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MP3 Robin And The Giant - Partners In Rhyme

Children''s music that is also appreciated by parents. Robin And The Giant have made a name for themselves producing music that is marketed for children that also is enjoyed by parents and other adults as well.

18 MP3 Songs
KIDS/FAMILY: Children''s Pop, KIDS/FAMILY: Kid Friendly

We are so thrilled with this album! 18 songs that are all special to both of us for many reasons. The “icing on the cake” is Robin’s beautiful painting that adorns this project inside and out. Following are the liner notes for the album.

Partners In Rhyme is our second album recorded entirely on a computer. For those interested, we used a program from Sony called Acid Pro 6. The songs were, with some exceptions, all written in the early 1990s when we were still doing a lot of live shows at schools around Florida.

We are, as I hope you know, a “children’s act.” That said, we like to think that the music is palatable for parents and other adults. In the following text I’ll comment specifically on each song. This entire album was recorded between March and June of 2007.

“Seven Puppies” – We have chosen to begin the Partners In Rhyme CD with one of our favorite children’s songs. This was written when seven puppies were, indeed, causing the whole house to need “a strong perfume!” This song was written in the early to mid 1980s. The Acid Pro 6 program has enabled us to add a string section that elevates this simple little ditty into a beautiful production. Of course, how could we avoid adding the barking-dog sound effects?!!!

“You Are The Strength” – This song is dedicated to all the nurses and doctors and other caretakers that have made the field of pediatrics their career choice. Specifically we have dedicated the song to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for them. In the early 1990s we wrote this song and sent a cassette demo of it to the late, great, Danny Thomas (entertainer and founder of St. Jude’s Hospital) and he wrote back to us. That gesture, and the letter itself, are cherished by us.

“Joey Wants To Know” – Isn’t it funny how all baby animals have a different name? Yeah, that’s what we thought TOO!!! This is, quite simply, a fun song that gives children a quick look at some of the different names for baby animals. This is another song from our “live show” days in the 1990s. I don’t think we ever actually included it in our live shows, however. I’m not sure why. Still, it was written in that era and we are so happy with the way the song turned out for this CD. P.S.: We DID use an encyclopedia for this one!!

“Aegir And Melina” – This song goes back to the mid-to-late 1970s. Originally it was about a whale named Aegir and a girl named Melina but when I decided to use the idea for a story for our radio show (Circa 1996) I changed the whale to a dolphin. In 2006 we went through many of the manuscripts used for the radio show and we compiled 56 of them and published them in our book “The Gift Of The Barking Frog And Other Gifts Of The Heart.” The book was a huge, and greatly rewarding, project. The opening and closing of this song features Robin reading from the story.

“As A Family” – As we recorded this CD we would wade through the hundreds of songs in our box and I would strum the guitar chords and Robin and I would refresh our memories since some of the songs hadn’t been played in fifteen years or more. This was NOT an example of that because we had used this song in a live show we created for a resort at Cape Canaveral just a couple of years ago. It’s always been an upbeat song, musically speaking, and a very positive song, lyrically speaking. So, for the production of this one we decided to layer in a funky drum loop, a “happenin’ tambourine”, an awesome string section, and a John Lennon-ish echo on our vocals. Under it all you can still hear that acoustic 12 string guitar that has been ANOTHER “Partner In Rhyme” all these years!

“I’d Love To Have A Lion” – “Robin,” I said, “this song really should be recorded with a cello accompaniment.” That was the original thought for this beautiful song sung completely by Robin. As it turns out our cellist brought along her friends! We have both loved this song since the very beginning. Such a pretty tune and chord progression and Robin’s innocent delivery really all work together to make this song one of my favorites of all time. The lion sound-effect at the end is a warning to would-be critics to leave this one alone!

“Voyage Of Discovery” – This is a song that we originally wrote for our Time To Travel double-CD. On Partners In Rhyme we have built upon the original melody and purposely given the production a lot of different flavors representing the different experiences we all have while traveling. Maybe it’ll rain, maybe it’ll be sunny. Maybe you’ll discover a funky new song on the radio in your travels. All-in-all, though, the journey will be exciting as you embark upon your “Voyage Of Discovery.”

“Interlude La Mode” – This is a one minute and four second instrumental. I envisioned myself coming back to the studio after lunch and discovering that I was the first to return. So I sit with the cello, because I always wanted to play it, and as I pull the bow across a simple musical phrase I notice that the piano player is also in the room and begins to accompany me. To my surprise, the flutist has also arrived and adds a piece to our improvised composition. Suddenly, I hear the percussionist adding bells and other members of the string section join in as well. Phew, that was a good lunch! We think the title means “Fashionable Musical Break”, but we’re not sure.

“Doggy Dog World” – Don’t confuse this with the Snoop Dog song! This was written in the mid-90s. It was originally written to accompany a story called “Bo, The American Mutt” but ended up accompanying a story called “Doggy Dog World.” Both stories, by the way, are included in the book “The Gift Of The Barking Frog.” One of the great things about being a children’s recording artist is being able to bark and howl in our songs. There was a song in the musical “FAME” called “Dogs In The Yard.” While this song is really not like that song, it does express the same sentiments about the carefree lifestyle dogs seem to have (and we humans long for).

“Open A Window” – Robin wrote the opening verse to this song for her children as a simple message to tell them that life has a lot of great stuff to be found and explored. I am privileged to have known Robin and her husband Ronnie when their children were still little. If I have ever witnessed role models for how to provide a happy home for children it was the environment at the MacBlane home. As a song, the verse Robin wrote was powerful by itself. It was a bit short for a song, though, so I added the follow-up verse about “knowing a lady who’d do anything for her family.” That is certainly true for Robin. This is one of those gems we discovered again while going over the songs to be considered for this collection. The whistle effect sounds like the coach is calling the team members who usually are left to “warm the bench” and giving them a chance to actually play the game!

“In The Caribbean” – This is another song from our Time To Travel double-CD. It sounded so good on that CD that we were hesitant to re-record it for this CD. We are glad we did! It sounds better than ever and hasn’t lost its “tropical” feel. Keep in mind that all of our songs on our old stuff was done on a four-track cassette recorder! So, to record this song digitally like this is really great. This is one of our favorite songs and is always a favorite to play “live.”

“Youthful Eyes” – We almost didn’t use this one. The song has a delicate chord change from A to A-augmented and, while beautiful, it seemed to be getting lost in the production. For me, that chord change is an integral part of the song and when it seemed lost I wasn’t real excited about including it in the collection. It was almost like having a minor seventh to minor sixth chord change and having an inexperienced band say something like “hey, minor works by itself.” (Okay, this is musician talk, I know, so if you are lost I apologize). The point is that a key element of the song was getting lost and I couldn’t figure out why since I clearly WAS playing everything correctly. The song itself is beautiful with a beautiful message and so I was determined to figure out what I was doing wrong. It occurred to me that since I wrote this song on a piano that MAYBE a simple “banging out of the chords” on a piano would showcase that A to A-augmented change better. That was the trick that worked. Of course, to the listener we simply want an enjoyable listening experience without any concern for the “shop talk.” So listen and enjoy!

“I Love Campin’” – On our CD titled Not Too Long Ago we have a song called “We Love Campin’.” Actually, this song was written first and expresses everything we have ever loved about the camping experience! We kept this simple to simulate the experience of playing guitar around a campfire with our friends (By the way, the raccoons are playing the other instruments!)

“Field Trip” – Ah! A field trip! Our favorite part of school! Museums, aquariums, planetariums! Robin wrote a beautiful story that is in our “Gift Of The Barking Frog” book. Read it and you’ll get to know Mrs. McHenderson a little better! Okay, kids! Got your permission slips signed? Good! Let’s get on the bus!!!

“Dangling From The Sun” – This is a new composition. It is mostly instrumental and is simply a deviation from the project (similar to “Interlude La Mode”). The title came from a dream I had while napping in my recliner. We included it in this CD because it is so darn pretty!

“I’ll Know I’m Home” – Florida is the state we call home. While it is also home to some great things like the Kennedy Space Center, Disney World, Universal Studios, etc., it is nature and the rich history of Florida that endears us the most. My son and Robin’s two children are Florida natives. If you’re ever here visiting, take a detour to the roads “less traveled” and rent a canoe or a kayak to explore the beautiful rivers. Or don a swimming mask and check out the beauty under the surface of the water off the coast. You may discover a blow fish, a barracuda, a coral reef, a manatee, or maybe even an Anhinga diving for his fish dinner! Just stay away from the alligators!

“Winds Of Change” – Everything changes. Change is scary. THAT is what this song is about! That meaning wasn’t always obvious with the song by itself so we included some fun dialogue as the intro to this song to make it clearer. If you listen carefully you’ll hear many changes in the drum loops. It was my subtle way of maintaining the “change” theme of the song itself. One of my favorite parts of the lyric says, “This is the chapter where we search for gold, they find more than they had dreamed of, more than both their pockets hold.” Everyone wants abundance. Nothing wrong with that. But greed is when we want more than we really need. That is why I love the line “…more than they had dreamed of” only to be clarified with the following line, “…more than both their pockets hold.” Ironically, this song is somewhat autobiographical although it was never intended to be that way. Look what the wind blew in!

“Partners In Rhyme” – Our title song. This song has been in our repertoire for many years now. We always knew we’d have an album with this title. This one truly is intended to be auto-biographical. Golfers strive for a hole-in-one, runners strive to break that four-minute-mile barrier, archers go for the bulls-eye, and songwriters strive for that “clever, never used before elusive rhyme.” This is a song about songwriting and about having a friend along the way. We really do “rehearse our verses” and that really is “true to form for partners in rhyme.”

We hope you enjoy the CD!

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