The Ballad of A and M
The Thin Man
For Corpus Delicti, I was asked to write a few songs and put some pieces of text to music. The first song I will be performing is intended to evoke the giddy excitement of the carnival, the public dissection as an entertainment, gory and very titillating. There is a slightly accusatory tone in the song as if the audience is being admonished for its morbid curiosity.
The second piece is an old sea shanty called " The Amsterdam Maid". I didn't know the melody so I just borrowed a Finnish fiddle tune that had a faintly nautical feel. It tells the story of a sailor who tries to seduce a girl only to discover that she has stolen his money. Sister Luyt is the Maid of Amsterdam and between verses the audience gets to hear her side of the story. The song has a nice mix of bawdiness and melancholy.
I play only accordion in the show. Even though the accordion is entirely anachronistic it seemed to evoke the right musical mood, sombre yet celebratory.
The fact that the accordion breathes, works nicely within the context of the show. The music is not dissimilar to some of the music my band The Thin Man plays. We are essentially a rock band but we incorporate elements of cabaret, vaudeville, gypsy melodies and whatever else strikes our fancy.