Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

What's Wrong with This World


Get Flash to see this player.

Description
This was a lot of fun for me to put together. I would like to thank the Wrong World Choir: alley-oop, pgreenstone, daphna, Mystified, bronco, rebsie, mandolinquent and Mungo. Thanks, too, to pgreenstone for production help and additional lyrics, and to daphna and alley-oop for additional lyrics.

On the surface this song would seem to be taking a shot at American business, but it is really intended to be more spiritual than political. It was inspired by a recent Forum Post thread entitled "Is there a God?" Alley-oop and I traded some thoughts about that and the email discussion gave me the idea for this song. It is not so much about business, as it is about 'busy-ness.' How sometimes we are so preoccupied with perceived reality--worldly things--that we have no time to consider ultimate reality. Sometimes business is a comforting distraction.

For those who say, "But, business makes the world go round!" I would suggest that what really makes the world go round is Something Else.

(Artwork by alley-oop, who in 'real life' is Tom Schmitt, a wonderful newspaper cartoonist.)

featured on
songs from the american plain
now available
the lost records™
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Lyrics
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS WORLD

Business is what's wrong with this world
Business is what's wrong with this world
I ask, how are you?
Busy, you reply
I nod my head
But I never ask why
I never ask why

Money is what's wrong with this world
Money is what's wrong with this world
Buy bigger houses
Cars built like trucks
So much to buy
And we never ask why
We never ask why

I know a man named alley-oop
He lives far away
I asked alley-oop if God is real
And listened to him say,
"I don't think so
But I don't really know
I'd like to believe it, but
I really have to go
I really should be leaving...

(chorus)
Business is what's wrong with this world
Business is what's wrong with this world
Business is what's wrong with this world, etc ad lib out

Song Stats
Hits: 10546
Comments: 88
Fans: 17
Plays: 866
Downloads: 308
Votes: 41
Uploaded: Jul 01, 2005 - 02:01:05 PM
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2005 - 09:53:44 PM Last Played: Dec 22, 2014 - 09:19:57 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Hardware:
Casio Privia PX-300
Shure SM58 mic
Boss BR-8 Digital Recording Studio
G5
Software:
GB2
Jampack 4 Symphony Orchestra
Comments
jgurner said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
If I could...
...I'd take the time to listen to this tune, give it really high scores and make a comment saying something like "this is a really great collaberation. amusing and insightful, etc." But I'm waaay to busy contemplating the universe that exsists in my navel.

Maybe next time, I'll have time to tell you guys how cool this tune was.
Check out my latest song called 13
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
If I could...
Thanks, Joseph, for not taking the time to listen and for focusing on what's
central and impt in your life. The Wrong World Choir appreciates your
comments.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
TobinMueller said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Wonderful use of collaborative voices and talent
Such a pleasant musical theatre feel. Could be a sweet
waltz in the Fantastiks. I really like the voice of the
businessman and the way Peter's voice especially cuts
thru, and I really like his lyrics additons. The cellphone
and the "What was the question again" are both wonderful
touches. Well done concept song. But there are a couple
of hiccups in the timing of the oom-pah-pah continuum,
especially at the end of the choruses; and your vocal line
is louder in some spots than others.

I disagree that business is what's wrong with the world.
My father was a businessman and a very thoughtful,
virtuous fellow. He taught me that business was about
satisfying needs and making money in the process, both
of which he considered a community service. Business to
him was win-win, not dog-eat-dog. True, I didn't see
much of him as a boy, becuz he was always working, but
his influence on my sense of purpose and energy is a
lasting legacy I do not regret. Preoccupation, not having
the time for people, issues, yourself, yes this is a problem.
But business, the right kind, is actually a tool for
democratic change, for independence and dignity, for
becoming a part of something larger (making stuff,
helping others, being able to share and increase talents, a
motivation to do things).

Alley Oop was a cartoon caveman character living in the
Land of Moo who was always finding himself in one
predicament after another. I used to read him in the funny
pages when I was young. He was busy all the time just
surviving. (I hope you aren't comparing businessmen to
Neanderthals?) I have read that modern society actually
has more recreational time to spend than most aboriginal
cultures, mainly becuz of the efficiencies business (and
science) has helped evolve. How do we use this
recreational time? Or this money we make? What is wrong
with the world is older than modern business. The
sadness you sing of paints a grey world of commerce that
may not be fair, if you are making a broad philosophical
statement, which I think you are doing. (In the end, this is
not a musical theatre piece about a Bartleby type
character, but a comment of culture in a broader sense. It
would have been a better song, in my ears, if it could have
been more personal in character, less preachy.) I just
wanted to say that even with all the bittersweetness in
your light and wonderful voice, your lyrics, from my
perspective, off the mark. But I do love Peters additions.

Not to seem like I am overreacting (may be too late for
that), the delicacy of your arrangement, the gently sad
presentation you have put together, and the wonderful
use of collaborative MJ voices and talent is a real treat.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Tom Atwood said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Wonderful use of collaborative voices and talent
Tobin, you and I have discussed this piece in great detail, so I won't respond
again here, except to make sure everyone else understands that alley-oop is
NOT a businessman in this song as you say in your comments. He is actually
alley-oop the MacJammer. His character has nothing to do with business. He
represents most of us who are at times too preoccupied to face life's Big
Questions, and instead chase life's little shiny objects.

I do want to thank you for listening to this song so closely and considering it
so thoughtfully. I also want to thank you for your advice on collaborations,
something I am very new at, and still learning about. I wish you would have
loved the piece, but I had a feeling it would not appeal to everyone.

You're still the man.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mr. S said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
yo!
This is a really good track. Humorous, but still has a good
powerful theme. This is what collabing is all about!

Mr. S
Check out my latest song called MacJammer's Tribute
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
yo!
Thanks S. Glad you enjoyed the track.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Peter Greenstone said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
One of my very favorites
Tom, I already told you this but I'll repeat it here: You did a
superb job with this song, from the writing to the wonderful
use of the instruments. You got those orchestral
instruments arranged and performed perfectly. I'm so glad I
got to be one of the people invited to sing in the chorus at
the end; a real honor.

This song is a real gem, Tom. Thanks for letting me be a
small part of it.
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
One of my very favorites
Thanks, Peter. And thanks again for your help, not only the additional lyrics,
but also in helping me focus on the some of the production details. I was
really in over my head.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
neat!
Kind of like Brian Wilson's Smile instrumentally, but sung
by Todd Rundgren. A lot of the vocalization and "voices"
are very Utopia-esque.

Tobin nailed the sound, it's almost vaudvillian. Folk is
actully the perfect genre slot for this. But nope, business
IS what's wrong with the world, right down to the roots.
I've had the business FROM business my whole life.

Anyway, I love the sentiment and overall feel, I just think
it's a verse or 2 too long. Maybe if I was at the theater
watching the play that this accompanies I'd be more
engrossed. More of a changeup someplace, a little
rhythmic variation? Something?

Perhaps if I could live the sentiment I wouldn't think it's
too long, but I got stuff I have to do . . .
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
neat!
Thanks, Troy. The original version is actually shorter, but once I started
getting material from the Wrong World Choir, including some wonderful
additional lyrics, I took the advice of pgreenstone and extended it a bit so I
could squeeze it all in (or most of it.)

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
alley-oop said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Great!
Thanks for letting me join in. It was really fun. I'm glad we all got a ride in your private jet, Tom. Again, thank Mrs. Atwood for the great dinner. And sorry I spilled the merot on your party dress daphna. I'll pay for the cleaners.

TOBIN: You're killing me here! I thought you knew who I was! 'alley-oop' like the basketball play, not Alley Oop some cartoon cave guy. I'm crushed. I changing my name to monkey-boy
Check out my latest song called rain
TobinMueller said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Great!
I know who you are, and appreciate all your MJ comments. The note I left is
an outgrowth of emails I've been having with Tom about the lyrics, a
continuation, and for the non-MJ crew, Alley Oop is a cartoon strip, not you.
No disrespect to you, AO. I was just trying to explain what the song might
mean to the outside world.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Great!
Thanks, alley-oop, for taking this on. For the lyrics, the vocal and the
artwork. And thanks, too, for the inspiration. Our discussions re: "Is there a
God?" in the Forum Posts are really how this song got started.

p.s. don't change your name. "Monkey Boy" doesn't roll off the tongue like
"alley-oop."

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Tom Waits Meets the Kinks
Bravo, Tom. Beautifully done.
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Tom Waits Meets the Kinks
Thanks, Bill. As you know, I am a big fan of your rare vocal work, so it was
fun to include you in the choir.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
incredibly theatrical
Listening to this track, I am firmly convinced that I am
sitting in the audience of a theatre, watching this play,
people singing and moving about on the stage!

I focus mainly on the musical aspects of a song, and this
one is whimsical, entertaining and extremely listenable.
Many of the words ring true for me, especially the part
about bigger houses and vehicles and rampant
consumerism.

The tune is still going through my head -- always a good
sign of excellence!

This piece is very well-balanced between the various
elements; concept and production are top-notch. This is a
wonderful, wonderful song in every way!

Great job, everybody.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
incredibly theatrical
I almost stuck this in the Showtunes genre, because it sounds so much like a
theatre piece (pgreenstone suggested putting it there). I'm glad you had the
feel of being in the theatre. I did have quite a cast of characters to work
with...

Thanks for your comments, Cameron. I really appreciate it.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
thetiler said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
The song is nice to bring out
Many businesses can be a real problem for sure and the
bigger they are the worse they can be. A company at the
street level can tell you one thing and when you talk to
people that make up the policies, it can be totally
something else. So in a way it's true what you say when a
business is operated from totally business side and leaves
out the feelings and emotional consideration of it's clients
or would-be clients. The bigger the businesses becomes
the more the offiicers running large corporations can
detach themselves of the problems of the patorns.

Then it becomes such a mess that if one person really
does care, he could be up against a mountain of legal tape
instead of a well oiled running company full of hope and
optimism.
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
The song is nice to bring out
Thanks, Bill. I appreciate those comments from the tile-side of business.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4351 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Tom Terrific!
You guys have produced a wonderful "statement" and
shared it with the world. Excellent song writing,
performances. Is a stage show in the works? I'll help sell
tickets... or "pencils" on the street corner to help finance
the show.

Alley, cool graphics!

Tom, kudos to you and your talent!
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Tom Terrific!
I'm thinking your 'pencils' would fetch a pretty penny, to coin a phrase.
Thanks for listening, Al. I could have used your help on this. If I ever do a
major collaboration in the future, I will ask for your assistance, if you're
willing.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
FEEL said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Hey...Take me away
I could use a leave of absence but it just isn't going to
happen. Maybe best just to go to the that happy place
and talk to Jesus there. Loved the tune...sounded like a
musical.
Check out my latest song called Pleasant Valley Sunday
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Hey...Take me away
Uh-oh, John, you have given me an idea for another song: Please, Jesus, I
Need a Leave of Absence..."
Seriously, I'm glad you liked this piece.
Thanks for your kind words (and the song idea).---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
bronco said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Art Is What You Want It To Be
Tom Atwood has an opinion about the world and the way
it is. Hmm, okay, most of us do. But he does what most of
us don't and creates a brilliant piece of art about that. And
then the fun begins. What is it he is saying about the
world? That's where the art begins and the reporter ends. I
remember having this very long discussion with a Bob
Dylan fanatic in the 70's who was positive that he knew
what every word in every song meant and that there was a
continual message he was putting out. Kinda like the way
some folks read the bible and then are convinced that
only they know what it means. Well of course Mr. Dylan
himself didn't know what half of what he wrote meant if
anything. Or, as he later confessed in one interview, a lot
of times he thought he was writing about other people but
later realized he was writing about himself.

The point being that any piece which can be considered
art has a way of becoming very personalized by it's
readers, viewers or listeners. They filter it through their
life experiences, emotions and that mysterious grey
matter and decide what it means. But it is what it means
to them not necesarilly every other person on the planet.

Tobin's father was a businessman so he hears an attack
on business and to him it is personal. It is an attack on his
father. To Tom the main point was that business took him
away from what he really likes to do which is read and
think about the bigger picture. What is life? Who are we?
What does it all mean? At least, that's what I personalized
it into after reading his remarks and having known him
and his other songs. Of course, he's already told me I
have been wrong about him once so it seems I am no
different when judging art then anyone else.

What I heard was an attack on big business and it's
impersonal, amoral, anything to make a buck ethic.
But it seems Mr. Atwood didn't think he was writing that
song. But he did write it for me because that's the song I
heard. So in the long run the artist loses control of his art
and it becomes what the people want it to be. It becomes
something greater than their self. For better or for worse!
Check out my latest song called Along The Way
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Art Is What You Want It To Be
I feel like I should write something intelligent here, but I'm not sure exactly
what to say. To me, it's most astonishing that bronco, or Tobin,
or anyone, would take the time to write so thoughtfully about a song of mine.
Especially since prior to December 31, 2004, I was writing songs that literally
no one was listening to. So, I say, hurray for MacJams! How's that for
intelligent?

I do agree with what Tom (bronco) has written. The listener brings something
to a song, and the songwriter sometimes may have no idea what the song is
about. I can say, I did not sit down and decide to write a song about business.
But apparently, for some people, that's the song that came out.

Bronco, I appreciate your support. I really wanted you to sing on this song
and I'm glad you agreed to do it. It means a lot to me. Thanks again. Sorry
you got buried in the mix.



---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Peter Greenstone said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
Art Is What You Want It To Be
Bronco, you put that so eloquently. Art is so personal, and I think that the most
powerful art is art that inspires meaning through the observer's own mind,
merely guided by the artist.

Just a thought: If I recall correctly what I was taught in Sunday school as a kid,
wasn't one of the things that made manna from heaven so wonderful that it's
taste was unique to the person who ate it, tasting like what that person most
wanted in their mind?
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
mandolinquent said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Art Is What You Want It To Be
Such good points, bronco.

A song doesn't exist without a listener; the meaning of the song is created in
the transaction of the singer giving it to the listener. Just as a book doesn't
exist until sombody reads it.

For my 10 cents, this song certainly isn't attacking individuals. It's
attacking the monolith. Here in the UK in order to maintain our standard of
living we now work longer hours than we have done since the early part of
the 20th century, and longer hours than any other country in Europe. It's
becoming deadening.

Increasingly shareholders work as an impersonal force that destroys lives; yet
if you asked individual shareholders - the individual businessmen - whether
they'd be happy about companies they invest in selling arms to poor
countries, or lobbying govenment for the tarrifs, loopholes and tax breaks
that systematically keep others destitute and destroy the environment, they'd
be horrified.

But the song? I think this is another incredibly beautiful piece of writing; Tom.
So delicate and plangent. Thanks for a great Macjams moment.
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Art Is What You Want It To Be
First of all, Wm, thanks for those comments, about art and about the song.
Well put together. Have you ever considered writing professionally? Just
kidding. But you have sent me to the dictionary again, the Internet dictionary,
where I found that the word "plangent" is a recent winner in dictionary.com's
"Word of the Day" feature. I quote:

Word of the Day for Tuesday December 9, 2003

plangent PLAN-juhnt, adjective:
1. Beating with a loud or deep sound, as, "the plangent wave."
2. Expressing sadness; plaintive.

She moans along with the woman who is singing -- wailing, really -- her
hands gripping the steering wheel to the plangent cries of the singer and the
sobbing of violins.
--Alice Walker, By the Light of My Father's Smile

What undoubtedly touched those soldiers is the play's plangent nostalgia, the
ache for home, for home's rootedness and security.
--J. D. McClatchy, "Wilder and the Marvels of the Heart," New York Times,
April 13, 1997


Plangent derives from the present participle of Latin plangere, "to beat, to
strike (noisily), especially to strike the breast, head, etc. as a sign of grief."

You, mando, have now become the third writer in history to make use of this
word. Thanks again...and thanks for adding the wonderful harmonies and
vocal twist at the end of the chorus. (I'm only sorry I wasn't able to work in
the chaotic audio you sent of your household. Maybe it will find its way into
another song.)---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Art Is What You Want It To Be
I used to love the word "plangent" until the new conductor of the Sacramento
Symphony used it in almost every sentence from the podium, trying to tell us
how to play. "Plangent....yeah, yeah...." we'd all mutter to ourselves under our
breath.

Ten years and many, many cities and miles on the road later, I'm just about
ready to appreciate that word again.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Macaudion said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
(clap, Clap, CLap, CLAp and CLAP! BRAVO!
Picking up my bottom lip from the floor - I try to stagger
my thoughts into an order of clear representation; one
which might have a reader understand the pure artful
beauty of this piece, the degree of my utter amazement
and the level of my disbelief that Attwood, doesn't make
music for a living everyday all day long...

My thoughts can't do this...
Check out my latest song called Pavel
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
(clap, Clap, CLap, CLAp and CLAP! BRAVO!
Thanks, Cydniko. I really enjoyed reading your comment. As for making
music for a lving? I'm like you, I have to "stagger my thoughts" to even
imagine it.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Stun Nutz said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
what a great song...
I've said this before, but I always admire how you can
create a lot of feeling and meaning with seemingly
very little... your songs seem to emnate from you like
breath - light and airy, easy and effortless... this
tune has an epic theatrical quality to it that makes it
feel as big as life
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
what a great song...
Thanks, Eric. I appreciate it. Now, what about that collaboration you were
talking about?

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Stun Nutz said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
what a great song...
I have been thinking about it already! I will probably start playing
around with musical ideas next week. As soon as I have a start to
something, I will shoot you an e-mail... I'm excited at the possibilities!
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
what a great song...
As long as no children are injured, tickled, frightened or bathed during this
pending collaboration...I'm in! (Confused? See Stun's "Jitterspook" and
"Bubbleslap Barnbath.")

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Stun Nutz said 4347 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
collab...
ha ha! naw... no kids... I think an entirely new direction...
Check out my latest song called stagnation
said 4350 days ago (July 1st, 2005)
What a song!
Just such a fun, deep, care-free, thought provoking...
entirely enjoyable song.

Jack
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
What a song!
Thanks, Jack. More than anything, your description above is what I was
aiming for when I put this together. Glad you liked it.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
What a song!
More often than not, the message of a song runs deeper than the words themselves.

Dadai

---
Making melody with your heart...
saxking20 said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Eloquence
How eloquent the members are in their writing-better
then many music or theater critics that I've read and much
better then what I'll write!
Beautiful recording and production, very creative. It's
hard to write about that subject without using the word
greed-greed on the business side as well as the
consumer...
The F Horns sounded great and a good job with the loops.
It is a theater piece for sure. Great voice sung into my
favorite mic.
Check out my latest song called Rockin' Chair & Lemonade
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Eloquence
I agree with you, saxking20, that the comments for this piece have been very
eloquent, including yours. Just to clarify, there are no loops in this song. The
instruments were all played on the Casio. Thanks for the kind words.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
White Hawks said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
nice folk song
this is very sweet. nice horns and your vocal. thanks for
sharing.

- Hawks
Check out my latest song called Shepherds Out in the Field
Tom Atwood said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
nice folk song
I'm glad you liked it, Jemimah. My own 15-year-old son did not care for it,
did not like the lyrics. My 13-year-old daughter thought it sounded dull, like
a 'march.' I was going to tell her that you can't really march in 3/4, that
everybody would be stumbling, and falling over...but I just let it go. I'm glad
at least one teenager--you--enjoyed this piece. Thanks for listening.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Drew Kopr said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Holy Moly!
Perfect, perfect, perfect! I could not have said it any better. The production, writing and performances were outstanding!!!
Check out my latest song called IfIWereHigh
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Holy Moly!
Thanks for the comments, Drew, and for taking the time to listen.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
BTW
I keep on coming back to check out the new artwork - kudos
to Tom Schmitt.
said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Bucking and debunking
Bronco said it: "But he did write it for me because
that's the song I heard. So in the long run the artist
loses control of his art and it becomes what the
people want it to be. It becomes something greater
than their self. For better or for worse!"

I wholeheartedly agree. It's what I hope happen when
I write song lyrics or straight-up poetry. I purposely
seed my sentences with double and triple meanings.
I leave the listener guessing about what I really
meant. I allow them to make the thought session
their own.

For me, this song is about business defined as "the
systematic acquisition of security, riches and power".
Some business models are rife with greed and
corruption. Many are not. I denounce blood-sucking
suits in ivory towers who take more than their just
wages. I denounce shysters, hypocrites and
charlatans. I applaud business people who are kind
stewards of property, money and human
resources and natural resources.
Mystified said 4350 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Bucking and debunking
Oooh. Well said, Rich! Very well said. Yes. The artist presents, and the reader/
listener/viewer interprets through the lens of their personal experience.

Example: to me, "alley-oop" is a basketball term (well-known to us LA Laker
fans--especially in the days of Pat Riley). I've never heard of the comic strip!

As for this song, it has a charming feel to it in the instrumentation and the
vocals. I can hear it right out of a play--I can 'see' the staging of it.
And yes...the song's message is intriguing. Thought-provoking.
If this were a play, the character who is singing this song would be an
interesting one to follow....and to see, ultimately, what his own
'flaws' or weaknesses were.

Gee, Tom....look what you've done!

Thank you for this song :)



Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Bucking and debunking
Mysti and Rich, I enjoyed your discussion of business & art & this song. And I
appreciate you guys listening closely and thoughtfully exploring the
message(s) it contains.

And Cat, thanks again for your help. I know you have a backlog of
collaborations. (You are in demand!) It was great to have your lovely voice(s)
in the choir, and also to have your support before, during & after the
production of "What's Wrong with this World." You're a pal.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
bronco said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
Bucking and debunking
I think I am one of those Neanderthals that Tobin was referring to. I have
loved the Alley-Oop comic strip for many years and the wonderful pop song
that was done about it in the 60's. To my amazement, I recently discovered
that the comic strip is on the web for free. Check it out you might like it.
http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/alleyoop/
Check out my latest song called Along The Way
said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
Bucking and debunking
I sorta got off on a tangent talking about good business and bad business.
Like many have pointed out, the song is really about any business that takes
one away from the joy of life. I think about this all the time: "What if I could
spend 8 hours a day making poetry and music and taking long walks with my
family...instead of pushing pixels around in QuarkXPress, Photoshop and
Illustrator?" As much as I enjoy visual arts, these tasks have lately been
getting in the way of my tending to matters of the heart. I think we'd all be
better off if we could relax more and not have to push the river so hard all the
time.
Tom Atwood said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
Bucking and debunking
I'm not sure if we were intended to push the river, Rich. I would say this song
is anti-pushing-the river. Thanks for your continuing discussion of these
issues. It is very interesting to me.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
SpasmodicMan said 4349 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
What's really wrong with the world:
God. That's what's really wrong with the world. (Oh, wait,
there is no God. People, that's what's wrong with the world.
Life would be great if I didn't have to deal with people.)
Music, that's what's right with the world. Too bad it takes
people to make it. And listen to it.
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
What's really wrong with the world:
Thanks, SpasmodicMan. God and people and such aside, I hope you enjoyed
this song.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
TennesseeVic said 4349 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
Very cool
As others have remarked, it has a kind of cabaret feel to it.

I like the very simple accompaniment. Crystal clear, and
totally sufficient to carry the tune.

Check out my latest song called Allegro from flute sonata 1 in C
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
Very cool
Thanks, Vic, and thanks again for the tip on the Casio. It is working out well
so far.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Slotogenic said 4349 days ago (July 2nd, 2005)
what can I add?
Geez, there's been so much writtten on this song I don't
know what to say! Guess it's proof of it's power. All I can
add is... well done sir!
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
what can I add?
Somehow I have missed your stuff, Eric, until you posted this comment. I
really enjoyed "Roadside Fireflies," a beautiful acoustic guitar piece. Thanks
for posting it, and for your kind words here.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
_nderscore said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
do something that you love
well done, mr. atwood & the gang. you're right. rush, rush..
work hard to try & get a few minutes of fun with friends &
family. everything is backwards! we should be able to work
little & play lots! ..maybe that's what heaven is like

Check out my latest song called glyd
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
do something that you love
Maybe it is, _nder. Thanks for stopping by.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
circus maximus
it's like a ride on a carousel...watching life go by in a blur...
row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
life is but a dream
ledebutant said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
Alternate Meanings
My iTunes claims I've listened to this song 25 times since I downloaded it last night. I think it must be love.

I enjoy so much of what has already been complimented, the fun of hearing all the familiar voices scattered through the song, the cheerful musical comedy feeling, your voice, Tom sounds great on this. I also really love all the background instrumentation that suggests coins spilling or jingling. The office sounds also added so much.

It was really, really FUN to hear alley and the rest of the gang in the second half of the song, similar to the fun of listening to "Do They Know it's Christmas? " and hearing your favorite artitst on a line of two. I'm also a sucker for different parts in counterpoint with each other, like Quintet in West Side Story or One Day More from Les Miserables, so you really got me.

I think business is a big part of what's wrong with this world, but not just in the sense of corporations [which are run very differently than the way Tobin's dad did business (which is the way business should be conducted)] but in the archaic meaning of the word, which is the condition of being busy. American lives are as busy as a hot pink blouse with orange flowers all over it and it has lead to a real disconnect with what types of things have real value. It's not cars built like trucks, but the people riding inside. Who, sadly don't have the energy or time to consider what their lives could look like if they just could just take a moment to make a choice.

Much of this is the fault of business. People are exhausted because it takes two incomes in most families to keep afloat and this wasn't the case in the past. One person's salary used to be enough for a family to live on. There is a cost to having children in daycare centers 50 hours a week, there is a cost to depleting the emotional and physical capabilities of both adults in a family so that fewer and fewer people have the time to think or the energy to teach their children to dream.

Business also has the meaning of one's rightful or proper concern or interest (according to freeditionary.com, which uses the example, "The business of America is business.) and I think this is also part of what you're getting at here. Our interest is focused on the wrong things.

The only quibble I have with the song is the use of the name "alley-oop." I think many people hearing it will think of the cartoon character and won't have a clue what alley-oop has to do with the song. If you never intend to use this song outside macjams, then it's no big deal, but I think this song is absolutely great and you should consider sharing it outside this community. Maybe you could change "I know a man named Alley-oop," to "I know a man in microchips," or some other type of business. You could just replace the second alley-oop with "him" because it sounds as though it's rhythmically hard for you to get alley-oop out in that spot, anyway.

Speaking of which, alley's businesman vocal is great and a strong contrast to your smoother sound of singing.

Have you considered writing an entire musical?

What was the question again?
Tom Atwood said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
Alternate Meanings
Well, Lisa. Thanks for that. I am touched that you took the time to share
your thoughts about this song. And, most of all, I am really happy to hear
that you have listened to it 25 times!! In my wildest dreams I never thought
anyone would listen to one of my songs that many times (except maybe
me).

Your response is the one I was hoping for. At least with you, ledebutante,
I did something right when I put this piece together. And again, I am grateful
for your comments.I believe you summed things up nicely (better than I could) with these
words:

American lives are as busy as a hot pink blouse with orange flowers
all over it and it has lead to a real disconnect with what types of things have
real value. It's not cars built like trucks, but the people riding inside. Who,
sadly don't have the energy or time to consider what their lives could look
like if they just could just take a moment to make a choice.


To me American business is not Wal-Mart, or Microsoft or Phillip Morris.
It is a state of mind in this country. A state of constant striving. Of reaching.
And, often, of never arriving. My intention was to question that. To question
chasing shiny objects, to question busy-ness, to question what is really
important? When I die, I don't want to look back and say, I was sure busy!!
Hey, wait, is it over already??

Ok, enough of my mumbo-jumbo.

As for alley-oop? Here's my problem. This song came to me with alley-
oop (Tom Schmitt) in mind. I have this problem with tampering with songs
once they're written. I rarely do it. It just wouldn't be the same without alley-
oop. And, to
be honest with you, this song isn't going anywhere, except, thankfully, in
your iTunes. Now as for a full-fledged musical...I have thought about
that. That would keep me 'busy.'

Thanks again, Lisa. You have made my so-called career.---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
ledebutant said 4349 days ago (July 3rd, 2005)
Alternate Meanings
Well, make that another ten plays. I do tend to fixate on things I like a lot.

I'm glad you feel I understood your song. It certainly addressed a subject very close to my heart, actually probably to many people around here, after all, we all stop to make or listen to music.

I definitely understand what you're saying about not tampering with a song once it's finished. It's hard. I think people like Tom are one of the things right with this world, so I'm all for leaving his pseudonym in the song.

I can't believe how lucky I am to have this song in my iTunes, but I feel sorry for all the people that will never get to hear this.

So-called career, my butt. You're on a road with no turn-offs now, Mister.


TobinMueller said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
Alternate Meanings
That's for sure. Tom and Tom are both people who make up what's right with
the world! I would put you in there, too, along with... (I started a list but it
was simply too long, and keeps growing..!)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Mcboy said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
straight 9's
across the board and a 10 for for extra points...hehhehh....
musically this works so well from the simple thematic figures
atwood creates to the contrasting vocal styles....pure delight
for me !!!!!! kudo's to the gang!
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
Tom Atwood said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
straight 9's
The Wrong World Choir appreciates your support, McBoy, along with your
generous scores. Now that you're here, tell us, who are you, really?

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mcboy said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
straight 9's
hhehhe....i'll never tell........well..... i am maybe someone with a deep love of
music........

---
I live for music.......
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
daphna said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
whoah...
I haven't quite made it through reading everyone else's
comments yet (tho I will). It is fascinating to see how
everyone interprets this song differently (and I saw that
recent interview with Bob Dylan too, and found it so funny
that he said he didn't know half the time what he was
writing about in his songs, and yet so many people
followed every word, thinking he meant something very
specific). I for one, didn't see it the way Tobin saw it - he
took it personally - to me, the song just talked about how
busy we can all be sometimes (or alot of the time), to the
point that we forget or neglect the most important things
in life, the things we really should be enjoying and
focussing on. That's what the song meant to me, and what
I think you were going for Tom. Thanks for inviting me to
participate in this well-written, fun, deep song! cheers.
Check out my latest song called It's Christmas Time
Tom Atwood said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
whoah...
Thanks for the comments, Daphne. And thanks for representing Canada in
the Wrong World Choir. I loved your additional vocal (and lyrics) and was
really glad you joined the choir.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
eDrew said 4348 days ago (July 4th, 2005)
GB2 Rocks
Incredible. Congrats to all the participants. An excellent
example of what is "Special" about MacJams. The sound fx
were a nice touch.
Check out my latest song called Corporate Presentation
Tom Atwood said 4347 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
GB2 Rocks
This was a lot of fun to work on, Drew. Thanks for your comments.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
ScooterDMan said 4347 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
what a unique way to have a discussion
tom and crew, i love this piece for many different reasons.
first of all, i think it is wonderful that nine of MJ's best
artists are able to collaborate on a song over the internet,
and the final product gives the impression that they were
all singing together in a studio.
second of all, i think the way in which the subject matter
is addressed is wholly unique. the song takes on the tone
of a conversation at the end when alley-oop's (sure that's
not tom waits?) voice comes in and then the rest follow.
listening to this song in the context of tom's god thread
from a few weeks ago (i lurked around, contemplated
adding my two cents, but opted to watch the family guy or
something) really makes this an interesting listen. having
a conversation like this within the confines of a song is
difficult and takes a great deal of patience and tolerance,
and you guys pulled that off wonderfully. if only we can
have more conversations like this in the real world, i think
we would all be better for it.
i am writing my thesis on electronic communities, and to
see this one thrive the way it does makes the hair on my
arms stand up.
the nine of you have created something very special here,
and you all should be quite proud.
this one's getting ipodded.


Check out my latest song called The Sunshine Shadows (Live Take)
Tom Atwood said 4347 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
what a unique way to have a discussion
Ryan, I have passed your comments along to the others involved in this
piece, since I know most of them are not visiting this song page every day.
Maybe this worked because it wasn't really planned very well. One thing kind
of led to another (as with most of my songs I guess), and before long it was
done. I think it worked, too, because of the additional lyrics (the
conversation, as you put it) from alley-oop, daphna and pgreenstone. Thanks
for your thoughts, ScooterDMan.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Jim Bouchard said 4347 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
aha!
I read Daphna's comment and realized that the lyrics should say busy-ness is what's wrong with this world. Saves you from being mistaken for a Marxist. Meaning Karl not Groucho.
Great song! Downloaded and on the iPod! (One of those things I had to buy because of so many great songs like this and not enough time to listen to them. And I sold something to buy it, so sue me! hehehe)
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
Tom Atwood said 4347 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
aha!
Thanks for downloading this song, Jim. As you know, I have several of your
tunes, including Dream #3, Why Am I Here? and daft git-folk, on my iPod,
which is filled almost exclusively with songs from MacJams.

As for the lyrics, business or busy-ness, alley-oop or Alley Oop, Karl Marx or
Groucho...take your pick. I think it's out of my hands.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
jiguma said 4346 days ago (July 5th, 2005)
Where to begin!?!
I've been a bit late picking up on this one. Today I've
listened to 5 or 6 songs. Every one has been one that's
made me stop and ask myself "where do these people get
their ideas from?" or "what planet did this come from?".
There's so much good music on this site.

This is seriously clever, even in the company it keeps, with
great production, great singing and playing - loved alley-
oop's vocal at the end.

I'm afraid I'm not as eloquent as others here, but perhaps
it's all been said already. Bloody brilliant work!
Check out my latest song called Dead Man Walking
Tom Atwood said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
Where to begin!?!
jiguma, the idea for this song originally came from a curious Google ad, titled
"Is there a God?" attached to a MacJams song. As for the planet? Members of
the Wrong World Choir definitely are from this planet, although I am sorry to
say Australia was one continent not represented. Maybe we should have
asked you to join in? Thanks for listening, One Horse Down, and for your kind
words.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Magritte said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
This is adorable.
When I took a look at the lyrics I thought "oh no" (not being much for explicit political commentary in songs) but this turned out to be irresistably charming! Great work all.
Check out my latest song called Tango Macabre
Tom Atwood said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
This is adorable.
Glad you were charmed, Magritte. Thanks for listening. (I looked at your owl
cam, by the way, although the owl seemed to be asleep. I hope!)

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Leebo said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
Interesting
When this started I thought it was going to be right up my
alley, but just when I expected it to build into something
wonderful, it didn't. Please don't get me wrong, I thought
the concept was great, but it would've been far more
powerful to add more orchestration as you went along.

In my head I wanted to hear great crashing cymbals and
fairground-style dischordant organs near the end,
bringing a more sinister tone to the conclusion of the
piece.

Well done though, it was quite stirring and gets under
your skin somehow.
Check out my latest song called Bang Bang
Tom Atwood said 4346 days ago (July 6th, 2005)
Interesting
Thanks, Leebo. That's the wonderful thing about music: there are a million
ways to make a song. I decided to avoid taking the sinister route with this
one. However, if you would like to do a Leebo cover...I'm sure at least the lead
vocal would be much better than the current warbly version!

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Joanna said 4345 days ago (July 7th, 2005)
I love show tunes!!
As soon as it started, I rechecked the genre because this
is 100% musical theatre. I could see the actors and chorus
on stage, in three piece suits with briefcases in a kind of
anti-"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"
sort of way. (I was in that show in high school, and had
such a good time with it).

This is such a cool song. I love it!
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
Tom Atwood said 4345 days ago (July 7th, 2005)
I love show tunes!!
Thanks, Joanna. Glad you enjoyed the 'show.' As previously mentioned
somewhere in these comments, I originally thought about putting this in
Showtunes instead of Folk, but decided against it. (I guess, because it's not in
a show.) Thanks again for listening.

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cori Ander said 4337 days ago (July 15th, 2005)
Sob!
Sob, So good! Sob. Tom, you asked me to be part of this
upcoming project the day I was leaving for vaccation. Can
you imagine folks, I COULD have been part of this
creation! But on the other hand it is so good as this, so I
dont see what I could have added ... but just the feeling ...
I would have been able to say to my eventual
grandchildren: "well you know, grandpa was all in it and
played in "whats wrong with this world" in the original
version with Tom Atwood himself!"

But Tom, think you'll have to write songs that are not so
interesting ... takes the whole morning to read all the
comments and discussions to the song! ;-)
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Tom Atwood said 4337 days ago (July 15th, 2005)
Sob!
Thanks, Johannes. Sorry our timing didn't work out on this one. I would have
loved to have added you to the Wrong Wolrd Choir. But, I'm sure there will be
another opportunity.

I am surprised by the volume of comments on this piece. Glad that you took
time to add your two kronas. Welcome back!

---
.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Doadars Uncle said 4291 days ago (August 30th, 2005)
Beautiful
Is it too dark to say that people are wrong with this world?

I used to think it was the politicians, now I think it is the
voters.

Unfortunately its a lack of awareness that's to blame.

Is God real ... the answer is different each time you ask.
That is nature.
Check out my latest song called Don't Leave (remix)
Tom Atwood said 4290 days ago (August 30th, 2005)
Beautiful
Thanks, DU. And thanks for stopping by to visit this lonely song. I believe you
were part of the original Forum Posts thread, "Is there a God?" that inspired
this song. From that thread, I have copied below the correct answer to the
question
posted by TAFKALN (The Artist Formerly Known As LillNisse):

Quote by LillNisse:

Personally I dont ask if there is a God.
In moments when I dont recognize his presence I ask: "Where am I?"

I dont ask what God is, or how to define. I ask God to prepare me to furhter
widen the flow, or whatever you may call it, that interconnects God and me.

Personally I feel urgent need to keep a thoruoghly naive and simple
interaction with God. Quite childish really in a way. Just staying in it ... not
feeling that my many words, my knowledge or thoughts can help. In moments
when I too much try to think it out - "think Him out" - I am left less able to
recieve the warm love that flows from God. The warm love that flows every
moment as long as I feel "Yes" to Him.


I guess my answer to your question is: only Love is real. Thanks again
for listening!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tom Atwood
Location:
send a note
I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Chat
Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 91