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Music / Tom Smith

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Tom Smith is an American writer and performer of Filk Songs. He has won the Pegasus Award multiple times, and was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2005.

His songs are mainly comedic, although there are some striking exceptions, such as "A Boy and His Frog", his tribute to the late Jim Henson.

Apart from his many and varied own projects, he wrote the official Talk Like a Pirate Day song, the Transylvania Polygnostic University Fight Song for Girl Genius, and was commissioned by the creator of Kevin & Kell to write a song for a demo reel for a proposed animated special.

His works provide examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: "Hyperspace Cryogenic Insomnia Blues" is about a man who remains conscious when put into cryosleep for a ten-year space journey.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: "Sheep Marketing Ploy" is a pitch for a series of horror movies about a demonic sheep.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In "Lars Needs Women":
    Lars lonely, want girl,
    Lars search whole wide world,
    Want blonde, brunette,
    Redhead — Heck! Whole set.
  • Concept Album: The Last Hero on Earth is a musical about superheroes.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: "Illuminati Polka" plays it for laughs.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: In "Sheep Marketing Ploy", the dastardly sheep Fenton (the usurper of Satan's position as ruler of Hell) is described as having a classic villain mustache.
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: "Take Your Hands Off The Bear" is about a divorce so acrimonious that the narrator is willing to let his wife take anything just to get her out of his life... except his beloved teddy bear, Mr. Gumpus. Which the ex decides to take purely to hurt him.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: The narrator in "Worth the Wait" is the Low-Key Yearning variety.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "Rocket Ride", a homage to old SF, speaks fondly of the days when villains had some standards:
    They never tortured, they never lied,
    They'd honor a promise if it meant they died.
  • Football Fight Song: "Transylvania Polygnostic University Fight Song"
  • Gargle Blaster: 307 Ale, in the song of the same name, was accidentally brewed in a tesseract, and does "obscene" things to any container it's put in, let alone anybody brave enough to drink it. It's called 307 Ale because it's 307 proof — which would mean that it's 153.5% alcohol. It later gets a sequel song, "307 Lite", about an modified version of the brew that is just as potent, but has only half the calories.
  • Hell Has New Management: "Sheep Marketing Ploy" is a song covering a supposed series of horror movies named Death Sheep following Fenton, a sheep who takes over Hell after being pulled down there by Lucifer.
  • Hold the Unsolicited Ingredient: In "Domino Death", about a pizza deliverer gone round the bend, adding "no anchovies, please" is one of the many offenses that will garner your death at the hands of the psycho narrator.
  • Hopeless with Tech: The singer's father in "Tech Support For Dad"
  • Human Popsicle: "Hyperspace Cryogenic Insomnia Blues"
  • Hurricane of Puns: The list of titles and descriptions in "Sheep Marketing Ploy" is full of sheep-related puns.
  • The Illuminati: Played for Laughs in "The Illuminati Polka" which cheerfully describes the vast web of ridiculous conspiracies to a peppy, Weird Al style polka beat.
  • It Came from the Fridge: The premise of "Why I Won't Get You a Beer"
  • I Want My Jetpack: "I Want My Flying Car"
  • Let's Duet: "Under the Fur", a musical retelling of the first meeting of Kevin & Kell.
    • And "Heat of the Blood", which is essentially the villain trying to seduce the heroine with verbal rohypnol.
    Your breath is a fiery wind, dear,
    That whispers the sound of my name.
    And the fever's so high you can barely stand,
    And the only relief is the touch of my hand,
    And the heat of the blood is rising.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Walking Along the Beach", a bright, cheery song about gloom, pain, and despair.
  • Marshmallow Hell: "Death by Wubbie"
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Several of the supervillains in The Last Hero on Earth.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: "Wish I Couldn't Read Her Mind"
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Pirate Ninjas from Dino Island in The Last Hero on Earth. Better yet, they're Space Pirates.
  • One True Threesome: invokedIn "Hey, It's Can(n)on!", Hermione can't decide between Harry or Ron, so in the end she keeps them both.
  • Perspective Flip: "Wish I Couldn't Read Her Mind" takes Christine Lavin's "Good Thing He Can't Read My Mind", flips the perspective, and adds the twist that, actually, he can.
  • Pirate Girl: In "Hey, It's Can(n)on!", Hermione Granger becomes a pirate queen after discovering her birthday is also Talk Like a Pirate Day.
  • Pirate Song: He has two Talk Like a Pirate Day songs. The first being the official holiday anthem, and the second (Hey, it's Can(n)on) having fun with the fact that it happens to be Hermione Granger's birthday.
  • Power Perversion Potential: "Waking Up Jedi". Two excerpts:
    • I had those Jedi mind tricks which were quite the little perk
      My girlfriend is weak-minded; I was almost late for work.
    • And best of all, my girl and I combine our Jedi powers
      There's lots of ways to use the force. And some can last for hours.
  • Raygun Gothic: "Rocket Ride" is a homage to this style of SF.
  • Screw Yourself: The narrator's girlfriend in "Hot Sauce and Icecream" tries it out after being mysteriously split into two people. He's worried she won't need him any more, then it turns into a Twin Threesome Fantasy and everyone gets a happy ending.
  • Space Pirates: The Pirate Ninjas from Dino Island in The Last Hero on Earth.
  • Standard Hero Reward: The protagonist of The Last Hero on Earth is offered the hand of the princess he saves from the Ninja Pirates from Dino Isle, with some lampshade hanging from the queen.
  • Standard Snippet: The opening lines of "Sheep Marketing Ploy", representing the calm opening of a horror movie, are set to a standard "peaceful morning" snippet originating from Rossini's William Tell.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion:
    • The opening lines of "307 Ale":
      There's many drinks you'll drink, me lads, on every world that's new.
      There's Saurian Brandy, Cranapple Schnapps, and a good old Tullamore Don't.
    • The closing lines of "Spoiler Alert":
      I finally get it, I want to stay friends
      And so I'm not telling you how this song
    • "Quit Freaking Out Over Boobs" has:
      A couple nice girly bits
      Quit freaking out over bosoms
  • Take That!: "And They Say I've Got Talent", which takes aim at corporation-driven pop music, in general, and Brittany Spears in particular.
  • [Trope Name]: "Songwriting Workshop" is a self-referential song about songwriting.
    This is the verse that sets up the premise
    Of why you have written a song.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: The end of "Hot Sauce and Icecream".
  • Villain Song:
    • In his concept album The Last Hero On Earth there's both "Mad Scientists United" and "The Sinister Cavortings of Sir Wilfred P. Hufflebaggins III".
    • He has had a musical called Skullrose And Tourmaline kicking around the back of his brain for years. He's written three songs so far: "Heat Of The Blood", "Ho! For The Death Of Time", and "This Ain't Over Yet." They're all Villain Songs.