Category Archives: Music Written by Others

”My Prayer” – A Capella Cover of The Ink Spots

It ain’t dubstep.

Song composition: Georges Boulanger and Jimmy Kennedy. Video & performance: Nate Orshan (AKA Nato).

My mom and stepdad introduced me to The Ink Spots in the early 1980’s. I don’t recall if it was love at first sound, but, man, did I finally get that Ink Spots bug.

There’s so much about the average Ink Spots slow song that, when added together, makes my heart overflowing with joy:

  • Arrangements ready for a 1930’s Disney movie
  • Lyrics so squeaky clean that you wonder if they’re a parody
  • Proto-do-wop harmonies
  • Recapitulation of first verse, but featuring the bass singer, who recites the thing (making him…the first rapper?) while interjecting little colloquialisms throughout

But what seals the deal for me is lead singer Bill Kenny’s voice. His diction so precise. His vibrato so rippling. His range so, SO damn high. It’s like he’s doing an impression of a singing prince from a Disney musical. More perfect than perfect. (RIP, Bill Kenny.)

Here’s the original:

Meanwhile, sometime in the late 1990’s I stumbled across what I call my Fake Opera Voice, a technique I assume is closer to the way a vocal coach would want me to sing if I ever, y’know, went to a vocal coach. I hauled it out a bit for “Do the Funky Sidewalk (Snow Dragon)”, but otherwise hitherto had yet to attempt the full-blown thing.

The thing is, Fake Opera Voice seems to sound best when paired with Fake British Accent. Together they’re a rafter-shaking force of exquisite pretentiousness. With apologies to Hunter S. Thompson: Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

(Special thanks to Toby the Cat for harmonizing throughout. He’s undoubtedly saying, “Stop! Make the bad noise stop! Stooooop!” He gets his digs in at the end, as a cat is wont to do.)

Song © Copyright 1939 Georges Boulanger and Jimmy Kennedy
Video © Copyright 2013 Nate Orshan

“The Star-Spangled Banner”

Happy 236th Birthday, America!

Per our Declaration of Independence:

…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

May the day soon come when the world once again looks to the United States as a model of freedom, rationality, and democracy untouched by corruption.

Here’s wishing a Joyous Independence Day to Americans all over the world.