Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Can Sing For Miles


Over the past few months, I’ve become more and more involved with Jokes4Miles, a campaign started by veteran stand-up comedian Len Austrevich to help his 19 year-old son cope with brain cancer therapy. Len wants to get 5,000 people to videotape themselves telling a joke to Miles and upload it to the J4M site. Miles get a huge boost from watching the videos.

And people don’t have to tell jokes; they could just offer a few words of support, or even sing. One of Miles’s favorite messages came from a young rapper who created an original tribute to him. I’ve been on a mission to get musicians to join in the Jokes4Miles fun by uploading musical messages.

I came up with a parody of the hit single, “I Can See For Miles” by The Who, called “Telling Jokes4Miles.” The words might seem a little basic at first glance, but if you Google the original lyrics, you’ll see that I tried to come as close to Pete Townshend’s rhythms as I could.

I’d sing it myself, but a person very close to me once said, “You have no idea how annoying it is to hear someone sing as badly as you do.” Back in 2002, when I was still with the Famous In The Future comedy group, we performed a musical parody I wrote about Arthur Andersen’s Enron crisis, called Damn Andersen. I designated most of the lead singing to Guy Schingoethe, (who currently performs with New Millennium Theatre) and only came in on a few of the choruses. Still, one critic noted, “Terry Flamm has written a funny play, but he does it a disservice by performing in it.” So you can see why I would be emotionally scarred by these incidents.

That’s why I’m throwing “Telling Jokes4Miles” out to musicians around the world, hoping someone will use it to send him a message. You could sing the entire song, the chorus only, or even just a few lines. But I’m hoping someone will take me up on this, so I won’t have to sing it myself. No one wants to hear that.

Here are the words to the parody:

“Telling Jokes4Miles”

We know that disease can come into our lives
But with help from our friends we stay strong and we strive

Telling Jokes4Miless, for Miles, for Miles, for Miles for Miles
Oh yeah

It’s tough to think of all the pain and stress that therapy can bring each day
We never see you looking down or giving up ‘cause you’re not made that way

Well, here’s a joke for you
Perhaps a chuckle or two
We love to see you smile
Because it’s worthwhile 

Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles,
Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles,
Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles, for Miles for Miles
Oh yeah

Just look how many clips are coming in from near and so far away  
Celebrities and folks around the globe who took some extra time to say

Kind words of sympathy
Spiked with hilarity
You gotta like their style
They know it’s worthwhile

Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles,
Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles,
Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles, for Miles for Miles
For Miles for Miles for Miles for Miles

We know that disease can come into our lives
But with help from our friends we stay strong and we strive

Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles, for Miles for Miles
Oh yeah

Embrace the power as you watch them all and hear the funny things they say
And even though they don’t know who you are, you still inspire them anyway

5,000 jokes for you
And they keep coming on through
We’ll make a big stockpile
Because it’s worthwhile

Telling Jokes4Miles, for Miles, for Miles
For Miles, for Miles, for Miles.
Oh, yeah.

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