Track 10 - Every Trick in the Book

Track 10 – Every Trick in the Book

While I often fabricate song origins at performances, I usually tell the truth about this one. The thing is that this one started in many different places. I read the book The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton and loved it. I loved the goofy slang and the crazy plot. And they got away with it! Is this book great literature? No. But it is a decent read. That is one point of origin for this song. Also, once I was driving in Arizona and I encountered the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. That was another point of origin. Also, at a certain time in Milwaukee, WI, there were cranes all over the skyline of the south side of the city. And, in the movie Charade there is a evening showdown scene in a colonnade involving Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau. And so on.

This is a list song. I’ve got a few others and it is a pretty common way to write a song. Unlike most of my songs, this song is not linear. Apart from the lists, it is really just a string of unrelated images. What puzzles me is that it really seems to work. It works for listeners and is works for me. The theme at the heart is really a conflict between my romantic view of the urban and my romantic view of the wilderness. Also, I think there is a morality lesson about being polite somewhere too.

I don’t really like this recording. I think the recording on available here ( is much better. Listening back to it, I’m not sure why I included this version. But it does demonstrate the way I’ve played this song hundreds of times at performances. I originally wrote this song on the piano, and I would like someday to represent that on a recording, but on the other hand, it may be time to move on.

Oh, and also, you know that part at the end of this recording that I didn’t write? Please don’t tell anyone that I did that. I don’t want to get sued.