From the recording Raptapsody in Blue

This is one of two vocaI selections on Cafe Cirque. I recorded a solo version of this song on my first CD, World Beat Ragtime, in 1994. I wanted to give it the full band treatment and it really turned out well. I recorded the vocal, sax and tap dance all in one take, live with the band, and later added clarinet, e-tap, fife and harmonica.


Raptapsody in Blue copyright 1991 Michael “ Shoehorn” Conley
I got a Rock city Rhapsody, Raptapsody in Blue
I got a world music tap ditty I want to tap it out for you
I want to map out out the melody and throw in something new
Raptapsody, Raptapsody, Raptapsody in Blue
Of course the source is recognized- the blues has been so synthesized
into R&B, rock and roll, opera showbiz, classic soul
The effect has been fantastic,the music so elastic
dignified or spastic, real heart or plastic
The beat of the street, solid as granite, people moving their feet all over the planet , the orbit of Earth gave rhythm it’s birth, you hear what I say?
It’s the night and the day
Gershwin up in Harlem, he was checkin’ out the blues-
He tells me “I got Rhythm”, and its something I should use.
but I’m talkin’ ‘bout the Rhapsody,the Rhapsody in Blue-
It’s part of the fusion that breaks the illusion of a world divided
Let’s get excited and be united
The dignity of human life surely must prevail-it can’t just be the suffering that makes our trumpets wail- The global groove of Earth our mother will make us care for one another - free the slaves, free our minds, get along with every kind- of man and creature that we meet-the rhapsody will sound so sweet.
I’m just a musician - but this is my mission- I hope that some of you share in my vision.
(instrumental break)
We’ll be cooking the beat with some African heat
breakin’ the ice with Carribean spice
Old violins tucked under our chins, skins of the drums up under our thumbs, slide trombones blowin’ some tones, guitars, sitars, and saxophones. A Bulgarian choir with a Japanese wire, Andean flutes and a renaissance lute -we’ll be burnin’ a tune with the man with the spoons,
we’re all in a trance that’s making us dance -we got a Rock City Rhapsody, Raptapsody in Blue, we’re learning from each other and creating something new, It’s based on ancient stirrings, the boundaries are blurring, here we come, 21st century human race - face to face, in this space!
It’s a sign of the times that the messenger rhymes but I’ m not unaware of history’s crimes- Failure to communicate has been the cause of so much hate- we just can’t wait to get it straight and find out that it’s just too late! (solo version released on 1994’s World Beat Ragtime CD)