jollyjoe

Release Date: 1/10

Album: HELLO CLEVELAND

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Video:

 

Lyrics:

1,2, 1,2 1,2!

In the little town of Bethlehem
Lives a man called Jollyjoe
With a tiny little shop where the only one who stops
Is Edgar Allen Poe

Jollyjoe, the polka man
Jollyjoe, I'm your biggest fan
Jollyjoe, Jollyjoe, Jolly Jollyjoe
Please ring bell!

He's old as dirt in his checkered shirt
Polka is his metier
And you can't come in much to your chagrin
'Cos he'll chase your ass away

Jollyjoe, please let me in
And sell me an accordian
Jollyjoe, Jollyjoe, Jolly Jollyjoe
Please ring bell!

What's it like when you spend your life
On something no one cares about
I'd like to know I'd like to ask
But Jollyjoe you won't come out!

Jollyjoe you owe me man
Jolly help me understand
Jollyjoe, Jollyjoe, Jolly Jollyjoe
Please ring bell!

Musicians:

Adam - lead vocal, guitar
Teresa Cowles - bass
Jon Braun - drums
Charlie Zayleskie - keyboards

Adam sez:

When we were staying at Jon Braun's house in Bethlehem rehearsing for the tour, Charlie because fascinated with an old school, brightly lit music store around the corner, and kept expressing an interest to check it out. Apparently there was a sign on the door that said "please ring bell." Jon warned him that the guy that ran the store, an old polka musician, was known for chasing people out of the place. Charlie became obsessed with getting into the store although I don't think he ever succeeded.

I kind of sketched out a scenario in my head where the guy in the store was so disgusted that nobody appreciated the thing he'd spent his life on, and meant the most to him -- polka music -- and so he has a store where he won't let anyone come in...tying his character in with Hasil Atkins in "Jonas" or Micky Dolenz in "Beer" -- people who were really good at something they cared about, and people don't appreciate them as more than characatures. Given my mood on the tour, it was too easy to imagine myself being the protagonist in this song in thirty years. The tune -- my first and probably last attempt to write a polka -- was a hoot from first to last (it was the only song from HELLO CLEVELAND we actually performed live before we recorded it), but it may not be immediately obvious that my sympathies in the lyrics are with Jollyjoe.

Charlie's accordion part on this is hysterical, and Teresa and I had to order him to stop practicing it, because he was starting to be able to actually play it properly, which would have ruined the song!

When Teresa and I again toured with Jon in March 2010 (Charlie sat this one out), we had a night off at the end of the tour and were all laying around groggily doing nothing and then somebody said, "let's make a video for 'Jollyjoe'!" We immediately (well actually it took about an hour) sprang into action and took Teresa's laptop down into Jon's basement and shot the video, with me moving the laptop around to get close up shots of the band. Then we took T's Iphone and went out and took a lot of shots of the store. A few months later we edited it together with some old polka footage of the Three Suns and voila! The second video for HELLO CLEVELAND, low budget filmmaking at its finest. It was great to get Jon's quirky charm into the video. The lighting in Jon's basement ironically was cooler than anything we could have come up with if we'd tried...very '80s college rock which, given the sound of CLEVELAND, was appropriate.

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