Best Link Ever! Barbra Streisand Speaks to The Sound of Art!

by Paddy Johnson on September 17, 2010 · 10 comments Best Link Ever!

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In 1985 Barbra Streisand had a premonition that Art Fag City would try to raise $10,000 to produce, distribute and launch a record, so she wrote and performed the ditty above. The Sound of Art, a record that brings together sounds culled from art works exhibited across the city is not explicitly mentioned nor was the more than $800 we raised yesterday, but lets be honest — it might as well have been. In honor of Bab’s I briefly considered re-enacting Bab’s performance for the campaign. No one needs to be subjected to my singing though, I decided simply to post the lyrics below and update the cast.

[Paddy] Look, I’ve spent a lot of time working on this
[Troll 1:] Look, no one’s gonna buy it — no one.
[Troll 2:] No one in Middle America, anyway. That’s for sure.
[Troll 3:] He’s right!
[Troll 1:] Sweetheart, it’s just not commercial!
[Paddy:] What is commercial?
[Troll 2:] It’s not what’s selling nowadays.
[Troll 1:] I mean – personally, I love it, but
[Paddy (sung):]Be nice, girl!
[Troll 3:] Nobody’s into this kind of material.
[Paddy (sung):] You have to pay a price, girl!
[Troll 2:] This album needs a hit single we can push.
[Paddy (sung):]They like to give advice, girl!
[Troll 1:] The whole idea’s too risky.
[Paddy (sung):] Don’t think about it twice, girl!
[Troll 2:] The audience won’t understand this kind of thing!
[Paddy (sung):]It’s time to get to work!
[Paddy (spoken): I disagree! Why don't you wait until you hear it?
[Troll 3:] This is like your old stuff!
[Paddy (sung):] Art isn’t easy.
[Troll 3:] You’ve got to appeal to the kids.
[Paddy (sung):] Even when you’re hot.
[Troll 2:] Why would you want to make an album like this anyway?
[Paddy (sung):] Advancing art is easy.
[Troll 1:] I think we ought to talk seriously about this.
[Paddy (sung):] Financing it is not!
[Troll 2:] Why take chances?
[Paddy (sung):] A vision’s just a vision if it’s only in your head!
[Troll 1:] Nobody respects your artistic integrity more than I do, but
[Paddy (sung):] If no one gets to hear it, it’s as good as dead!
[Troll 2:] You have to think about you career!
[Paddy (sung):] It has to come to life!
Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a parts
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together, that’s what counts!
Ounce by ounce, putting in together
Small amounts, adding up to make a work of art
First of all you need a good foundation
Otherwise it’s risky from the start
Takes a little cocktail conversation
But without the proper preparation
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
The art of making art
Is putting it together, bit by bit
[Troll 2:] Do we really need all these musicians?
[Paddy:] Link by link, making the connections, yes we do!
Drink by drink, taking every comment as it comes
Learning how to play the politician
Like you play piano, bass and drums
Otherwise you’ll find your composition
Isn’t gonna get much exhibition
Art isn’t easy
Every minor detail is a major decision
Have to keep things in scale
Have to hold to your vision
[Troll 1:] Why don’t we talk about this over dinner, darling?
What’s a little cocktail conversation
If it gets the funds for your foundation
Every time I start to feel defensive
I remember vinyl is expensive!
[Troll 3:] Would you agree to do an interview?
[Paddy:] Maybe one!
Dot by dot, building up the image
Shot by shot, keeping at a distance doesn’t pay
Still if you remember your objective
Not give all your privacy away
A little bit of hype can be effective
As long as you can keep it in perspective
Even when you get some recognition
Everything you do you still audition
Art isn’t easy
Overnight you’re a trend
You’re the right combination
Then the trend’s at an end
You’re suddenly last year’s sensation!
All they ever want is repetition
All they really like is what they know
Gotta keep a link with your tradition
Gotta learn to trust your intuition
While you re-establish your position
So that you can be on exhibit…
So that your work can be on exhibition!
Be new, girl!
They tell you till they’re blue, girl!
You’re new, or else you’re through, girl!
And even if it’s true, girl,
You do what you can do!
Bit by bit, Putting it together
Piece by piece, working on the vision night and day
All it takes is time and perseverance
With a little luck along the way
Putting in a personal appearance
Gathering supporters and adherents…
[Troll 1:] Well, she’s an original!
[Troll 3:] WAS!
[Paddy:] Mapping out the songs but in addition
Harmonizing each negotiation
Balancing the part that’s all musicians
With the part that’s strictly presentation
Balancing the money with the mission
Till you have the perfect orchestration
Even if you do have the suspicion
That it’s taking all your concentration
The art of making art
Is putting it together, bit by bit
Beat by beat, part by part
Sheet by sheet, chart by chart
Track by track, bit by bit,
Reel by reel, pout by pout
Stack by stack, snit by snit,
meal by meal, shout by shout
Deal by deal, spat by spat
Shpiel by shpiel, doubt by doubt
And that… Is the state of the art!

  • Dave Harper

    lol. It’s like Barbra wrote this just for you, Paddy!!!

  • Dave Harper

    lol. It’s like Barbra wrote this just for you, Paddy!!!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Not only is your context for this piece hysterical, but honestly I absolutely loved it on its own. This is a woman who is singing every word so sincerely because its true and she’s had to do it all. I’m now a fan.

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Not only is your context for this piece hysterical, but honestly I absolutely loved it on its own. This is a woman who is singing every word so sincerely because its true and she’s had to do it all. I’m now a fan.

  • http://www.juliaschwartzart.com Julia Schwartz

    hey, that troll looks like Sidney Pollack!

  • http://www.juliaschwartzart.com Julia Schwartz

    hey, that troll looks like Sidney Pollack!

  • Deborah Kass

    i post this every few months. in fact, did it this morning in preparation for my show opening on thurs. i also made everyone listen to it at skowhegan in 1997 when i gave my talk there. barbra did not write it. sondheim did and rewrote s…pecific lines for her “everything you do you still audition” )the very one i posted this am) “every time i start to get defensive i remember vinyl is expensive” among others. the song is from sondheim’s sunday in the park with george about george seurat. the beginning with all the guys talking to her were in fact things that were said to her when she had the concept for “the broadway album”. it was definitely like her “old stuff” and it wasn’t what the kids are into. it made a fortune and now the kids are listening to stuff like that, see glee and paddy johnson. and that’s why i
    love my barbra. sorry, i am possessive.

  • http://deb@deborahkass.comnewonecomingonthursday Deborah Kass

    i post this every few months. in fact, did it this morning in preparation for my show opening on thurs. i also made everyone listen to it at skowhegan in 1997 when i gave my talk there. barbra did not write it. sondheim did and rewrote s…pecific lines for her “everything you do you still audition” )the very one i posted this am) “every time i start to get defensive i remember vinyl is expensive” among others. the song is from sondheim’s sunday in the park with george about george seurat. the beginning with all the guys talking to her were in fact things that were said to her when she had the concept for “the broadway album”. it was definitely like her “old stuff” and it wasn’t what the kids are into. it made a fortune and now the kids are listening to stuff like that, see glee and paddy johnson. and that’s why i
    love my barbra. sorry, i am possessive.

  • Dorian Bennett

    This work by Barbra Striesand on art creation is awesome. Thanks for posting this on the net. Best of luck, Dorian Bennett

  • http://coco60024@aol.com Dorian Bennett

    This work by Barbra Striesand on art creation is awesome. Thanks for posting this on the net. Best of luck, Dorian Bennett

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