Give It Up

from by Mal Webb

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about

I wrote this for my brother John, who isn't a fan of audience participation. Neither is my faux Pa, Allan. And a few years ago at Glastonbury, when Beyonce performed, she came out and yelled "Hello GlastonBERRY", a tall English chap next to me exclaimed, "Oh, for Christ's sake, it's 'Glast'nbry'... it's 3 syllables... how come people can't get these things right?!"after which he promptly left! I just had to write this song. You may note that the chord progression goes A A Dm Dm throughout the song, but I add or subtract 2/4 bars between the sections such that the one shifts. Not as disturbingly as in Brick, but still fun. This concept was inspired by Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads / Brian Eno, which shifts like that between the verses and choruses (to my ear, anyway) and Angry (GIMA) by Bobby McFerrin, in which I'm never quite sure where he's feeling the one... I hope to ask him one day!

lyrics

Give It Up
(for John)

It’s been a long day
It’s been a long year
I could’ve gone home, but I came here
Listen to some music, check out the bands
But the guy with the microphone seems to like only making demands
And I’m thinking now, c’mon, c’mon c’mon now
If you’re gunna play a song, play a song
I’ve got an eager ear and I’m here to hear
My tastes are broad and my patience long
Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve gotta make this clear, you hear?
I don’t wanna sing along
I don’t wanna put my hands up
I don’t wanna make some noise, or go “woah oh, woah oh oh”
I won’t clap or cheer or dance or even sway. No chance! No way!
I wouldn’t go “Woo” in a pink fit
Ooh, and I don’t wanna give it up, unless giving it up is the ‘it’
Give up the ‘give it up’ bit, unless giving it up is the ‘it’ we’re giving up
Call me a grumpy git
I don’t give a damn, not a hoot, not a bit, nooo ...
But having said that, I hope you don’t think
That I’m not happy here, sipping my drink
And listen to the music, eventually
And respond in a way that on the day feels right to me
It may be kinda subtle, just a tap of the toe
Or a turn of the head
It might not even show
I’m gunna stay po-faced and proud
I’m not easily wowed
But if you’re really great, I might talk to my mates a little less loud
Well, I know you’re just trying to build the vibe, unite us like a team or a tribe
And if all the rest seem keen to roll with that
For sure, have a ball, you don’t need my bat
But I suggest I’m not the sole surly soul in here
Who longs to hear a song sometime this year
Skip the trite hype, corny, ham and cheese
When you say “Give it up”, I say “Please!”...
You may be amazing, no doubt, you could go far
But stop raving about how good you are ...
When you say “Hello GlasONBUry!”
Don’t expect me to cheer ’til I hear you pronounce it correctly ...
When you say “How’re you feeling?”, I may frown
Knowing you don’t really wanna know how I feel deep down
If it were amusing or original I’d join in gladly
But sadly it’s the same old schtick done badly …

©2011

credits

from Not Nor Mal, released September 2, 2016

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about

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!"
Noice.
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