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Some of my Filksongs
Note: Click on the sheet music icon next to song titles that have them (on the songs, not the table of contents) for (what else) sheet music. Sheet music generated by Music Time(tm) from Gvox

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. (Basically feel free to use these songs non-commercially as long as you give me credit - see the above link for details)

Last Updated August 8, 2016

A Song for Grossed Out FilkFen
And Then Again...
At The Con
The Box
Blue December Sky
Captain Jack: The Mermaid's Side
Dig Dig Dug
Don't Look Back
Fun While It Lasted
The Gifties Gie Us
Gregor's Song
Hollow Hills
I Want A Bear
In The Long Run...
Jest Fur A Spell
The Last Hero
Locked Out
Lord Of The Dance Rev. 3:1
Move Over Doctor Frankenstein
Mundania Thinks We're Weird?
Rainbows' Ends
Rudolph's Ride
Snakes Alive
Stairway To Babble
The Store Where I Work
Sung From Under The Bed
The Demographer's Song
The Face You Used To Wear
The Past And Future Inn
The Second String Hero's Lament
The Things In Guacamole
Vila: The One Who Got Away
Wandering Monsters
Well, Almost No Room
We've Got Filksongs
What Do They Live On When They Can't Get Guest Star?
Who Lu?

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

(Doom, doom, doom, doom.....
Doom, doom, doom, doom.....)

The filksing's getting ose again (Oh dread! Oh dread!)
The filksing's getting ose again (Oh dread! Oh dread!)
The piles of bodies have stained the floor
With thirty-nine separate shades of gore
And the fans are running out of the room to urp....

(Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck...)
(fade out over running feet, urping fen, whatever...)

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1988

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "I've Got Sixpence"

I like filksongs
Love to hear those filksongs.
I sing filksongs
Most anywhere I can.
Hotel lobbies, or bars,
In busses, or cars,
But glass elevators are the best!
Rising up,
Rising up,
Thru the hole in the roof and beyond.....
To the bar on top
(Hope there's Tully at this stop.)
Then, singing, I ride down again.

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: First four lines a slight variation of "Johnny Be Fair" by Buffy St. Marie, last couplet by Kay Shapero

We are the con committee and we are a mighty crew
We've been to a convention so we know just what to do
We've seen a lot of nonsense that created quite a mess
So we will just avoid it and we'll bring our con success
There'll be no room for nonsense at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

The folks who sit in circles and just croon or caterwaul
Will clog up our convention space and prob'ly block the hall
And none of us can sing a note so we don't think this fair
We'll put them in the parking lot and let them sing out there
No programing for filking at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

(Verse by and Copyright Sherman Dorn:)
The people taping filksings need to register their rights
for WE own this convention and our lawyers have some might
It's stupid to expect us to forgo the cash this year
for the concom needs some money ev'ry time that we buy beer.
No taping of the filking at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

The folks in costumes in the halls make cons look rather dumb
We'll not have hotel guests conclude that crazy folk have come
I know it's a tradition, but we'll punt the Costume Show
It only would encourage this behaviour don't ya know?
No programming for costumes at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

Let's not forget the gamers with their arcane bits of lore
All muttering and rolling dice on tables or the floor
And all this talk of magic spells might cause mundanes to fuss
So we'll just chase them all away; they're not enough like us.
No programing for gaming at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

And Trekkies at the con might prove a really nasty shock
Do you suppose they sacrifice to Great Gods Kirk and Spock?
We know they write wierd stories of the antics of the crew
And if we let them in the con who KNOWS what they would do?
No programing for Trekkies at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

Now setting up the Art Show is an awful lot of work
And though it is traditional, this task we'd like to shirk
We'll pick a door that's locked and then we'll hang a sign thereon
With "Art Show: Open soon" and then we'll leave it up all con!
No programing for artists at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

The Videos and Movies may bring legal trouble here
And that's a thing above all else we find we have to fear
The SCA and Dancers from the English Regency
Those aren't Science Fiction; send them home to watch TV
No programing for fringe fans at this con
If they don't like it they don't have to come.

The con has come at last; I march into the lecture hall
To greet the folks who've come to see the Greatest Con of all
Did I get lost? IS this the room? Where are the cheering fans?
The only folks in here are wielding dustmops, brooms and pans.
It couldn't have been something that I said
I guess that SF fandom must be dead!

words (other than v. 3) Copyright Kay Shapero, September 1991

By: Kay Shapero
Tune "The Thing" by Charles Randolph Grean

Oh I was running down the beach as fast as fast could be,
With half a dozen Death Eaters all chasing after me.
Dodging rocks and inbound spells, I fled across a rise,
And there I was with a Big Blue Box right before my eyes!
Yes there I was with a Big Blue Box right before my eyes!

It had a sign upon the door I didn't stop to read,
Just dove right in it figuring to apparate with speed.
I tripped on something, dropped my wand, and then, to my surprise,
The Big Blue Box made a roaring sound and took off for the skies!
Yes the Big Blue Box made a roaring sound and took off for the skies!

That Big Blue Box was bigger inside, though that was nothing new.
But I had never dreamed of all the ways that that thing flew.
It took me off to distant worlds and back to Ancient Rome.
No end to the places the Big Blue Box would take me except home.
No end to the places the Big Blue Box would take me except home.

Oh I've not given up just yet, but meanwhile this is fine;
Adventuring with comrades I pick up from time to time.
I'm never quite sure where I am, but there's one thing I know.
I'll always get through with my Big Blue Box no matter where we go.
With my "sonic screwdriver"* and Big Blue Box, no matter where we go!

*mime quotes with fingers.

words Copyright Kay Shapero, September 2013

BLUBBERSheet Music
By: Kay Shapero

Upon a beach in merry Oregon
With a hey and a hi and a merry merry-o.
There died a whale that weighed eight ton
With a hey and a hi and a ho.

This whale did span full five and forty feet
With a hey.."
And raised a stench no one could beat
With a hey..."

Oh who will come and save us from this stink?
The Highway Engineers, we think.

The engineers came quickly without fail
But couldn't budge the eight ton whale.

One engineer surveyed the dismal sight
And then suggested dynamite.

They'd blow that whale to pieces very small
Then leave the gulls to eat it all.

So half a ton of merry dynamite
That crew piled up and did ignite.

The whale exploded in a blast of flame
The watchers cheered to see the same.

As we all know, it really doesn't do
To disregard what Newton knew.

One woman cried out and her voice was awed
"Here comes a chunk of - OH MY GOD!"

The watchers turned to flee the deadly hail
Of tank-sized chunks of blown up whale.

The blubber splattered objects near and far
It crushed the top of someone's car.

The pieces rained down over land and sea
While cam'ras caught it for TV.

The fetid whale meat covered half a mile
And made that beach smell really vile.

(To a variation on Kilkelly, Ireland.. by way of Kilkenny...)
There was whale on the beaches
And whale on the cars
And gen'rally, whale everywhere...
(back to the usual tune)

What gulls remained were in a state of shock
To eat THAT mess would take a Roc!

Just what was done to clean up from the show
I must confess I do not know.

But there are those who'd pay them quite a fee
With a hey and a hi and a merry merry-o

To go clean Washington, DC.
With a hey and a hi and a ho!

(My thanks to Dave Barry for his article on the subject. Yes, this actually happened back around 1970 - see the exploding whale site for all the gory details (including video coverage!)

Copyright Kay Shapero, 1993

Blue December Sky
Lyrics: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Winter Wonderland"

Christmas bells, are you listening?
On the sea, waves are glistening,
The palm trees all sway,
It's a beautiful day,
Here beneath the blue December sky.

Far away are the grey skies,
Near at hand's where the bay lies,
The folks on the beach,
They wave each to each,
Here beneath the blue December sky.

On the pier we'll ride the rollercoaster,
Hear the music from the carousel,
Dart enough balloons and win a toaster,
Dine on shrimp and crabs still in the shell.

Later on, through the sand,
We can run, hand in hand,
Tomorrow we plan,
To do this again,
Here beneath the blue December sky!

Lyrics Copyright Kay Shapero, Nov 29, 2001

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Captain Jack and the Mermaid, by Meg Davis*

You've heard Captain Jack; now come hark to my tale
All ye young ladies, go and kiss him goodbye
Of the biggest male ego that ever set sail!
Oh all ye young ladies, come listen to me
For I am the mermaid who lives in the sea.

As I sat on a rock one day combing my hair
All ye young ladies, go and kiss him goodbye
I saw him row up out of goodness knows where
Oh all ye young ladies, come listen to me
For I am the mermaid who lives in the sea.

(here we switch to the other tune)
He called out to me and I knew for a fact
His years of sea roving left him short of tact.
And when the wind shifted, at once I could tell
What years of no bathing had done for his smell.

I'm sure he's quite handsome when properly clean
But grimy as he was he looked quite obscene.
When he reached his arms toward me, his eyes full of lust
I dove in the sea and swam off in disgust.

I hear he went home with his crew and his ship
And cowardly gave his intended the slip
He sent his first mate to tell her of his wish
To jilt her so he could elope with a fish!

(back to the original tune)

That Captain I hope I shall nevermore see
All ye young ladies go kick him for me
He may have asked HER but he didn't ask ME!
He may marry someone; whoever that be
It won't be the mermaid who lives in the sea!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

*Yup - yetanotherone. From an idea by Lee Gold.

Tune:"Black Denim Trousers"*

CHORUS: He had pointed green eartips, a socket in his head,
And a black leather jacket with "Deck 'em" on the back.
He had a pair of mirror shades that flashed like the midday sun
That elf was the terror of every shadowrun.

He streaked his face with red and he streaked his hair with green
He had rows of ruby rhinestones on the ridges of his eyes.
On the back of his right arm was a Moebius-type tattoo
That told the time in Tokyo in shades of red and blue.

Oh he had a cybermodem and it was a marvel rare
But tech will only do the things that tech can do
He cracked a wizard's data base and searched until he found
Ways magic could be used to get around...


The other hackers warned him not to play with magic spells.
They said "These things could send you to a dozen diff'rent hells."
He didn't hear, he didn't care, his mind was in a spin
At the worlds that now existed and the worlds that might have been.

He started searching like a madman, green fire shining in his eyes.
He vowed he'd plunder all the worlds for high tech gear and spells.
But he found a Disney dreamworld; and something that he met
Derezzed his body right into the Net...

No more pointed green eartips, no socket in the head,
And no black leather jacket with "Deck 'em" on the back.
The mirror shades are broken that flashed like the midday sun
But he still is the terror of every shadowrun!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1990

*with acknowledgements to Ted Johnstone's "Corduroy Trousers"...

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Digwell Carol" by Leslie Fish

It is the time of Digwell and as all good people know
We pile our garbage up to keep the Devil down below
And now you are of age, my son; discrete and proven true
It's time that I impart our family secret unto you

Pile high, pile deep, something's underground
Pile high, pile deep, don't let it be found.

Back in the times before when all the land was poisoned dead
Our ancestors dug tunnels and then underground they fled
So fearful of outside they were they locked the exit fast
And no one dared to open it 'til generations passed.


Their grandkids' grandkids' grandkids tried the door to open wide
But found their passage blocked by all the garbage packed outside
Machinery for digging they took out without delay
And wary of that exit tunneled out the other way.


They tunneled many miles before they cautiously broke through
And carefully disguised the tunnel's mouth from outside view.
At length they sent some spies to find what lay beyond the door
That failed to prove an exit when they'd tried it once before.


Twas Digwell; from the spies report they figured what to do
Was fill their tunnel up and make the exit site taboo
And ever after, Digwell time they hasten out to throw
Their share of rocks and crud to keep the Devil down below!


It might be that the secret could be needed in some day
And so although for most it was allowed to fade away
The eldest of our family was picked to pass it through
And mindful of the truth we throw an extra rock or two...

Pile high over secrets underground
Lest hell break loose don't let them be found!

Words Copyright by Kay Shapero, Feb, 1993

a duet for Londo Mollari and his conscience
by Kay Shapero

Now is now and then is then
Don't look back.
There's a future you can win.
Don't look back.
To fulfill your waking dreams.
Do not dwell on ancient schemes.
Never mind the victims' screams?
Don't look back.

Gone is gone and done is done.
Don't look back.
There's tomorrow yet to run.
Don't look back.
See at last the Empire's rise.
See respect in others' eyes.
Fireballs raining from the skies?
Don't look back.

Don't look back.
Is something gaining?
Don't look back.
And you won't see.
Don't look back.
At all the deaths behind?
The future's yet to be.

Is is is and was is was.
Don't look back.
Let the winners make the laws.
Don't look back.
No more need of other's might.
Take at last what's yours by right.
And just try to sleep at night.

Don't look back.
Don't look back.
Don't look back!

(note - words in italics in second voice or whispered.)

Copyright Kay Shapero, November 1995

Lyrics: Kay Shapero
Tune: Leslie Fish ("Fun and Games")

(note - you have to move the emphasis to the first syllable of Sinclair's name for this to work. So sue me... :->)

See Commander Sinclair
There in Operations
Dealing with the hassles of how the station's run
Suddenly a crisis
Needs some looking into
Never mind the paperwork, Sinclair's having fun.

Some guy in med lab
Touched something he shouldn't
Transformed him into an alien bio war machine
Now he's on a rampage
Growing ever stronger
Does this sound familiar, yeah I see what you mean.

Station master Sinclair
Monster right behind him
Lures him to an airlock and tells him he's a jerk
Monster checks his memories
Until he self destructs. My
Goodness doesn't Sinclair sound just like Captain Kirk?

Station crisis ended
Back to Operations
Back to that reporter and the paperwork galore
Garibaldi wants to know
If Sinclair's suicidal
Sinclair sits and wishes for just one crisis more...

(Affectionately, believe it or not, based on the episode "Infection" in the first season of Babylon 5. You have to move the accent on Sinclair to the first syllable or blow the scansion.)
words Copyright Kay Shapero, June 1995

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Richter Scale

Hadn't had a date in months and I was getting nervous
So decided I would try the local dating service
Paid their fee, filled out their form and things were going fine
Until they saw what I'd put on the "favorite hobbies" line...

I am a
Feline, canine, vulpine, feathered, winged and taloned furry
Every time I'm at a con I draw crowds in a hurry
My artwork is erotic
Though it isn't quite obscene
I'm having lots of fun with this, as odd as it might seem.

This reply appeared to cause the sales rep consternation
Back she came to ask me for some kind of explanation
When I said she'd read it right it threw her for a loss
She said she couldn't enter it, then brought me to her boss.

"So you're the
Feline, canine, vulpine, feathered, winged and taloned furry
At SF cons you specialize in mob scenes in a hurry
This doesn't fit our data forms
Some changes must be made
You'll have to see my boss to deal with this one I'm afraid."

So it went on up the line "Are you sure this is legal?"
"Something like a Moose, or Elk, or F and O of Eagle?"
Everything they put in the computer came back out
I had to fly to Omaha to find someone with clout.

"Yes, I'm the
Feline, canine, vulpine, feathered, winged and taloned furry
I'm sorry if this seems to set you all in such a flurry
I've heard a lot about your club
I'm told it's simply great
But all I want to know is can you folks find me a date?"

At the top, the president just smiled and said "Don't worry,
I think we can solve this little problem in a hurry.
Bypass the computer;
And discuss it one on one.."
We're at an SF con right now and, say, we're having fun

'Cause he's a
Dragon, merman, centaur, griffin, unicornish high elf
Couldn't be a better match if I'd dreamed him up myself
Together we're the strangest pair
That folks have ever seen
Come to the Furry Party room and you'll see what I mean!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

Lyrics and Music by Kay Shapero

I loved a lad, he loved me back.
As fortune came to be.
He said of love we'd have no lack.
And gifts he gave to me.

But faithless proved this lad, alack.
As fortune came to be.
And when he left me he took back,
The gifts he gave to me.

His faithlessness caused grevious pain.
As fortune came to be.
And wonder that he'd so regain,
The gifts he gave to me.

Mid pain and puzzle I did go.
As fortune came to be.
Beneath his window hid to know,
Of gifts he gave to me.

And secret through his window pane
As fortune came to be.
Within his mirror I saw plain,
The gifts he gave to me.

The g-string and the boots so high.
As fortune came to be.
Bedecking this same faithless guy,
The gifts he gave to me!

I found a better lover, fair.
As fortune came to be.
A lad who's not afraid to share,
The gifts HE gives to me!

Copyright Kay Shapero, Sept 1994
(whose love life is fine - this was written for a friend. :))

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Maria (from "West Side Story")

I've shipped with a crew of H'reli
And suddenly I see
How lunatic a trip can be...

They fill up my bed with lime jelly
Leave thumbtacks on my floor
Epoxy shut my cabin door..

They leave signs on the cabin wall
"Watch for land mines outside in the hall..."

The brig's just too small for

The most horrible crew I ever had..

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989
* see We're All Bozos On This Bus

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Kay Shapero

They are tall and very fragile,
yet they seem to live forever
and they come out of the places where our people do not dare*

They bring music out of nowhere
and a light into the shadow
for there's magic in the places that they fare.

They bring gifts to those they favor
and bring death to the unwary
or, capriciously they steal away our kind.

Fearsome hunters, joyous singers
folk of terror, folk of wonder
form a puzzle with a key we cannot find.

Who are these dwellers in the hollow hills?

We are but your distant cousins
though our ways were split asunder
when you sought the forest and we took the plain.*

Call us lludi, call us humans
or a thousand other words that
mean the creature with the ever-searching brain.

Past our needs of pure survival
lies a never ending hunger
all the secrets of the universe to know.

And from you, our gentle neighbors
do we seek an understanding
of the path we left behind so long ago.

We are the dwellers in the hollow hills.

Words and music Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989
* This line differs in tune between first and second verse. See sheet music for details.

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Rat's Falkener Slobber Song" (aka "I want a blonde")
by Mercedes Lackey & C.J. Cherryh

I've watched the whole danged series
From the movie up to now.
I've puzzled at the mysteries
Of whom and when and how.
I've duly cheered the network on
For choosing to renew.
And having done all this I find
One more thing left to do..

I want a bear, either brown or black will do.
I want a bear, or perhaps.. yes make it two.
(spoken) Four, six, eight, a whole row is really great!*
JMS would have a fit the moment that he heard.
The Captain spaced the last one but I want a bear!

Mollari wants the Empire back
While G'Kar prefers it dead.
Sheridan wants answers.. now!
"Thirteen" to be Earth's head.
Ikarrans wanted safety from
Whatever wasn't pure.
The Shadows know what Morden wants
While no one else is sure.

That Kosh wants something all believe
But just what is quite obscure.
While Franklin wants for all the ills
Of all lifekind a cure.
Psi Corps wants (pause - look into space, spoken.. er.. never mind)
And Garibaldi, lunch.
Ivanova a moment's peace
"No chance" I've got a hunch!


(spoken) "So now, what do YOU want?"

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, July 1995

* second verse replace spoken part with "dozen or so", third with "hundred! What the heck..."

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert and Lou Adler

Inspired by Tom Smith's song Ho! For The Death Of Time

Don't know beans about chemistry
Even less biology
Never opened up a physics tome
Who needs study? Nights are when I roam

But I know if we put out the sun
I'd have far more time to have my fun
What an great endless night it would be.

Spread the nightime over here and far
All the world is now my salad bar
Come out every time I feel the need
Never worry about where I can feed

No more light except the stars on high
No more moon? That's odd, I wonder why
Well this great endless night is for me

Night and night, time is no more
At least from what I can see
Now it seems, prey's growing slower
Well that's all right with me...

Endless snowflakes fall from overhead
All the prey I find's already dead
When at last it stops I switch to bat
Time to fly.. huh? what? I fall down splat!?

Run forever still no prey in sight
Why are all the stars so very bright?
What a long endless night this will be.

Words Copyright Kay Shapero August 1999

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: M.O.T.H.E.R.

F is for the artificial Fox fur
U is for the Ungulate style toes
R is for the Rabbit ears and whiskers
R for Rudolph Reindeer's shiny nose
Y is for the headdress made from Yak horns
draped in several yards of gold brocade.

Put them all together; that's the costume
I'm wearing in the Masquerade!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1993

Lyrics by Kay Shapero
Tune "Fire In The Sky" by Jordin Kare

'Twas the first hero they say who stole fire from the gods.
And he brought it to the Discworld overcoming all the odds.
Now the last heroes have sworn to return it up on high.
Thery'll be one bright flash and a fire in the sky.

There's Cohen the Barbarian with all his Silver Horde.
They've done most every hero thing you can with fire and sword.
But ther's one deed more they'd accomplish ere they die.
And that's one bright flash and a fire in the sky.

"Now listen up!" says Ridcully, Archchancellor Unseen U.
"We cannot let those heroes do the deed they mean to do.
For if they do succeed then Discworld magic all will die.
In that one bright flash and a fire in the sky."

Death is clearing space in his dark and endless cell.
For if Discworld magic dies of course its life will die as well.
Where do you put a turtle many thousand miles high?
After one bright flash and a fire in the sky.

Leonard, he of Quirm has built a ship to sail the sky.
With Carrot and with Rincewind to the gods' peak he must fly.
But can they stop the Horde before the fireworks are let fly?
And there's one bright flash and a fire in the sky.

There's the peak, Cori Celesti and the Discworld rimword fall.
There's the moon that circles 'round them; Atuin who lugs it all.
And lots of Kirby art tht is always worth a look.
If you want the rest you will have to read the book.

Yes if you want the rest you'll just have to read the book!

Lyrics Copyright Kay Shapero, 2002

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Londonderry Air

I took a walk outside the mound to clear my head,
For wine and song had surely got to me.
The night is cold; I'd like to come inside again,
But it appears I've left behind the key.
So open up, and let me in the hill again,
Or I must stand out here and sing some more,
And all the songs I'll sing are ose as they can be,
So hurry up in there and open up the door!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

LORD OF THE DANCE, Revision 3:1
Words:Kay Shapero and Lee Gold
Tune:"Lord of the Dance"

I danced in the morning when all time was begun.
I scattered out the galaxies and lit the moon and sun.
I rolled away the waters, and the land had its birth.
And as Lord of the Dance I appeared on the Earth.

Dance, dance wherever you may be,
Throughout time and space, for eternity.
Wherever you go, you will not be far from Me
And I'll join you all in the dance, said He.

I danced o'er the ocean, and I called out, "Bring Forth"
And life sprang up from the south up to the north,
It joined in the dance, as it swam, flew and ran,
And in Eden there took shape a woman and man.


But the woman and man chose to break from the dance,
To stumble on the path of error and mischance.
In sorrow I exiled them outside my garden wall
But never outside my love and my call.


To Egypt I came in time, with Joseph and his kin
And when time came around, I led them forth again.
As a pillar of cloud, as a pillar of fire
I danced on before them, and I did never tire.


(slower and slower with the first verse; no chorus between verses; speed up with the second verse.)

To win mankind free, a new dance I stepped,
To teach and then to die a shameful death.
The Earth quaked and darkened; all life seemed in a trance.
Could it be that this was the end of the dance?

But the dance was not done, for I did not stay dead
For sinless, I could harrow Hell instead.
All penalty paid for the souls held in thrall,
Come be free, dance with me, for my dance is for ALL!


Words Copyright Kay Shapero and Lee Gold, November 1990

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Madcoil's Song" by Mercedes Lackey & Julia Eklar

Something lingers in the dark
Tainted with the breath of madness
Something fetid guards its spark
In the place it waits unseen

Human nature seeks to hold
Men at one for good or evil
Which it is that will unfold
All depends on what the dream

Dreary days of mortal pains
Endless nights of hopeless hunger
Fear, rejection all these things
Tinder for the hidden fire

Sudden shock to strike the spark
Tinder lights the wildfire spreading
And inside the waiting dark
Something rises from the pyre

Something old revives this night
Formed of pain and fear and anger
Something born of madness' might
Formed to hate and rend and burn

Hunger nothing can appease
Thirst that could drink oceans empty
Feeding on whate'er it sees
In the hour of its return.

Twisted phoenix born of hate
Rises, living for an hour
Sinks to ash as is its fate
Frees the folk caught in its dream...

Something lingers in the dark
Tainted with the breath of madness
Something fetid guards its spark
In the place it waits unseen

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1992

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer... see "Rudolph's Ride"

You know Torene and Lessa and Brekke and F'Nor
Jaxom and F'lar and a good many more
But do you perhaps recall
The most famous rider of all....

Moreta, Pern Weyrwoman
Rode a lovely golden queen
Charmed all the folk who saw them
Gliding through the air serene

All of the other dragons
Understood the things she said
Helping to keep the weyrfolk
Organized while fighting Thread.

Then one plaguey springtime eve
Healers came to say
"Lady with your queen so grand,
Take the serum through the land."

Oh how the people loved her
Harpers sang about her fame
"Though you were lost in transit,
We will e'er recall your name.."

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

Words: Kay Shapero
Tunes: verses - various, chorus - Banned from Argo)

(To "Banned From Argo", by Leslie Fish)
When Leslie Fish composed a trek-song it sure caught on quick.
The fans requested it so much it near made Leslie sick.
She asked them all to cool it and she hoped that it was gone,
But thanks to tape the neos still request it at each con.

CHORUS (to the chorus of Banned From Argo)
And it's move over, Dr. Frankenstein
The monster you created isn't half as big as mine
I wrote a simple filksong; turned it loose for all to see
And now the spinoffs nearly bury me!

(To "Fuel to Feed the Drive", by Cynthia McQuillan)
And none will soon forget all the things that came to pass
From Cynthia McQuillan's tale of spacers out of gas
If spaceships ran on songs the Borman's Fate would surely thrive
Upon this massive diet, of filks to feed the drive


(To "Whisky in the Jar" as per Harold Groot's "Baby Vampire Boogie")
This song at first seemed safe but now we've seen an end to that
The leather wings grew feathers or proceeded to go splat
They've been affixed to angels, or to pegasai or flies
I hesitate to think what's next before this process dies
With a scratch of filkers pens...


(To "Captain Jack and the Mermaid", by Meg Davis)
And then there's the song about brave Captain Jack
(All those filk writers; gleams in their eyes)
Filked through each possible aisle of attack
(I dare say Meg Davis (the writer, you see)
Is wishing they all would be drowned in the sea)

BRIDGE (to the chorus from "The Girl Who Never Was" by Michelle Dockrey)
Save me, save me they've filked "Never Was" again,
Again, and again and again.
I'm tired of this mockery says Michelle Dockrey,
And I fear that the trend will never end.

(to "Lies" by Stan Rogers)
I think this tune's familiar to you all,
It's certainly been used enough at filksings large and small,
Perhaps about a horse attracting flies,
Or maybe there's a frog who goes to seek them out in sties,
Is this to be its finish, like Cindy's Bella Chow,
With serious intent replaced by giggles here and now?
Though parody may be praise in disguise,
Perhaps it's time that we stopped praising Lies...


(To "Drink Up The River", by Kathy Mar)
And finally we come to Kathy Mar's familiar tune
With a list of filks that threatens to reach halfway to the moon
Like all the other songs that have been filked until they've dropped.
So in deference to all of them I think it's time I stopped

(spoken) And remember....

(To the last line of "Greensleeves")
You can always just write it to Greensleeves!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1991, 2006

Words: Kay Shapero
Music: Begin the Beguine

When people come to the con.
Costumes you'll see, from furries to mages.
Mild when compared with Las Vegas stages.
When people come to the con.

Most of the art at the con.
Falls far below most modern art strictures.
For you can tell what each of them pictures!
Outdated art at the con...

People sing songs of magic and wonder.
And you can hear each word that they say.
Few ever advocate rape and plunder.
No amps drown out thunder.
Blow eardrums away...

None of the panels at cons.
Ever get close to TVland talk shows.
Nor does the dealer's room swag approximate Melrose.
Not at the con...
No, not at the con...
Does this make us con...

Lyrics Copyright Kay Shapero, May, 1997

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: First three lines are Banks of Sicily, with a new final two.

The foe had invaded and conquered the land
From border to border lay under his hand
And out in a field a lone farmer did stand
Saying "Nine, nine, nine."
Looking down a deep hole saying "Nine."

Up strode an invader with jackboots and sneer
And seeing the farmer not quaking with fear
Said "Peasant, just why are you standing out here
Saying 'Nine, nine, nine.'
Looking down a deep hole saying 'Nine?'"

The farmer ignored him, not shifting an eye
As though the man's voice were a bird's distant cry.
His only reply, if it WAS a reply
Was just "Nine, nine, nine."
Looking down a deep hole saying "Nine."

The soldier said "Peasant, now listen to me.
I order you; tell me just what do you see?"
His voice might as well have been wind through a tree
Whistling "Nine, nine, nine."
Looking down a deep hole saying "Nine."

The soldier then growled "Are you lacking in wit?"
He shook him and said "Are you having a fit?"
The farmer just flipped him right into the pit
And said "Ten, ten, ten"
Looking down a deep hole saying "Ten."

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1990

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Rainbow's End"

When I was but a child I early learned to read.
Of noble knights and spacemen; of wondrous word and deed.
It might seem to another I'd lost myself in dreams.
But not all is apparent and not all's what it seems.

I learned the call of duty at Dalquist's final stand.
To highly value honor from King Arthur's royal band.
I learned the worth of courage in the depths of Kazhadum.
And love is still a treasure here on Earth or on Barsoom.

Yes I dream of stars and rockets in the sky.
I sing of elvenkind and dream of wings to fly.
But I need no wind to blow from Rainbow's End.
I knew it all along it was never "just pretend"...

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1996

Tune: "Moreta" by Anne Harlan Prather*
(see also "Moreta")

It's Christmas Eve and Santa is late;
He's never done this before.
It's Christmas Eve and Santa is late;
Just what is he waiting for?

A fog has covered all the North Pole;
The reindeer can't see to fly.
The children are waiting for Santa to come;
We can't let the children cry.

So fly, reindeer, and pull your load of cheer,
And fly, great Santa as we - ll
To every child, in every home, over hill and over dale,
Carry the presents without fail.

The weather elves from all of the world
Were summoned to Santa's hall
To see how far the fog could be found
And if they could stop it at all.

To Santa Claus, the weather elves said
"We can't clear the skies, it is true.
We can fortell the fog will get worse.
But that is the most we can do."

So fly, reindeer, and pull your load of cheer,
And fly, great Santa as well
To every child, in every home, over hill and over dale,
Carry the presents without fail.

Then Santa said to all of his crew;
"We dare not wait any longer.
We must fly out and deliver the gifts
Before this fog gets any stronger."

One deer, brighter-nosed than all the rest,
Was chosen to lead the way.
His glowing nose gave the light to their flight
And saved that Christmas day.

He flew, reindeer, and pulled his load of cheer
He pulled great Santa as well
To every child, in every home, through the sky with nose aflame
'Til to every child a present came
And the pages of history sing his name...
Ru - dolph...
Ru - dolph...
Ru - u - dolph...

* As sung on the "Rat Mastersongs" tape.

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989, revised Jan. 1993

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: MacNamara's Band - chorus to either verse tune or "You Can Build A Mainframe From The Things You Find At Home"

Conventions are my hobby and I go whene'er I can
Of art shows, filks and masquerades I am the biggest fan
Though living, breathing SF is the most fun that it gets
I like it even better when I bring along my pets

Yes madam, I'm aware that there's a snake around my neck
It won't stay in my hair and so I figured what the heck?
The lizards on my shoulders really do not seem to care
They get along just fine with all the reptiles that I wear.

I went to see the art show and I'd say it's really fine
Although the dragon sculpture isn't quite as good as mine.
Alas, the time I entered mine the concom disapproved.
When someone taped the bid sheet on the consarned beastie moved!


The dealer's room sells books and tapes and also other things
From Teenage-Mutant posters to the latest magic rings.
One dealer said his garter (jeweled) was something I should see
I told him that my garter (snake) was quite enough for me!


I love to go to filksings and arrive, guitar in hand
To sing of space and Kinnison's (though not that other) Band.
Although they cannot sing, my snakes come with me if they wish.
I use one for a capo on those songs by Leslie Fish.


The Masquerade and dance both hold a marvelous appeal
But I must go and supervise my anaconda's meal.
The python ate the chairman and it didn't seem to mind
But anacondas might get sick from dinners of that kind!


(The above dedicated to Ace, who always stayed quite nicely in my hair, thank you!)

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zepplin
(mostly - either elide "moderator" down to three syllables or expand the two notes in the original to a triplet; your choice)

There's a laddy who's sure
That a user was screwed
And he's telling the Moderator echo
And he says that it's true
That she threatened to sue
But that this simply counts as "dissention".
Ooh, ooh, and he's telling the Moderator echo.

And the Mod thus involved
Says he wants to be sure
That we all know both sides of the question
Though we've seen this before
Still he posts quite a listing
Of the things that the user is doing.

oooo... hit the (N)ext key.....
oooo... hit the (N)ext key.....

There's a feeling I get
When I (L)ist Moderator
And I see how all the traffic is growing
As the others join in
With their own tales of woe
And you wonder just where this is going

oooo... hit the (N)ext key.....
oohhh.. think I broke the (N)ext key....

And I wonder how soon
Posts would stack to the Moon
If I printed them out in hard copy
And I wonder just what
I'm expected to do
With the things that I find listed in them.

Is there a nuisance in your echo?
Don't be alarmed now,
They're often found in just such places
Yes even if you wait and watch them
Know in the long run
There'll be time to kick the fugghead OUT.
And no one will wonder.
The newbies watch this and they don't know
What to say so
They sit and watch or drop the echo
Or wonder if their labor's own fruits
Could be lawsuits
What have they let themselves in for now?

And as I scroll on down the page
I read the user's in a rage
Or that the other users say
They hope that she will go away
Or that she insults all the throng
Example posts 5 pages long
And all that I can do is ask
Exactly how long this will last.....

And they're flooding the Moderator echo....

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1993
with sincerest apologies to Led Zepplin

Words: Kay Shapero, copyright 1999
Tune: "On the street where you live" from "My Fair Lady"

I have often walked in these doors before
But I've never felt like I should hit the floor before
Like explosive shells are the Christmas bells.
That I hear in the store where I work.

There are giggling babes, there are barking dogs
And I hear an entire marsh's worth of croaking frogs.
What's that boom I hear, celebrates New Year? (In October?)
And they're all in the store where I work.

And oh, the musical fir tree
That sings songs, when'eer you come near
And do you think they would let me
Just feed the thing to Santa's snorting eight reindeer?

There's a skull that screams Happy Halloween.
And a talking skeleton to introduce the scene
Does the muzak blare? I can't hear it there!
Much too loud in the store where I work...

Words copyright Kay Shapero, 1999

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Cecilia*

CHORUS: Cthulhu, you're breaking my mind.
My sanity's vanishing daily!
Oh, Cthulhu, I'm down on my knees
I'm begging you, please -- go away,
Go away!

I picked up this ancient book
By some guy named Abdul Al-Haz'red (Al-Haz'red)
Read two chapters; now it seems
You're disturbing my days and you're haunting my dreams.


Half-awake in the early morn
With my lover sleeping by my side (by my side)
When I feel a nameless dread
And I turn on the light, I find you in my bed!


Hiding out in the afternoon
In a room at Miskatonic U (hiding out)
Elder Signs from ceiling to floor,
And there's star-stones to block off the windows and door.

Consternation! He's found me again,
I crawl in the closet and shiver.
Consternation! He's found me again,
I crawl in the closet and shiver.....

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1983

* With the author's apologies to Simon, Garfunkel, and H.P. Lovecraft...

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: The Major General's Song by Gilbert & Sullivan

As grows the population grows the numbers of each type inside
More morons and more genius are found across the countryside
More lawyers and more bean counters; with cops and robbers everywhere
More folks to sell you cars or homes or fix your second cousin's hair
More singers and more poets and more salesmen who go door to door
More dancers and more engineers; more folks who know computer lore
More politicians quoted making comments rather humorous
And finally control freaks whom I find are MUCH too numerous!

Words Copyright by Kay Shapero, 1991 but feel FREE to add more verses

Words & music: Kay Shapero

So now the curse is ended and the castle shines once more.
The country and the people wear the forms they wore before.
The face you show the world, my love, again is wondrous fair.
And yet, I find at time I miss the face you used to wear.

Your paws so strong yet gentle every time you took my hand.
Your face so fierce, yet kindly once I came to understand.
How soft the fur I used to comb, your lovely silken mane.
Your hair is soft and golden, but it isn't quite the same.

The fairy tale is ended, happy ever after we.
I know I'll always love you, I know that you love me.
I know that it would hurt you so to tell you I won't dare.
That there are times I miss the face and form you used to wear.

Copyright Kay Shapero, January 1995

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Kay Shapero
(Inspired by Charlie Kellner's PFI echo)

At the center of the multiverse
In a place outside of time
Where the walls of time and space grow paper thin
By the power of the Phoenix held
Between the now and then
Lies the place they call the Past and Future Inn

And the Phoenix bids you welcome
And the swan may brings your ale
And a sign hung from the rafters says "come in"
Come be welcome to the tap room
Of the strangest pub of all
Come be welcome to the Past and Future Inn

There's a dragon who's the doorkeeper,
Well he guards the things you check
Be they simple, or composed of magic rare
There's a leotaur as bouncer
When not behind the bar
And it will amaze you what he finds back there.


There are guests of every shape and size
Multihued of fur or skin
Come from many strange exotic ports of call
Giant otters in the rafters
And dragons at the bar
And a million stories if you'd count them all

Do you want to change the shape you wear
There is magic here as well
There's a gadget that can give you what you wish
But be sure that you are careful,
To consider ere you ask
You can well wind up part octopus or fish.


Have a drink if you are thirsty
Seek a healer if you're sick
If you're hungry try the chili and the bread
There's a hot tub you can soak in
And worlds you can explore
And your choice of rooms to rest your weary head.

And the Phoenix bids you welcome
And the swan may brings your ale
And a sign hung from the rafters says "come in"
Home of magic and of laughter
And I only wish we could
Hold our next con at the Past and Future Inn

Copyright Kay Shapero, 1992

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "If I Only Had A Brain" from "The Wizard of Oz"

Were my name but Brak or Conan,
I'd conquer every foeman
And hack my way to fame, (da da da dadada da)
But nobody pays attention
When my deeds come up for mention.
Wish I had a hero's name....

With a name like Hawk the Slayer.
I'd be a major player.
With tavern wench and dame. (da da da dadada da)
But the ladies never trouble,
And the wenches charge me double.
Oh, I want a hero's name....

Oh, I -- could really fly.
As Perseus or Thor.
As Lancelot I even might do more.
But here I sit. (pause to end of line)
Oh fudge!

Names like Richard Lionhearted.
Can really get you started.
Or even Charlemagne. (da da da dadada da.)
But nobody cries for mercy
Just 'cause Momma called me Percy.
Gee, I WISH I had the name!!!!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1996

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "How Are Things In Glocca Morra" from "Finian's Rainbow"

Long after lunch...
I want something to munch,
A crispy snack,
I can attack,
With lots of crunch...
What shall I eat?
A snack that can't be beat?
Don't want a scone,
And chips alone,
Aren't quite the treat. Cause I want more...

Here are things in Guacamole;
Mash a batch of avocados down.
Then you add a bit of lemon juice,
So you'll produce,
What's green instead of brown.

Add more things to Guacamole;
Some tabasco - just a drop or two,
And a heaping scoop of salsa mild,
Or really wild,
It all depends on what your taste buds will stand,
If it's hot or bland.

Add a touch of salt and stir it,
And your Guacamole's done.
Serve it up with chips, potatoes or a bun.
Try the things in Guacamole to have fun...

lyrics Copyright Kay Shapero, 1997

(With thanks to BT Banzai for the suggestion)

Words & Tune: Kay Shapero

Upon the world of Gauda Prime the Federation said
The crew of Liberator were vanquished and are dead
But not all hope has vanished and there are those who say
That Liberator flies again with one who got away.

And some say it was Avon
And some say it was Blake;
But it's only me and ORAC
They're making a mistake
If I spoke up and told them
I'd spoil all their cheer
So I do my bit for liberty...
I have another beer.

How I survived's a simple tale; I fell like I was dead
And once they were distracted I crawled back out and fled
I left that world with ORAC and never did look back
For that makes you more visible and open to attack.

And some folks speak of Jenna
Out building up a crew
But it's only me and ORAC
The two of us will do.
Let others plot in secret
From Terminal to here
But I do my bit for liberty...
I have another beer

I find it quite amusing as I rove from star to star
To hear the things now whispered in every spaceport bar
For soon they may be shouted by all who would be free
And follow revolution's call to final victory.

But no-one mentions Vila
And that's just fine with me
I'll pass on "Death or Glory"
I'm happy to be free
So I just sit and listen
While others plan or cheer
And I do my bit for liberty....
I have another beer!

Words and music Copyright Kay Shapero, 1991

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: "The Unicorn, the Pegasus and I" by Tera Mitchell

Some folks wish we never were.
Others hope we'll up and die.
Take our obloids down below.
Filk singers, guitarists, and I...

Hear us singing at a con.
Some sing low notes some sing high
Some may even stay on key
Two guitars, one singer, and I...

First we start in someone's room
Ceiling sprinklers soon let fly
Guess we overheat a room
With sixty filksingers, and I...

Move the filksing to the hall
Out come sleepers; blood in eye.
To the elevators flee
Filk singers, guitarists, and I...

Elevators are too small
Guitars poke you in the eye
To the lobby we shall go
Filk singers, guitarists, and I...

Hotel lobby is just fine
'Til Security drops by
Someone's threatening to sue
The ConCom, the Hotel, and I...

The convention's over now
Fans now homeward bus or fly
Next con, though, we will return
Filk singers, guitarists, and I...

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

Words: Verses: Kay Shapero*, Choruses: Lee Gold
Tune: either "Temperance Union" or "Banks of Sicily"

Dad cycled the airlock, and Mom pulled it to,
Then looked at her hand which was covered with goo.
So that's where my chewing gum disappeared to!
We're off to the Moon for the weekend.

While making a sandwich my brother has found
That untethered honey jars wander around.
The galley is now a nice warm sticky brown...
We're off to the Moon for the weekend.

My sister revised the computer and we
Do not seem to be where they want us to be.
Two shuttles just missed us. Whoops, no make that three!
We're off to the Moon for the weekend.

To add to the noise, Baby's started to cry.
I don't like the look Mommy has in her eye.
And Daddy is swearing that next time they'll buy
A Spaceship with No Room for Children!

for "Banks of Sicily"

So fare you well, green grass and gravity,
We won't be back til Sunday night.
We left kitty home, 'cause there's no room to swing her
We're off to the Moon for the weekend.

for "Temperance Union"

Hurray, hurray for Zero-G
For Zero-G, for Zero-G
Hurray, hurray for Zero-G
We're off to the Moon for the weekend!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1987

* Sort of as a comment on "A Spaceship Has No Room for Children".

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: I've got Sixpence

We've got filksongs
Lots and lots of filksongs
We've got filksongs
To last us all the sing.
We've got some that are sad
And some that are glad
And some that are very, very ose (P.U.)

We'll sing for hours and hours
Through the sunshine and the summer showers
Through the brickbats or bouquets of flowers
We'll still go singing, singing on.

Singing on...
Singing on...
Past the set of the silvery moon.
Happy as a lark
Singing filksongs in the dark
As we go singing, singing on!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1989

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: the Armour hot dog commercial

Armored roaches,
What makes them give us armored roaches?
I don't mind the scorpions bigger than my car,
Or the flocks of cyclones; but now they've gone a bit too far...
With roaches,
Armored roaches,
The scriptwriters have flipped!!!!!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero, 1983

Words: Kay Shapero
Tune: Camptown Races

Who's the Elder Ghod we fear?
Cthulhu, Cthulhu!
Who sleeps on from year to year?
Cthulhu is his name.
Going to pray all night
Going to chant all day
'Til he rises from the ocean floor
Then we will run away!

Words Copyright Kay Shapero 1990

(this for those who pronounce Cthulhu with TWO syllables)