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I Want a Refund

by Sunday Comes Afterwards

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    A pack of four 1.25" lapel buttons, designed by Yours Truly!
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1.
I want to play the blues but I have a problem to tell I want to play the blues but I have a problem to tell I don’t know the notes, so I can’t play the blues too well. My ukulele makes a happy, cheerful sound My ukulele makes a happy, cheerful sound But when you’re playin’ the blues, that’s not what you want around My industry’s in a slump, so I’m underemployed And my creditors are getting really annoyed If I don’t find a full-time job soon, I’m gonna be finished Everything but my notes and chords is gettin’ flattened and diminished So I sing the blues, but the melody don’t agree Yeah, I sing the blues, but the melody don’t agree I can’t even play the blues, have pity on me. No, I can’t even play the blues, have pity on me.
2.
One Tuesday, near the Jamba Juice, I saw a tiny shop It was selling superpowers at a thousand bucks a pop Now, I was feeling really hurt; I was dumped the day before I asked for invulnerability, and the merchant answered “sure.” And now laser beams bounce off of me And bullets do the same And sticks and stones can’t break my bones But what about the names? I wanted to be safe from pain I wanted to be free Turns out invulnerability Ain’t what it’s s’posed to be I spend my days fighting crime, working with goodwill ’Cause with great power, blah blah blah, I’m sure you know the drill But every night I’m at the mall looking for a tiny store And if I ever find that one again, they’re gonna hear me roar ’Cause laser beams bounce off of me And bullets do the same And sticks and stones can’t break my bones But what about the names? I wanted to be safe from pain I wanted to be free Turns out invulnerability Ain’t what it’s s’posed to be “Just sign here,” said the merchant “The fine print’s legal jargon!” But later on, I read it. It clarified the bargain: Our service has limits, you’re sure to find out It won’t change dysphoria, shame, or self-doubt Your empathy won’t be affected a smidge Tell your best friend: keep away from the fridge People may hate you, in spite of your help Folks that you save may be hateful on Yelp Imprudent investments will cost you your shirt Though nothing can touch you, you still can be hurt! And now laser beams bounce off of me And bullets do the same And sticks and stones can’t break my bones But what about the names? I wanted to be safe from pain I wanted to be free Turns out invulnerability Ain’t what it’s s’posed to be (I want a refund!)
3.
If no one remembers your birthday Of course that’s a terrible shame But if no one remembers your birthday You’ve only yourself to blame So strike up the band and spread the word Take on the challenge with strength People should know of your birthday And my birthday is May Tenth! The world offers lots of distractions There’s day jobs and night schools and debt If you want folks to honor your birthday Then you must make it hard to forget So take out an ad in the New York Times Promotion is never a crime! People should know of your birthday And mine’s at the Five and Dime! ’Cause this is not some kind of test For family, friends, and frenemies If we want cake, we must refresh Most everybody’s memories We all deserve one day a year When we are celebrated Because we do exist; because Our parents procreated! And… If no one remembers your birthday It’s not that they mean to do wrong But it’s hard to keep track of all birthdays Unless they’ve been put in a song So pick up your uke and write a few lines If they’re not very good, that’s okay People should know of your birthday My birthday’s the Tenth of May! Yes, hire a pilot to write in the sky Don’t fear getting carried away! People should know of your birthday My birthday’s the Tenth of May!
4.
Hey, Adora 03:17
Hey, Adora, What’s it like in the Rebellion? I’m a thousand miles away But that means nothing to a hellion Get a clue Bright Moon can’t shine as bright as you I swear, it’s true Hey, Adora, Don’t you worry about the distance I’m right there to take you back When you get over your resistance ’Cause we’re friends Together, we’ll achieve our ends Come make amends Oh, it’s what you do to me Oh, my lifelong frenemy Oh, Adora, can’t you see Oh, it’s what you do to me What you do to me Hey, Adora, Well, you’ve always been protected You’re Shadow Weaver’s favorite You’re the one that she selected As her pet Betcha think I’m in your debt Oh, I just bet Hey, Adora, I’ve got nothing more to say Maybe once we were a team But now you’ve thrown it all away And left the Horde Who cares about your fancy sword? I say I’m bored Oh, it’s what you do to me Oh, my lifelong frenemy Oh, Adora, can’t you see Oh, it’s what you do to me What you do to me You’ll find it hard to keep your calm When I attend the Princess Prom Where etiquette demands they let me stay This time I will take the lead And though you’ll try to intercede Your sword is coming back with me today Adora, I can promise you That by the time that we get through The world will never ever be the same And you’re to blame Hey, Adora, Save your righteous indignation Though you had me playing sidekick That was not my aspiration, Just respect Don’t even try to interject I’m not a weakling to protect Hey, Adora, go get wrecked You heard correct Oh, it’s what I’ll do to you Now I’m Hordak’s number two The Rebellion will be through Oh, it’s what I’ll do to you What I’ll do to you
5.
I'm Anxious 02:05
I’m anxious about everything, it’s true From when I start to stir to when I’m back in bed I doubt everything that I think and do And most of the time, I’m simply filled with dread I’m anxious about all the taxes I owe I’m anxious about my student loans But if I won the Lotto, I already know I’d be anxious about what to do with the dough I don’t have a better message here No stirring climax, no words of hope I’m in debt and Jewish and genderqueer And my brain makes it hard for me to cope I’m anxious about the world we’re in I’m anxious about our bigot in chief I’m anxious about my kith and kin That some support him is beyond belief I used to be worse before SSRIs Took me down from like a nine to a four But my energy levels also took a dive And that only makes me anxious more I can function onstage, where my role’s defined, But I’m out of place when in society There’s nothing I do that isn’t undermined ’Cause I’m always filled with anxiety I don’t have a better message here No stirring climax, no words of hope I’m tired and stressed and maybe too sincere And my brain makes it hard for me to cope And I’m always filled with anxiety
6.
Professor Willow has a farm upstate Where the Pokémon love to play They run and fight and have lots of fun Every night and every day You don’t need to see the farm It’s awfully far from here Just give him all your troubles And he’ll make them disappear Professor Willow has a farm upstate Every Pokémon trainer knows it So don’t talk to that journalist Who says she wants to expose it I don’t know what her problem is She says we’re all inhumane She’s always on about monster rights Some people love to complain And the Pokémon are happy There are thousands, arm in arm They frolic there without a care On Willow’s four-acre farm! Professor Willow has a farm upstate Where your Pokémon can park it He also makes great sausages That he sells at the farmer’s market They’re juicy and delicious You’d think they’d be more pricy They come in eighteen varieties Red hot, grass-fed, and spicy But the Pokémon are happy Pikachu and Excadrill They’re having fun out in the sun Stop looking at the grill Professor Willow has a farm upstate Everything is fine and dandy So give him Pokémon you don’t need And he’ll give you lots of candy It’s normal if they cry No need to make amends You’re doing what is best for them Just take the candy for your friends And don’t talk to that journalist Just take the candy for your friends Team Rocket are the evil ones Just take the candy for your friends
7.
On the first part of the journey We were headed off to Bree Tom Bombadil kept rescuing Us and Uncle Bilbo’s ring We got to the Prancing Pony Met a ranger with a hilt But another human, Boromir, Would take on a lot of guilt I’ve walked into Mordor bearing Isuldur’s Bane Though the burden was really a strain Couldn’t take an eagle or even a plane ’Cause the Eye of Sauron would notice a plane La la la, laaa, la la la la, la la la, laaa la… I was walking from the subway I wanted to get some food I didn’t want a pizza Or anything barbecued Those things are nice, they would suffice But I wasn’t in the mood I hit Happy Garden, got a quart of lo mein And a fortune that was not arcane It said “Be good to yourself if you want to be sane” I added “in bed” and I laughed like a drain La la la, laaa, la la la la, la la la, laaa la… I was strumming my ukulele And this song wouldn’t let me be “The heat was hot,” “there were…rocks and things,” It’s a poor excuse for poetry But the pattern gets into everything And your mind just knocks about And no matter what you want to sing This is what comes out I smell like Teen Spirit on a horse with Cobain— I called in a plumber and she’ll clean out the drain— I’ve gone to the silos where I keep all my grain— We’re off to the wizard, ’cause I don’t have a brain— I tried out for Hamlet, got the role of the Dane— I’ve been to the barber, now my horse has no mane— This two-chord song is stuck in my brain So I’m passing it on, such a shame This sequence of lyrics is a terrible pain And now all of you get to hear me complain La la la, laaa, la la la la, la la la, laaa la…
8.
This is a simple little song to sing throughout the land It’s not trying to be bold, it’s not trying to be grand It’s not a song that’s clever, or filled with highs and lows It’s a simple little song, and this is how it goes: La la la la la la la, la la la la la, La la la la la la la la la la la la la, La la la la la la la, la, la, la La la la la la la, la la la la la. It’s a simple little song: it’s not heavy, it’s not fraught It distracts me from the coming neo-Nazi juggernaut Yes, it’s a simple little song, you can sing it if you try When I do, I don’t remember that we’re gonna freakin’ die. La la la… It’s hard to write a simple song in dark and troubled times I want it light and fluffy, but there’s too much on my mind I want it to be happy—maybe wistful, at the most, But I smell the smoke around us, and it’s clear that we’re all toast It’s a simple little song, it was meant for everyone And like our whole republic, I guess it’s almost done I hope it makes you happy and cuts right through the gloom As we hold our heads up high and go bravely to our doom. La la la…
9.
Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. The gostak distims the doshes. The gostak distims the doshes. The doshes have been distimmed by the gostak that distims the doshes. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo!
10.
My sneakers are dead. It’s sad, but it’s true. They’re dirty and scuffed and the soles are worn through. They can’t be repaired, so it’s just as I’ve said: It’s sad, but it’s true that my sneakers are dead. My sneakers are dead, after only three years. My socks can be seen through the rips and the tears. They can’t be repaired, so it’s just as I’ve said: After only three years, my sneakers are dead. I used to think they would last me forever, But the laces won’t lace, and there’s more holes than leather. They’re weathered by wear, and they’re worn by the weather. I think it’s my sweat that holds them together… My sneakers are dead. A new pair’s a must. The whole darn right heel has been ground into dust They can’t be repaired, so it’s just as I’ve said: A new pair’s a must, ’cause my sneakers are dead. Yes, it’s sad, but it’s true that my sneakers are dead.
11.
Long may he reign in San Francisco! Long may he reign in San Francisco! Joshua Norton spends his whole fortune To corner the market on rice Not very nice Peruvian traders come with more grain And it’s plain that his plan’s up in smoke Norton goes broke All the reckless dreamers Where do they all come from? All the reckless dreamers Where do they all belong? Emperor Norton writes proclamations Takes over the nation, you know Protects Mexico Surveys his city; don’t call it Frisco His scrip pays for meals by the sea The cops let him be All the reckless dreamers Where do they all come from? All the reckless dreamers Where do they all belong? Long may he reign in San Francisco! Long may he reign in San Francisco! Joshua Norton died on the corner A pauper, no funds for a grave The end of an age Local supporters paid for the casket, The masses turned out, such acclaim Everyone came All the reckless dreamers Where do they all come from? Some go to California And find that they belong…
12.
So you have a friend named Danny And his pronoun is “he” But for years you’ve been accustomed To refer to him as “she” And you want to get it right But routine is set in stone So you practice his new pronouns Loud and clear, when you’re alone This is my friend, his name is Danny He himself is a friend of mine. I’m so glad to be a friend of his Both he and I are fine. So you have a friend named S. And their pronoun is “they” And maybe you’re not used to Thinking of them in that way And you want to get it right In the flesh and on the phone So you practice their new pronouns Loud and clear, when you’re alone This is my friend, their name is S. They themself are a friend of mine. I’m so glad to be a friend of theirs Both they and I are fine. You don’t want to hurt your friends Or imply that they’re pretenders Be sure to use the pronouns that Reflect their proper genders Habits may die hard But that’s not a dispensation To make some brand-new habits, All it takes is acclimation So you have a friend named Gal And hir pronoun is “ze” Which might be a fresh addition To your vo-cab-u-lar-y And you want to get it right In New York and in Bayonne So you practice hir new pronouns Loud and clear, when you’re alone This is my friend, hir name is Gal Ze hirself is a friend of mine. I’m so glad to be a friend of hirs Both ze and I are fine. All you need is practice And you’ll get it in the end And surely that is worth it If you want to be a friend
13.
I used to have a wardrobe Full of jeans and cords for boys And each one boasted storage space The size of Illinois There was room to hold my wallet And some tissues, and a pen And I never really knew Just how good I had it then But try shopping on the women’s side And it’s so absurdly hard To find a pair of pants with room To fit one credit card So while boy clothes aren’t gen’rally A cause for reminiscing I can’t stand the lack of pockets— And I know what I am missing! Makers of fake pockets! Oh, how I so despise them! I don’t think it is possible To over-criticize them! They say it’s to “preserve the line,” “A sleeker silhouette” But that’s garbage, and they know it, And it makes me so upset! I like wearing pretty dresses Skirts that swirl around the knees They’re comfy and they’re pleasant In a gentle summer breeze I’m also fond of leggings They’re like T-shirts, just downstairs And because I’m in New York, Almost no one really cares. But the copier at work requires swiping my ID And to get into the house I should also have my keys And I need to hold my phone (It is not just incidental) And when dresses come with pockets Half the time they’re ornamental! Makers of fake pockets! They are utterly perverse! They take payola from Chanel To make you have to buy a purse! Now, my handbags are delightful They hold lots of stuff, and yet If I’m being forced to carry one, It makes me so upset! Someday there will be a change of weather Someday we will stand up for what’s right Someday the oppressed will band together Someday we will have an epic fight Someday we will cleanse the land in fire Someday tyrants everywhere will fall All our foes will finally expire And who will be the first against the wall? Makers of fake pockets! They’re the worst to ever live! It’s the one thing in the world That there are no grounds to forgive! Oh, the Nazis will be second, And the fascists may be third— Predatory payday lenders: They will also be interred— And you may think it’s draconian But ask me if I care ’Cause we’re gonna get the tailors When the revolution’s here!
14.
So you have a friend named Lori And her pronoun is “she” And she’s asked you out for coffee Or perhaps a cup of tea And you want to get it right You don’t need a chaperone So you practice her new pronouns Loud and clear, when you’re alone This is my friend, her name is Lori She herself is a friend of mine. I’m so glad to be a friend of hers Both she and I are fine. So you have a friend named Max And eir pronoun is “ey” (Christine Elverson of Skokie Coined those pronouns, by the way) And you want to get it right When you shout, or you intone So you practice eir new pronouns Loud and clear, when you’re alone This is my friend, eir name is Max Ey eirself is a friend of mine. I’m so glad to be a friend of eirs Both ey and I are fine. You don’t want to hurt your friends Or imply that they’re pretenders Be sure to use the pronouns that Reflect their proper genders Habits may die hard But that’s not a dispensation To make some brand-new habits, All it takes is acclimation So you have a friend, Mackenzie, And xir pronoun is “xie” (It’s a lot of fun to say this, ’Cause it buzzes like a bee!) And you want to get it right Your concern’s not overblown So you practice xir new pronouns Loud and clear when you’re alone This is my friend, xir name’s Mackenzie Xie xirself is a friend of mine. I’m so glad to be a friend of xirs Both xie and I are fine. All you need is practice And you'll get it in the end And surely that is worth it If you want to be a friend

credits

released September 3, 2021

Lyrics, music (except parodies), lead vocals, ukuleles, and kazoo by Stevonnie Ross
Flute on “Hey, Adora” by Anna Bartenstein
Guitar on “The Horse Is a Pain” by Stephen Webber
Cello and all remaining instruments by Aubrey Turner
Additional vocals by the Doubleclicks
Produced by the Doubleclicks
Mixed, arranged, and engineered by Aubrey Turner
Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio Mastering
Cover art by CR Ross

Thanks to Aaron Wilson for arrangement ideas on "The Pronouns Song"


The Marian Call song "Independence" has a line that goes "You cannot raise a barn alone," which I initially misheard as "You cannot raise a bard alone." And I feel like both statements are true? I acknowledge dozens of people in the booklet that comes with the album, and that's not even close to a complete list. Thank you all!

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Sunday Comes Afterwards Jersey City, New Jersey

Stevonnie Ross (they/them) is yet another geeky, ukulele-playing, folk/pop singer/songwriter.

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