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Tag: songs: fandom

Press Gang (Ya Got Trouble)

Press Gang (Ya Got Trouble)
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Ya Got Trouble” by Meredith Wilson (from The Music Man)
© 2007

Well, either you’re closing your eyes
To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a film crew at your convention

Well, Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here at your convention
Why sure I’m a filking fan
Certainly mighty proud I say
I’m always mighty proud to say it.
I consider that the hours I spend
With an axe in my hand are golden.
Help you cultivate rhythm sense
And a cool hand and a keen mind.
D’ya ever take and try to get
A round of applause for yourself
From a three verse parody?
But just as I say,
It takes judgment, brains, and maturity to play
In a chaos circle
I say that any boob kin take
And film a song with a camera
And I call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day–
I say, first, newspaper men writing features
Then TV reporters!

An’ the next thing ya know,
Your fan is singin’ for money in a video
And list’nin to some big out-a-town jasper
Hearin’ him tell about Creation conventions
Not a wholesome fannish con, no!
But a con where they charge for the autographs!
Like to see some stuck-up filker’boy goin’ on Wife Swap?
Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.

Now, friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six guitarists in a circle
Guitarists that mark the diff’rence
Between a filkcon and distress
With a capital “D,”
And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for press!

And all weekend your convention fans’ll be frittern away,
I say your good fen’ll be frittern!
Frittern away their circle time, panel time, concerts too!
Get the song on the camera
Never mind gittin’ chairs in a circle
Or the flyers set out or the mics set up
Never mind pourin’ any water
‘Til your filkers are caught with the pitcher empty
On a Saturday night and that’s trouble,
Yes we got lots and lots a’ trouble.
I’m thinkin’ of the fans in the beanie-hats
Button-mail true fen, peekin’ in the filk room window at the mess
Ya Got trouble, folks, right here at your convention
Trouble with a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for press!

Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda fans
I’m gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they’re loafin’ around that camera?
They’re tryin’ out bumpers, tryin’ out slow fades
Tryin’ out SFX like video fiends!
And braggin’ all about
How they’re gonna cover up a tell-tale flub with a punch-in!

One fine night, they leave the filk room
Headin’ for the party on the third floor
Anime fen and Star Trek watchers!
And electronic, shameless music
That’ll grab your fan, your filker
With the arms of a TV media instinct!

Friends, the filmer’s lens is the devil’s playground!

Trouble, (oh we got trouble),
Right here at your convention
(Right here at our convention!)
With a capital “T” that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for press,
(That stands for press.)
You’e surely got trouble
(We’ve surely got trouble!)
Right here at your convention!
(Right here!)
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the filkroom pure and a success
(Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…)

Fans of this convention!
Heed that warning before it’s too late!
Watch for the tell-tale sign of press infiltration
The moment that fan enters the room
Does he rearrange the buttons pinned below his badge?
Is there a pencil impression on his index finger?
A video camera hidden in his backpack?
Is he starting to memorize jokes from hallway conversations?
Are certain words creeping into his vocabulary?
Words like…like ‘quote?”
Ah-ha! And ‘can we get some better lighting?”

Well, if so my friends,
Ya got trouble,
(Oh, we got trouble!)
Right here in at your convention
(Right here at our convention!)
With a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for press.
(That stands for press!)
We’ve surely got trouble!
(We’ve surely got trouble!)
Right here at your convention!
(Right here!)
Remember Gafilk, FKO, and all the rest!

Oh, we’ve got trouble.
We’re in terrible, terrible trouble.
Those guys with the cameras takin’ notes are the devil’s guests!
(Devil’s guests!)
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
(Oh yes we got trouble, yes we got big big trouble!)
With a “T”! Gotta rhyme it with “P”!
And that stands for press!!!
(That stands for press!!!)

Aural Vixation

Aural Vixation
by Robert Wynne
Music: “The Girl Who’s Never Been” by Michelle Dockrey
© 2006

This last weekend I had gone to an SF music con
And I sat down at the concert Friday night
Songs of battle filled the room, torch songs followed none too soon
And the classic songs were all a big delight
Having heard all of the rest, the last set would decide the best —
On the stage there stepped a girl with hair of red.
And she sang to us this song; although it wasn’t very long
Since that moment it’s been trapped and it won’t get out of my head!

Save me! Save me!
It’s trapped in my head, you see!
Oh no, I think it’s starting up again!
Save me! Save me!
It won’t leave my memory!
I swear, this is the song that never ends!

Many other songs were played, I’m not quite sure why this one stayed;
Four days later and it’s still on endless play.
Other earworms can’t prevail, even “It’s A Small World” failed,
But it’s stuck in here and it won’t go away
So I went to see the girl who let it loose upon the world
She said “My lord, aren’t you guys sick of it by now?”
I suppose it could be worse, at least this is a pleasant curse
But I would send it out of my head if you’d only tell me how!

Save me! Save me!
It’s trapped in my head, you see
Oh no, I think it’s starting up again
Save me! Save me!
It won’t leave my memory
I swear, this is the song that never ends

Just another west coast filker singing her songs late at night
Sitting with her pers’nal guitarist and notebook held too tight
Just a singer in the circle with a smile bright as the sun
But I don’t know how she does the things she’s done

“Oh, take pity on me please! I’ll even get down on my knees!”
I begged her to relieve my aching brain
She said “Well, now since it’s you, I guess I’ll see what I can do”
And with a wink began to sing again
Well, I sat and listened well as she began to tell the tale
Of the man who makes a family of his crew
And it wasn’t very long until she finished up the song
And now where there’d been just one song, there suddenly were two!

Take love! Take land!
Take the place where I can stand!
But you can’t take the sky away from me!
Take out! To black!
Tell them that I won’t be back
I swear, you cannot take the sky from me!

And she faded, leaving just this parody

Where’s The Filkcircle

Where’s The Filkcircle
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Where’s the Orchestra” by Billy Joel
© 2006

Where’s the filkcircle?
Wasn’t this supposed to be an SF con?
Here I am, wandering the halls
How the hell could I have missed rousing guitars?

I liked the masquerade
Even though I had absolutely no idea at all
What was being said in all the panel talks
There’s the big name fan
The leading pro who never left the audience

Where’s the filkcircle?
After all, this is my big weekend from home
My trip to faerie, or the stars to roam
I assumed that a con would have a song
So I was wrong
So I’ll just sit right here
And play my guitar softly in the atrium
Then slowly one or two
Stop to hear a song
Then sit and sing along

And after the con is done
And after the last dog falls
The last note calls
From an open chord
At the filkcircle

Keep You Closer

Keep You Closer
Words and Music by Robert Wynne
© 2001

For all my chosen family throughout the filk community,
and especially for LM, who is ever in my heart.

We come from different corners of the world
And the times that our paths will cross are few
A few short weekends through the year
And then it’s time to go
And parting ways is always hard to do

But give me just a minute to embrace you
To hold you close before you turn away
A moment to remind you
That we’re closer than the miles
To keep until we meet another day

If I could hold the world inside these arms
If I could build a bridge across the sea
If I could shrink the miles that lie between us
I’d keep you closer every day to me

If the world were only a bit smaller
Then parting wouldn’t be a time for tears
But the shuttle waits to take you home
And on a plane you’ll soon be gone
And we may not meet again until next year


Slowly now we pull apart and smile and say goodbye
I pack my bags into my car and go
And though there is a sadness
that must come with each farewell
I love you, and that’s all you need to know

(chorus x2)

Of all the songs I’ve written, this one is probably the one that means the most to me, personally. And yes, while it is about a lot of people on one level, when I wrote it I had a certain few individuals on my mind. I’m very happy to say that, a year later, I did manage to shrink the miles between myself and one of those individuals, and the two of us are very happy being closer every day.

This song was published with sheet music in the Gafilk 2002 songbook.

Dead Tired

Dead Tired
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Weird Science” by Oingo Boingo
© 2001

(Dead Tired)
Jet lag and too little sleep
Going to a con
God it’s half past one
I’m feeling

(Dead Tired)
Folks I’ve never met before
Behind ballroom doors
Talent and imagination

(Dead Tired)
Here’s what I came here to do
Makin’ dreams come true
Living music, warm friends

(Dead tired)
Jet lag and too little sleep
God it’s half past one
God it’s half past one

(God it’s)a convention — is it real?
It’s a convention — I do not know
Bring caffienation — No time to sleep
With friends and music — I will not weep

Far from bed and far from home
This is why to here i roamed
Filk convention ….ooooh, dead….
dead tired!

(Dead tired)
Music and high fantasy
Science fiction chants
Puns and geekery
I’m feelin’

(Dead Tired)
Consuite breakfast and corn chips
Glad I made the trip
It’s been magic
I’m feeling

(Dead Tired)
Pictures for my conreport
New songs and chord charts
Sorry now to part (and feelin’)

(Dead Tired)
Staying for the dead dog filk
God it’s half past
God it’s half past


This is, of all things, a filk written about a con report, specifically Dave Weingart’s conreport of his trip to Consonance in 2001 . I’d love to hear it performed by a full band one day…

This song was published in the Gafilk 2005 songbook.

Ramblin’ Fan

Ramblin’ Fan
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Ramblin Man” by the Allman Brothers
© 2000

Lord I was born a rambling fan
going to conventions and doing the best I can
So when its time for the dead dog I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a rambling fan

My father was a filker from New Hampshire
My mother published zines in New Jersy
And I was born in the back row of a panel talk
in Massachussetts back at Boskone 3


Left a con in New Orleans this morning
Next weekend is Nashville, Tennessee
Every weekend there’s another convention to attend
And Worldcon’s where I hope they’ll bury me

(chorus x2)

I wrote this in the car on the way back from dinner at Gafilk 2000. As a note to the literal minded, I don’t have family in New Hampshire or New Jersey, and I was 31 years old the first time I even visited Massachussetts. So this song isn’t remotely autobiographical. For the record.

This song was published in the Gafilk 2001 songbook.


by Robert Wynne
Music: “Nobody’s Moggie” by Eric Bogle
© 2000

Somebody’s moggy just went splat on the stage
Somebody’s pussy thrown from just outside of range
Someone’s former feline, which landed with a thunk
Perhaps they wanted me to know they thought my new act stunk…

Yesterday when I played here, I was not aware at all
That those were jeers not cheers that greeted every curtain’s fall
But now the audience has booed me off
With a very strange cat-call
They’re all throwing moggies now…

Michael Liebmann and I did a filk demo for The Atlanta Science Fiction Society in September of 2000, which we then reported on in I commented that this was the first time I had ever performed music for an indifferent audience, which was an interesting and educational experience. Someone commented that indifferent was better than having them throw rotting flora at you, to which someone remarked that rotting flora was better still than rotting fauna. Mark Mandel said that the traditional form of the latter was a dead cat, and, well, this was the result. This is a show-stopper, which is why it ends after one verse.

Georgia’s First Ever Filking Con

Georgia’s First Ever Filking Con
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce
© 1999

On the south side of Atlanta
Came a different sort of fun
You know we’d never seen
Something quite so keen
As a real live filking con[1]

There was no masquarade or art show
Michael[2] sold tapes from his room
All day we gathered round
And made a joyous sound
In the Ramada’s main ballroom

It’s Georgia’s First Ever Filking Con
Three southern nights of joy and song
And no one ever had so much fun
As the con called GaFilk One

Juanita Coulson[3] was delightful
But then, when’s that a surprise?
How does she not go hor-us
Growling out each chorus
With that twinkle in her eye?

Mike and Anne came[4] ‘cross the water
With British filk they did entice
The Great White North was on board
With a Canadian Horde[5]
And boy did they sound nice!

At Georgia’s First Ever Filking Con
Three southern nights of joy and song
And no one ever had so much fun
As the con called GaFilk One

Well the weekend went too swiftly
Much too soon we reached the end
When Brenda[6] took the floor
To sing “Strangers No More”
Every single one joined in!

Bill[7] declared the con was over
But we all let out a cheer
When he took up the call
And told one and all
“We’ll be right back here next year

At Georgia’s Second Ever Filking Con
Three more nights of Joy and Song
So no matter what else you do
Make sure that you’re at GaFilk Two!”

[1] This was the first filk con ever held in Georgia
[2] Michael Liebmann got “the whole store” from Random Factors and was the only (and much put upon) dealer
[3] You don’t need me to introduce this lady, do you? 🙂
[4] Mike and Anne Whittaker (of the filk band Phoenix)
[5] Glenn Simser (the Interfilk guest) and Dave and Judith Hayman were down
[6] Brenda Sutton“Strangers No More” is the official song of GaFiA, the Georgia Filking Association.
[7] Bill Sutton was the con chairman

I wrote this after arriving home after the first Georgia Filk Con, when everything was still fresh in my head. I had a great time, and five years later, Gafilk is still going strong. Being a part of the Gafilk concom has been a wonderful experience for me the last four years, and I’m looking forward to many more.

Update (August, 2018):  Holy cow, we’re prepping to put on Gafilk 21 in January…

A Con Spent A Circle

A Con Spent In A Circle
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Circle” by Harry Chapin
© 1999

A con spent in a circle
All our troubles gone
The music echoes through the night
Till the breaking of the dawn
A con spent in a circle,
Friends sharing harmony,
We’ll give no thought to sleep now —
Come on and filk with me

I met you sometime last year,
I don’t remember where,
But I know we shared a song or two,
Help me circle up these chairs.

I’m glad to see you came again,
we’ve still a lot to do —
The convention day is over,
but the evening is still new.


A voice lilts out a melody
A single strumming hand
A bodhran adds a rhythmic beat
It’s better than a band

When other fans have gone to sleep
We circle up and sing
And each takes home full measure
of all the joy we bring

I wrote this song shortly after the first GaFilk. I remember leaving the hotel on Sunday and commenting to Teri Wachowiak that I had a great time, even though it seemed I spent most of the weekend rearranging chairs into circles. The phrase “A con spent in a circle” wandered through my head, and connected with the Harry Chapin song, and I wrote the lyrics over the next few days.

I’ve been very flattered at the attention this song has gotten. It was published in Xenofilkia #64 and the Gafilk 2001 songbook, and was nominated in 2001 for a Pegasus Award for Best Filk Song.

Obligatory Convention Filksong

Obligatory Convention Filksong
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Homeward Bound” by Paul Simon
© 1998

I’m sitting in the Dead Dog party
With an empty fifth of light Bacardi
The con is like a dream today
The panels and the masquerades
With all of our goodbyes to say
It’s time to get back on our way

Homeward bound
The con is over
Homeward bound
Home, back to mundane working
Home, bills and paychecks lurking
Home, where the real world waits impassivly for me

Every weekend I’ve got free
Is saved for flights to fantasy
And people that i’ve met before
Smile when I come through the door
Old friends you too seldom see
Are always the best company

Homeward bound
The con is over
Homeward bound
Home, back to mundane working
Home, bills and paychecks lurking
Home, where the real world waits impassivly for me

When I think about where I belong
I realize I’ve got it all wrong
The real world isn’t home to me
It’s not the place where I feel free
And though we wish we could stay right here
At least we’ll always have next year

Homeward bound
The con is starting
Homeward bound
Home, where my friends are meeting
Home, where the fans are greeting
Home, where the real world seems so very far away
Like many people, fandom is more than hobby to me – it’s a family as well. The end of a convention is always a bit like leaving home for me and the beginning of a con always feels like a reunion. This song tries to capture that feeling.

I titled it as I did because I think most of us get around to writing this song sooner or later. Many have done it better, but this one’s mine.

This song was published in the Gafilk 2000 songbook.

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