#71 The Palace Guards- A Superhero In Need of a Restraining Order.

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Listen to 02 The Palace Guards

I am totally hijacking the 300 songs blog for a few days to blatantly promote my new album solo album The Palace Guards.

It comes out Feb 1st 2011 and you can buy the CD here from:

click here for Amazon

download from itunes click here

I was driving around in my car listening to the reference master of my new CD The Palace Guards. I like to listen in my car because it’s a good to hear how your albums sound outside of a studio or on something other than a high end set of speakers. Beside this is where most people I know listen to music. I had my 11 year old with me and I sort of forgot he was listening to the album as well.

“Dad, didn’t this song start out as a kid’s song” my 11 year old asked.

I had to think about this. Yes indeed he was right. I remember that a few years ago when he was really really young (maybe 7?) I had been playing this bit of music and thinking it would make a good ironic post-modern parenting type kids song. I asked my same son then 7 if I was to make a kids album what should it be about?

“Space or the planets”

Actually that’s a good idea. I mean there are 9 planets. Well maybe 8 but you could do a song about whether pluto was a planet or not. 9 Tracks on an album not bad. Plus you could have a track about the Moon as an iTunes bonus track and one about the Sun as an Amazon.com bonus track.

And the whole concept makes for some very good ironic post-modern kids album titles:

Venus is Hot (and so is your mom)™

Mars is Angry (and so is your dad)™

you get the idea.

But this was just kind of a passing thought and I eventually forgot about it. At least until my 11 year old brought it up.

“Dad ? what is this song about?”

“Um that’s a little hard to explain”

“Why?”

“Well cause it’s sort of a superhero team, The Palace Guards’ but they aren’t exactly good, and they are not exactly telling the truth.”

What I was getting at is that in my song “The Palace Guards” are a group of superheros who have crossed some sort of line. They’ve gone from being the public’s protectors to being overprotective, secretive and controlling. They’ve turned into Stalkers.

Yes it was intended to be a metaphor about the growing power of government!

Just kidding. It’s just an accident that it happens to work so well as a metaphor. Watching the protests in Egypt you could very well think of Mubarak and the ruling national democratic party as The Palace Guards.

The other curious thing about this song: The song shifts between third person and first person. When in third person the narrator praises The Palace Guards and portrays them as noble, selfless and a tad misunderstood. But than the narrator shifts to first person and you realize that he is actually one of The Palace Guards. Not only does this make the narrator seem much less “reliable” it also suggest that he is a little crazy. Continuing with the theme of authoritarian governments, it’s a little like the pro-government newspaper praising and making excuses for the authoritarian government. They are essentially the same thing but they pretend to be otherwise.

And then there is the end of the song. I love singing this part. Getting to finally drop the whole charade and scream:

I work my fingers to the bone

to keep the little piggies safe in their little straw homes

I rip my heart out every day for you

I rip my hear out every day for you.

See I’ve painted this totally crazy un-reliable character and then I try to make you empathize with him. And if i’ve done my job you do empathize with him and now we are all mad. Get it?

This is NOT how I explained this song to my 11 year old son. But he still managed to grasp some of this from my watered down description. Cause suddenly I get this from the peanut gallery:

“So he is not a normal Cartoon Network superhero, he is more of an Adult Swim kind of superhero, Right?”

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The Palace Guards.
the palace guards they’re working hard
they stay up late with beaker jars
they’re mixing things in laboratories late at night
don’t look at them
you’ll make them mad
the palace guards are they’re working hard
they have your best interests at heart
they are making song of great enduring strength and beauty
somewhat fruity
all top hits
I love you and cause I do
don’t ever leave me
I’ll smash your stuff up if you do
I love you and cause I do
I’m only joking
It’s just my sense of humor y’all
The palace guards love you and me
they don’t discriminate they’re free
they’re open minded intellectual atheletes
who won’t compete
in weird mind games
The palace guards are real rockstars
don’t give them things not up to par
they play guitar and regulate the atmosphere
with telescopes and bread machines
I love you and cause i do
i’ll never let you go
to london without me along
i love you and cause i do
i hid your passport
i put you on a no fly list
and the palace guards
and we work very hard
we got all of your best
all of your best interests at heart
we go up
we go down
we go where the job takes us
to keep you safe and sound
i work my fingers to the bone
to bring the bacon
bring the bacon home
i work my fingers to the bone
to keep the little piggies safe
in their little straw homes
i rip my heart out every day for you
i rip my heart out every day for you
i rip my heart out every day for you
i rip my heart out every day for you
well the palace guards
we work very hard
we’re not asking for much
a kind word a kind touch
we’re the palace guards

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