Shipping Containers

by Mr. Beany's Bitty Band

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    Bonus items include full sheet music for the album (Piano + Vocal) as well as MIDI files for each of the tracks. The full album includes spoken tracks between the songs that link it all together.

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about

Shipping Containers is an experimental art album exploring copyright in the guise of filk hymns.

The premise is a lonely space traveler thinks about what might be in store for the colony ship when they get there, but due to copyright restrictions only music made before 1923 is available on-board. So, he combines the two.

Filk music is frequently composed of songs about a particular fandom set to established music. In this case, each song is about a particular science fiction or fantasy fandom. (With one song combining two different space-related fandoms.) The tunes of these songs are explicitly public domain hymns. (Though a few have public domain arrangements from the 1930s.) Most of these songs use a single hymn tune per song, but a few combine multiple hymn tunes in to a more modern structure containing chorus, verse, and bridge components.

The album download includes full sheet music as well as instrumental MIDI versions of each track.

Does the album include a free songbook, or does the songbook include free demo recordings? Either way, if you don't like something, with a Creative Commons Attribution license, you can fix it.

credits

released July 3, 2015

S.W. Black on vocals, Audacity and LMMS.

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about

Mr. Beany's Bitty Band

We're a one-person band fronted by human who self-describes as a mad artist of a very wordy medium. We invented the "crapcapella" genre, and remain a proponent, though We've begun experimenting and expanding to other areas. We love improvised music as well as sheet music. ... more

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Track Name: (spoken before track 1)
Maybe, after we land, I'll have a kid.
I should think up a story to tell.
Let's see...
Track Name: Shipping Containers
In our shipping containers you can find
many things that you might enjoy.
We pride ourselves on love that is blind
to the money in your employ.
The Fat Controller has no home.
He lives aboard our shining dome.

On our clean and shining bridge you can find
the ship's face and Conductor Bell.
We call this, our little ship, Gordon Tom.
He can be cheeky, but he's swell.
His brain is kept down a few floors;
he's wired to the reactors.

Ships like ours need children's brains to go.
They are stored in fluorescent jars.
We think he will be happy, quite so.
He likes to read books with kittens.
His parents were properly paid.
His sister went to college, Wade.

The Fat Controller gives out Specials for
little ships that follow through on
special tasks that he assigns and for
which he feels are really useful.
One time we took a whole scout troop
out where the brain extractors poop.

I hope that you can buy the model craft.
It features real parts that can go.
The gift shop is located in the aft
near where the engine exhaust blows.
We think that you might like this toy,
designed right for a girl or boy.

If you find that you can not pay the fare
we can make arrangements that work.
Sometimes we need someone to take repair
where Gordon Tom has been at work.
He often has no maintainers
other than shipping containers.
Track Name: (spoken between track 1 and 2)
A kid is probably out. Dating on this
ship is next to impossible. Maybe when
we land, I'll meet...
Track Name: My Salt Eater
My Salt Eater, My Dream Woman
I love you now, more than ever
You are every woman to me
Stay with me and stay like her.
I brought the salt.

My Salt Eater, My Dream Cover
I could be an agent, daring.
You'd perfectly blend in, drinking.
Sneaking, waiting, whispering.
I brought the match.

My Salt Eater, My Dream Lover
I love your hair, such lovely blue
I brought this top, don't wear those slacks
Tears bring crimson to your eyes
I brought the wax.

My Salt Eater, My Dream Woman
You need me more than I need you
When out of salt, you must comply
Quiet, here's what we will do.
I brought the ship.

(Spoken) Goodbye,
Track Name: (spoken between track 2 and 3)
*clang* Hmm... maybe it wouldn't
be such a good idea.

*clang* Ugh. That noise. What I
really need is...
Track Name: Good With Clanks
A mad woman, good with clanks,
handy with machines that move.
Maybe not mad, but a genius.
She would sing and build, lost within.
I would bring her food, lamb shanks,
maybe sing a song or groove.

A sharp woman, good with knives,
her machines would carve the world.
Emerging gifts, emerging lives.
Keeping us safe from strange new plights.
I'd make sandwiches, slice some chives.
We'd watch as the land unfurled.

Genius woman, good with tech,
to her growing towns would flock.
Lead us or not, I do not know
though to her we would all rely.
Perhaps she'd build us a mech.
Or towns, in danger, could walk.
Track Name: (spoken between track 3 and 4)
Yeah, that could work. Though, knowing
my record, it likely wouldn't last.
It might not even be my fault.
Track Name: Lost Weekend
What if our ship crashes on an island and we lose our minds?
What if our ship crashes on an island and we go insane?
Would we build smoke, would smoke kill us, could we keep the smoke at bay?

What if our ship crashes and we have to kill a polar bear?
What if our ship crashes and we failed to pack our underwear?
Could we skin him, would we wear skin, could we sleep in polar bear?

What if our ship crashes and we all start seeing things not real.
What if this includes a kitchen stocked with pudding, cans and veal.
Would we eat it, would it eat us, could we eat not knowing what?

What if our ship crashes and we find something we have to push.
Could we keep going if all we could do was to push the thing?
Would we not, how could we not eventually stop the thing?

How we would long for the time when we spent a weekend dreaming
How we would long for the time when we were lost in each other.
Our lost weekend, our weekend lost, the time we were truly found.

What if our ship crashes and we find we are already dead?
What if our spirits roam the island that we all once hated?
Would we stay there, could we go home, would we never know of peace?
Track Name: (spoken between track 4 and 5)
That may be about right. But, knowing
the management, they're likely to make
bad decisions. Maybe we'll find...
Track Name: Tiny Valkyries
Tiny Valkyries living there.
We'd hardly see them at first.
We'd hardly survive them at worst.
Me, like a giant or bear.
Her, more like a flimsy fairy
But with skill to leave me wary.
Teeny tiny Valkyries.

Tiny Valkyries in a tribe
all beautiful, kind and wise.
How could we find the other's prize?
Come together, sing, jump and jive.
Or would they better put us down,
Lead us astray, knock us around.
Those wee tiny Valkyries.
Track Name: (spoken between track 5 and 6)
I suppose even that could get worse, at
least for the native life.

Particularly, if the higher-ups believe
that sin is required for sentience.
Track Name: Sin and Sentience
A planet peaceful, fair and just.
A kind and loving folk, quite.
Lacking even words for sins,
we'd treat them as beasts or less
and they would forgive the harm.
We would not know where to begin.
Without sin and sentience.
Sin and sentience.

Our cities careless displacement.
Servile they will comply, yes.
Meanwhile our priests seek salvation.
They only need to teach sin.
The fruit offered rots within.
We should know not to play with sin.
Knowing pain and sentience
Sin and sentience

And sin, once taught, never quite leaves.
Acknowledgement of peers, check.
What of peers without great losses?
Reciprocal bargains played.
Trustless treaties meaning naught.
We would not know where to begin.
With both sin and sentience
Sin and sentience
Track Name: (spoken between track 6 and 7)
But would we spell doom, or would
the planet be adapted to combat
organisms with large complex brains?
Track Name: Nature's Brain
A verdant world ruled by green
Nature's brain
Harmony and peace achieved
Nature's brain
To each a role, each a part
Nature's brain
What science lacks, here perceived
Nature's brain

We come to bring humanity,
but we bring more it seems.
Regardless of the need or cost
we bring towns, roads and things.

The verdant world ruled by green
Nature's brain
Sensing the danger man brings
Nature's brain
Man unbound, his place unwound
Nature's brain
Will we listen as she sings?
Nature's brain

Our old world now boxed and boarded,
ordered ecologies.
We abandoned the untidy.
Never knowing what lost.

How long until the green ends?
Or can we live in peace?
Can we take our place,
guided by the kind verdant
green brain of nature.

A verdant world ruled by green
Nature's brain
Harmony and peace achieved
Nature's brain
To each a role, each a part
Nature's brain
What science lacks, here perceived
Nature's brain
Track Name: (spoken between track 7 and 8)
So peaceful.

But that might not last. What if some of
our old war machines still lurk out here
in the depths of space?
Track Name: Life is Hard
Feeling drained by life's demands.
Dragging myself through the day.
Then the war machines arrive,
blowing everything away.
Life is hard without my dog.
Wish I could crawl in a log.

Strained and sore and feeling sick.
Wishing that I'd packed my lunch.
I thought I could grab a bite,
but now I'm crammed with this bunch.
My meals were made by my wife.
Guess now she was lost in strife.

Seeking meaning deep within.
Finding myself peace quite fast.
What's important is my son.
Was he with his mother last?
Did they make it to the ship,
or were they out eating dip?

My son is dead. He's no more,
But I have now a daughter.
Her family gone, that we're sure.
Lost, alone just a squatter.
Life is hard without a home.
What, one day, will end our roam?
Track Name: (spoken between track 8 and 9)
That is all is too depressing. It
reminds me of the dream I've been
having again...
Track Name: The Pit
I'm trapped in a dry, desert land.
The town empty, save for a few.
All have been sacrificed away.
Soon I will have to face the pit.

Treacherous sandy walls slopped steep.
Those cast in do not really die.
That would be too kind, too sublime.
No one ever leaves that stark pit.

Is it a vision of the past?
Or a dark future yet to come?
Are we heading to bleak des -- pair?
Welcomed only to the doom pit.

If we're lucky perhaps mob bosses
will cast unwanted bodies there.
then, perhaps, we could ignore it,
a sad and unworshipped pit.
Track Name: (spoken between track 9 and 10)
There could be worse pits
underground...
Track Name: A Team to Save Us
On a planet once filled with goo,
there now lives humans and puppies.
We were thinking all would be well
but we were wrong or so it seems.
For the goo deep in the ground
founted forth minions of doom
led by evil long thought destroyed
who would save us from this dark gloom?

We would need a team to save us.
They would need some powers, too.
We would hope that they could save us.
They'd just be untested kids.
They'd have doubts and often fail.
But in the end they'd succeed.
We'd know them by bright colors and
how their machines joined as one thing.

Battles fierce and often destroying
large pieces of our cities.
We would need someone to save us
from the doom of our enemies.
We would hope the team would save
precious art and murals, too.
But if only lives were saved,
we'd really hope they'd save all of you.
Track Name: (spoken between track 10 and 11)
That kind of sounds like little more
than a children's program.
Track Name: Like In That Show With That Doctor
Maybe once the sites established
we could start a simple kid's show.
It could use time travel to show
how things grew and changed through out time.
And then there would be companions
like in that show with that doctor.

The companions would not quite fit
the time and place in which they're picked.
Maybe they'd be prone to screaming
at just the right time to not die.
Or curiosity could doom
like in that show with that doctor.

As we discover more about
the world upon which we will live
it would increase the chance that we
would contradict the prior scenes.
Then we would find that we were wrong
like in that show with that doctor.

With low budget we would try but
eventually we would find
that we would have to use trash cans
and toilet things so that in scenes
our bad guys could be stranger things
like in that show with that doctor.

We could use blue screens and green to
pretend that we were on a moon,
or in a tunnel filled with steam.
It could be keen to keep it clean.
We'd sell toys and candy babies,
like in that show with that doctor.

We'd be a half hour show but we'd
be continued for the season.
A long form show in half hour chunks.
We'd use famous authors to write
shows drawn from both the dark and light
like in that show with that doctor.

And then when we had lost our steam
we'd end it in a lovely place
but after while it would return,
missing something that made it great.
Companions now for sexy time,
like in that show with that doctor.
Track Name: (spoken between track 11 and 12)
A show like that would have to get
pretty strange now and then. I
wonder... What if space gets
stranger the further away from
home we travel?
Track Name: Asteroid Worms and Space Jellyfish
We could have an encounter with something strange.
Like a jellyfish that is also a ship.
We might need to hide in a large asteroid field.
It might be crawling with bats and with worms.

Say, if space is stranger there than we expect.
We could wind up talking to dead grandpas.
We might need to do things that we would never do,
like sell a child to Rumplestilskin.

The giant jellyfish might be a city.
We might need a telepath to talk to it.
It could be enslaved by a wee civilizations
It might need our help to get off of the land.

We can hope that the rock does not have space worms.
Worms larger than cities or interstellar ships.
Worms that have atmosphere and with electric leeches.
We don't have androids to clean and patch the ship.

If the timing is right, we might see stranger things.
Asteroid worms eating space jellyfish.
It could be devastating to an on-board empath.
We might all weep when we see how it dies.
Track Name: (spoken after track 12)
We could have an encounter with something strange.
Like a jellyfish that is also a ship.
We might need to hide in a large asteroid field.
It might be crawling with bats and with worms.

Say, if space is stranger there than we expect.
We could wind up talking to dead grandpas.
We might need to do things that we would never do,
like sell a child to Rumplestilskin.

The giant jellyfish might be a city.
We might need a telepath to talk to it.
It could be enslaved by a wee civilizations
It might need our help to get off of the land.

We can hope that the rock does not have space worms.
Worms larger than cities or interstellar ships.
Worms that have atmosphere and with electric leeches.
We don't have androids to clean and patch the ship.

If the timing is right, we might see stranger things.
Asteroid worms eating space jellyfish.
It could be devastating to an on-board empath.
We might all weep when we see how it dies.