Friday, July 10, 2009

Only A Northwest Song

[UPDATE] The song got a remix, plus a few extra touches, now that I've had a little time.

[UPDATE] Welcome everyone from Facebook, Twitter and other networks - traffic has definitely picked up around here. For the whole story on Annie's June 14th crushing at the hands of Northwest Airlines, see this blog entry.

Wrote the lyrics and music this morning (July 10th), recorded this arrangement in the afternoon. It's an odd little tune.

• The title is a play on the George Harrison-penned Beatles tune "Only A Northern Song." Why, I don't know.

• I listened to both "United Breaks Guitars" and "Thank You Republic Airlines" to make sure I didn't go in either of those directions. 'Twas easy with the Tom Paxton tune. A little more difficult with Dave Carroll's song, because he plays it in the international key of dulcimer - D. Anything I did in D sounded pretty close to this tune, so I went with the key of G instead. A little high in my range, but a good stretching exercise.

• Originally, I was going to rock this one out, but decided to go with a mixture of techno drum loops and dulcimer. The bass is synthesized and played live.

• Except for the male chorus under the bridge, all voices are mine.

It definitely needs some polish, but I'm happy to post it as a demo and see what y'all think. [UPDATE] Thanks to everyone on Blip.FM who has blipped this tune!

Only A Northwest Song
music and lyrics by Bing Futch
Copyright © 2009 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.

you may have heard the song about the guy from Nova Scotia
how United Airlines busted his guitar
Tom Paxton hit that barrier with Republic as a carrier
and he wrote a tune to serve as a memoir

my heart goes out to both these gents in their respective incidents
and with these words I'm joining the protest
for I had just one expenditure in the shape of a mountain dulcimer
and that instrument got splintered by Northwest


Where the baggage handlers roam


You'll be taking pieces home


You've killed many guitars, for sure

add to that: one mangled mountain dulcimer

"gate check that piece"
"no," I said - "it fits right in the overhead
as easy as a cord fits in a plug"
but in Motor City, my connection had the bins all sliced into little sections
the whole plane looked just like a Volkswagen bug

I've had my share of heart-thumpers, flying these puddle-jumpers
my dulcimer in the belly of the beast
the case was strong, I said a prayer as we lifted up into the air
with Ft. Wayne as my next stop in the east


The two girls on the ground crew seemed afraid
And watched me from afar, grabbing the last bag on the cart
If I had looked inside, they would have paid
three hours later, I saw the mess
and shouted "curses to you, Northwest!"

So, listen up, American, Delta, Frontier , Air Tran
Continental, PSA , Jet Blue
US Airways, Allegiant Air, Southwest, Compass, Martinaire
Virgin Atlantic, yeah I'm talkin' to you

and all you other commercial flights, your passengers have all got rights
to baggage that is never treated wrong
and if you slip, then so will we, along comes Dave or Tom or ME
to tell the world that you suck, in a song


figmo said...

Love the song! I keep wanting to hear a stronger bass line, but maybe it's my computer that's damping those frequencies out.

Congrats on the exposure the news story got you. Thanks to the exposure and cross-links, I want to hear more of your music!

Bing Futch said...


I used keyboard bass and it's kinda lame. Punched it up a little with a virtual cabinet. It'll definitely get a better treatment for the album release. I appreciate your post!

bob p said...

Here are a couple more lines ;-)


You'll spend hours on the phone


When you should be going home....

(or to stick strictly with the luggage theme--have experienced both... When your luggage should be home...)

Anonymous said...

Since Northwest got bought by Delta, this song should have been called "Delta breaks Dulcimers"

Anonymous said...

Good song and a fine job regarding a topic about which you have much sympathy. I can't play anything but a radio, but I will gladly say that the scum-ball airlines have all earned X10 every song that blasts their black-hearted ways, atrocious baggage handling and utter lack of basic respect of their customers.