Trainer Wheels

by Mal Webb

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released January 1, 2000

All written, played and sung by Mal Webb, except most of the bassline of Girl of My Dreams was written by Anita Hustas




Mal Webb Melbourne, Australia

Vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist, looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques (like sideways yodeling) and plays guitar, bass, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica, bass and piano. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Aphex Twin and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ani DiFranco said to Mal: "You're a freak!"
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Track Name: Trainer Wheels
Trainer Wheels
(for all my family)
When I took off my trainer wheels
I hit the road and skinned my knee
And stubbed my toe as I stood up
And banged my head upon a tree
My brother asked "Are you OK?"
So many times it drove me nuts
Deaf, dumb and blind in agony
I had to punch him in the guts

I'm a baby in a pram
Playing chicken with a tram

Back seat of the brown EH
Heading homeward late at night
The streetlights stroke me half asleep
And everything will be alright
'Cos mum and dad are in the front
Their murmurs ripple over me
And no divorce could strip away
This blanket of security

I should've left my trainer wheels on
Another day would've done
If I'd thought to think it through
And high up on my tin can stilts
Adult stamped upon my brow
With an O instead of U

When I took off my trainer wheels
Dad gave them to the kid next door
"They'll just clutter up the shed
And we don't need them anymore"
So now I ride a bike with ease
Around the block I'm free to roam
Down any path, up any street
Except the one that heads for home

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Bike

For a score of it, click here for a PDF or here for a Sibelius file (you might have to right click (or control click for mac) the link to save it properly).
Yep, use it with your choir/group! You might want to change the key.
Just repay me by getting me a gig and/or encouraging everyone to buy my CDs... easy!

Push on a pedal, push on a pedal
Get your (gasp) heart started
Push on a pedal
Push it down and up again
Get on your bike, sit on the seat
Push your feet on the pedals
And ride it all around
Ride it all around
Oh, get that car out of my way
I want to ride my bike today
It keeps me fit and gets me there
And won't go stinking up the air
Leave behind the daily grind
And let your mind unwind
If it's life you tend to like
You'd better get yourself a bike
Oh, oh, get yourself a bike

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Ringbark
(for the long suffering Earth)
The money-go-round is overwound
The gambolling horses bound
And throw the Toorak cowboy
To the ground
So will he survive, take a dive
Or flay his foe alive
Armed with a Gucci watch
And a 4-wheel drive
Ringbark your heart
Subdivide your soul
A troll will take its toll
A virtual tear, so sincere
Is programmed to appear
The sound of patting backs is coming near
That's my turn off, let me out right here

The Earth doesn't understand economics
Volcanoes really don't give a hoot
About political theory
Gravity goes down
And entropy tends to go up
Whatever that means to a rock
And for the ocean there's no notion
Of religious devotion and yet we'll still be
Finding new cows to kowtow to
When the sun gives up with a cough
'Cos we think we're so tough

So is it a rort to export
The same stuff we import?
All in the name of good financial sport
Humanity flows in exposing
Something on the nose
On the face of the Earth
A nasty freckle grows
Ringbark your heart
Subdivide your soul
A troll will take its toll
Exorbitant fees catch the breeze
And spread like some disease
Ascending graphs are going to
Bring us to our knees
That's my turn off, let me out here please

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Hug
If you're feeling forlorn or a bit full on
Here's a cure that's a medical paragon
It's a fantasy panacea, yes indeed
You just need a good hug
That's all you need

There's no need to beg
And no need to steal
And there's no hidden cost
In a reciprocal deal
You should only ever hug
When it's all agreed
That you need a good hug
That's all you need

Hugging makes you happy
It'll make you smile
Take your inhibitions
And lose them for a while
Hugging makes you feel like
Everything's OK
But don't wait 'til tomorrow
When you can hug today

It won't leave you in debt with a legal writ
It won't leave you
With clothing that doesn't fit
It won't leave you with another little
Mouth to feed
You just need a good hug
That's all you need

There's no known communicable
Diseases involved
So if you leave it at hugging
Then your problem's solved
And if you do it right
You won't bruise or bleed
You just need a good hug
That's all you need

You can start with a handshake
Let it evolve to involve a little toll
On your heart and soul
Any sex, age or creed
Any species or breed
You just need a good hug
That's all you need

You don't need psychedelics
To addle your brain
You don't need nicotine
Caffeine or cocaine
You don't need a bag of weed
Or a line of speed
You just need a good hug
That's all you need

You don't need a pair of
Gaultier boxer shorts
You don't need a flatmate
With two dimensional thoughts
You don't need a prostitute
Who'll scream and plead
You just need a good hug
That's all you need

There may be somebody
That you once knew
Who had always felt the need
To embrace with you
And if only you'd known
All the signs to read
When you need a good hug
That's all you need

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Laksa
I dabbled in Tom Chad Goong for a while
But it lacks a laksa's lackadaisical style
Consommé can cope in a shrouded tureen
But a laksa's at home
In a crowded street scene
Just hold on tight and don't wear white

My favourite place to go
When I'm down on my luck is a wee
Malay cafe where they do a good laksa
The price is right, the decor's shite
And don't wear white

The waitress comes to me
No expression on her face
Could be fire inside
A serene chilly surface
She's mild despite my wild delight
But don't wear white

Oo laksa, for thrills and spills
It's superlative du jour
Oo laksa, for all your ills
This hot broth'll have the cure
'Cos I'll be sculling the dregs
'Til I sweat like gelignite
Lips tingling in the afterglow
Of a sacred fishy rite
Just hold on tight and don't wear white

A marbled lava lake
Blood from Jack Pollock's toe
Upon a tofu shore
Creamy tides ebb and flow
The prawns invite a tender bite
So don't wear white

Pasta shiatsu pats you
With long floppy fingers
A canoodling spoonful
So pungently lingers
Attain new height in taste bud flight
And don't wear white

If you like your dining
With moaning and whining
If you want me to stay
Don't take my broth away

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Girl Of My Dreams
Girl of my Dreams
The girl of my dreams
Has the head of a donkey
The girl of my dreams
Ran me over with a steam roller
The girl of my dreams
Turned into my mother
The girl of my dreams
Made me fall off my tricycle

So I never wish upon a star

The girl of my dreams
Threw my leg in the ocean
The girl of my dreams
Is right into bootscooting

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: One Man's Fish
One Man's Fish
One man's fish is another man's poisson
Cooked bread, raw toast
Wet dirt, dry mud
Tuna of the barnyard, camel of the sea
Pigeon of the sewer, potato of the tree
Overground rabbit, underground tabby
Two dollar cavey
Narrow minded could mean focussed
But broad minded could mean vague

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Little Green Fruit
Little Green Fruit

You hang in the tree looking ripe and big
But you insist on clinging to the highest twig
Well I plead and I pray, oh how I beseech you
Tell me how on earth I can ever reach you

Little green fruit up in the tree
Little green fruit come down to me
I'm going crazy wondering what I have to do
I've got a stiff neck from waiting for you
Oh oh oh, little green fruit come down to me

Your powers of deception are beyond belief
How can such a luscious fruit look so much like a leaf
Well I give you a chop and I'm sure you drop
But when I get the bag down, you're still up the top

I know for certain if I left you there
All the birdies would flap down to get their share
You'd be pecked and rotten when you hit the ground
And for no guacamole would you be bound

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Keen On You
Keen on You
Right in the middle of a friendship
The weight of one lip can just tip the scales
Now the looks are getting furtive
We could be hurt if communication fails

So if I'm barking up the wrong tree
You better tell me before I lose my head
But if the feeling is mutual
Then it's crucial you tell me that instead

'Cos I should have known the seed was sown
My love has grown for you
Oh, it could betray a good relationship to say "I do"
If you don't feel it too

I think I'm getting a little bit keen
I'm getting a bit keen on you
Tell me baby, what am I gonna do

I cannot deny that as you were walking by
Something about you caught my wandering minstrel eye
And I was thrown into the deep end, splashing around
Oh, could this be profound new love I've found?
'Cos not until this day have I felt this way
I cross my fingers and my toes that this love grows
Not unrequited, short sighted or left in the dark
I sure don't want to be another Petrarch

If this emotional outpouring is embarrassing or boring
I don't mean it to offend, I still want to be your friend

©Mall Webb 2000
Track Name: Djembe
There's too many djembes in the village
You've got to get a bicycle instead
'Cos to the local ladies
A bike is a Mercedes
And you cannot ride a djembe
Home to bed

There's too many bongos in the chai tent
You know I think they're tapping in
To something big
When every second part
Seems to channel Mickey Hart
It's something I'm not stoned enough
To dig

Djembe x3 Bongo x3 Djembebongo x3

There's too many fiddlers
In the green room
Forever reeling incessantly obsessed
When Celtic is the flavour
They savour every quaver
But maybe "Drowsy Maggie" needs a rest

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Odd One Out
Odd One Out

When they rang to invite you out
Why didn't you hesitate
'Cos you know they're a couple now
And it'd be like a date
And while you still like their company
Their baby talk makes you gag
And when they get down to pashing on
You're gonna feel like a dag

'Cos they're such a cute couple
Your angle's obtuse
What was once equilateral
Is bent out of use
Now in this tragic triad
You're the minor third
And the giggling sounds absurd
You're the odd one out
One of these things
Just doesn't belong here
Two of these things are having a snog

So you stare every other way
Because you don't want to gawk
You ought to bail out and head for home
Except it's too far to walk
When they suggest a trapezium
Their pity adds to your gloom
Because they both try to set you up
With every dag in the room
Two of these things are going the tongue

Now as you adore every flaw in the wall
And the ceiling's appealing to you
You notice that some of squares
On the other two sides have been
Room gazing too and soon you're aware
That each passionate pair
Has a solitary sad case in tow
Each agonizing whether it's best
To be the odd one out
Or the odd one at home

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Waterbear
(Family Tardigrada)

I wish I were a waterbear
Then I'd be comfy anywhere
In a vacuum, boiled or frozen
Centuries of happy dozing
Pressure never leaves you in despair
When you're a waterbear

I wish I were a waterbear
Politically so unaware
No more fashion, pain or gain
'Cos with a microscopic brain
Your heaven is a clump of moss to share
When you're a waterbear

I wish I were a waterbear
A mighty mite with time to spare
Never have to prove your worth
A minor impact on the Earth
And little need for water, food or air
That's why I really want to
Be a waterbear.....(sing along!)

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Helen Lane
Helen Lane
(for dad)

Well, I propose a toast to the mitosist
With the mostest
She's a ghost who can boast
From coast to coast in every Hela cell
She's more cultured than Chanel
Cartier or YSL
But she's tired of being quite so huge
And dizzy from the centrifuge
She's quick frozen, colour-fast
Her prison cell is built to last

Dear Helen Lane
Did you know your coffin's final nail
Is bigger than a blue whale?
And so it will remain
Just as long as cell biologists
Like peering at your private bits

It's a grand humiliation
Showing now across the nation
Mutation on a huge scale
Bigger than a blue whale

Dear Helen Lane
Did you know the bit you left behind
May help to cure its own kind?
So maybe you can claim
A saintly little perch in every church
For contributions to research

Well back in 1953, m'lady had a malady
A cervix abnormality
That led to her fatality
The cells went for a biopsy
That showed up the malignancy
But also a propensity
To multiply so rapidly
That the scientists went on to see
What other uses there could be
For her expansive quality
They shared her around extensively
To every good laboratory
Her fame was spreading globally
'Til nowadays she's said to be
The biggest lonely clone there'll ever be

Arabidopsis and drosophila
May have advice to offer her
On how it's best to keep your cool
When you've become a research tool

Dear Helen Lane
Did you know your flock of little vultures
Divide and conquer lesser cultures?
But not that you're to blame
Your name before
They diddled with the facts
Was really Henrietta Lacks

Dear Helen Lane
Did you know that part you left to science
Is now a giant among giants?
And on a higher plane
Your omnipresent question
Bids the answer
God's a black woman's cancer

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Litter
Litter on the wing
Fly above me
Flutter in the wind
And swoop over parked cars
Perches high up in a tree
And flapping plastic feathers
Seem to say "You created me
Then you treat me with disdain
As I wash down the drain
To where frogs are croaking
And dolphins choking"

Litter on the wing
High above me
At the whim of the wind
Dart behind brickwork
Much maligned reminder that our refuse
Knows no refuge in a deluge
Poly poltergeists
Refuse to refrain from romping in the rain
These remains that taunt us
Remain to haunt us

©Mal Webb 2000
Track Name: Two and a Dog
Two and a Dog
(for the Oxo family and Tim Tam Pam)
Driving to the gig tonight
I hoped and prayed with all my might
That dreams of Woodstock
Would come true
A crowd that stretched beyond my view
But I dream too much
And practise far too rarely
And walking in I feel as though
The cards were dealt unfairly

'Cos two and a dog, two and a dog
Two and a dog is all I see
How could they do this to me
All those friends who faithfully
Promised me that they would be
Here to hear me play
But two and a dog, two and a dog
Two and a dog is all I've got
I must admit it's not a lot
Superstar is what I'm not
My property just isn't hot
This dog has had his day

Now playing at the gig tonight
I shut my eyes to hide the sight
The empty chairs look on in pain
They try to cheer, but all in vain
And in between the songs
I can hear the barman breathing
While the only other sound I hear
Is the sound of people leaving

My voice was sore
And the sound was poor
And the posters had the venue wrong
Excuses fly as I wonder why
Thousands didn't come along

Now driving from the gig tonight
I grip the steering wheel tight
The psychedelic voices say
That I should give the game away
But I'll be back again
Climbing 'til I reach my peak
And for seven days I'll hope and pray
And three and a cow
Might come next week

Yeah, two and a dog, two and a dog
Two and a dog can be so cruel
But I won't give up like a fool
I'll give my all and keep my cool
'Cos I'm as stubborn as a mule
I'll take the stage again
'Cos two and a dog, two and a dog
Two and a dog, my faithful few
And I'll be here to play for you
Until my record deal comes through
By then I might be eighty-two
But two and a dog will do 'til then

©Mal Webb 2000