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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make a video of yourself reading the Gettysburg Address. Send it to us.

We're making a video featuring various friends reading the Gettysburg Address for the anniversary this Friday, November 19th.

Read all or some of the text below. Look into the camera. Wear a top hat if you have one.

The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln delivered this speech on Thursday, November 19, 1863 as part of a ceremony to dedicate the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Set list for today's bike-themed variety show

Here's what we played at today's bike-themed variety show at the Knitting Factory:

The Deedle Deedle Dees Variety Show Theme Song

Henry Box Brown (from Freedom in a Box, 2007)

Penny Farthing

Sojourner Truth

Big Trip

The Brooklyn Bridge Song (from American History + Rock-n-Roll = The Deedle Deedle Dees, 2009)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Penny Farthing lyrics and chords

Penny Farthing
words and music by Lloyd Miller (c)(p) 2010

How to play video:

Capo fret 7

D D/C D/B D/A (repeat for each line of verse)
Saddle and the saddle spring
these are attached to the frame
all three are part of my lovely
penny farthing

if you want the wheel to spin
scoot into the seat
and then begin
to push the pedals
now take a trip on
penny farthing

put a penny beside a farthing
the farthing's the bigger one
and if you see a big wheel rolling
followed by a little one
that just might be me & penny farthing
takin' in the winter sun
come say hello, man
we're not late to see anyone

mustache handlebars allow
my legs to move free up and down
squeeze a handle
the spoon brake
stops my penny farthing

obstacles and sudden stops
can cause a header aka cropper
have you seen me fly facefirst
off penny farthing?

(if you're playing a guitar w/o a capo or a different instrument)
verse: A A/G A/F A/E
chorus: G C D
Am C G

Monday, November 1, 2010

Recording of new sing-a-long album starts tomorrow... with you!

I've been trying to make a sing-a-long album for years. Recording such a thing at home or in a studio is impossible. It sounds too stale. Or faked. My wife cringed once when I played her a home recording of "Old MacDonald" where I talked to a pretend sing-a-long crowd and exhorted them to sing-a-long. It was just lacking that particular energy that makes my sing-a-longs by far the most fun thing I do.

So starting tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 2) I'm going to try to record myself -- and you, if you happen to be there -- at the actual sing-a-long. I know there will be sound issues -- scraping chairs, screaming kids, out-of-tune voices right near the mic -- but I don't care. I'm going to record most of my sing-a-longs for the month of November so I have plenty to choose from. We'll sing not only traditional songs, but also classic and brand-new Dees tunes that lend themselves to a group sing-a-long treatment.

Now that it's suddenly cold again, it's a great time for sing-a-longs because the big crowds are returning (mainly, I think because it's too cold to go to the playground.) Come help us! We want your voices.

Your reward will be a brand-new sing-a-long album in early December that you can play throughout the rest of the winter. An album that will cost you nothing because I'm going to post the whole thing online for anyone to download at no cost.