Sunday, July 19, 2009
As you may have gathered, I’m looking at Sundays just now as a time for posting original music, & today I chose one of my very favorites of Eberle’s songs, “Zebra Weather.”
I recall that Eberle wrote this one spring when I was off visiting my parents in Florida. Her initial thought was that the song would be an instrumental, but it wasn’t too much later that she composed the wonderful lyrics. Honey possums are real creatures, by the way—you can read more about them here & that’s a drawing of them to the left.
Sadly, we never got a recording of the full band version—the song was composed during the Alice in Wonder Band’s last year, & although we performed it several times we never did so with a microphone around. Deadre Chase, the band’s singer, had a lovely way with the song, & clarinetist Bob George did a nice job of weaving around a fairly difficult melody—made more difficult by the fact that the song is in Gb; for you non-musicians out there, let’s just say that’s not the people’s key. Art Troutner played mandolin, while Eberle & I played melodica & baritone uke, respectively—although it’s an odd key, the chords fell quite naturally on the baritone. The two of us kept the song alive during our Five & Dime Jazz duo existence, tho as an instrumental—I didn’t sing with Five & Dime Jazz, & the current key is way out of my my limited singing range.
We made this recording for our Rootabaga Country soundtrack in 06. Since this is an instrumental, I’m posting Eberle’s lyrics as well; for those who want to sing along, the vocal part would start just before 1:30 & end just before 2:30. Hope you enjoy it!
The kind of weather that’s so soft & bright,
zinnias keep on shining all through the night.
A star on the horizon & nothing to do;
that’s the kind of weather I dream of for you.
Twilight on the garden gate, zebras drawing near,
the sulky sound of honey possums nuzzling your ear.
Anything can happen in weather like this;
the sky can come unfastened, cottonwoods can kiss.
© Eberle Umbach 2004-2009 (both the lyrics & the music)
A note on the slideshow pix:
The following images are licensed for attribution under Creative Commons licenses:
Second Zebra image: Pharaoh Hound; Fir0002
Fifth Zebra image: Kevin Walsh (kevinzim)
Final Zebra image: eismcsquare
Finally, the first image of Eberle playing the melodica is by the late Earl Brockman, a gifted photographer from our area, who is missed