Marilyn Rucker and Friends

Marilyn Rucker and Friends

 Austin, Texas, USA
BandAmericanaJazz

Marilyn plays humorous, jazz-inflected original piano/vocal tunes, much in the manner of Tom Lehrer, Dave Frishberg and Blossom Dearie. She does have a softer, more serious, Norah Jones and Diana Krall esque side, though. She plays as a solo act and with a quartet.

Biography

Marilyn Rucker, known also as The Wicked Wit of the West sizzles on the piano and sings a mean song. Not mean-spirited, mind you, but the lyrics are far darker and more satirical than you might expect from someone who looks like the lady on the Alabam Pickle Jar. Or rather Wholesome, with a capitol W, but dont let appearances fool you. She is a wit with an edge like vinegar and eighty-eight spicy keys to back her up.

Shes won regional, national and international songwriting awards in several different genres, including jazz, singer-songwriter and cabaret. the contests include top rankings in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (Jazz), Billboard Awards (Jazz), Austin Songwriters Group (Jazz and Singer-Songwriter) and the finals of the Kerrville New Folk Competition this year. (2006)
Marilyn holds a masters degree in piano performance from Texas State University, where she studied with the world renowned jazz pianist, James Polk. Her masterful playing and singing reflect a playful mix of influences from Diana Krall, Tom Lehrer, Norah Jones, Blossom Dearie, Dave Frishberg, and Mose Allison. Her style; however, is unique. As stated in her hometown weekly, The Austin Chronicle, in a review of her latest c.d.: Backed by her own keyboards and full band, Rucker bounces through a clever set of tunes in the novelty vein, with subjects ranging from old Southern ladies packing heat ("Pretty Little Gun") to overzealous religious types ("Twenty Naked Pentecostals"), with a special emphasis on obsession ("Constantly Studying You," "I Love Your Smell") make no mistake, Rucker is a pro at the business of writing clever songs Ken Lieck reviewing.

Her former bandmates, the Therapy Sisters, weigh in with this review: Destined since birth to bring her message of unswerving lunacy to the listening public in search of a good time., which pretty much describes what the audience will get at one of Marilyns shows. Whether playing an intimate jazz-cabaret solo piano/singer gig, or getting the crowd up to dance at a club, a wedding or birthday bash with her big party horn band, shes got what it takes to make your event unforgettably fun.

Lyrics

Constantly Studying You

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Constantly Studying You
I don’t have a roadmap
That would help me to find
All the convoluted highways
Twisting round
In your mind.

So it’s always the hard way
Well, that’s nothing new
I just have to keep on
Constantly studying you.


I’ll dissect your actions
Hold your words to the light
Poll my friends by phone and email
And collect their insights.

And once every quarter
I will publish a review
So that folks all round the world
Can be Constantly Studying you.

We’ll have a convention.
We’ll invite several learned Ph.d’s
They’ll share their opinions
On why you want to see me on my knees.

We’ll have a big meeting
We’ll invite our extended families
I’ll ask your big sister
Why you wear those Batman B.V.D.’s

And then when it’s over
Guess what I’ll do.
I’ll just have to keep on
Constantly studying you.

I’ve got to admit it.
It’s my favorite thing to do.
Obsessively compulsively and
Constantly studying you.

Drunk On The Sun

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Drunk on the Sun
(Love Theme From Escape From Marfa)

Drunk on the Sun
That’s why I’m acting loopy
No need to run
From any creatures of the night
Looks like we’ve won
About a million blue ribbons
These wildflowers and me
Are just drunk on the sun

Skunk on a bun
That’s how I’ve felt so long now
A stinky little piece of roadkill
At some existential feast
But that’s been done
And now we’ll just go cruising
Down a Texas highway
On a bluebonnet spree.

It’s hard to tell sometimes
If Spring will ever come
When it does your blood remembers
And it’s stronger than rum, rum, rum.

Drunk on the sun
And now you’re giddy as a schoolboy
Le petite ecolier
Is my favorite chocolate treat
Put down your gun
And come grab a Dr. Pepper
And frolic in these meadows
With the wildflowers and me
Yeah get drunk on the sun
With the wildflowers and me. (Rum, rum, rum, rum, rum.)

Not About Zombies

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Not About Zombies
This story‘s not about zombies
This story’s not about ghosts
No sulky vampire lover
Fighting werewolves who growl and boast.
This story ain’t got no robots
Bent on taking over the world
This story is only a story
‘Bout a regular boy and girl.
Maybe not too fascinating
Maybe not too wild and new
But the part that makes it work is
It’s a story ‘bout me and you.

Chorus: Don’t make me get my flying monkeys to take you down.
Put down that comic book
Take off that shiny, elf-made crown.

Some people are never happy
With the good that comes there way
Some people will squander lifetimes
Living only in fantasy.
I don’t claim to be your savior.
I can’t give you superpowers.
But if you’re even a little curious
I can help you pass the hours
Happier than an Elf in Alfheim
Jazzier than a robot king
More juiced than a drunken donkey
Who’s loved by a fairy queen.

I love me a well told story
With a magical overlay
But you don’t have to be a wizard
To amaze me everyday
You make me happy as a well-fed hobbit
You’re more fun than a flying bed
You’re lovely as a wishing tree
Dropping peaches on my head.
I don’t want you to quit your dreaming
I’d never stop your play.
But spend some time in real life with me
You might decide to stay.

Chorus: Don’t make me get my unicorn army to bring you down.
Put down that anime!
Take off that shiny, elf-made crown.

I don’t want you to quit your dreaming
I’d never stop your play.
But spend some time in real life with me
You might decide to (mostly) stay.

My Sweet TV

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

The soul chilling cold of January
The flesh melting heat of July
The nine to ten months of prickly pollens
Making me wheeze and cry
The ankle-twisting, ill paved trails
Throughout the hill country
Yes these are the things that call me back
To my couch and my sweet t.v.

So give me a bottle of middle grade wine
And a tube of cold cookie dough
All I ask is a blanket
And your cushiest throw pillow
Then leave me to wander
The paradise
Of recorded reality
Cause no one makes me feel as fine
As my couch and my sweet t.v.
My love wants me to ride a mountain bike
With him in the rain and the mold
"If I love him" he claims
I'll get off my butt before I'm too fat and old
To make it across
The twenty foot chasm
He thinks I can somehow leap
Yes this is the thing that calls me back to my couch and my sweet t.v.

So give me a bottle of middle grade wine
And a tube of cold cookie dough
All I ask is a blanket
And your cushiest throw pillow
Then leave me to wander
The paradise
Of recorded reality
Cause no one makes me feel as fine
As my couch and my sweet t.v.

So if you have struggled and striven for health
And the vigor of long ago youth
And you run and you lift and you starve every day
But alas, you’re still long in the tooth.
I promise they’ll be no ridicule
If you choose to join with me.
And no one can make us feel as fine
As the couch and the sweet t.v.

So give me a bottle of middle grade wine
And a tube of cold cookie dough
All I ask is a blanket
And your cushiest throw pillow
Then leave me to wander
The paradise
Of recorded reality
Cause no one makes me feel so fine
As my couch and my sweet t.v.

Pangea

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Pangea
(A very old fashioned song)

Oh won’t you take me back to old Pangea
Way back when they were glad to see ya’
Where fishlike invertebrates in a salt sea solution
Spearheaded their own biodiverse revolution.
Remember when the continents were so heroic
Joining forces in the late Paleozoic?
It’s been a long time
Since we’ve seen that kind of unity.

Yes
It’s my guess
You and I could be happy there.
You wouldn’t obsess about the bottom line
I needn’t iron my hair.

Cause that’s the way it was in old Pangea
No one cared what you looked like
Though some of them might eat ya
Still you gotta admit
It was a fairly pleasant place to be
Surfin’ all day on the Panthalassa Sea.

(Instrumental Break)
Yes
I know there were dinosaurs,
Asteroids and various cataclysms.
But as far as I know
There were no global wars,
Social injustice or prisons.

So take me back to Old Pangea
Way back when they were glad to see ya
You gotta admit it was a fairly pleasant place to be.
Cruisin all day on the Panthalassa
(Getting silly with your your cilia
Or what have ya)
Cruisin all day on the Panthalassa Sea.

Earth Has A Fever

Written By: Marilyn Rucker Norrod

The Earth Has a Fever

The Earth has a fever
And she’s crying for relief
In the tears of melting glaciers
In the dying of her reefs
In drought and in famine
In flood and hurricane
The Earth has a fever
And she’s crying out in pain.

It’s not proving easy
To do what’s right
But when our planet’s dying
We try with all our might

So speak truth to power
Then scream it if you must
The Earth has a fever
And the cure is up to us.

Don’t hide.
Don’t just lie down.
We can’t afford to lose this fight.
The oceans will rise,
And cities will drown
Unless we all unite.

The Earth has a fever
And we can’t look away.
And when we deny her
That’s our future betrayed.
The Earth has a fever
Of that we can be sure.
The mercury is rising
And we must be the cure.
The Earth has a fever and we must be the cure.

Freaked Out Teenaged Tadpoles

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Skippin’ on down the creek
Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Jumpin and hittin my cheek
Not quite fish
Not quite frogs
Smack somewhere in between
Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Skippin’ on down the creek.

Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Goin’ to their first dance
Some of them don’t have legs yet
But they’ll wiggle for the sake of romance
Not quite fish
Not quite frogs
But they can’t leave it all to chance
Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Goin’ to their first dance.

(Dance Break)

Oh it’s hard to be a grown up
And it’s hard to be a kid
And when you’re in the middle
It’s hard to know where you fit
Things are still growing
Things are popping out
And you’re starting to lose your tail
It’s just about as hard as anything
But little critter you’re gonna prevail.

Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Skippin’ on down the creek
Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Jumpin and hittin my cheek
Not quite fish
Not quite frogs
Smack somewhere in between
Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Skippin on down the creek.
Freaked out teenaged tadpoles
Flippin’ out down the creek.

You Were Right

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

You were right.
You were right.
I was oh so very wrong and you were right.
Sometimes the weakest monkey wins the scuffle.
Sometimes the blind hog roots up a nice truffle.
So you were right
Inexplicably right.
Please accept my heartfelt praise
Just remember this feeling
Is very, very fleeting
But you got one right today.

(Instrumental)

You were right.
You were right.
I was oh so very wrong and you were right.
A nitwit can evolve into a half-wit.
Two times a day, a broken clock is accurate.
So you were right
Improbably right.
Please accept my heartfelt praise
And remember this feeling
Is very, very fleeting
But you had to be right
One of these days
Yes you got one right today.

Money's Not Speech

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone:
A microphone for the rich.

If you’re rich and you want to buy some amplification
You don’t need a brain or even education
You don’t need a heart and you don’t have to think
Just sign that campaign check with a “help me out” wink.

Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone:
A microphone for the rich.

You can buy a tv network and call it news
When it’s really just a platform for your rich folks’ views
No one will check or balance you
Lie all you want
Cause the people don’t have the kind of voice you’ve got!

Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone:
A microphone for the rich.

Why did the Supremes bring us all this grief?
Why say that corporations live and breathe?
Thanks to you we only hear from the one percent
The rest of us are silenced by debts and rent.

Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone.
Money’s not speech.
It’s a microphone:
A microphone for the rich.

The people can change this
We can turn it around
We can join our voices in a deafening sound
We can march! We can protest! We can vote every chance!
Cut the money mike
And join this dance!

(Repeat till heard. Maybe.)

I Love Your Smell

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Old Cole Porter had a way with words
And with subtle and sensitive yens.
He described how his love was the top
Of the very nice things he found under his skin.
Now you’re always so nice to come home to,
But you mean so much more to me
And old Cole didn’t write quite the song that I need
For a tribute olfactory:

I love your smell.
I love the scent of you.
Suits you so well
The adolescent redolence of you.
I love the way
When you walk by
My sinuses swell.
I love your smell. I love your smell. I love your smell.

I love to sniff
Every sweet and sensual inch of you.
Don’t bathe too much
I even love the unwashed stench of you.
Please don’t freak
Cause when you reek
You tell my genes
We’ll mix real well
I love your smell. I love your smell. I love your smell.
You’re a taste of a cold chablis
You’re a flowering apple tree.
You’re a plate of gingerbread
You’re a Shiner Bock’s foamy head.
You’re popcorn and a candy bar
A bed of roses and a brand new car
Oh honey, can’t you tell?
I love your smell!

I love your stink!
I love the funk of you.
I like to think about the aromatic hunks of you.
Aromotherapy has no more power to compel
Beside your smell. I love your smell. I love your smell

You’re a bowl of homemade stew
You’re the vapor of morning dew.
You’re a lily that blooms at dusk
You’re a powerful jungle musk
You’re a whiff of a Hershey’s kiss
You’re Paris, without the piss
Oh honey can’t you tell I love your smell?
Though maybe sometimes you oughter
Use a little more soap and water
By and large
I think you’ve made a sell!
I love your smell. I love your smell. I love your smell!

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns

Written By: Marilyn Rucker

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns (A jig that is up)

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns
Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Apparently we’re unable to learn
So Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

Nero didn’t actually have a fiddle
When Rome was trapped in a raging fire
But he and his fathers had done too little
They could have fixed Rome so this never transpired

But Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Apparently we’re unable to learn
So Nero fiddles while Rome burns

The Earth’s getting warmer but we don’t care
And the atmosphere’s broken beyond repair
And we could have prevented this deadly goof
If we’d listened to science or logic or proof

But Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Apparently we’re unable to learn
So Nero fiddles while Rome burns

We bellow and bicker and dicker and dis
And our knickers are constantly caught in a twist
Cause we’ve not done half what we need to do
We prefer a debacle to tackling the truth.

So Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Nero fiddles while Rome burns
Apparently we’re unable to learn
So Nero fiddles while Rome burns

We dither and wither and quaver and quiver
We vascilate, hesitate, topsy turn
We fluster and bother and twitter and stew
But our future’s ours to spurn!

And we all fiddle while Earth burns!
We all fiddle while Earth burns!
Apparently we’re unable to learn.
So we all fiddle while Earth burns.
So we all fiddle while Earth burns.
So we all fiddle while Earth burns.