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Follow Me (Hamelin Mix)

Words: © 2002 by Tom Smith
Music: "Follow Me" by Uncle Cracker
Fairy tales are often referred to as "beloved". For the life of me, I can't figure out why. Most of them -- and I mean the original versions, not the Disneyfied stuff -- feature innocent children subject to the whims of insane and often magically powered monsters, witches, wicked spirits, evil stepparents, and the occasional talking animal. And why? To freak the kids into behaving. (I am particularly convinced that Hans Christian Andersen must've hated children intensely. The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl, The Steadfast Tin Soldier -- brrrr.) This parody hit me suddenly, and for all I know it may be my "Fearless Rat Killers", trying to be both dark and funny and being neither. But sometimes that's the chance you have to take. I do think it amusing, however, that you can so utterly change the context of the song and leave the original chorus intact.

You don't know how they got here, you don't know why,
You can't turn around but one's saying Hi.
All you know is, it's a myth, and it's not too nice,
You got rats, I got a flute, now let's talk price.

I'm singin'...
Follow me, all you stinkin' old rats,
I'll be the Hamelin substitute for cats,
And if you want 'em leavin', I can guarantee,
But don't try to back out on my fee.

I'm not worried 'bout the plague they bear,
'Cause I'm charmin' all the vermin, fleas ain't got a prayer.
They're squealing, filthy, and covered with hair,
But you don't look ashamed at treating me not fair.

I'm singin'...
Follow me, all you Hamelin bureaucrats,
I played my flute and lured away your rats,
But if you try to cheat, I can guarantee,
I can play a different tune for free.

Too late for money, lost your chance, say goodbye,
You're better off if you don't ask why,
I've got my reasons for taking your kids,
You've learned the risk of outside contract bids.

... I'll be the one to tuck 'em at night,
And if I want 'em leavin', I can guarantee
You won't find no child older than three.

You don't know where I took 'em, you don't know why
They went dancing past, 'n' didn't say goodbye.
All you know is, when I left you, they went with me,
And next time you hire someone, pay their fee.

I'm singin'...
Follow me, every Hamelin child,
I'll be the one that sets you runnin' wild,
And if you got to stay, I can guarantee,
You must be too lame to keep up with me.

I'm singin'...
Follow me, I'm goin' out on a limb,
Now we know why they're called the Brothers Grimm,
And if you want a lesson in morality,
You won't find no darker fantasy.

I'm singin'...
Follow me, everything is all right,
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night,
And if you want to leave, I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me.

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