one summer night, a family of five pitched a tent by the river.
The family was so excited to camp underneath the silver moon and golden stars.
Jude thought the mother and father would make an especially good meal,
And the children could be preyed on for his appetizer and dessert.
After Jude ate a few of his own family members, he lied in wait for his visitors.
His three small eyes between his two large eyes stalked them everywhere for days.
The scariest thing that the family did was hold hands and pray together every morning.
As Jude heard their requests, he wondered if a powerful Being protected them.
He watched them float down the river and roast marshmallows by the campfire.
They even liked to sing out-of-tune songs with a beat up guitar and banjo.
Jude’s green body helped him blend in with the forest, so the family never saw him.
Until one morning, he rose on his hind legs and pounced on the family.
When they ran in escape, he retreated, considering his limited options.
Later in the week, he tried to devour them again, lurking by the river after dark.
Despite his vicious attack, he only captured the oldest son as ransom.
When the family came to rescue the son, the mantis nearly lost his own life.
As the father pierced the mantis with his camping knives, the creature gave up.
Unsure of his fate, Jude decided not to prey on them, bent his legs, and joined in prayer.

Copyright 2014 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Here to There" in THE MAGIC MUSIC BOX Broadway musical

Priscilla Trumble, Lucas Halford, and Effie Fortney sing "Here to There" in THE MAGIC MUSIC BOX Broadway stage musical, the first story of THE WHIRLWIND CHRONICLES novel/musical series. The trio sings the song once in harmony and then in a round. 

VERSE:
If you want to go from here to there, 
You can't be filled with fret or fear.
So take a step and take a chance, 
And you'll progress as you advance. 

VERSE:
If you want to go from here to there, 
You have to learn to persevere.
So carry on through hurt and harm, 
And you'll develop certain charm. 

VERSE:
If you want to go from here to there,
You'll face the great and grand frontier.
So take your map and plan ahead,
And you'll have fun instead of dread.

VERSE:
If you want to go from here to there, 
You're suddenly a pioneer.
So break new ground and lead the way, 
And you'll begin a brand new day. 

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Waters

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Sing Yourself to Sleep" in THE HORSE GATE

Priscilla Trumble sings "Sing Yourself to Sleep" in THE HORSE GATE feature film musical, the second story of THE WHIRLWIND CHRONICLES novel/musical series. 

VERSE:                        
Sing yourself to sleep
When you’re happy.
Sing yourself to sleep
When a snappy,
Tune arrives inside your mind,
Like a sweet refrain of the heavenly kind.
Instead of counting sheep,
Sing yourself to sleep.

VERSE:                         
Sing yourself to sleep
When you’re hazy.
Sing yourself to sleep
When a lazy
Melody is floating past.
Oh, the possibilities are vast.
Why don’t you take the leap?
Sing yourself to sleep.

BRIDGE:                       
Let the music fill your head.
Let the lyrics fill your heart,
And soon you’ll start to drift,
The world will start to shift,
Into a wonderful, marvelous dream.

VERSE:                         
Sing yourself to sleep
When you’re lonely.
Sing yourself to sleep
When you’re only,
Just a toss and turn away
From a good noon’s rest after making hay.
Uneasiness can’t creep,
If you sing yourself to sleep.

BRIDGE:                       
Feel the meter in your hands.
Feel the rhythm in your toes,
And soon you’ll start to blur,
The song will start to stir,
Into a glorious, fabulous dream.    
                                   
VERSE:                         
Sing yourself to sleep
When you’re weary.
Sing yourself to sleep
When you’re leery
That you’ll be awake all night
In a bout of fear and an endless fright.
Oh, don’t you make a peep.
Sing yourself to sleep.

TAG:                             
Sing yourself to sleep.
Sing yourself to sleep.

Copyright 2013 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"The Cost of Living" in KISSES

Kitty Hershey sings “The Cost of Living” in KISSES, the feature film musical, based on the life of Milton S. Hershey. 

VERSE:
I thought I'd seen their faces

In the brightness of the sun. 
By now I picked their names. 
My romantic dream is done. 

CHORUS:

It's the cost of living. 
It hurts, and it's high.
There's nothing you can buy
To cover up this pain. 
It's the cost of living. 

VERSE:
At least I get tomorrow,
In the coolness of the day.

I'll sit on our front porch,
As the neighbor's children play.


CHORUS:

It's cost of living.
It's deep, and it's wrong.
I hope my heart is strong
To pay the mounting price. 
It's the cost of living. 

BRIDGE:

I didn't plan on the loss,
Of a barren womb.
This dark night of my soul

Feels more like an empty tomb.
One should not presume
To be a mother,
But how can I be other?


CHORUS:

It's the cost of living. 
It's once, and it's gone. 
I feel like I'm a pawn
In a risky game of chance.

It's the cost of living.

TAG:

It's the cost of living. 
It's the cost of living. 

Copyright 2013 Jennifer Waters

Monday, July 21, 2014

"A Song of Rainbows" in THE MAGIC MUSIC BOX

Priscilla Trumble sings "A Song of Rainbows" in THE MAGIC MUSIC BOX feature film musical, the first story of THE WHIRLWIND CHRONICLES novel/musical series.

VERSE:                       

Sing a song of rainbows.
Sing a song of light.
Sing a song of rainbows.
Darkness becomes bright.

CHORUS:                  
Red, orange, yellow,
Violet, green, and blue,
The beauty of the colors
Inspires me and you.

VERSE:                       
Sing a song of rainbows.
Sing with strength and might.
Sing a song of rainbows
When you face a fight.

CHORUS:                   
Red, orange, yellow,
Violet, green, and blue
Has wonder-working power
In every perfect hue.

BRIDGE:                   
It’s a melody of promise,
A promise of enduring love.
It lifts up your eyes
To the heavens above.

VERSE:                       
Sing a song of rainbows.
Sing with much delight.
Sing a song of rainbows.
Everything’s all right.

CHORUS:                   
Red, orange, yellow,
Violet, green, and blue,
The glory of the spectrum
Reminds us dreams come true.

TAG:                           
Sing a song of rainbows.
Sing a song of rainbows.

Copyright 2013 Jennifer Waters