A lot of things are blamed on genetics, but in this case, I’m sure it’s true. I’m absolutely positive I inherited my love of word play from my mother’s side of the family.
Mom and Aunt Jo were big on marking all kinds of events with rhyming-couplet poems. Holidays, birthdays, Little League games, a mouse found in the mop in the janitor’s closet at the church—it didn’t take much for one of them to be off and running with a funny commemorative verse.
When my first book was published—a collection of my humorous, personal experience newspaper columns—my mother insisted I write a disclaimer in the beginning to say I’d made it all up. She was afraid she’d look silly or stupid.
So I wrote a tongue-in-cheek dedication to that effect, claiming that none of it was even remotely about my real family, as I was found in a cave and raised by wolves.
My aunt immediately sent me a poem concluding with the verse, “I have to think, it may be true, that she’s an only child; raised without a family, by wolves, out in the wild.”
Naturally, I included Aunt Jo’s poem in my book, and I don’t think Mom ever got over not having one of her own in there!
So fast-forward a couple decades, and I’m in McMinnville attending the UFO Festival. (No, I am not making this up—there really is a UFO Fest—you can google it!) And my friend Marty, who’s a musician and sound designer, looks around at all the people in costume and says something like “I wonder what it would be like to have an alien girlfriend.”
Well, that’s all it took. In less time than you can say “Beam me up, Scotty,” I’d written a funny little rhyming poem about just such a relationship.
I sent my poem to Marty, and it arrived when he was in just the right mood. He composed all aspects of the music, added “space-age sound effects” (For those of you older readers, think “The Jetsons”), and he even sang the lyrics himself. The result was amazing!
So now I’ve added songwriter to my list of “writing credits.” Some of Marty’s friends are talking about making a little animated video to accompany the song, and I hope they do! It would be beyond fabulous for something I wrote the words to be up on YouTube. If that happens, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Meanwhile, here’s a link to the song: https://soundcloud.com/martin-john-gallagher/alien-girlfriend