Dr. Faber's Medicine Show

by Cat Faber

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credits

released 13 January 2014

Cat Faber: vocals, mandolin, octave mandolin
Tod Wills: album art
Randolph Fritz: album layout

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about

Cat Faber Tennessee

I write music about science fiction and fantasy subjects, commonly referred to as "filk."

I write much faster than I can record. Recent songs may be found at my website--the URL is given below.

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Track Name: Dr. Faber's Medicine Show
Doctor Faber's Medicine Show!
Lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2013

Are you going out of your gourd?
Lonely, listless, blue or bored?
For a lift you need to go
To Doctor Faber's medicine show!

When your music's missing its clef,
What you need is vitamin F,
Strong as whisky, mild as milk,
Found in Fun and Friendship and Filk.

Once a mimmoth lay in a swoon
Sure to die by afternoon.
A drop of filk and up she sprang;
Fully cured, she frolicked and sang!

If you feel a little bit low,
Come and see the medicine show;
If my samples fortify,
Come take home your own supply!
Track Name: Hydrogen Burns
Hydrogen Burns
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

Put out that cigar! What a fool thing to do!
That's a hell of a note your first day on the crew...
Every man Jack and girl Jennifer learns
Airship! No smoking! 'Cause hydrogen burns!

Hydrogen burns; that's the cause for the codes
And in proper proportion with air, it explodes.
You won't get two warnings; let this one sink in,
Be thankful you leave with your guts in your skin!

Your uniform's not what you'd wear on the ground
You will notice the buckles in leather are bound.
The buttons are wooden; It's not for a lark,
But all to make certain you don't strike a spark.

I know what you're thinking—each town has a few:
The rules that bind others don't matter for you.
Well I'm sympathetic. No really, I am,
But your mates and the hydrogen don't give a damn.

Some fly and some smoke, though it's bad for the heart,
But those who do both better keep them apart.
Crew members might—and I'll see that they do--
Take carelessness personal, coming from you.
Track Name: Come Flying With Me
Come Flying With Me
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

Come fly with me dear--there's a sky hereabout
And I do have the kinks pretty much ironed out
And the world looks so lovely, from high on this perch
But you'll want to hold tight, 'cause it does tend to lurch
She does tend to bounce a bit; sometimes she swerves--
It's perfectly safe, though--it's nothing but nerves.
She'll soon hold her course on a calmer accord;
She's just so excited to have you on board.

There's more to become than I knew I could be,
And I still need a partner--come flying with me
I still need a partner--come flying with me!

Come fly with me dear--there's a world to explore
A thousand horizons, and always one more
An airship is perfect, the world to bestride
And seek out the knowledge the distances hide
There are people and creatures we've yet to behold,
Our own distant kin from the journeys of old,
Cities unseen where the distant land bends,
Maybe this time we can meet them as friends.

Come fly with me dear--there's a land to defend
With a foe fully equal or more to contend
An airship is fragile; what's light can't be strong
Her lift, and her engines--so much can go wrong.
Her crew's just as fragile, it's easy to see,
But I won't let my baby face war without me.
Those instant decisions, in battle hard-pressed,
Should be made by the person who loves her the best

Come fly with me dear--there are stars past it all
And tomorrow you leave us to answer their call.
Your parents will miss you, you know it is true,
But your triumph is all we have wanted for you,
And though we are failing and too old to go,
You'll carry our engrams, with all that we know.
The technology's chancy, so check it each night--
If it gives you our love, then it's still working right!
Track Name: Ludington's Ride
Ludington's Ride
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

A cantering horse in the rainy night,
Lacking an escort or even a light...
The red coats are coming inland again;
Colonel Ludington calls his men!

Out of the forest and past the farms
Sibyl is summoning all to arms!
"The regiment marches at break of day.
Leave your blankets and come away;
Leave your blankets and come away!”

She rattles the shutters to give account,
Saving the seconds it takes to mount.
"Wake up! You're needed in Danbury
To harry the enemy to the sea!"

"The British have landed at Compo Beach,
Danbury village within their reach.
As soldiers, you know what they came to do:
Burn our provisions and houses too!"

"The oil and lard of the burning meats
Runs like water in Danbury streets;
The British, enjoying our rum and wines,
Warm their bellies and cloud their minds."

"Wake the others, and arm and see.
Go straight to my father; don't follow me--
I've miles to ride ere my job is done.
Yes, I'll be careful--now rise and run!"

Sybil Ludington stayed her course,
Home at dawn on a weary horse.
And lived a life, I can't deny
That never rose to the public eye--
Her depth of courage held ever by.
Track Name: Fair Game
Fair Game
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

Some folk think, where the court convenes
That blacks, or women, or gays, or sprites
May think and speak, but their difference means
They are not real people and have no rights.

There are monsters under the open sky
Who destroy the difference they can't make tame
There are those who think that the wolves must die...
Well, hunting the hunter is but Fair Game.

So strong the hate that they bear the elves,
They believe it justifies all they do,
There are even those made to hate themselves,
For the heart thus twisted can not speak true.

We cannot change to your sole caprice
To set your human fears at rest;
If we can't get justice or even peace
We may shrug and settle for second best.

Age and power, when yoked to love,
May bring results of a drastic sort,
And those who grudge the end thereof,
May plead their case in another court.
Track Name: Fairy Willow
Fairy Willow
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

I met a fair willow, with autumn ablaze;
Her fronds in the wind seemed to murmur a phrase....
Beside a still pool at a bend in a stream,
Music as shy as a tune from a dream--

I met a fair willow, and slowly I learned,
As drawn by her music I ever returned.
Friends we became, each discovering each.
In time I deciphered the songs of her speech--

I found in the end, though the music was good
I can't be content in the bounds of a wood.
I bade her goodby, went my fortune to find
Though often her name seemed to ring in my mind--

Returning with tales I was certain would please,
The hour I beheld her I fell to my knees,
For lightning had left her all blasted and torn
Charred to her roots, with her foliage shorn--

I honored her memory as well as well as I could
And fashioned a sweet mandolin from her wood.
I knew I'd done right when to sleep having lain,
I woke in the darkness to hear this refrain--

In spring's flower-breezes and autumn's sweet chill
We travel together wherever we will.
We follow our road as it wanders and bends,
Singing our songs in a circle of friends--

Humor me here, though my story was long
Let us blend voices as comrades in song
This wandering willow as kin let us claim;
Kindly allow her to tell you her name--
Track Name: The Wyverary
The Wyverary
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

My mother was a wyvern and my father was a library,
And in his halls and carrels I discovered home indeed.
My wings were not my own to use, but father said a scholar
Finds a truer freedom elsewhere, and he taught me how to read.
Father said a dilettante knows a just bit of everything
But some folks choose to specialize; do one thing very well;
The whole encyclopedia was more than I could manage
So I memorized a section and they call me A Through L.

I am a wyverary, crimson-scaled and big and scary
Where I flex my talons, there the sod will split and curl
I am a wyverary, I'm completely ordinary
You are quite extraordinary, little human girl

My mother being widowed by a false marauding realtor,
My sibs and I decided we must go our separate ways.
M Through S a governess, and T Through Z a soldier,
But in me the love of knowledge was an unrelenting blaze.
Books have been the treasure I was hatched to hold and cherish,
And I love to read their pages, see them ranked upon the shelf.
In the city Pandemonium, my grandfather is waiting:
The Municipal Grand Library of Fairyland Itself.

I hope he will accept me and will love me as a grandson
And will teach me to become a real librarian some day;
Since you and I must journey to this common destination,
I suggest we band together for protection on the way.
I've never seen a human; I supposed you would be bigger.
But human starts with H so I have read about you. We've
Been frightened by the stories of your wild ungoverned hearts,
But one must be a little frightening to be splendid, I believe.
Track Name: Villain's Cat: A Job Application
Villain's Cat: A Job Application
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

I've got the eerie grace, and the emerald stare;
I've got the hidden knives, the glossy sable hair,
I've got the sharp tuxedo with the white cravat--
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat

Cogitation makes me certain that;
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat!

I want the rare roast beef, not the contemptible crumbs.
I want devoted servants with opposable thumbs.
I want the patronage that would provide me that.
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat!

Cogitation makes me certain that,
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat!

I want the formal pond with the endangered fish
I want the heavy cream from a crystal dish
I want the luxury that is my habitat--
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat.

I've got the sharp tuxedo with the white cravat
But I'm not cut out to be a diplomat.
I want the luxury that is my habitat
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat!

The little problem here has not escaped my eye:
The villain ends up dead when Mr. Bond comes by,
But when the chips are down, I am an acrobat
I ought to be a James Bond villain's cat!

Cogitation makes me certain that,
I ought to be a James Bond, ought to be a James Bond,
Ought to be a James Bond villain's cat!
Track Name: Scale
Scale
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

I hope, when I die, that my worth will be clear,
That life will be different, because I was here.
I hope that some measure of knowledge or grace
I brought will outlive me, my track and my trace.

(But) I don't want Infinity noticing me
Eternity crowding my shoulder to see;
It matters enough if I triumph or fail,
While living my life on a humbler scale.

Four point five billion, the earth's years unfold;
The sky that surrounds us is three times as old--
So it's easy to see, and the answer is flat:
No one is going to matter to that.

A drop in the ocean; who cares if it thrives?
And yet in that drop may swim thousands of lives.
To measure your value, the scale will be true,
That measures the beings who matter to you.

The earth will not love me, and time will not spare;
The sky won't respect me, but what do I care?
One scale is the measure of merit and strife:
The scale of the people I hold in my life.
Track Name: All Things Pass
All Things Pass
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

Winter snow and summer sunshine;
Green to golden fading grass
Autumn leaf and April flower
Seize the hour; all things pass

It's a truth as clear as crystal
And as hard as broken glass;
In this life the things you favor,
You should savor. All things pass

All of us will drink of suffering;
Heart and body fill that glass.
Sorrow burns us like an ember
But remember; all things pass.

And the stars that seem eternal
As they burn consume their mass
Though the darkness they're defying
They are dying. All things pass

Take the joy that living hands you
Raise a toast and drain your glass.
Notice life's inspired invention
Pay attention. All things pass.
Track Name: Oblivion Bridge
Oblivion Bridge
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

On Oblivion Bridge all our grudges and fears
All our anger and grief, all our pain, disappears,
But in tax for the crossing, it also destroys
Our prides and our triumphs, our loves and our joys.

On Oblivion Bridge, where no shame ventures near,
No guilt, no resentment, no hate, and no fear, --
I'll rest from my labors, I'll lay down my load --
On Oblivion Bridge, at the end of the road.

It's as if we were born in the mountains so still
Gravity pulls us forever downhill.
Our lives, like the rain, must run down from the ridge,
Walking the road to Oblivion Bridge.

Some have turned back on the edge of release,
Waking with stories of union and peace
On Oblivion Bridge where the mind cannot bring
Its sense of itself as a separate thing.

Distant, a credible future I see,
When my death, like my bed, is a kindness to me
When I long for the rest that's as selfless and deep
As I know in the best dreamless hours of sleep.

Rejoicing in life, though I know I must die
My limited hours more precious thereby;
As I walk to the bridge, the secret I'll tell
Work hard and play kindly; love deeply and well!
Track Name: Today Is The Day
Today Is The Day!
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

I woke up quite certain--today is the day.
Somehow I know things are going my way;
I'm rested and ready, well tested and taught;
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot!

You say I will fail; that it always escapes;
You said that before, when I tackled the drapes...
Of course I'll be sharing the morsel I've caught--
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot!

It's quick, and it's clever; it's agile and small
Myself I have seen it run right up the wall
The ever-elusive--I've never forgot
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot!

You say the red dot is more clever than me
You said that before I dismembered the tree...
Of course I'll be sharing the morsel I've caught
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot.

You think I can't do it; I shouldn't have dared
You say better hunters than me have despaired
You say it's impossible; Ha! I think not!
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot

You say the red dot's an addiction that binds,
You said that before when I butchered the blinds...
Of course I'll be sharing the morsel I've caught
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot.
Today is the day I will--catch the red dot.
Track Name: Yellow Truck Song
Yellow Truck Song
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2011

Every spring I see them, parked around the fair,
Yellow as the daffodils blooming in the square.
In summer on the highway, driving in a pack,
With darker yellow patches on the sides and on the back.

Trucks that work for U-Haul haul until they fry.
Trucks that work for Ryder are ridden till they die.
Penskes run for four years; then they quit their work;
Yes, Penskes run away and join the circus!

Every year they migrate, popping up in towns
Hauling swings and carousels, acrobats and clowns,
Props and masks and costumes, candy sweet and strange--
After being moving vans, it sure must be a change.

Once I drove a Penske, pulling quite a load;
Yes, I still remember the trials of the road.
Now I feel a kinship with every Penske there--
Good night, good luck, and in a year we'll see you at the fair!
Track Name: The King Of The Cats
The King of the Cats
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

The King of the Cats has many abodes
Scattered along the Shadow Roads,
The entrance shows, and then it scats,
It answers to the King of the Cats.

The King of the Cats is mighty free,
Keeping the strangest company.
They're all decked out in spikes and tats;
They answer to the King of the Cats.

The King of the Cats the shadow veils,
Even my own cats carry tales.
They aren't much as diplomats;
They answer to the King of the Cats.

The King of the Cats with Trouble sports
His people comprise the Shadow Courts.
Like ninja pirate acrobats,
They answer to the King of the Cats.

The King of the Cats won't go away;
Fool that I am to feed a stray--
He smiles at me; my heart pitter-pats.
It answers to the King of the Cats.
It answers to the King of the Cats.
Track Name: That Kind Of Mouse
That Kind Of Mouse
Lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

I'm just a poor working mouse, taking life as it comes
Glad to find a peanut or a pile of crumbs
When a beautiful smell, in my nose made a fuss
Which I followed to a package half the size of a bus!

Really, I'm not hungry; help yourself; on the house.
Honestly, it's nothing; I'm just that kind of mouse.

Well, the label was large; even I understood
It said Hershey Bar With Almonds, okay, almonds are good;
So I gnawed it right open—the brown stuff was prime!
So delicious even almonds were a waste of my time.

Life is short, and it's hungry; it ends with a snap!
So I gnawed around the almonds, for the last lovely scrap.
I'll remember forever, that beautiful score--
I never had a chance at indigestion before

What would any mouse do, if such a thing came their way?
I ate twice my own bodyweight in chocolate today.
Then I staggered back home, gave the neighbors a call;
Folks? I found a bunch of almonds; you can have them all.
Track Name: Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

Neil Armstrong, professor, and flight engineer,
And astronaut, daring the void
But pilot in bold on the list must appear
For the air was the home he enjoyed
A child in the clan of a government man
Took to flight like a bird to the air
He could fly through the chaff on a wing and a half
Without any need of a prayer.

On the scale of the sky even species must die;
Mortality's all that is sure.
Generations have gazed up the path that he blazed
Where his footprints beyond us endure.

Stark in the path of descent they were seen;
Boulders lay jagged and cruel.
So he landed on manual, all systems green
With just a few seconds spare fuel.
In a trip that compiles a half-million miles
Humanity's colors were shown,
In a time when the whole NASA mission control
Sported less CPU than your phone.

What it is to set foot on a world not our own
And look out at our planet below,
There are only a handful of people who've known;
Will the last living memories go?
So wink at the moon, in the hope someday soon
We'll return to the trail of the bold,
And we'll travel unfazed on the path that he blazed,
And leave new footprints next to the old!

The folk who fly out where the meteors go
As Neil would be first to remind
Us, are raised on the shoulders of thousands below,
And their manifold efforts entwined.
But whatever may last of the bones of the past,
Humanity's children can say
In the dust that is strewn lies our mark on the moon,
When the oceans have boiled away.
Track Name: Alice Day
Alice Day
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

From its cocoon a new song is cajoled
The listener warms it, its wings to unfold
Beginning bedraggled, yet flourish it may
The sky is the limit on Alice Day.

Come, but remember that music so new
May still have a fair bit of growing to do,
The lyrics may change or the tune go astray,
That's just how it happens on Alice Day.

Lyrics as fresh as a lyric can be
You are first in the hearing, well, first after me.
Sometimes the music I barely can play
You won't get perfection on Alice Day.

Here's where the music is squirreled away
Here the wildflowers bloom in a ragged bouquet
Wonder emerges from fingers of clay
Into the morning of Alice Day.
Track Name: Axial Tilt
Axial Tilt
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2011

Earth spins on its axis, to make day and night,
But our axis of rotation isn't fully upright,
When looked at in relation to our orbital plane,
So each hemisphere in turn's receiving more solar gain.

Axial tilt! is the reason for the season
Axial tilt! is the factor in play
Summer will run, while we're turned to the sun,
And winter when our hemisphere is pointed away.

When our axial tilt, puts the sun at its height,
We get more sunbeams per acre, and more hours of light.
When our orbit swings 'round the other side of the sun,
The angled light is weaker and the day sooner done.

We can't see the tilt that makes the seasons go by
Except by the migration of the sun in the sky.
Toward the horizon, winter shifted its track
And the ancients had a party when it turned to come back.

Just like the ancients from whom we descend
We're glad to be reminded that the winter will end.
Taking our customs from pagans of old
We celebrate a holiday defying the cold!
Track Name: Normal
Normal
lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2012

If you think men own the planet, buddy, think again;
This is your reminder that women outnumber men.
The country's face is female, it is quickly seen
We're certainly the median if not the mean!
Pointing out the obvious should cause no wrath;
It's only simple honesty and basic math!

People write and talk as if most of us were male
But more of us are women- yo! Observation fail!
Wake up and smell the coffee, just a fool ignores
A majority who's tired of the thankless chores.
We don't need to explain or to apologize;
Humanity beholds the world through women's eyes!

Women are mainstream; women are where it's at.
Lots of us are special too, but not because of that.
If you plan to walk in public, then you've got no choice;
You might as well get used to a soprano voice.
We haven't any call to hide behind the scenes.
We're the new normal; that's what normal means!

We're over half the population and so it seems to me,
It's a strange imagination makes us a minority.
We'll just be taking over, in the normal biz;
We're not a special interest; we're the way it is!
If people holding power want to scream and shout,
I say we knock them over and we toss them out!
Track Name: Song Of The Makers
Song of the Makers
lyrics and melody by Catherine Faber 2012

I have tasted the apple of knowledge
I have gnawed it right down to the core
And the seeds that I save, you may plant on my grave
Because all I am craving is more!
To discover, construct and explore.

Give me lever and fulcrum, the wedge and the wheel,
Give me fire, the gear, and the screw,
Give me iron and copper and good honest brass
I'll give my best back to you
Expanding the things we can do.

And now I am barred from the Garden,
But the child who can walk does not crawl.
I will stand, I will run; when my shovel is done,
I'll come tunneling under the wall.
I will fly without fearing the fall.

Knowledge has never come easy;
Creation itself has a cost.
Every offspring we gain, born of body or brain,
May be blessing, or bane, or just lost;
You won't know the line till you've crossed.

You must pull yourself up by your bootstraps
When your pedigree says you're a whelp.
Climbing out of despair isn't easy, or fair,
And no purebred will care how you yelp,
But a good block and tackle can help.

In leather, or velvet, or copper,
In circuits, or rhythm and tone,
As we dream and we make for creation's sweet sake
So the apple we take for our own;
Makers, you aren't alone!