(Lyrics by Neal Frederiksen)

We’re four short guys. We harmonize.

The notes we sang, the chords we rang, the Gas House Gang.
To sing a few, old songs or new, it’s what we do!
With great composers
(Mozart for one.)
For concert closers,
(He can be fun.)
Like Mister Beethoven!

He wrote this tune.
It’s not too slow, and now you know, we liked it so, it’s in our show.
And it’s in C, the minor key, no royalty, so it was free.
We love its passion ‘cause in our fashion
We try to sing with lots of inspiration, fervor and determination
(Though it’s just an avocation);
Parodies or ballads or that famous “Dixie Band”
And there are songs like “Allelu”, “Bright Was The Night”,
And “My Old Man”.
Plus all those songs that when we started
Weren’t exactly what we’d planned,
And yet we sing…them.

Because we’re such good friends,
And we always get along well,
(We get along.)
For we want to sing each song well,
(Sing every song.)
‘Cause we’ve never played ping-pong well.
(Don’t play ping-pong.)
With odd lyrics quite linguistic,
(We never missed.)
Our arrangements are stylistic.
(That is the gist.)
Make our singing synergistic.
(It’s not a sin; Don’t kick us please!)
Please don’t say that’s euphemistic;
(We sing for you with attitude)
You’d complain simplistically.

Then you would miss the clever writing
That makes barbershop exciting and inviting to the ear.
You’d really have some difficulty catching all of our arrangements,
Pretty, witty, cute, or biting, for delighting all who hear,
And that’s not all, we all recall Carnegie Hall, we had a ball.
We had some fun the year we won,
And we’re not done, we’ve just begun,
And we won’t stop…our barbershop…until we drop!

We’ve been a-round and we have found:

We don’t agree on comedy or on our fee internally.
And where we stay when we’re away
Can cause a fray most any day.
Rick hates a motel,
(No, they really smell!)
He wants a hotel,
(They’re really swell!)
And Robby likes a bed-and-breakfast, Jim prefers to drive all night
Because your snoring…
(Not when I sing!)
It shakes the flooring!
(It’s not my thing.)
And don’t forget the time that Kipp forgot his Arid Extra Dry.
(We still don’t know why.)
‘Cause it was like he forgot to wash his socks,
And the time that Jim was late, we had to wait.
We got to hate the airport gate.
We had a date, some other state
Now it’s too late to remonstrate.
Oh, cursed fate!
And now we’re tense and irritated…
(And now we’re tense, we’re hostile,
Angry, and belligerent instead!)
And we’re frustrated!
(And we are thinking that we’ll
Quit while we’re ahead!)

A pretty pass…

Bet you’re asking if we are gonna just retire.
That would be a cop-out for sure! Say amen!
But we still have the fire,
And we still want the thrills of our tour now and then

In spite of long drives, cheap dives,
Road kills, phone bills,
Long flights, long nights,
And strain, pain, notes, throats, crude food,
Planes, trains, clothes, woes, sweat, debt,
Chills, bills, loud crowds, bright lights, “Gang” fights.
How ‘bout them afterglows!
Songs, throngs, shticks, kicks, jokes, chokes, smiles, miles
To every show and now we know we love it so, and even though
We gotta grow (sol la ti do) fast notes or slow, high notes or low,
Away we go!


Saint Louis, MO to Idaho, or Kokomo, Ontario,
(And then you know…)
San Francisco, Sacramento,
We’ve been to places,
(To east and west.)
We’ve seen new faces,
(You’d never guess…)
They seem to like it when…

…The tenor shows off his voice.

We’ve seen Paree, been to D.C. and to New Zealand,
To Germany, the Zuider Zee, and to Hawaii in the sand.
The land down under, it was a wonder,
With all those boomerangs and kangaroos
And wallabies and crocodiles,
The outback, aborigines, koalas, and the opera house
In Sydney sitting right there on the bay.
We were in Amsterdam, Vienna, Stockholm, Sweden, and L.A.
And Cincinnati where we made that video for PBS…Yes!

For we were on TV,
Not some tedious rehearsal,
(Not to rehearse.)
Or some really dumb commercial,
(What could be worse?)
Not some MTV Production,
(We’d have to duck.)
Or an ad for liposuction,
(What awful luck.)
Not a boring docu-drama all about the Dalai Lama.
It’s harmonic celebration!
(It really sells. It’s such a hit.)
It’s the music of our nation!
(We really love the songs we’ve got…live on and on.)
What an awesome compilation of America in song!

With lots of notes and rests and harmonies
And lines and staves and melodies
And sharps and flats and clefs.
With lots and lots of people singing
In their choirs and their choruses, ensemblies, duets, trios,
And their barbershop quartets.
So here we are and near or far, in rented car, we’re gonna star
And you know why we’re never shy,
Because each guy is gonna try
To hit each note Beethoven wrote…
And even then,
(Like Beethoven)
There’s other men,
(Or there have been.)
Remember when?
(Of course we can.)
We’ll start a-gain,
(We’ve got the yen.)
For there’s composers and arrangements
That we haven’t even started to rehearse.

It could be worse:

You know there’s symphonies and chamber music
That we haven’t barbershopped as yet,
To our regret.

Like good ol’ Tchaikovsky
(“Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, and “Nutcracker”)
Or there is Mussorgsky
(“Boris Godunov” or old “Prince Igor”)
There are Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov
And Mendelssohn and Glazunov,
Giuseppe Verdi and Puccini, Schubert, Chopin, and Rossini,
Handel, Haydn, Cherubini, Wagner, Debussy, Bellini,
Johann Strauss or Montovanni, Gershwin or that stupid Yanni!
And although we disagree on getting all our names in neon,
Costumes, travel, songs and venues,
New arrangements, restaurant menus, still…

When the tenors and the basses
Blend their voices, smiles on faces,
The result can be harmonic,
Often based upon the tonic. It’s somehow ironic that we…
Find the classics stimulating, each and every lung inflating. Wow!
Ludwig von Beethoven’s our favorite guy!
And we particularly like his mighty opus fifty-six.
It really kicks!

We hope that you enjoyed it too, for in our view, we do.
The classic score we do adore, when sung by four! What’s more…

The Gas House Gang…

We’re glad we sang!

No matter where we’ve been, we’d love to sing again!


Lyrics submitted by lwbaum

Beethoven 5.1 song meanings
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    General CommentThe Gas House Gang was a barbershop quartet. They sang this song to the tune of Beethoven's Symphony number 5, movement 1, hence the title.
    lwbaumon January 18, 2016   Link

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