Jul 13, 2009


Superficially, "Twenty-Five" is a shameless imitation of the educational cartoon Schoolhouse Rock! I can even tell you specifically that I had the episode "Figure Eight" in mind when I wrote it. Putting all that aside, "Twenty-Five" is a song that has a lot of meaning to me, and I think it stands very well on its own. Basically, what the lyrics are trying to say is that "age is just a number," and therefore we have the verses that say, "Well, 25 is just this and that, it's just 5 times 5, and so on." But then, you shift to the point of view of somebody who's just reached this milestone in life, is bewildered by adulthood, and still feels like a child.

Based on the timestamps on my demo recordings, this song actually took two months to write. The music came to me about two weeks after my 25th birthday, but I only had filler lyrics that went, "Marigolds, here they come, la la la la..." It subsequently sat on the shelf while I entered a not-so-creative phase that resulted in "The Drifter," also known as "Yodel." When I went back to work on "Marigolds," I decided to make it like a girl-guy duet, kind of like Blonde Redhead, one of my favorite bands. Finally, something inspired me to write the lyrics that became "Twenty-Five."

A lot of the arrangement was worked out in Molly's backyard during June 2008. Noah gets credit here for the "ooh" and doubling harmonies throughout the song. Molly's voice is perfect for this song, and she does a great job with it.

If you ever catch us live, listen for a little surprise at the end.

For the music video, I'd like to make a cartoon in the style of Schoolhouse Rock! A few months back, I drew storyboards for this video, but haven't had time to do any more work. Anyone know of an animator who can help bring this video into reality?

Who played on the recording? Steven (lead and backing vocals, guitar, percussion); Molly (lead and backing vocals, ukulele); Russ (mandolin); Hilary (cello); Maya (viola).


Twenty-five, or two and five
Spelled with two prime numbers
Twenty-five, or five times five
And sum of two square numbers
Twenty-five, la la la
Five more than a full score
If you count by fountain pen
Count five groups of tallies

Suddenly I found myself beginning to sit still
Suddenly I found that I was picking up the bill
Yet my scribbles from so long ago still send me chills
Still send me chills

Twenty-five is silver, please
When it's my anniversary
Twenty-five is manganese
If you're into chemistry
Twenty-five is a quarter of
The big old sum one hundred
Twenty-five is the quarter coin
The head of our first president

Dusting off my old Nintendo really made me feel
Like those days I weren't in charge of making any deals
They assure me, son, you ain't seen half of what is fun
They say I'm still young

Twenty-five golden rings
On five lucky hands they fit
And every year, many like
This day in December

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