Roger M. Wilcox's MIDI Sing-Along

Instead of recording my irresistible golden voice singing these instant-classic songs of mine, I thought I'd do the next best thing. On this page are links to MIDI files of songs I've written, where I have an an oboe playing the vocal part.  The lyrics to each song appear immediately below each link, so you can sing along with the music.

Note that some of these songs are woefully incomplete in terms of accompaniment, and others are just as incomplete in terms of lyrics.

And the Word Is Love (performed at a wedding in 1994)

(Fun fact: The lyrics at the end of the first verse were inspired by the last sentence in "30 Seconds Over Broadway" from the book Wild Cards.)

Since long before
We wrote our lore
Before we wrote down time,
The feeling came
Through us, the same
As now they sometimes must climb;
The gentlest thing
Would loudly sing
In silences all heard.
Wherever it came down,
It made the sound
Of just a single word.

No Secret lay
In night or day,
Intense the word was known;
Yet so much so
That by some cruel blow
It's possible to be thrown.
Sometimes we cry,
"We'd rather die!",
The word seems so unsure;
But it's still there,
It's ev'rywhere,
The only thing that will endure.

And the word is love!  Love!  Love!  Love!
Love for all your life!
And the word is love!______
Be you husband, child, or wife!
The strength you draw
From natural law
Can never be absurd.
You might forget
What you have learned,
But don't forget the word!

(short instrumental refrain, played on a flute)

For the life that we live,
And the love that we give,
And the truth that we know
We cannot confuse;
Reach down to that deep desire,
And let it show its fire,
It's the reason for being here —
What have you got to lose?

This does not mean that you must always love upon demand,
Nor does it mean to love by coming down with an iron hand,
This does not mean to love afar upon some distant shore,
It merely means to love yourself, and your close ones all the more.

And the word is love!  Love!  Love!  Love!
Love for all you're worth!
And the word is love!______
Feels like a second birth!
It's all around
In ev'ry sound,
And rock, and tree, and bird.
You can forget
All you've been told,
But it's impossible to forget the word.

And the word is love.

My Love By Grenda vil Dift, 2856 A.D.

(Originally written for the short story Starlane Destroyer, which I never finished.)

My love!  The center of my life,
Be with me when I am gone.
The warmth of your love can propel me
Past the deepest darkness and on.
My love!  The beacon in my nights,
Don't let your thoughts of me despair.
My love!  You're all the diff'rence I need;
Our lives' pure light shall dare!

I still recall a time
Before you turned my night into day,
And I wondered then, as I wonder now,
How could it have been any other way?

My love!  When all is said and done,
What we have will not be lost.
The darkness won't last forever,
And the dawn shall break through the frost!
My love!  Together we were, once,
And though that time refused to stay_____,
My love!
For all it's worth,
I know we'll be together again some day.

You May Run Through Endless Darkness

I heard this in a dream I had right after I realized I wasn't ever going to be able to get a local girlfriend for as long as I lived in the Silicon Valley.

You may run through endless darkness
Deeper than the night,
And you may feel the stings of emptiness,
Harsh and cold and bright;
You may face lonely nights
'Til you want to cry, "No more!"
In short, what are you fighting for?

God is Just Another Mutant

I also heard this in a dream, involving Space Ace and Kimberly from the old Space Ace video arcade laserdisc game.  Space Ace was aboard a boat, and Kimberly was singing this to him while skillfully navigating down a dangerous whitewater river, reminiscent of "Just Around the River Bend" from Disney's Pocahontas.  (The tune itself, however, seems to have been inspired by "Lasso You the Moon" from the movie Rustlers' Rhapsody.)

God may seem omnipotent, you see,
So beautiful and free
Beneath the waves.
But God is just another mutant drifting through the sea.
God made you.
God spent a lot to make you.
And God spent lots more making me.
(Nobody ever said that lyrics you hear in a dream have to make sense.)

She Are Green

Yet another song I heard in a dream.  It's a poignant, heartrending Irish folk ballad about the long lost green of youth, or the Irish countryside, or something, set against a comical fabric softener commercial involving a lady whisking her way through a black-and-white landscape that turns full-color in her wake (implying that the laundry product she's hawking keeps your clothes as brightly colored as the green grass).

Unfortunately, I didn't hear any real lyrics for it in my dream. So, I had to make some up — and they're still not done yet:

When I was a lass da da da da da da-ah,
It seems a lifetime ago,
Da da da da da da da da da da da-ah,
Like buds through the first melting snow.

My youth were as green as the wild Irish hillside,
I'd dance and I'd sing and I'd play.
And the lads all aglow from the spell they were under,
They'd look and they'd smile and they'd say:

"She are green! She are green!
The greenest that ever were seen.
She are green! She are green!
The rising to vote, sir,
Doo doo doo doo dote, sir,
Da dah, da da DA — she are green!"

But just as the springtime gives way to the summer,
And summer gives way to the fall,
The green of my youth slowly waned from its zenith
Until it was nigh there at all.

No more did my dances
Command the lads' glances,
No more would my charms hold the day,
No more would da da da da da da da da da,
No more would da da da, da-ah,

"She are green! She are green!
The greenest that ever were seen.
She are green! She are green!"
Green like the neophyte,
Green like the da da da,
Da dah, da da DA — "She are green!"

And now I look back near the coming of winter,
My chariot's race nearly run round,
And my green has gone brown, like the leaves on the branches,
Will wither and fall to the ground.

Da da da da da da
Da da da da da da
Da da da da da da, da dah,
And I look to that girl of the next generation,
Still wild and still fresh, and I say:

"She are green! She are green!
The greenest that ever were seen.
She are green! She are green!"
Wear proudly the label
As long as you're able,
'Cause just for today, she are green!

Wear proudly the label
As long as you're able,
'Cause just for today, she are green.

Let's Go Bomb an Abortion Clinic

An extremely sarcastic song, which I wrote in reaction to certain Contemporary Christian Music lyrics I heard.  If you're not offended by this song, you're reading it wrong.

Ev'ry day, sev'ral thousand little cute, helpless babies
Are all killed while they're in the wo-omb still.
Don't they know that getting pregnant is God's mandated punishment
For getting laid against His holy will?
We can't let them get away with this, they've got to pay the price;
The time has come to act, the time is past for being nice!
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic.
Make the world once more Huckleberry Finn-ic.
With some primer cord and some C4
We'll keep 'em from killing any more,
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic!
Come with me, don't be such a cynic!
Stop the killers by killing them ourselves.

I've been all through the Bible, but I can't find a place where it says
Abortion explicitly is wrong.
But my pastor says that Moses only meant unborn babies
By that "Thou Shalt Not Kill" thing all along.
And if it's good enough for Moses, well, it's good enough for me!
God help the doctors I send to Hell for all eternity.
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic.
While they're still inside with their next-of-kin-ic.
We'll park a rented truck out front,
Like that Oklahoma City stunt.
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic!
Come with me, don't be such a cynic!
Blast them all, they deserve it for their crimes.

With the fear of getting blown up, they won't dare go near a clinic,
So they'll have to keep their babies like God said.
Now you may begin to wonder 'bout all those unwanted children
With a mother who would rather they were dead.
Well, frankly, I don't give a damn about them once they're born.
God says we've got more bombs to plant, we've got no time to mourn!
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic.
We'll keep them from committing a mortal sin-ic.
And don't worry if one of our caste
Or an unborn baby's in the blast —
Let's go bomb an abortion clinic!
Come with me, don't be such a cynic!
Kill them all, and let our God sort them out!
Boom boom boom boom, ka-blam!

Ninja Lovers

Another song that came to me in a dream.  Situationally inspired by Elan and Therkla in The Order of the Stick.  Musically inspired by "It Can't Be Wrong," sung in homage to Frank Sinatra on at least one Warner Brothers cartoon.  Imagine a girl ninja and a boy ninja fighting it out, each determined to kill the other, swinging and parrying and riposting, getting fiercer and fiercer — and then:

And then he took my hand,
And we began to dance,
I looked into his eyes,
And he looked into mine,
His smile could melt the stars!

And then, I pulled him close,
He held me in his arms,
The beauty of his face,
The warmth of his embrace,
doo doot doo doo doo doo...


Yet another song that came to me in a dream, this time of when I was in the old Isomata festival choir.  (Or perhaps it was the even older Isomata youth choir.)  I later did a rendition of this song in GWBASIC.

Living and free
Expressing our thoughts
And the way we want things to be.
Telling our love
Telling our lies
They try to say things that can't be read in the eyes.
But can they talk?
Can they talk?
Can they talk? Can they talk?
Can they, can they, can they, can — can they talk?

For all that they're worth
They only describe time we've spent and not spent on Earth.
As we try to hold,
Recapture the past,
Recorded words are all we have to make our thoughts last.
But can they talk?
Can they talk?
Can they talk? Can they talk?
Can they, can they, can they, can they —

If I Die Before I Wake

This song came to me at age 20 . . . the darkest evening of the year.  It is supposed to be the voice of Orpheus, having learned that his darling Euridice has been slain by a snake bite and that the only way to bring her back is to march into the Underworld himself.  I later did a rendition of this song in GWBASIC.

The last little verselet comes from a 16th century poem by Edmund Spenser, which had been set as a 4-voice a capella piece by Halsey Stevens that the UCLA Madrigal Singers performed that year (the melody and harmony here bear no relation to the Stevens setting, however).

If I die before I wake
At least I will have tried for her sake.
I'd rather join in death with her
Than try to live without
mon coeur.

(Like as the culver
On the bared, bared bough
Sits mourning for the absence
of her mate.)

Fanfare from a dream on 20-Nov-2011

The fanfare in this dream was clearly inspired by the 1990s TriStar Pictures logo fanfare, although I didn't realize it at the time.  My thoughts and emotions while dreaming this were aimed more at something like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Slow Dance

Inspired, loosely, by Kate Bush's "Wow". Also not a full song. And lacks lyrics. But, damn, this tune really gets to me.

Yet Strew Upon My Dismal Grave

I composed this for 4-voice a capella chamber choir during my one graduate year at UCLA. Words by Thomas Stanley, Esq. (1651).

Yet strew
Upon my dismal grave
Such offerings as you have:
Forsaken cypress and sad yew

For kinder flow'rs can take no birth,
Or growth from such unhappy earth.

Time to Give My Dog His Denamarin

My dog has colitis. So he needs to take medicines to reduce the problems in his colon. But these medicines have the side effect of taxing his liver. So, at the behest of my Internal-medicine-specialist veterinarian:

It's time to give my dog his Denamarin.
It's a little bluish pill, this Denamarin.
Because he's taking steroid pills
His liver is impacted, so
I'm making up for it with Denamarin.

He won't just up and swallow Denamarin,
So I mush it with his dog food, Denamarin.
But not with too much dog food, 'cause
Officially you're s'posed to take it
On an empty stomach, Denamarin.

I don't mean to advertise for Denamarin,
There might be side effects from Denamarin,
I have a vet'rinarian
Who does internal medicine,
She said to give my dog some Denamarin.

It's not classed as a drug, this Denamarin,
So it hasn't been subjected, Denamarin,
To the same rigorous testing
That we give to pharmaceuticals
But there are published studies
That show measurable benefit
Compared with a placebo
In reducing bilirubin
So I'll keep giving my dog his Denamarin!

(Denamarin® is a registered trademark of Nutramax Laboratories Inc., for their combination formula of S-Adenosylmethionine and Silybin A+B. Both of these substances are classified as nutritional supplements rather than pharmaceuticals, they have not been subjected to the same kinds of rigorous trials that pharmaceuticals have. Heaven knows how effective it really is at this point, or how bad the side effects are.)


Written in 2014, this is the long-awaited sequel to Deuterium, which was recorded way back in 1983 with the help of Ken Tamura. Both songs use the same tune.

An isotope of hydrogen in a thermonuclear blast,
Three times as heavy as normal, but not stable — it won't last;
The nucleus, called a triton, holds two neutrons in its sway.
That's one neutron too many, so *woops!* nuclear decay!
The nucleus spits out a beta ray, an electron to you and me,
And a neutron becomes a proton then, and you've got helium three!

It's tritium! It's tritium!
A half life of twelve years.
It's tritium! Ah, tritium!
Made by the hand
Of clever Man,
Without us, nearly all disappears.

Now there are those who are trying to use tritium as a fuel,
To make some of our electric pow'r, and help the climate to cool;
They fuse it with some deuterium, but there's the problem you see —
To make them fuse together takes a whole lot of energy!
In fact, it takes more energy than the fusion reaction gives off.
We haven't hit the break-even point; it's still a long way off!

It's tritium! It's tritium!
No tokamaks or polywells yet thrive.
It's tritium! Ah, tritium!
And cold fusion's bunk,
For now, we're sunk,
It's only hope that keeps this dream alive.

But there's one place where the pressure and heat combine to give more:
The center of an atomic blast is hotter than the sun's core!
And there's where nuclear fusion pays back a hundred fold,
Turns A-bombs into H-bombs to flatten countries untold.
Don't try to build one in your garage, the plans are still classified.
They might not even use tritium, but lithium-6 deuteride!

It's tritium! It's tritium!
The heaviest hydrogen there is.
It's tritium! Ah, tritium!
In bombs galore
Oh, nevermore
Can any nation say, "None of my biz"!

Chariots of Video Games

Written in 1982, this was based on my mis-remembrance of the theme from Chariots of Fire. (For some reason I thought it was in a triple meter.) The subject matter was several of the arcade games I was playing at the time.

Just call me The Tempest, I ride on a storm,
Through different mazes of color and form;
The name of a play by old William Shakespear
And the name of a V-8 cut in half about here.
I fire, and I spin and super-zap;
I kill all the monsters, and I find
There are no Flippers, no Tankers, no Spikers, no Fuseballs, no Pulsars —
It's all in my mind.

For I am The Phoenix, among flying birds,
Some turn into clouds of space debris, some split into words;
The name of a missile, and a show on TV,
Named for an eternal firebird we never will see.
I go left and right, forcefield, and fire;
I kill all the birds, and I find
There are no warbirds, no wing-clips, no bombers, no eggs, no Starbase —
It's all in my mind.

They made me The Vanguard, out ahead of the crowd,
To shoot every moving thing in sight, and then explode loud;
The name of someone out ahead of the game,
And although the mission's different, the object's the same.
I move, fire, and fly through energy,
I kill everything, and I find
I always get 3 lives, and never win — this is no game —
It's all in my mind.

And then I'll play Pac-Man
[yicch – no I won't], and Blast your Astro,
And Cresta your Moon, and all other things like it can go;
I may not be the greatest, but I'm sure not the worst,
To think that I imitate someone, and call it a "first!"
I'm wondering whether things exist,
I've done everything, and I find
There is no arcade, no vision, no world, no matter, no universe —
It's all in my mind!!

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