Posts Tagged ‘song’

The Compac Song

January 24, 2013

For 3 years I worked at a factory known as Compac Corp. in Stanhope, NJ where the main product was reinforced insulation backing paper.  One of the operators of the machine I ended up on was Don Davis (not the actor.) One time when I came in for my shift, he handed me a piece of paper and said that he wrote a song about Compac and that it took him all of 5 minutes to do it. Somehow I remembered it all of these years, though I did have to wrack my brain a bit to do it. I place before you the song he wrote with some clarifications of what the heck he’s talking about at the end.

Don has since passed beyond.  I know that many of his co-workers disliked his surly attitude, but he never did me any harm. In the microcosm that Compac was, I only ever found one individual that had no redeeming qualities.

The Compac Lament

by Don Davis

to the tune of “Detroit City”

I wanna go home. I wanna go home

Oh how I wanna go home.

Today I worked a shift here at Compac

And  tell you that I think it was a sin.

Number 2 fell apart, Number 8 would not start.

Where’s the help? The wheel wrapped up again.

I wanna go home. I wanna go home.

Hey John, I wanna go home.

Night shift really sucks here at Compac.

Just look around there’s clowns ev’ry where.

There goes a foil ball through the air, and a firecracker over there.

Where’s the help? the foil broke again.

I wanna go home. I wanna go home.

Hey Frank, Let me go home.

One day I’ll quit working here at Compac.

I’ll get a job and work 8 hours ev’ry day.

I’ll make money by the ton, and I’ll have lots of fun.

And I’ll never say ‘Where’s the help?’ again.

I wanna go home. I wanna go home.

Hey Charlie! I’m gonna go home.


  • The machines in the lamenation department were all numbered with even numbers. Don Davis was working on machine #10 at the time which was in the same ‘room’ with laminators #2 and #8. #10 was the newest machine at the time.
  • The wheel wrapping up refers to a huge wheel on #10 that contained spools of fiberglass string. The spinning wheel created a diamond shaped pattern in the product and added strength. Occasionally one or two of the strings would break and sometimes grab a few others. Sometimes the entire wheel of strings would start winding around the axle assembly and the machine would have to be stopped and each string restrung.
  • John was the foreman on the day shift.
  • Frank was the night shift foreman.
  • Charlie was the plant manager at the time.
  • The lamenations department operated on two 12 hour shifts, day and night.
  • The product was manufactured by gluing together aluminum foil and paper wit the fiberglass strings between the layers. Occasionally the foil (or paper) would break and create a mess of varying degrees.  I either case it required the full crew of (usually 3 men to get the machine running again.
  • As mentioned, the shifts were 12 hours long. Many of us wished for 8 hour shifts.

Cold as Comporellon?

January 23, 2013

I know that other places are colder than my back yard, but whenever it’s cold like this, single digits with a windchill, it brings to mind a little ditty I wrote.

Isaac Asimov, in his two Foundation novels, Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth mentions one of the original Settler worlds which during the time of the late Galactic Empire is called Comporellon. Comporellon is a cold world, but a proud one, whose founding reaches back to the dawn of galactic civilization. I composed a few verses of what might be the Anthem of Comporrelon to the tune of America the beautiful.

Anthem of Comporellon

Oh beautiful for arctic waste,

And blinding fields of snow

And glaciers flowing gracefully,

Up where the wind doth blow.

Comporellon! Comporellon!

The oldest world but one!

He founded you, Comporellon,

Elijah Baley’s son.

Empires may rise, empires may fall

But we will yet survive.

The Ancestor said we should spread

Until we’re galaxy-wide

Comporellon! Comporellon!

The oldest world but one!

He founded you, Comporellon,

Elijah Baley’s son.

I haven’t been inspired to come up with anymore verses, but I think about it when the wind howls.

Canada in MY Pocket, Updated

January 14, 2013


A while ago I found this video about Canadian currency.  After a while I decided to try updating it with verses for the Loonie & Twoonie.  My additions are the last two at the bottom.

Canada in My Pocket

Performed by Michael Mitchell

This song describes the significance of the symbols found on some of the Canadian coins.


I’ve got Canada in my pocket
A little bit of history
A penny, and a nickel
And a quarter and a dime
Mean a lot to you and me
It’s more than pocket money
They’re the symbols of our land
They’re pictures of important things
For which this country stands

The maple leaf, the maple leaf
Is a beautiful sight to see
It waves ‘hello” to us below
From the top of a maple tree
And with every year that passes
It grows like you and me
So should we all grow straight and tall
Like the lovely maple tree

The beaver, oh the beaver
Is a beautiful sight to see
He’s a happy, furry animal
Like a teddy bear with teeth
He’s never ever lazy
He works all night and day
Building houses for his family
He’s got no time to play

The schooner, oh the schooner
Is a beautiful sight to see
It’s a great big wooden sailing ship
That can sail across the sea
It brings to other countries
The things their people need
And brings back things
Like chocolate bars
And books for us to read

The caribou, the caribou
Is a beautiful sight to see
He’s a really big strong animal
I’m sure you’ll all agree
He looks like Santa’s reindeer
And he loves it when
The wind blows cold
So he lives up north
With the polar bears
‘Cause he likes the ice and snow

Unofficial Additions for the Loonie & Twoonie:

The loon, Oh the loon
Is a beautiful sight to see.
He’s a lovely water-dwelling bird
I’m sure you’ll all agree.
He lives on ponds and rivers
And has a call that’s quite unique.
He doesn’t like to walk on land
And catches fish with his long beak.

The polar bear, the polar bear
Is a beautiful sight to see.
He’s a big white furry animal
I’m sure you’ll all agree.
He lives up near the glaciers
And sleeps when it gets cold.
He feeds on fish and caribou,
Or so that’s what I’m told.

Wheels on the Bus in Esperanto

April 30, 2010

For those with youngsters learning Esperanto (or perhaps the young at heart?) here is a translation of the popular children’s song Wheels on the Bus in Esperanto. More verses could easily be added, but I’ll leave that to others.

Radoj de la Buso

La radoj de la buso rondiras, rondiras, rondiras.

La radoj de la buso rondiras, tra la tuta urbo.

Viŝiloj de la buso viŝadas, viŝadas, viŝadas…

Sidlokoj en la buso knaradas…

Ŝoforo de la buso stiradas…

La beboj en la buso ploradas…

Patrinoj en la buso suspiras…

La patroj en la buso ronkadas… (or diras jes, or kapjesas)

La hundoj en la buso bojadas…

La katoj en la buso miaŭas…

Infanoj en la buso saltadas…

La pordoj de la buso ekfermas…

La lumoj de la buso ekbrilas…

One Tin Soldier in Esperanto

April 29, 2010

Some time ago, I inquired of an Esperanto newsgroup whether anyone had ever translated the song One Tin Soldier by the group Coven. The message of the song seemed to have a very Esperantic tone, that being that war is bad (or at least pretty stupid.)  Within a few days a reply was posted, an Esperantist in Brazil had done a quick, but rather good translation of the song’s lyrics.  I made one tiny change and overall I think the translation (perhaps ‘adaptation’ is a more apt word) is very good.  I would only question if there was a better way to convey what a ‘tin’ soldier is. The second line of the refrain reads a bit awkward to me as well, but that could simply be my ear.

In any case, I wanted to put this out there in the hopes that someday, someone might grab it and record it.


Aŭdu, idoj, la rakonton el tre fora, fora jar’
pri popol’ en iu valo kaj reĝlando sur montar’.
En la montoj trezorego kuŝis en la ter’, sub ŝton’:
la valanoj kune ĵuris kapti ĝin por sia bon’.

Malamegu la najbaron, trompu la amikon plu:
nome de la paradizo vi pravigos ĉion fine, ĉu?
La fina juĝo sin anoncas sen trumpet-sonor’;
unu sola ladsoldato sekvatage rajdos for.

La valanoj ekkontaktis la montanojn per leter’
kun la peto je transdono de l’ trezoro sub la ter’,
sed alvenis la respondo: “Dividiĝu inter ni
la sekret’ sub nia monto, ĉia valoraĵ’ en ĝi”.

Malamegu la najbaron…

“Ek al glavoj, al ĉevaloj!” oni kriis el la val’
kaj mortigis la montanojn por trezora ideal’;
oni kuris al la ŝtono kaj rigardis tuj sub ĝi,
sed aperis nur skribaĵo: “Monda Pac'”, nenio pli.

Malamegu la najbaron…