What Democrazy Looks Like - Whimsically Macabre (Tiny Desk Contest 2017)

If you look closely, you will see a tiny origami desk. It turned out to be the perfect size for a tiny giraffe head. (Having a desk of some sort in your video is a requirement of the contest.)

What Democrazy Looks Like is primarily a piano solo with singing as an accompaniment. It reflects disappointment about the state of our nation, apprehension, and a tiny sliver of hope. May we musicians, artists, and scientists work together to create a better future. 

Stacy is a composer and pianist who has carefully avoided singing in public before this video. Please feel free to verify this by checking out her other works at WhimsicallyMacabre.bandcamp.com. :)  

Thank you to Stoph Long, who just happens to be a scientist, for his encouragement and help with the recording process.

Thank you to NPR for providing this opportunity. It forced me out of my comfort zone.

Margoton va t'a l'iau

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
The well was hollow and she fell in.
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
Three handsome young men pass by
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
What will you give, pretty one, if we pull you out?
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
Pull me out first, she says, and then we'll see.
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
When the pretty one was out she struck up a song.
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
This is not what we want, pretty one.
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
It is to hold your little heart if we may.
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton

Margoton goes to fetch water with her little jug
My little heart, sirs, is not for lechers.
Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, Aïe, se dit Margoton


Alouette, gentille alouette,
Alouette, je te plumerai.

Je te plumerai la tête,
Je te plumerai la tête,
Et la tête, et la tête,
Alouette, Alouette

Lark, nice lark
Lark, I’ll pluck you.

I’ll pluck your head
I’ll pluck your head
And your head, and your head
Lark, lark. A-a-a-ah

Ethnomusicologist Conrad LaForte points out that, in song, the lark (l'alouette) is the bird of the morning, and that it is the first bird to sing in the morning, hence waking up lovers and causing them to part, and waking up others as well, something which is not always appreciated. In French songs, the lark also has the reputation of being a gossip, a know-it-all, and cannot be relied on to carry a message, as she will tell everyone; she also carries bad news. ~Conrad LaForte, Survivances médiévales dans la chanson folklorique, Université Laval Press, 1981 (from Wikipedia)

Molly Malone

In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty,
I once met a girl called sweet Molly Malone, 
She wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow, 
Crying cockles and mussels alive alive oh 

She was a fishmonger and it was no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they both wheeled their barrows through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive alive oh

My love had a fever and no one could save her, 
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone, 
Now her ghost wheels her barrow 
through the streets broad and narrow 
crying cockles and mussels alive alive oh.

Arachne's Web

 From Greek Mythology.com:  Arachne in Greek mythology was a weaver who challenged Athena and was consequently transformed into a spider. There are three versions of the myth. 
     One version has it that she was a shepherd's daughter that was particularly skilled at weaving. Boasting about her skill, she infuriated Athena, who appeared and contested her. Athena weaved four scenes in which the gods punished those humans that considered themselves equal to gods and committed hubris; Arachne, on the other hand, weaved scenes in which gods abused humans. Arachne's work was clearly better than Athena's; the goddess, even more enraged due to what the weaving depicted, threw Hecate's potion onto Arachne, transforming her into a spider and condemning her to weave for eternity. 
     In a different version, at the challenge, Athena weaved the contest between herself and Poseidon over who the patron saint of Athens would be, while Arachne did a depiction of Zeus' advances to various mortal women. Athena realized how skilled Arachne was, but wanted to teach her to be more humble and respect the gods. Touching Arachne's forehead, the woman was filled with shame and hung herself. Athena brought her back to life and turned her into a spider, in order to let her weave all the time.
     In the final version of the myth, Zeus was the judge in the contest between Arachne and Athena, and whoever lost would not be allowed to touch a spindle or the loom again. Athena won in this version, and Arachne was devastated that she could no longer weave. Out of pity, Athena transformed her into a spider, so she could continue weaving without having to break her oath. 

Pinocchio's Tango

      The Fairy sat looking at him and laughing. "Why do you laugh?" the Marionette asked her, worried now at the sight of his growing nose. "I am laughing at your lies." "How do you know I am lying?" "Lies, my boy, are known in a moment. There are two kinds of lies, lies with short legs and lies with long noses. Yours, just now, happen to have long noses." Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide his shame, tried to escape from the room, but his nose had become so long that he could not get it out of the door.
      Crying as if his heart would break, the Marionette mourned for hours over the length of his nose. No matter how he tried, it would not go through the door. The Fairy showed no pity toward him, as she was trying to teach him a good lesson, so that he would stop telling lies, the worst habit any boy may acquire. But when she saw him, pale with fright and with his eyes half out of his head from terror, she began to feel sorry for him and clapped her hands together. A thousand woodpeckers flew in through the window and settled themselves on Pinocchio's nose. They pecked and pecked so hard at that enormous nose that in a few moments, it was the same size as before.
     "How good you are, my Fairy," said Pinocchio, drying his eyes, "and how much I love you!" ~from The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, 1883


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee Boogie

Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll:
"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, 
it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." 

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Sheet music: https://pianopronto.com/composers-community/stacy-fahrion/
Bandcamp: https://whimsicallymacabre.bandcamp.com/


"The name Rumpelstilzchen in German means literally "little rattle stilt". (A stilt is a post or pole which provides support for a structure.) A rumpelstilt or rumpelstilz was the name of a type of goblin, also called a pophart or poppart, that makes noises by rattling posts and rapping on planks. The meaning is similar to rumpelgeist ("rattle ghost") or poltergeist, a mischievous spirit that clatters and moves household objects." (from Wikipedia)