Everyone's Invited

by The Offhand Band

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about

Stuffed with satisfying songs for people big and small, this debut album from The Offhand Band is a creative collection of catchy confections that you’ll savor for some time to come.

Cool for kids, fun for families and even great for the grown on their own, you’ll have a blast hopping with the OHB from one style to the next — pop and rock, R&B and country, old sounds and new, with even the occasional marching band thrown in. And with lyrics hosed with humor, packed with positivity and reveling in reality, you’ll find yourself singing and dancing your way toward making good things happen.

From the music to the words and whatever may be in between, with nobody talking down, you’ll be lifted up by these songs that everyone can truly appreciate and enjoy together. Tell your friends… tell your enemies… tell everyone… because whatever your shape or size, happy or sad, hopeful or mad, the OHB is having a party, and Everyone’s Invited!

credits

released November 11, 2008

Release Date: November 11, 2008
Formats: CD and MP3
Catalog Number: PCA 00001

Compact Disc Credits:

Ⓟ&© 2008 Mark S. Meritt. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Released by Potluck Creative Arts, 41 Fraleigh Street, Red Hook, NY 12571.1526, USA / potluckcreativearts.com

Manufactured in the USA. Printed on certified 100% green forestry practices board, minimum 10% post-consumer recycled content, with all vegetable inks.

Layout, band logo and illustrations by Omnirock / omnirock.com

All songs written by and © 2008 Mark S. Meritt (BMI). All rights reserved.

Dianne Mucci – Vocals / myspace.com/sparkleysledgehammer

MSM – Instruments, additional vocals / marksmeritt.com

Produced, arranged, recorded and mixed by MSM in the basement in the village, Red Hook, NY, using a MacBook Pro, MOTU Digital Performer 5.13, Native Instruments Kontakt 3, EastWest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Gold Complete, Quantum Leap Colossus, EastWest/PMI Bösendorfer 290 Grand Piano, and an M-Audio Keystation Pro 88.

Vocals recorded in the garage on the mountain, Bloomingburg, NY.

Mastered and manufactured by Oasis, Delair, NJ / oasiscd.com

Layout, band logo and illustrations by Omnirock / omnirock.com
All illustrations © 2008 Erik Battey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Mark thanks: Dianne, a welcome collaborator in so many ways; Sophia, who it’s all for; and Jen, who makes it all possible.

Dianne thanks: My inspirations Ron, Blaze and Jett.

For lyrics, music, merchandise, blog, mailing list, conversation and other things weird and/or wonderful, everyone’s invited to theoffhandband.com.

For songwriting workshops, custom-written works, creativity coaching and other music, arts and creativity services you can do with Mark at a distance and in person, visit potluckcreativearts.com.

Lyrics for The Animal School based on the story published by ArtScroll / Mesorah Publications, Ltd., in turn based on the original story by George H. Reavis, now in the public domain.

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The Offhand Band Red Hook, New York

“… brilliantly written lyrics… an eclectic sampling of funky, kid-friendly and parent-approved music that will have your little one jumpin’ and jivin’… you just might wonder if Mark isn’t perhaps the most astute parent to have ever composed children’s music… I can totally envision The Offhand Band becoming a popular household name.” — RootandSprout.com ... more

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Track Name: Naked Time
Well, got to have a get-up to express just what I’m feeling myself
No goin’ through the closet full of hand-me-downs from somebody else
And I’m not goin’ shopping to indulge in any new fashion trend
They just come and go
But, indeed, I know
On what I can always depend

It’s naked time!
Take it all off and dance
It’s naked time!
Even your underpants
It’s naked time!

There’s nothing less expensive and it never ever goes out of style
And it’ll always fit me even if I don’t wear it for a while
Yeah, it’s with me forever and there’s nothing in which I look more cute
It’s my outfit prime
Don’t you know that I’m
Talking about my birthday suit

It’s naked time!
Take it all off and dance
It’s naked time!
Even your underpants
It’s naked time!

When you’ve got all your clothes off you’ll be lettin’ loose and feelin’ so free
Some do it all the time but even sometimes is a nice way to be
And if you really can’t, well, you can still pretend when you’re in the mood
Every gal and gent
And the President!
We can have a nude attitude

It’s naked time!
Take it all off and dance
It’s naked time!
Even your underpants

It’s naked time!
Take it all off and dance
It’s naked time!
Even your underpants
It’s naked time!
It’s naked time!
Track Name: That's the Key
In the Melodious Ocean
On the island of G Flat Key
Lived many musical notes
Spending their days singing, yes, you guessed it, songs in G-flat together

Viola was a C-flat note
And though everyone thought that she
Fit in with everyone else
She felt that she didn’t harmonize with her home island’s endeavor

She knew deep inside
C-flat was not what she ought
She felt much more like B-natural
And every single day she thought

“Where I am factually free
To actually be
naturally me
That’s the key”

One day she finally tried it
But they all said, “No way, that’s wrong!
The only naturals here
Are all the Fs, and they’re fine at times, but followed best by a flat note”

So, though they all thought her perfect
Knowing that she did not belong
She chose to leave them behind
Visit the Musical Keys nearby on her old family sailboat

And though she was scared
Off-key, at last, this was it
Perhaps this key change would help her find
A place where she could finally fit

“Where I am factually free
To actually be
naturally me
That’s the key”

Each island was smaller and stranger
With even more naturals than previously
And she even heard tell of a place with only natural tone
Though the Key of B-flat was clearly not where it’s at
She soon found her first natural key
But at the Key of F, near the entryway clef, the only flat was B alone

Seemed to Viola the next key
Had to be the all-natural one
So she was shocked to find out
All of the other keys long ago were swallowed up by the ocean

About to give up and go home
Several notes said, “It could be fun
to have a B-natural around
Compared to the flatter keys, you’d be fine here, at least consider the notion”

And though she was scared
A smile grew on her face
They made new songs weird and wonderful
Viola finally found her place

“Where I am factually free
To actually be
naturally me
That’s the key”

“Where I am factually free
To actually be
naturally me
That’s the key”
Track Name: Let It Out
Like a balloon with too much air
An apple pie, lots of steam in there
A subway train with no room to spare

Jack in the box, snakes in a can
Fruit in a peel, shell-wrapped pecan
Bird in a cage, well, what’s the plan?

Do like the seeds from a flower
And clouds about to shower
The geyser at the geysering hour
Oh

Let it out
Let it out
It’s so much better if you get it out now
Let it out
Let it out
Save it for later and there’ll be a kapow
Let it out

You’ve got some loose and dangly teeth
Some CO2 every time you breath
About to cough, hiccup or sneeze

Some sweaty socks with your feet in
Whatever else you’re secretin’
And a while after drinking or eatin’
Oh

Let it out
Let it out
It’s so much better if you get it out now
Let it out
Let it out
Save it for later and there’ll be a kapow
Let it out

And when you’ve got something you feel
And you’re not sure just what is real
And you don’t know how you can deal

Just let it fly like a rocket
Reaching escape velocity
Then finally nothing will stop it
Yeah

Let it out
Let it out
It’s so much better if you get it out now
Let it out
Let it out
Keep it inside and one day you’ll have a cow

Let it out
Let it out
It’s so much better if you get it out now
Let it out
Let it out
Save it for later and there’ll be a kapow
Let it out
Let it out
Track Name: Getting Somewhere
To the land of amazing things we’d come
Where there’s something amazing for everyone
Chris carried climbing boots, Robin brought rope
A flashlight from Fran, and I took a telescope

So we got to the jungle and in we dived
To have the adventure of our lives
No worry what might be left behind
Dreaming of what we’d find

(Searchin’) Lookin’ around
(Searchin’) Up and down
(Searchin’) Wonderin’ how
We’ll be gettin’ somewhere

Wherever we looked, we felt chagrined
For all we found was a voice in the wind
“Stop, come back!” it would protest
But we just couldn’t stop our quest

(Searchin’) Lookin’ around
(Searchin’) Up and down
(Searchin’) Wonderin’ how
We’ll be gettin’ somewhere

Never finding a thing, our luck was out
So we went to see what that voice was about
We’d forgotten just what would save the day
Our friend Morgan with a map, hooray!

(Searchin’) Lookin’ around
(Searchin’) Up and down
(Searchin’) Knowin’ that now
We’ll be gettin’ somewhere

(Searchin’) Lookin’ around
(Searchin’) Up and down
(Searchin’) Knowin’ that now
We’ll be gettin’ somewhere
Track Name: Go Get It
The movie in my mind
It’s playing all the time
And mostly showing scenes from way back when
I didn’t get my way
But in my mind today
I get to do them all over again

Just like a restaurant
I order what I want
And so I make things come out differently
At first it satisfies
But then I realize
The rewrite urge is still right there in me

If there’s something that you want go get it
If it slips away because you let it
Then you’ll never forget it
And you’ll always regret it
Don’t let it
Go
Get it

It isn’t just a lack
That keeps me going back
It’s that I didn’t do all that I could
If I had only tried
With all I had inside
I wouldn’t need a rewrite to feel good

If there’s something that you want go get it
If it slips away because you let it
Then you’ll never forget it
And you’ll always regret it
Don’t let it
Go
Get it

So now I vow to bring
This movie-making thing
To look ahead instead of back behind
When there’s a want I’ve got
I’ll give it my best shot
And maybe then I’ll get what’s on my mind

Perhaps I won’t succeed
In getting what I need
But now at least I’ll know I tried my best
And then I won’t regret
The things that I don’t get
I’ll just begin whatever movie’s next

If there’s something that you want go get it
If it slips away because you let it
Then you’ll never forget it
And you’ll always regret it
Don’t let it
Go
Get it

If there’s something that you want go get it
If it slips away because you let it
Then you’ll never forget it
And you’ll always regret it
Don’t let it
Go
Get it
Track Name: Rock Paper and Scissors
In the land of Rochambeau lived lots of paper and scissors
And they all enjoyed cuttin’ lots of interesting shapes all day
Then one time some scissors cut themselves into quite a frenzy
Whippin’ such a strong wind that lots of papers were blown away

Soon the flyin’ papers covered up a pile of boulders
But those rocks enjoyed nothin’ more than bein’ seen standin’ tall
So the great big rocks became so unbelievably angry
That they rolled themselves into town with this rockin’ rally call

We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
We’re gonna make ‘em scream and shout
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
They’re gonna see what rock’s about
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
Yeah, we’re rockin’ out

So the rocks smashed lots of scissors, makin’ everything mangle
And let’s face it, those rocks could shred the paper with just a scrape
Every little thing they bullied made ‘em feel even stronger
All the monster rocks loved to leave most everything in real bad shape

We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
We’re gonna make ‘em scream and shout
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
They’re gonna see what rock’s about
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
Yeah, we’re rockin’ out

Soon enough all the papers were hidin’, all the scissors were broken
And a little one lay down scared she’d get bent again
But to everyone’s surprise, when a rock came down upon her
Both her blades were now sharp
And flat as a tarp
She felt better than she’d ever been

Feeling oh so happy, she cut up her very own frenzy
Only this time no papers flew away with those rocks on top
And the rock that fixed her noticed just how good he was feelin’
And he shouted out, “All the smashin’ better come to a stop!”

He told all the rocks that sharpenin’ and paperweighin’
When compared to the smashin’ made him feel so good and just as strong
So they fixed all of the scissors and brought back all the paper
And made interesting shapes together now they all got along

We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
We’re gonna make ‘em scream and shout
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
They’re gonna see what rock’s about
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
Yeah, we’re rockin’ out

We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
We’re gonna make ‘em scream and shout
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
They’re gonna see what rock’s about
We’re gonna rock paper and scissors
Yeah, we’re rockin’ out
Track Name: I Know Everything
Some people think they know all there is to know
And they tell everyone everywhere they go
But when there’s so much to see
And so much to be
More than we can do
We simply can’t know it all
Or even recall
All we ever knew

I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

And still some people try learning ever more
As if somebody somewhere were keeping score
When there’s a question at hand
Right up they will stand
Putting on a show
Even if they’re not so sure
They just can’t endure
Saying, “I don’t know”

But I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

The more I learn, the more I see more to know
And I’m just fine with what I know even so
And when I’m feeling a yearn
And wanting to learn
That’s alright with me
I start by taking it slow
And say, “I don’t know”
That’s the starting key

‘ Cause I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

Yes, I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see
Track Name: Aggie and Timmy
Aggie and Timmy had an idea
They thought it was really winning
They would spin round and round and around
And then they would keep on spinning

After her sixty-third time around
She started to lose her smile
She was so dazed she figured she’d spin ’round
Only once in a while

He was told it wouldn’t be good
So he moved like he thought he should
And so from that day Timmy would
Fidget and wiggle whenever he could

Aggie and Timmy liked all the same stuff
The only difference was how much was enough

Aggie and Timmy had an idea
They thought it was a real winner
They would each have a gallon of ice cream
And nothing else for dinner

After her seventh chocolate scoop
She started to lose her smile
She was so sick she figured she’d eat it
Only once in a while

He was told it wouldn’t be good
So he ate what he thought he should
And so from that day Timmy would
Gobble and gorge whenever he could

Aggie and Timmy liked all the same stuff
The only difference was how much was enough

Aggie and Timmy had an idea
That even in lovely weather
They would stay inside everyday watching
Television forever

After nine days glued to the boob tube
She started to lose her smile
She was so bored she figured she’d watch it
Only once in a while

He was told it wouldn’t be good
So he did what he thought he should
And so from that day Timmy would
Couch potato whenever he could

Aggie and Timmy liked all the same stuff
The only difference was how much was enough

Aggie and Timmy liked all the same stuff
The only difference was how much was enough
Track Name: Just a Feeling
When you’re afraid or angry, hurt or sad
Some say, “Don’t cry, calm down, it’s not so bad”
Away perhaps they send you
The only thing they know to
No thought of the impatience that they had

Sometimes it feels like there’s too much rainfall
We try to force the storm from big to small
And yet whatever we try
The clouds stay up in the sky
They only go away once they’ve rained all

It seems that it’s here to stay
But see what it’s trying to say

Just a feeling, coming from part of you
Just a feeling, take a walk in that shoe
Step right in, but also aside
Close up shot, but also a wide angle view
And you’ll be feeling, you’ve a clue what to do

You’re full of happiness, love, hope and pride
It all seems right, you’re smile’s oh so wide
Everyone says it’s so great
They wish that they had your fate
And even you don’t want to turn that tide

A hot fudge sundae sets your taste aflame
But if it’s all you eat, then you’ll feel lame
Even when we take to it
We still can overdo it
It goes for things like broccoli just the same

It seems that it’s here to stay
But see what it’s trying to say

Just a feeling, coming from part of you
Just a feeling, take a walk in that shoe
Step right in, but also aside
Close up shot, but also a wide angle view
And you’ll be feeling, you’ve a clue what to do

Sometimes we bottle up, sometimes explode
Yet always something new comes down that road
So whether sure or in doubt
With one part in and one out
You just may be surprised where things will flow

Just a feeling, coming from part of you
Just a feeling, take a walk in that shoe
Step right in, but also aside
Close up shot, but also a wide angle view
And you’ll be feeling, you’ve a clue what to do
Track Name: The Animal School
At the Animal School, at the Animal School
Everybody learns, indeed
Running, climbing
Swimming, flying
Everything that everyone needs

The duck was excellent at swimming, good at flying, too
But with running and climbing he showed little hope
So they kept him after school to do some extra work
Running ’round the track and climbing up a rope

As his webbed feet and feathered wings became so badly worn
He was now only average when he’d fly and swim
And he heard the teachers say
“Average gets you through the day”
They all thought it was okay — except him

At the Animal School, at the Animal School
Everybody learns, indeed
Running, climbing
Swimming, flying
Everything that everyone needs

No-one could climb a tree as quickly as the little squirrel
And her flying was fine when starting treetop down
But her climbing suffered when her legs got sore because
The flying teacher made her take off from the ground

As for the eagle, he beat everybody to the top
But it’s cheating to fly in climbing class, and how
So they kept him after school
Sitting on a little stool
Writing, “I will follow rules, I vow”

At the Animal School, at the Animal School
Everybody learns, indeed
Running, climbing
Swimming, flying
Everything that everyone needs

The kangaroo could outrun everyone until the day
That the teacher said, “Use four legs like all the rest”
They said bear was dumb and lazy, but when school was closed
In the summer there was much that he did best

And when the gophers saw that no-one taught their kids to dig
They began a new private school to call their own
And though testing proved the bee’s
Wings were far too small, well, she
Just kept flying fancy free, even so

At the Animal School, at the Animal School
Everybody learns, indeed
Running, climbing
Swimming, flying
Everything that everyone needs

At the Animal School, at the Animal School
Everybody learns, indeed
It’s okay if we’re all middling
If we all learn every little thing
Yes, everything that everyone needs
Track Name: Whaddaya Say? (The Saga of Sam)
This is the story of a dog named Sam. Sam lived with a couple of grown-ups and a couple of kids, and he loved his life. One day, nobody knows how, but he could talk and think and feel just like a person. And the grown-ups thought, “Ah, no more teaching this dog old tricks, it’s time for some new ones. Because the difference between a dog and a person is what you train them to do!”

Used to be, Sam would want to play outside
He’d run to the door, they’d let him out, and he’d run free in the breeze
Oh, but now, now that Sam could talk and think
He ran to the door, they looked at him, and they told him, “Sam, say ‘please’!”

So he did, and one fine day
The only thing they had to say was

“Whaddaya say?” — and he said it
And he wondered if I don’t feel it, do I get credit?
But everytime, whatever he wanted, he’d get it
So when they would say, “Whaddaya say?” — he said it

Then when Sam trackin’ mud would come back in
They’d clean up the floor, clean off his feet, and it all was fine somehow
Oh, but now, now that Sam could talk and think
He tracked in the mud, they looked at him, and said, “Say, ‘I’m sorry,’ now!”

So he did, and one fine day
The only thing they had to say was

“Whaddaya say?” — and he said it
And he wondered if I don’t feel it, do I get credit?
But everytime, whatever he wanted, he’d get it
So when they would say, “Whaddaya say?” — he said it

Later on, when the dinnertime would come
They’d pour the food, he’d run to his bowl, and he’d eat up every gram
Oh, but now, now that Sam could talk and think
They poured the food, he ran to his bowl, and they said, “Say, ‘Thank you,’ Sam!”

So he did, and one fine day
The only thing they had to say was

“Whaddaya say?” — and he said it
And he wondered if I don’t feel it, do I get credit?
But everytime, whatever he wanted, he’d get it
So when they would say, “Whaddaya say?” — he said it

Belly full, wanting just to take a nap
Sammy would yawn, then he would head to the cushion where he snoozed
Oh, but now, now that Sam could took talk and think
When he was done, right then they were saying “Say ‘May I be excused”!”

So he did, and one fine day
The only thing they had to say was

“Whaddaya say?” — and he said it
And he wondered if I don’t feel it, do I get credit?
But everytime, whatever he wanted, he’d get it
So when they would say, “Whaddaya say?” — he said it

Sam could have learned so many valuable things. But he didn’t even learn what the grown-ups thought they had taught him. He didn’t learn to be grateful or regretful or considerate. He only learned to say what people wanted to hear so he could get what he wanted. But he remembered, he got what he wanted even easier before he could talk. So he stopped talking, and the grown-ups thought he was just a plain old dog again. So they stopped treating him like a person. They just did for him all the things they used to do, asking nothing in return. And when the kids in the family saw Sam was loving his life again, well, they stopped talking, too. What happened then, that’s a story for another time.
Track Name: On the Way
Heavy things pushing me
Walls far as I can see
It can be hard to deal
Each and every day

But there won’t be surprise
If with two open eyes
I see things as they’re really drawn
While on the way

Often I wish for things
Different from what life brings
And even that’s just one
More thing to parlay

It may seem hard to do
And yet I always knew
It’s led to all I’ve undergone
While on the way

Sometimes I feel I’ve
Gone off track, then I see
If it’s not my track
Then whose else could it be

Though the path here was set
What’s ahead isn’t yet
The course can always bend
Anytime I say
Each night will always end with dawn
I’m on the way