Thu. May 30th, 2024

Annie, by Grover’s Mill (Muse Cycle #2)

I’ve written a number of songs over the years in praise of or about girls or women. Some fictional, some real. It seems to be a major theme for me. Collectively, they’re my Muse Cycle. I figured I may as well put them all up here in sequence for the sake of thematic continuity. You may have already checked out the first one, Veronica Sixx. Here’s the second one, about Anne of Green Gables, from the wonderful L.M. Montgomery book and series. More to come.

I wrote an early version of this goofy rap song around “95, but could never seem to work out the music or the melody. I tried a number of different arrangements, including a fast country arrangement that almost seemed to work, but remained unsatisfied. It was my mate Paul who, during one of our ‘sessions’ in Rye, came up with the slow soul-style guitar riff that finally put me in the right direction. Then I put it to a hip hop drum beat (actually a sample from Primitive Radio God‘s ‘Phone Booth‘) and it started to make sense. I started hearing the melody of Manfred Mann‘s Pretty Flamingo in the song and so added the vocal sample (“On our block, all of the guys,” etc) and adapted some of the lyrics (especially “when she walks by…”). After one aborted arrangement where I actually sung the lyrics (you can still hear that during the “when she walks by” bit), I switched to rapping them with a faux American – or is it Canadian? – accent. I rearranged the lyrics a bit to fit the new approach, and rearranged the music to emphasise the Pretty Flamingo melody, and I finally had the song. The samples of Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley are from the tv production of Anne of Green Gables, The Sequel. It amazes me how right the Pretty Flamingo connection is for the song. After all, flamingos are kind of pink, aren’t they? And as everyone knows, Anne Shirley is a redhead!

Annie, 6:30 mins


Annie, by Russell Forden and Mark Barkan


Comin’ down Bright River railroad station.

Anne Shirley waits with her imagination.

She’s got no parents, she’s got no home,

A hard life’s all she’s ever known.


So down the road into Avonlea

She stares amazed at the avenue of trees.

Her conversation goes on and on,

But Matthew thinks she can do no wrong.


Marilla and Matthew kept her on,

But so many things that she done wrong.

That episode with her new green hair,

Fell off the roof when she took a dare.


Got Diana drunk on Marilla’s wine.

Rachel Lynde was properly horrified.

Every day a new catastrophe,

But folks they find a little sympathy.


She’s the little girl with the hair that’s red,

She looks so pale and underfed.

She’s not what they really had in mind.

A boy is what they expected to find.

…Not Annie.


The folks say she’s an orphan child,

Rachel Lynde thinks she’ll run wild,

By the Lake Of The Shining Waters

She is mother nature’s favourite daughter.


She gets into so much strife,

Because she is so full of life.

She wears a hat that’s wreathed in flowers.

A kindred spirit, she fills the hours.


As time and tide and the seasons pass

She knows the carefree days can’t last.

But one last time to be a girl,

One golden summer in her perfect world.


But when she walks by she brightens up the neighbourhood,

Oh Gilbert Blythe would make her his –

If he just could, if she just would.


Night time comes, she goes to bed and dreams

Of a place called home she’d never seen.

She’s building castles in the air,

Of handsome prince and a girl that’s fair.


That plump and dark-haired girl Diana

Will be her bosom friend forever.

Gilbert will clear your fears away

Whenever it’s a Jonah day.


She’s comin’ back to help on the farm,

And taking that job as schoolmarm.

I’ll give her the school that was mine,

And patiently I’ll bide my time…

For Annie (it’s all for Annie).


When she walks by she brightens up the neighbourhood,

Oh Gilbert Blythe would make her his –

If he just could, if she just would.

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