Reading Songs Volume I: Blast Into Books

by Monty Harper

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about

The songs on this album were written for past summer reading program themes. They come from Monty Harper's various CDs and other projects. Some tracks are not currently available anyplace else.

credits

released November 11, 2011

All songs written and recorded by Monty Harper.

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about

Monty Harper Stillwater, Oklahoma

Monty Harper is a children's musician in Stillwater, OK. He performs for elementary schools and libraries, helps kids write their own songs in workshops and residencies, does informal science education, and writes songs for clients.

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Track Name: Blast Into Books
Blast into books and out of this world.
Feel the cosmic wind on your face.
Blast into books and out of this world.
Chart your own adventures in space.

Captain’s log, our sensors show a life form in distress.
Ready the away team. Energize.
Map another M-class planet on our mission to explore
strange new worlds aboard the starship, Enterprise.
I’ve seen Star Trek on TV; it’s pretty neat.
But reading really puts me in the captain’s seat!

You gotta blast into books and out of this world.
Feel the cosmic wind on your face.
Blast into books and out of this world.
Chart your own adventures in space.

I fly my x-wing fighter through a rain of blaster fire
while my trusty R2 unit plots a course.
From the planet city Coruscant to Endor’s forest moon
I’ll protect the New Republic from the Dark Side of the Force.
I’ve seen Star Wars at the movies and that’s all right,
but when I read the novels I become a Jedi Knight!

You gotta blast into books and out of this world.
Feel the cosmic wind on your face.
Blast into books and out of this world.
Chart your own adventures in... your own adventures in
space...

Blast into books!
Track Name: Take Me to Your Library
I was lazing on the porch with a library book last Saturday night
when my dog started howling and the sky took to pulsing with a purplish light.
A great glowing gadget glided over the trees
like a gigantic hamburger hanging in the breeze.
Then the bun popped open, and a critter flew toward me like a meteorite.

And I heard him say,
"Akbo ekto <ptht> neeky wokky.
Uptuck neewuk <pwoit> eeky bokky.
Eppa leppa wakka wikka pikky pokky poo.
Pobbalagga bigga bogga zibby zabba zoo!"

He hit the ground bouncing with five arms flapping like a wacky disaster.
He planted his foot and waved a dozen eyes at me while my heart beat faster.
More nervous than a wiener in a hotdog stand,
I said, "W-Welcome to Earth" and I held out my hand.
Did he shake it? No, instead he pointed what I took to be an alien blaster.
And once again he said,

Repeat Chorus

The blaster went "Zap!" but I never looked back to see if I was OK,
'cause like a mouse at a cat convention I was rather busy running away.
Behind me came the sound of that one foot thumping,
or maybe it was only my own heart jumping.
Either way the sky began flashing with a now familiar purple display.
And from above I heard,

Repeat Chorus

A bright blue beam dropped straight down around me from the burger-shaped ship,
and it sucked me up like a straw full of soda with one quick sip.
Then that five-armed fiend had me strapped into place
with a dozen buggy eyes waving up in my face.
He put the nasty looking blaster in the middle of my forehead and he let it rip.

Well I yelped and twisted like a hyperactive poodle at the end of his chain,
and I struggled for a spell before I noticed that I really wasn't feeling any pain.
I was soon to discover that bug-eyed invader
didn't zap me with a weapon. It was a nifty translator!
Every word he said was now repeated by a happy little voice in my brain.

What I heard was,
"Akbo ekto <ptht> neeky wokky."
("Hi! My name is Bob.")
"Uptuck neewuk <pwoit> eeky bokky."
("I come from the planet <pwoit>.")
"Eppa leppa wakka wikka pikky pokky poo."
("I’m here to study your science and culture.")
"Pobbalagga bigga bogga zibby zabba zoo!"
("Please escort me to the nearest free public repository of information.")
In other words...

Take me to your library!
Take me to your library!
"Pobbalagga bigga bogga zibby zabba zoo"
means take me, take me, take me to your library!

Well I showed my new five-armed dozen-eyed friend what direction to fly.
And from the library shelves he grabbed histories, geographies, folk tales, art, and sci-fi.
I recommended Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
and we checked them all out on interplanetary loan.
Then Bob said he'd better get home, but that it didn't have to mean goodbye.

So here I sit zipping along in that burger-shaped ship the sixth day in a row,
and I've seen enough hyperspace I've been yawning like an Eskimo watching snow.
One thing I figure I will desperately need
for the trip back home is more books to read.
So I've been practicing up and when we get to Bob's planet I know just how I’ll say hello:

"Akbo ekto <ptht> neeky wokky.
Uptuck neewuk <pwoit> eeky bokky.
Eppa leppa wakka wikka pikky pokky poo.
Pobbalagga bigga bogga zibby zabba zoo!"
Take me to your library!
Take me to your library!
"Pobbalagga bigga bogga zibby zabba zoo"
means take me, take me, take me to your library!
Track Name: Books, Ahoy!
Books, ahoy, mates, books, ahoy!
Here's a book that wants a captain. Can we find a girl or boy?
Set your compass for adventure, weigh your anchor and enjoy.
Books, ahoy! Books, ahoy! Books, ahoy, mates, books, ahoy!

Sail this book with Fern and Avery through a summer on the farm
where the sheep has shared the secret that the pig will come to harm.
Farmer Zuckerman intends to turn poor Wilbur into ham.
Can a wonder weaving spider spin him out of such a jam?
Sail with one terrific humble pig celeb in the good book, Charlotte's Web.

Books, ahoy! (Books, ahoy!) Books, ahoy! (Books, ahoy!)
Books, ahoy, mates, books, ahoy!

Here's a book that shows a blusterous wind can always be withstood.
Raise her sails; that wind will blow you through the Hundred Acre Wood.
Trap a heffalump or two or track some woozles if you dare
with a nervous little piglet and a honey-hungry bear.
Sail with Rabbit, Eeyore, Kanga, Owl, and Roo in the good book, Winnie the Pooh.

Books, ahoy! (Books, ahoy!) Books, ahoy! (Books, ahoy!)
Books, ahoy, mates, books, ahoy!

Here's a book that wants a brave and daring captain in command.
Fly with Wendy, John, and Michael on a trip to Neverland.
Captain Hook and all his pirates will attempt to run you through,
but their efforts will be thwarted with a "Cockadoodledoo!"
By the boy who'll never grow to be a man in the good book, Peter Pan.

So many books for you to choose from!
So many seas that must be crossed!
And whichever book you board, whatever point you sail her toward,
she'll be stormed upon and tossed.
But don't dismay when she starts to pitch and sway;
she will weather every squall.
When you bring her safely in and you're set to sail again,
just cup your hands and call,

Books, ahoy! (Books, ahoy!) (4x)
Repeat First Stanza
Track Name: Magical Madcap Tour
You say you get tired of staring at those same four walls.
The world is full of wonders and you want to see them all,
from Albania to Zimbabwe.
You got travel mania! Well, don’t go the hard way!
You’d need a train to catch your plane. You haven’t packed? You’d better dash!
Before your boat will even float you’ll need a big old heap of cash!
Instead relax, and stick with me. We’ll do our travelling for free.
We’ve seven continents to see! On a Magical Madcap Tour...

Book a magical madcap tour
around the world with me.
Book a magical madcap tour
at your library.

Swedish meatballs, Italian ice,
Polish sausages, Spanish rice:
Such sustenance you’ll stir up
on the continent of Europe.

I thought they might be upside down
like dragons dancing through the town.
Those alphabets will amaze ya
on the continent of Asia.

Repeat Chorus

A lion’s tongue is pink and wet
but I think you’ll find you’d rather let
an elephant or giraffe lick ya
on the continent of Africa.

Penguins play on glaciers clear
while the day spins on for half a year.
Says sun to sky, "Can’t part with ya,"
on the continent, Antarctica.

Repeat Chorus

My boomerang I thought I threw.
Came back to me a kangaroo.
If you’re not a gent, they’ll jail ya
on the continent, Australia.

"Life is rich in the brave new West,
but mi amigo, I’ve one request:
Stop poking me with Panama,"
says South to North America.

Repeat Chorus
Track Name: Monty Harper and the Thrice Upon a Time Band - The Great Green Squishy Mean Bibliovore
In the ground they found a frozen dinosaur.
They kept it hidden in a secret lab.
The day had come the scientists were working for -
the day to wake this dino from his nap!

They threw the switches to their special laser beam.
They did not see the bookworm on the lens.
The dinosaur unraveled in a cloud of steam.
When it cleared there was a startled creature blinking at them.

He said, "Rrrr, I'm hungry!
Didja hear that sound? That's my tummy!
Don't give me no lines! Don't give me no looks!
Don't feed me no lip! Just feed me books!
'Cause I'm a great green squishy mean bibliovore.
I'm a cross between a bookworm and a dinosaur.
You'd better feed me books or you will hear me roar!
I'm a great green squishy mean bibliovore.”

They fed him all the reference books they never used,
but the monster still was hungry and escaped.
He broke into an empty elementary school
where he learned that spelling books cause belly aches.

He gobbled up a bookmobile and belched out the wheels.
He swallowed ten pay phone directories.
Then his nostrils started twitching like he smelled a meal.
That's when he burst in through the front door to the library!

(Chorus)

He found himself a fiction shelf and started to feast.
The librarian was quite surprised indeed!
She grabbed him by the ear and made him take a seat.
She said, "I think I'd better teach you how to read."

The monster was a trifle smarter than he looked,
so it took her very little time to teach him.
And now he holds a whole new attitude toward books.
Every day he reads another pile - and then he eats them!

Today he makes a living writing book reviews.
He chews the bad ones up voraciously.
He loves to put the new words that he learns to use,
so now he's speaking more loquaciously.

He says, "Hmmm. I'm famished.
Did you feel that vibration?
That's my gastric cavity requesting bibliomastication!

'Cause I'm a great green squishy mean bibliovore.
I'm a cross between a bookworm and a dinosaur.
You'd better feed me books or you will hear me roar!
I'm a great green squishy mean bibliovore.
I'm a great green squishy mean
bibliovore!"
Track Name: Monty Harper and the Thrice Upon a Time Band - Hanging Out With Heroes at the Library
It's a foot-stompin', rope-swingin' barrel of fun!
There's something in a book for everyone
to make your heart pound faster and your eyes pop out!
It'll get you so riled up you just gotta shout.
The hero of the story is the one you wanna be!
I love hangin' out with heroes at the library!

She’s got the wildest red hair, and her clothes are berserk.
This teacher takes the mystery out of how things work.
Her little lizard, Liz, always accompanies us
on impossible trips on a magic school bus.
Her hands-on approach gives science a sizzle.
Take a field trip to the library with (audience:) Ms. Frizzle!

(Chorus)

His muggle aunt and uncle made him feel outcast
until he started to discover his mysterious past.
He goes to Hogwart’s school for wizards and witches.
On the quidditch team he’s a seeker of snitches.
He took to that broom like a fish takes to water.
Catch the magic at the library with (audience:) Harry Potter!

(Chorus)

This diminutive detective always takes the case.
He leaves a note for his mom, then he’s off on the chase.
His cleaver dog, Sludge, helps him search for clues.
At times he finds he’s stuck and doesn’t know what to do.
That’s when a pancake snack sets him thinking straight.
Solve a mystery at the library with (audience:) Nate the Great!

(Chorus)

She was swept away from Kansas to the Land of Oz.
She took the Yellow Brick Road to seek help because
she was determined to return and faced many trials tryin’
with a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion.
I'll bet you if you ask old what’s her name? (audience:) Dorothy!
she'd say, “There's really no place like the library!”

(Chorus)

If you're lookin' for me let me tell you where I'll be.
I'll be hanging out with heroes at the library.
I've got to shout about it from the top of every tree!
I love hanging out with heroes at the library!
Track Name: The Brainiacs
This is the story of a family
who never did a thing except for watch TV
until one day when the family pet
pulled the plug on their TV set.

And they blinked,
cleared their heads,
and they picked up a book and they read.
That's the way they all became the Brainiacs!

Now Papa knows the almanac from A to Z.
He's a five time champion on Jeopardy.
And Mama Brain's a self taught scientist.
She built a nuclear reactor in the barbecue pit.

Teen Brain invented an electric car.
It can drive across the country on a single charge.
The littlest Brain is a billionaire.
Her company's the leader in computer software.

The President called on the Brainiacs
to help find a way to pay the national debt.
We owe it all to that wonderful pet
who pulled the plug on their TV set!

And they blinked,
cleared their heads,
and they picked up a book and they read.
That's the way they all became the Brainiacs!
Track Name: The Princess and the Farmer's Son
A farmer once had three sons
who left to find their fortunes.
Each one chose a path and waved goodbye.
The first son he found trouble.
The second his was double.
The third son now is happy. I'll tell you why -
because he loves to read a story.

A king once made an offer
to marry off his daughter,
but the princes that he chose she turned away.
For above the king's objection
she loved that farmer's third son.
When the king forbade the wedding all she could say
was, "But Daddy, he loves to read a story!"

A storybook takes you
on a magic carpet ride
to fanciful adventure all
in a faraway place and time.

A fire breathing dragon
was threatening the kingdom
and the king considered this a stroke of luck.
For he sent the farmer's third son East
to battle with the brutal beast,
and the lad took nothing with him but a book
because he loves to read a story.

That farmer's clever third son
soon found the dreadful dragon
whose angry threats had lead to such distress.
He turned that dragon from mad to meek
with the promise of a book a week
and the lad was finally wed to his princess
because he loves to read a story.

A storybook helps you
view the world through a hero's eyes
so you can become the virtuous one
to tackle troubles as they arise.

The king and all his kingdom,
the fire breathing dragon,
the princess and the farmer's son
all live happily ever after
because we love to read a story!
Track Name: Stampede to Read
It's got the world wide-eyed with wonder.
It's what everybody wants to do.
It'll make your day, blow the clouds away
and let the light come shining through.
No, it's not a shoe or a soft drink.
But it's a lift you really need.
So come on, check out what it's all about.
Join the Read Stampede!

In a car, train, bus, crane, airplane, or boat, stampede to read!
To your dog, cat, rat, bat, hamster, or goat, stampede to read!
Scan a fax, card, message, memo, or note, stampede to read!
Learn a quip, quick comeback, schtick, or slick quote. Stampede to read!
It's a read stampede - everybody read!
It's a read stampede - everybody read!

On a cliff, coast, canyon, prairie, or plain, stampede to read!
Under fog, snow, sleet, hail, drizzle, or rain, stampede to read!
Learn a haiku, limerick, verse, or refrain. Stampede to read!
It'll twist, pick, trick, and tickle your brain. Stampede to read!
It's a read stampede - everybody read!
It's a read stampede - everybody read!

We are a nation built on freedom.
Where ideas are allowed to flow.
So when you feel perplexed, there'll be a helpful text
to tell you anything you need to know.
It's a human thirst for knowledge.
You've got a curious mind to feed.
Why make it hard, get your library card
and join the Read Stampede!

Grab a tabloid, magazine, or gazette. Stampede to read!
At the doctor, orthodontist, or vet, stampede to read!
Surf a website, email, chat on the net. Stampede to read!
Zap to Mozambique, Belize, or Tibet. Stampede to read!
It's a read stampede - everybody read!
It's a read stampede - everybody read!
Track Name: My Friend, Jake
I had the summer blues with nothing much to do.
All day I'd watch TV. Then a telegram came for me...

It said, "Traveling home through Bangladesh. Am shipping you my brand new pet.
Please take good care of Jake until I arrive."
It was from my off-beat uncle, Clyde, so Mom and I were not a bit surprised
by the size of the crane that came and left Jake's cage on our front drive.

And Jake and I were soon making tracks to the library
so I could learn exactly what he ought to eat.
People all were staring like they never see
a four hundred pound gorilla walking down the street.

I took a look to see what the computer could find, but Jake ran directly to the five nine nine's.
He grabbed a bunch of books and tossed them over to me.
At first I couldn't believe my eyes, then the titles he selected made me realize
that somehow somewhere someone must've taught Jake how to read!

The books he wanted were
Goodall's Guide to Grooming Gorillas,
Recipes For Baking Bananas,
Hominoids and Monkeys I Have Known,
Apes Baboons and Chimps as Party Guests,
Secrets to Success With Simians,
How to Feed the Primate in Your Home.

We took our stack to the checkout desk. The librarian started to say, "No pets..."
But Jake began beating his chest and he flashed her his teeth.
I told her that to me it didn't seem so hard to see that all he wanted was a library card.
Jake took a step or two toward her, and she hastily agreed.

And lots of people were making tracks to the library
just to get a gander at Jake and me.
The news crews put it on live TV -
a gorilla checking books from the library!

Well, every single morning at the crack of dawn, Jake and I were waiting on the library lawn
to trade in the books we'd read for a whole new batch.
By the time Uncle Clyde arrived from overseas, Jake and I were library celebrities.
I even started teaching Jake how to write so he could give out autographs.

I made my Uncle Clyde promise me that wherever Jake went he'd have books to read.
I begged Jake to keep on practicing so he can write to me someday.

Until then I'm making tracks to the library
'cause every single day I get the urge to read.
My good friend Jake must've got me hooked.
I'll spend the rest of this summer reading library books.
My good friend Jake must've got me hooked.
I'll spend the rest of my life reading library books!
Track Name: Library Bookaneers
Hey, Ho! Whaduya know?
We never run out of new places to go,
and we never wait for the wind to blow-
We're the Library Bookaneers!

No matter your preference of when or where,
a book can be captured to carry you there.
We circle the globe and we pay no fare.
We're the Library Bookaneers!

We rifle a book for the treasure within.
We ransack her pages from stern to stem,
then leave her for others to plunder again.
We're the Library Bookaneers!

Hey, Ho! We sail again! Another adventure about to begin!
Hey, Ho! We sail today! Just open a book and it's anchor's aweigh!

Hey, Ho! Whaduya know?
We never run out of new places to go,
and we never wait for the wind to blow -
We're the Library Bookaneers!

Our sea is unbounded by compass and map.
We've traveled through wardrobe and looking glass.
We've raided the future and pillaged the past.
We're the Library Bookaneers!

We were the jury at Captain Kidd's trial.
We fought Long John Silver on Treasure Isle.
We fed Captain Hook to the crocodile.
We're the Library Bookaneers!

Sail away into a good book.
Determination while you're learning is the ore that pulls you forward till your sails unfurl.
Sail away into a good book.
Imagination is the wind that fills your sails and sends you spinning to another world.
We went there, we saw it, we did it, we lived it...

Hey, Ho! Whaduya know?
There're plenty more places we're itchin' to go,
and we'll never wait for the wind to blow.
We're the Library Bookaneers!
Track Name: There's Something Going On at the Library
Chorus:
There's something going on at the library.
It's a mystery, it's a mystery.
There's something going on at the library.
Go there if you dare and see - it's a mystery!

It was shocking and frightening, his head full of lightning,
with his kite and key there stood Benjamin Franklin.
He looked out through his bifocal lens,
and said, "Welcome to the library, friend."

I was hardly through blinking, when standing there thinking
in a stovepipe hat I saw Abraham Lincoln.
He was talking 'bout the war comin' on.
He said, "Something here is terribly wrong."

I checked the encyclopedia to confirm my wildest fears.
These two men had been dead and gone for more than 100 years.
So what were they doing here?

Repeat Chorus

Now I swear I'm not braggin, I heard someone say "Tag," and
when I turned myself around there stood a 40 foot dragon.
She said, "Welcome to my treasure trove.
Pick out anything you want to take home."

Well, I looked over the scene - so many colorful things -
then my eye fell on the pegasus, a horse with two wings.
And he said, "You can take me out for a ride,
but you'd better bring me back on time."

Someone's imagination thought these creatures up long ago,
yet here stood were in front of me just as plain as my big toe.
Tell me, how can it be so!

Repeat Chorus

It was exciting and shocking, all those animals talking.
There were dinosaurs with pompadours and skeletons walking.
I began to take a good look around.
Every shelf held something new to be found.

I saw tornadoes and blizzards and witches and wizards
and deep in a volcano, some guitar playing lizards.
I met gold medal olympic stars
and little lost men from Mars.

Now I know I saw everything I said, but I imagine you don't believe.
You may say it's all in my head, still it feels so real to me.
Don't ask me how it can be!

Repeat Chorus