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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Henry (Hudson), How Ya Gonna Find a Way?

Henry (Hudson), How Ya Gonna Find a Way?
words and music by Lloyd Miller (c)(p)2011
arrangement by Ari Dolegowski, Chris Johnson, Ely Levin, and Lloyd Miller

appears on Strange Dees, Indeed by the Deedle Deedle Dees (release date: October 31, 2011) 

He tried to find a Northwest Passage
a way from Africa to India
Henry, how ya gonna find a way?

He found an island and a river
and sailed around what we call New York City
Henry, how ya gonna find a way?

Henry, how ya gonna find a way?

If you believe Rip Van Winkle
Henry retired to the Catskills
Henry, how ya gonna find a way?

Henry and crew, they all got smaller
At night they make nine-pin thunder
Henry, how ya gonna find a way?

I wrote this in my head while driving to a school show in White Plains / Westchester / somewhere in that netherworld between NYC and upstate. The school was doing a curriculum about Henry Hudson and the 400th anniversary of his arrival. I taught the other Dees the tune while we plugged everything in and we performed it that morning.

The second verse is inspired by Washington Irving's short story, "Rip Van Winkle." Everybody knows about how Rip fell asleep then woke up to find everything changed (most notably the British are no longer in charge of the colonies in which he lives). But do you remember the whole bit about Henrik Hudson and his crew bowling in the mountains? They've become gnomes or something and all have long beards. I remember reading the actual "Rip Van Winkle" (rather than a kid's adaptation) as an adult and being like "What? I don't remember this!"

Who does what on "Henry (Hudson), How Ya Gonna Find a Way?"
Booker Dee (Chris Johnson): organ, vocals
Moby Dee (Ari Dolegowski): electric guitar, vocals
Otto von Dee (Ely Levin): drums, vocals
Ulysses S. Dee (Lloyd Miller): electric bass, lead vocals
Dean Jones: recording, mixing, vocals