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  1. Shining My Flashlight On The Moon

This song came to me after a Labor Day concert with Cheryl Wheeler, Jonathan Edwards, John Gorka, Cliff Eberhardt, the Boneheads, and the Nields up on Stratton Mountain in Vermont.

  1. Two Americans In Paris

A true story.  If Parisians think Americans are odd, I'm sure we didn't alter their opinions one iota.

  1. Introduction to the One-Song Musical "Honey, We Have To Talk"
  2. I Want To Be Lonely Again

Nothing like being stuck in a sinking relationship to make loneliness look good.  I got the idea for this on a highway between Niskayuna and Albany, New York.  My hope is that one day Broadway diva Faith Prince will sing this.

  1. Music To Operate By

I read about a medical journal report on doctors who like music in the background while they are doing surgery.  But what if you are about to go under the knife, your doctor likes music, and there is none?  Here's a song the patient can sing to the surgical staff to get them in the right mood!  I was thinking about calling this album "Music To Operate By," but this is a mellow collection, so if a doctor took me literally and then fell asleep while operating, I'd have to write "Music To Hire Lawyers By," and the world isn't ready for that.

  1. Happy Divorce Day

I hear that miserable but enlightened married couples are having divorce ceremonies to publicly end their marriages.  If ever a situation cried out for a song, this one does, so here it is.  I hope it helps.

  1. The Polka-Dancing Bus Driver And The 40-Year-Old Mystery

I met this man when I boarded an airport shuttle in Minneapolis and couldn't help but notice the loud polka music playing over the bus's  sound system.  He told us passengers how polka dancing changed his life, and two days later, when I was in Washington, D.C., I put his story into rhyme.  A month later I recited this poem during an interview with Dale Connelly on Minnesota Public Radio, and an intrepid reporter from the Star Tribune, Steve Brandt, heard it and decided to find out the bus driver's name.  It's Ron Meyer.  I love meeting people like Ron who find ways to make their jobs fun.  I thought the story he told us was so sweet.

  1. Robert And Annie In Larchmont, New York

I wrote this song at 3:00 one morning after thinking about a conversation my friend Candice and I had had about first love, while we were driving on a highway near Pawling, New York.  That afternoon I was live on WFUV-FM to help with their fund-raising drive and offered to sing this hours-old song if 10 people called up and joined the station (they did!).  After I sang it, people called and asked, "What's the title of that new song?" and I impulsively answered, "If you call up and pledge the most money right now, I will name this song after you!"  I sold the title for $245 to Robert who said he wanted the song named for his wife and him because they feel the same deep passion for each other as when they first fell in love.  Annie's a lucky woman.

  1. If I Ruled The World

The 17 inventions I'd insist upon if I was in charge of this planet.  Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!  What would you invent if you ruled the world?

  1. As Bad As It Gets

There are times when life is just flat-out awful.  My best friend suffered terrible head injuries while bicycling without a helmet.  Recovery has been slow and painful -- I wrote this for him during his darkest hours.  Please wear a helmet when you bike or skate.

  1. Snackin'

I went fishing with my brother Tom and niece Katy on Seneca Lake in Geneva, New York, and was amazed at how cleverly the fish nipped the goodies off the hook while managing to avoid the hook completely.  Playing the part of Professor Fish is James L. Smith.  He runs the elevator in the building where I live, and I talked him into making his recording debut on this song.  Also here, at the end, are the legendary Claptones, the all-hand-percussive group that lived in the basement of The Magic Shop.  They reunited for this one song, but broke up again the next day, due to the usual band squabbles.

  1. The Scent Of Your Cologne

I was waiting for an elevator on the 73rd floor of the World Trade Center when the doors opened and the scent of aftershave wafted through the air -- the aftershave that my dad wore.  Instantly I was propelled back in time and remembered him more vividly than I had in years.

  1. Planet X

An article in USA Today on the plight of the planet Pluto was the basis for this song.  I started writing it in San Francisco, then wrote more verses in Billings and Helena, Montana, and then in  Albuquerque (I was on the road with the Four Bitchin' Babes).  Pluto's planetary status is still up in the air, but if it changes, I'll update this song.  Visit Pluto's homepage (that is the actual URL I sing) and you can learn lots more about this tiny feisty frigid spinning orb.

All songs by Christine Lavin
© 1997 published by Christine Lavin Music (ASCAP)
except "Snackin'," "As Bad As It Gets" and "The Scent Of Your Cologne" published by CL2 (ASCAP)

Album produced by Steve Rosenthal

The players:

Guitar and vocals:  Christine Lavin
Bass:  Zev Katz
Percussion:  Jeff Berman
Keyboards:  Tommy Mandel
Second guitar on "Flashlight," "Robert & Annie," & "Snackin'":  Frank Christian
Uillean oboe on "Flashlight" and accordion on "Two Americans":  Tommy Mandel
Violins on "Happy Divorce" and "As Bad As It Gets" and snoring man on "Lonely Again":  Robin Batteau
Trombone on "Lonely Again":  Howard Prince
Professor Fish on "Snackin'":  James L. Smith
Tambourine, cabasa, and vibra-slap on "Snackin'":  Steve Rosenthal
The Claptones on "Snackin'":  Nat Priest, Matt Wells, Pam Chia, and Juan Garcia
Theramin on "Planet X":  Steve Rosenthal, Tommy Mandel, Christine Lavin
Plutonian vibrations and rocketships on "Planet X":  Tommy Mandel

Recording sessions in the Lavin living room:
Engineers:  Scott Norton and Christine Lavin

Recording and mixing sessions at The Magic Shop:
Engineer:  Steve Rosenthal
Assistant:  Scott Norton

Magic Shop Studio Manager:  Janet Carroll
Magic Shop Interns:  Jacek Mlodochowski, Jim Chopey, Randy Lord, Carla Parisi, and Ed Vendromin
Mastered by Philip Klum at the Master Cutting Room, New York City,  using Sonic Solutions Workstation

Album artwork design:  Maureen Bennett
Photography:  Irene Young
Copy editing:  Candy Gianetti

My other albums available from Shanachie:

Please Don't Make Me Too Happy (solo)

Fax It! Charge It! Don't Ask Me What's For Dinner (with Megon McDonough, Sally Fingerett, and Debi Smith - the Four Bitchin' Babes)

Laugh Tracks - Volume 1 and 2 (Two evenings of Music and Madness with 20 other songwriters doing our wildest stuff live at The Bottom Line in New York City)

Thank you Tom Mangano and Sylvia Lavin for all you do online and through the mail.

My special thanks to Steve Rosenthal for setting up a recording studio in my living room and teaching me how to run it, to Scott Norton for engineering in my living room before I had the confidence to do it alone, to Juan Garcia for building and installing the home studio, to Richard Nevins at Shanachie for allowing us to take this alternative recording route, to Irene Young for her beautiful photography, to Maureen Bennett for her creative design,  and to all these hip cool cats and kittens -- Tommy Mandel, Zev Katz, Jeff Berman, Frank Christian, Robin Batteau, Howard Prince, James L. Smith, Philip Klum, and The Claptones -- for adding their special touches to these songs.  My gratitude to Paul Bartz at Mainstage for booking my concerts, and another big thank you to Steve Rosenthal for producing this project and bringing all these fine musicians together.

This album is dedicated to my dad, Thomas F. Lavin.  The Lavin gang misses you, and we wish you could see that we're doing alright.