Jacob Haller (jwgh) wrote,
Jacob Haller
jwgh

"Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth" revisited

After my last entry, a couple of people said that they had heard and really liked "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth". This is great, but probably the version they heard isn't the version Chris and I played last night, so I wanted to set the record straight ... party out of fairness and partly so that if anyone comes to a Killdevils show they'll know what to expect.

So! A little history of "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth".

In April of 2002, a British Kibologist, John D Salt, had a dream which was the genesis of the song:

I had an odder-than-usual dream last night.

It involved a parlour-game, which I should think would need quite a large and well-furnished parlour for the game to work successfully.

The game is called "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth". It needs numerous players of all sexes to play it, and somebody called Mrs. Farnsworth, who carries a plate of cakes and distributes them among the party.

The object of the game is for pairs of players to secretly have sex with each other without being noticed, and then shout "pumpkin!" before Mrs. Farnsworth can offer them a cake.

It all seemed much less impractical in my dream than it does now.

I expect some bloody Freudian will come along with their psychoanalysis hat on in a minute and claim that dreaming about secret sex acts in a well-furnished parlour is symbolical of some kind of repressed fascination with railway engines, or something.

Australian Kibologist Casey B was then inspired to write lyrics for it.

And there things lay for a few months. Then I decided I wanted to record a sort of an Irishy song (inspired by the song Mick McGuire which I had been playing for a while), so I sat down and figured out an arrangement and recorded the thing. The next day I was on ArkMOO and Casey stopped in; when I told him I had recorded "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth" he revealed the he, also, had come up with an arrangement for the lyrics and recorded it. So the two fairly different versions were recorded independently, possibly within a few hours of each other.

[my version] [Casey's version]

Casey's version is probably most people's single favorite Interrobang Cartel recording; it really kicks ass. My version is, I think, also reasonably catchy, although it doesn't rise to the same level. (My arrangement is the one that The Killdevils are performing, however. At least right now.)

The story doesn't quite end here, though. Jeremy D. Impson decided he wanted to contribute something to Interrobang Cartel, so he recorded himself playing the noseflute and allowed as if anyone wanted to incorporate these into an ?!C song they should go ahead and do so. After fooling around with the various musical tools I had available at the time (this was before Garage Band came out!) I came up with a new superfast version of "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth" which had the same basic structure as my earlier recording but had some extra vocal parts, instrumentation, and of course the nose flute solo.

[my version version #2]

Casey dubbed his version the "London Share House Mix", my first version the "English Country Garden Mix", and the nose flute version the "Spaghetti West End Mix". And that's the story of "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth". I should put all this information up on the ?!C website at some point.

Tags: interrobang cartel
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