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Parker The Platypus

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Cover art illustrations by Sami Melillo.
Cover photo by Michael Keel.

As silly as this sounds, the biggest thanks has to go to Parker himself!! I know that Parker has existed since the dawn of time, and I am thankful that he came to me in the form of a song, and chose me to bring him to life.

To Sami. When I thought my dream of breathing life to Parker in book form would be dashed on the rocks before it even started, you revealed your passion and talent for drawing. Your independent design of the cover for the first Parker book was all the proof I needed that you were the absolutely best illustrator for Parker. No one can ever take your place as the illustrator for the series, but I hope that someone will allow me to continue creating books from the remaining songs on this album. Thank you also for all your great story ideas. I hope I've done them justice!

To my Mom. You always said you supported the books not because your son wrote them, or because your granddaughter illustrated them, but because they were really good!! I think the books being created by your descendants helped that decision a bit, but thank you for all the work you've done in spreading the messages of the books as far as you did!

To Tommie "Sox" Panazzolo. When it seemed like the universe was conspiring against me to prevent me from finishing the album, you went above and beyond in helping me complete it in a decent amount of time!! We didn't make the Christmas shopping time, but that's a minor point compared to the help you gave me!!

To The Wicked Monk. Back in the MySpace days, you rose in droves to praise the first Parker song. You showed me that Parker, and his positive message have a universal appeal, making it a greater set of songs and books for adults and children alike!!

To all of Parker's fans. You all share my confidence that, once news of Parker reaches a large enough audience, he and his message will have a great positive effect on the world. Thank you all who have helped me in one way or another to try and make that happen!!

Finally, as always, to Janie Barnett, who not only helped me write almost all the songs, but whose help in recording all the songs was immeasurable!! Thanks for helping me get the album out the door!!

If you haven't been covered by any of the "thank-yous" above, thank you for listening to this album. However you got it, and whatever you paid for it, thank you for coming along on what Janie refers to as "The Parker Adventure"!!

All lyrics, vocals, and harmonica by Joe Melillo.

TRACK LIST

  1. Parker The Platypus
  2. Parker Helps Hubert The Hippopotamus
  3. Parker Coaches Caitlin The Cat
  4. Parker Befriends Bertram The Bat
  5. Parker Dictates With Delilah The Dalmatian
  6. Parker Bikes With Brian the Brown Bear
  7. Parker Finds A Family For Fernando the Dodo
  8. Parker Tames Tiberius The Tiger
  9. Parker Aids Aloysius the Alligator
  10. Parker Cheers For Chelsea The Chipmunk
  11. Parker Encounters Extraterrestrials
  12. Parker Concocts A Compromise
  13. A Boulder Buries Parker's Burrow

PARKER THE PLATYPUS

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Laughing Buddha Studios
Janie Barnett:
keyboard

This song has existed since the beginning of time. I am honored that it chose me to give it form. When it first tapped me on the shoulder, I couldn't figure out why no one had written ANYTHING (song, story, fortune cookie fortune) about a platypus not fitting into the animal kingdom, and using it to relate to people who don't feel like they fit in to whatever it is they're supposed to fit? It was so clear to me that the writing process for this song was the easiest one I'd ever experienced, to this day!! I knew immediately it would be a children's book, and I am so very proud of my illustrator, my niece Sami Melillo, for wanting to be part of the creative team to create the book! It has certainly been my greatest artistic achievement ever, and I thank everyone who has supported Parker from the day he first tapped me on the shoulder.

LYRICS:
In the days when animals ruled the world
There lived a platypus named Parker
He had no friends with whom to play
During the day, or when it got darker

You see, a platypus is a funny sort
With a body and tail like a beaver
But it has a bill and webbed feet like a duck
You'd think it came from a dreamweaver

Parker had tried to make some friends
By going to visit the ducks
But try as he might to win them over
Parker had no such luck

"I was hatched from an egg," he'd say to them
"And I can swim just like all of you!"
"But you have no feathers or wings," they'd reply
"And can't fly up in the sky of blue!"

Parker then visited the beavers
Still hoping to find a few friends
"Look at my flat tail and fur," he said
"True," said the beavers, "but that's where it ends!"

"You have a weird bill on the front of your face!
That's no good for building a dam!
You need claws and teeth for chopping down trees!
You're no help! Go on and scram!"

So Parker walked along by himself
Trying to hold back his tears
He thought about never having a friend
When he heard loud screams of fear

A hungry tiger had wandered along
And caught a beaver and a duck
He was just about to eat them for lunch
But that's when Parker struck

He used the barb on the back of his foot
To cause the tiger great pain
He let them go and he ran away
And he never came back again

Parker soon had a ton of friends
And they played lots of different games
For they all learned that appearance means nothing
We're all animals just the same
Sing it again!
We're all animals just the same
One more time!
We're all animals just the same

PARKER HELPS HUBERT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS

music by Joe Melillo
recorded at Empire State Studios
Joe Melillo:
keyboard
Tommie "Sox" Panazzolo: bass, drum machine

Upon the success of Parker The Platypus, I knew the book had to be a series. This was the first song in the series that was centered around an animal that wasn't Parker. I used other animals to help kids deal with problems they might be experencing, especially problems with trying to fit in. It wasn't until I wrote about six or seven Parker songs that I realized that these were problems that *I* dealt with as a child! The book Parker Helps Hubert The Hippopotamus is ALSO now available for purchase!

LYRICS:
Hey, what's up? My name is Hubert,
And I'm a hippopotamus!
Let me tell you why I like being me,
Even though my size is plus!

You see, because I'm really chunky,
I was teased by everyone!
They call me Fatty, Chubby, and Tub Of Lard,
But their favorite was Two Tons Of Fun!

I mean, I'd always exercise,
And always try to eat right,
But, no matter what I did,
It would never make me light!

One day, I was crying in the gym,
Wondering why they had to be rude!
I was bawling like a mighty river,
When in walked in this strange dude!

He had a duck bill, but a flat hairy tail!
I didn't know what he was!
I talked to him, and I found out
That he was a platypus!

"My name's Parker," the strange guy said,
"Tell me why you look so sad!"
"No one likes me because I'm fat!
It really, really makes me mad!"

"Well, you're in the gym, so you're very healthy!
That could be a problem when you're big!
But you're OK, so it shouldn't matter
What people think of you, you dig?"

"My friends and I are playing frisbee
This afternoon in the park.
Why don't you come and join us?
It might be a real lark!"

"People used to make fun of me,
But now they see I'm really neat!
They'll see the same about you,
If you stand firm on your own four feet!"

So I met eight of Parker's friends,
And I threw it farther than all nine!
I also jumped highest to catch the frisbee!
We really had an awesome time!!

So now I have a lot of friends,
Thanks to Parker The Platypus,
And you can see why I'm proud
To be Hubert The Hippopotamus!

PARKER COACHES CAITLIN THE CAT

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

As much as I loved swimming pools when i was a kid, I was afraid to go into the deep end. It took me a long time to get up the nerve to learn how to swim. Nowadays, we've learned that babies should learn how to swim soon after birth, since we spend our gestation in liquid. Sami took swimming lessons very early. I imagine, though, that not every baby will have that opportunity, so, just in case there are any children out there who experience the same fear of drowning, we make use of a cat, because of the stereotype that cats hate water.

LYRICS:
Dmitri The Dolphin
Taught at Swimming School.
All his students were anxious
To jump right into the pool.

All except poor Caitlin.
Because she was a cat,
She hated the water,
So she wouldn't do that.

Dmitri decided
That Caitlin needed a coach
To help her get in the pool,
Or at least approach.

He searched high and low
For someone who could aid
In getting Caitlin to
Get in the pool and wade.

Then he found our friend Parker.
He was a platypus.
He was a good swimmer,
And surely friendly enough.

"Come, Caitlin," he told her,
"Sit on the edge of the pool,
And come put your paws in!
It'll feel real cool!"

So Caitlin came closer,
And sat next to Parker.
She tried to get her paws wet,
And found it didn't harm her.

So Parker jumped in and
Floated on his back.
"See? It's very hard to drown
If you don't have a panic attack!"

"As long as you stay calm,
The water will help hold you up!
Then you push water behind you
By moving your arms like a pump!"

So Caitlin tried the lesson
While Parker held her waist,
And she had so much fun,
She wanted to do more with haste.

Soon Caitlin learned how to swim,
And Dmitri said "you did well!
You're easily the most improved,"
But Caitlin had to tell.

"I would never have learned how
Without Parker helping me!"
Parker said, "No! You taught yourself!
I just helped you become free

From your great fear of drowning!
After that, everything was cool!"
Then the whole class jumped in and
Played water polo in the pool!

PARKER BEFRIENDS BERTRAM THE BAT

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

Another new animal friend. Another problem Parker will help him overcome. The things that are different are a) I REALLY like the melody Janie and I came up with, and b) I'm pretty sure it's the only children's song in history to make use of the word "stalactite".

LYRICS:
Bertram The Bat was really, really smart,
But he couldn't see too well.
His vision was so bad that he couldn't tell
What the stores were trying to sell.

He finally had to go see Doctor Dachshund,
Who took a good, hard look at his eyes.
"Your problem is easily fixed with glasses,"
Doctor Dachshund said, to Bertram's surprise.

Bertram didn't want to wear his glasses.
He thought they made him look ugly,
And everyone else would make fun of him.
He'd almost rather not be able to see.

But he decided to wear them
After the third time he bumped into a rock.
He met all his friends out by the cave,
And what they saw on his face gave them shock!

They called him "Four Eyes" and "Soda Bottles"
And lots of other different names.
And, for fear of his glasses falling off,
They wouldn't let him join in the games.

"We're going exploring in the cave,
But don't you come with us!
Because we're afraid that you're so blind,
That you'll only get us lost!"

The only one who didn't make fun
Was Parker The Platypus.
He knew what it was like to be left out,
So he said, "Go in the cave, if you must!"

"I'm going to stay out here with Bertram,
And we're going to play Go Fish!
The cave seems too dark to go exploring,
But you can go ahead, if you wish!"

So the other animals went into the cave,
But it got so very dark.
They were leaving pebbles to find their way out,
But they couldn't see their marks.

They finally realized that there was no way
That they could find their way out.
They were all getting so afraid,
So they began to shout!

"Help us! We're lost! We can't get out!
Please come! We need to be saved!"
Bertram heard them, dropped his cards,
And flew right into the cave.

He used his sonar to find his way
Around the stalactites.
He found the others, and led them out,
And soon, everyone was all right!

"You see," Parker said, "everyone has things
In which they're not very able,
But they have other awesome skills!
So don't give anyone labels!"

Everyone had a good time playing cards,
But that's not where the story ends!
Bertram turned and whispered to Parker,
"Thanks for being a great friend!" (x3)

PARKER DICTATES WITH DELILAH THE DALMATIAN

concept by Mary Luisi
music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

My friend Mary owns a stuffed dalmatian whom she named Delilah. She wanted to jump on to the Parker bandwagon, and asked me to write a song featuring Parker and Delilah. Of course, the first question out of my mouth, honestly thinking that Mary had no ready answer, was "What's Delilah's issue?" However, to my surprise, Mary was in fact ready with an answer: "She has a speech impediment." I thought this was a GREAT subject to discuss with children, so it was a done deal. Janie loved the way the song turned out so much that she successfully encouraged me to make it a last-minute inclusion on the album!

LYRICS:
Delilah the Dalmatian
Love to tell good jokes.
All the animals would laugh,
But because of the way she spoke.

See, Delilah had a big tongue
Which she used to give a big dog kiss,
But the bad thing about it
Was that it also gave her a lisp.

A lisp is a speech impediment
Where, when you try to say an "S",
It sounds just like a "TH",
And your words come out a mess.

Delilah told a joke to the other animals,
Or at least she tried:
"Why did the chicken croth the road?
To get to the other thide!!"

The animals started to laugh,
So Delilah thought that maybe
They liked the joke, but the animals said:
"You sound just like a baby!!"

Delilah ran away crying,
Desperately wanting to hide,
Until she almost hit Parker The Platypus,
Causing him to jump aside.

"Why are you running?" asked Parker,
"The sky is so bright and sunny!!"
"I'm running away from the otherth," said Delilah,
"Becauthe they thay I thpeak funny!!"

"You speak differently," said Parker,
"but it's not that strange!
I can even understand everything you said
In our brief, quick exchange!!"

"But it's thtill not correct," said Delilah,
"An ETH doethn't thound that way!"
"So you need a speech therapist," said Parker,
To help you practice what you say!!"

Parker took Delilah
To see Professor Parrot.
He helped animals with pronunciation,
Because he talked a lot.

"A lisp is easy to correct,"
Said The Professor, inflating his lungs.
"We'll just give you a few exercises,
To show you where to put your tongue!"

Professor Parrot taught Delilah
How to hold her tongue inside her mouth.
When she first said an "S" correctly,
She felt extremely proud.

Parker practiced with her,
By having conversations,
Until Delilah had no more lisp,
And she felt great elation.

"I sssssinccccccerely thank you, Professor Parrot!
And you, Parker, assssssss well!!
My lissssssp is gone, and my ssssssspeech is great!!
And now everything is sssssssswell!!"

Delilah enjoyed orating,
And joined the speech team as a perk.
She learned that she could do anything
With only some hard work!!

PARKER BIKES WITH BRIAN THE BROWN BEAR

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

One of the many issues I dealt with as a child was that I was (and still am) a sub-par athlete. As a result, it took me longer than most kids to learn how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. i wanted to capture this for kids who might have the same troubles. the problem I was having is that, while people are familiar with GRACEFUL animals, the knowledge of which animals are CLUMSY isn't as common. I uncovered that the brown bear is notoriously clumsy. Once I had my animal, it was time to write the song!!

LYRICS:
Brian was a brown bear cub
Who had, on the back of his bike,
Training wheels to keep him up.
It was just the way he liked.

See, when Brian tried to ride two-wheelers,
He always seemed to fall.
He was too clumsy to pedal fast
And ride up straight and tall.

The other animals made fun of him
For not being able to ride
the way that they could pedal their bikes,
And Brian almost cried.

Parker The Platypus saw all that,
And went to help Brian.
He gave him some great advice:
"You have to keep on trying!"

"If you pedal fast enough,
The bike stays up on its own!
It's only your fear that makes you too nervous,
And that's why you fall down!"

Parker took the training wheels off,
And Brian pedaled fast,
While Parker held on to the side,
As lots of trees, they passed.

"This is fun," Brian said,
"But please just don't let go!"
"Actually," Parker answered back,
"I did five minutes ago!!"

Brian looked down and saw that he
Was riding on two wheels.
He got scared, and started to shake,
And then began to squeal.

"Don't get nervous!" Parker shouted,
"You won't fall if you just stay calm!"
Brian took a deep, deep breath,
But didn't call for his mom.

"I can do this!" he said, "I already did!
I just have to get past my fear!"
Brian focused on the road,
and, soon his house became near.

Brian made it all the way home,
And didn't stumble a bit!
"Thank you, Parker," Brian said,
"For showing me I could do it!!"

PARKER FINDS A FAMILY FOR FERNANDO THE DODO

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

I'm not sure where the idea of using "The Last Of The Dodos" to illustrate the issues some children might have with not having the traditional family structure, but I do remember wanting to incorporate my harmonica playing in one Parker song. 12-bar blues was a natural pattern to do that, but I didn't want too sad a vibe for the song, since it has a very happy ending!

LYRICS:
Oh it was a sunny morning,
In the middle of the month of May.
All the families were excited,
Because it was Family Day,
And all day all the families
Would dance and sing and play!!

Only one of the animals was sad!
It was Fernando The Dodo Bird!
People tried to cheer him up,
But there was no encouraging word
That could get him out of his funk,
Or, at least, none that he heard.

Parker had walked by,
And saw him sitting on a stone.
He knew something was wrong.
He could feel it in his bones,
Because a platypus knows better than anyone
What it's like to be alone.

"What's the matter?" Parker asked,
"Everyone is so happy!"
"That's because," Fernando said,
"They all have families!
But I'm the last of the dodos!
So all there is is me!!"

Parker took Fernando
To meet a lion pride.
"They no longer have a father
To stand by their side,
But they're still a family,
So they don't run and hide!"

Then Parker took Fernando
To meet a whale pod.
"There's just two of them," asked Fernando,
"Isn't that a little odd?"
"The whale and her grandma are still a family, right?"
Asked Parker, and the whales gave a nod.

Then Parker took Fernando
To an ocelot and a gnu.
They were standing with an antelope
and also a kangaroo.
"These animals are a family,", said Parker,
"Because, for each other, anything, they'd do!!

"A family can have two fathers!
It can also have three mothers!!
You don't have to have sisters!!
You don't have to have brothers!!
All that matters in a family
Is that you're loved by others!!"

Then Parker took Fernando
To the big redwood tree.
Fernando's opened his eyes wide,
He couldn't believe what he'd seen!!
Everyone celebrating Family Day
Wanted him to join their family!!

"Thank you, everyone," said Fernando,
"This is really great news!
But you're all my family,
So I can't really choose!
So I guess I have the biggest family of all!!
Now there's NO way I can lose!!"

"See, it doesn't matter," said Parker,
"Who a family is made up of!
You can have a hawk on one end,
And, on the other end, a dove!
The only thing that's important
Is that a family has lots of love!!"
The only thing that's important
Is that a family has lots of love!!"

PARKER TAMES TIBERIUS THE TIGER

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

When Sami came up with this story, all she showed me was a title: Parker And The Tiger's Revenge. Of course, I had to make the title alliterative, but admittedly, I wasn't anxious to write a rematch between Parker and the tiger from the first song/book. It was then that she explained to me that Parker and the tiger become friends. Everything else fell into place!!

LYRICS:
Parker The Platypus was playing ball
During a picnic before the fall.
The weather was great,
And it was something fun to do.

Balthazar The Beaver
And Dylan The Duck were eager
To eat their salads
When the ball game was through.

But soon they saw four clawed feet,
And, before they could start to eat,
They saw a tiger
Licking his lips and chops!

"I just want the platypus," he said,
"For turning my foot a painful red
Last time I was hungry,
And he made me stop!"

Parker yelled, "You were eating my friends!
Now if you want to try again,
Then I'll stop you
Just like I did before!"

"But there's no reason for us to fight!
Instead of eating us, come and take a bite
Of this delicious salad!
Now THIS will make you roar!!"

The tiger was saying in his mind,
"To me, no one's ever been kind!
Because, to stay alive,
Other animals I had to eat!"

"But now it looks like I may not!
That's looks like a great salad they've got!
So let me try it!
Maybe it can't be beat!"

The tiger took a bit bite of the greens,
And he said, "This salad is really keen!!"
Parker turned
And asked him, "What's your name?"

The tiger said, "My name's Tiberius!"
"Well understand," Parker said, "that I'm serious!
Won't you be our friend,
Now that your nice and tame?"

"It would be my honor!" Tiberius roared,
"Now, before I came, what was the score?
How about we start
A new game of ball?"

Everyone got excited to play
On that wonderful sunny day!
And a good time
Was had by one and all!!

PARKER AIDS ALOYSIUS THE ALLIGATOR

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

This was about as simple a way to get a song idea as there is. I was walking to the dentist for a checkup, and it occurred to me that Parker could help children deal with the very common fear of visiting the dentist. I'm almost ashamed that it took me this long to come up with this concept!!

LYRICS:
Once there was an alligator.
His name was Aloysius.
He tried to eat evrything in sight
because it was all so delicious!

One day Aloysius was hungry,
So he went walking through the woods
Looking for some nuts or berries,
Or any other kinds of foods.

Then what appeared before his eyes
But a delicious tree?
Aloysius grinned from ear to ear
And said, "That looks good to me!!"

So he sunk his teeth into the trunk,
And, when he did, he almost cried!
He couldn't bite into that tree,
Because it was petrified!!

Aloysius ran and looked
At his reflection in the lake,
And he saw that, in one of his teeth,
There was a nasty break!!

Aloysius didn't know
How to stop the pain!
So he ran out to the playground
To seek advice from his friends.

"Isn't it obvious?" they said to him,
"Or have you lost your senses?
Everyone knows to get your teeth fixed,
You have to go see the dentist!!"

"Oh no!!" screamed Aloysius,
Overcome with fear!
"They have pliers and scrapers and drills
And needles out to here!!"

When they heard this, the other animals
started shaking in their knees!
They were also afraid of the dentist,
Until someone put them all at ease.

Parker The Platypus said to them,
"When I was baby, I also bit a stone!
So Doctor Dachshund pulled my tooth,
And them my pain was gone!"

"All those tools he has are used
To stop your teeth from hurting!
And if you don't go see him,
Your pain will only worsen!!

So Parker sat with Aloysius
While he lay in the dentist's chair.
"The tooth is damaged," said Doctor Dachshund,
"So we have to pull it out of there!!"

Aloysius started to shiver
When the Doctor stuck a needle in his gums.
But he soon found out it didn't hurt.
In fact, he felt nothing but numb.

"See, we put some medicine in your mouth.
We call it procaine.
It lets me work to fix your mouth
Without you feeling pain!"

So Doctor Dachshund pulled the tooth,
And left a gap in Aloysius' smile.
"That was a baby tooth," the doctor said,
"So the adult tooth will replace it in a while!"

Aloysius' pain was gone,
And his tooth would grow back, too!
He also learned not to bite off
More than he could chew!!

PARKER CHEERS FOR CHELSEA THE CHIPMUNK

concept by Sami Melillo
music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

Now that she's 16, Sami is fully grown at 4'8". Her height hasn't hindered her ability to make friends, mainly because her winning personality can overcome all. So I was surprised when Sami first presented this story idea to me (with "Connie The Chipmunk", which needed to be changed to make it truly alliterative). Even though I've never known her to be interested in basketball, it was clear that she was taking a page from her Uncle Joe, and turning her own experiences with insecurity into a Parker song. She originally had Parker joining the team with Connie, but Parker is much better support cheering from the stands as a fan! After all the tweaks, this is the result!!

LYRICS:
Basketball ruled the animal world,
Especially among the girls.
They'd run and jump up and down the court,
And none of them were close to short.

Chelsea The Chipmunk liked to see
Gioia The Giraffe and Eleanor The
Elephant play basketball
Because they and the whole team were very tall.

Chelsea wanted an autograph,
But was afraid that they would laugh
At a short girl who wanted them
To sign their name with a felt-tip pen.

Chelsea shook like a leaf on a tree,
And paced the floor so nervously!
She just didn't have the guts,
Then along came Parker the Platypus.

"Why are you so scared?" he said,
"What kind of thoughts are in your head?"
Chelsea said, "I'm so short, and they're so tall!
They won't even notice me at all!"

"So what?", Parker said, "they like all their fans!
They love it when you clap your hands!"
Chelsea said, "Yes, that's surely true,
But I'd like to play basketball too!!"

"I can jump up to the sky!
And when I shoot, I have an accurate eye!
I can also run real quick!
And I even know a few basketball tricks!"

Parker said, "You need to try out for the team!"
But that only caused Chelsea to scream,
"No! They won't take me because I'm petite!
They won't think there's anyone I can beat!"

"So what have you lost?" Parker inquired.
"If you do manage to get inspired
To try out, and don't make the line,
Then you're in the same place you are at this time!"

"If you try out, you might make the team.
Then, with joy, you'd certainly beam!
But, then again, you definitely will not.
If you don't show them what you've got!"

Chelsea decided to give it a run.
So Coach Cow had her play Gioia one-on-one.
If Chelsea beat her, The Coach might give her the nod,
And go and put Chelsea on the squad.

Chelsea tried her very best,
She never stopped to take a rest.
Parker cheered as Chelsea tied the score.
But Gioia ended up winning five to four.

Chelsea was proud of how she played!
The pride she felt would not fade!
Chelsea was leaving, but, before she lost her,
Coach Cow told her, "You're on the roster!"

"You have great speed and agility!
We can use someone with your ability!
But, more important than my evaluation,
Is the way you play with great determination!"

Chelsea loved shooting hoops,
With her teammates in the basketball troupe!
And, one day, her pride increased by half
When she signed her first autograph!!

Parker said to Chelsea, "Now you're a star!
In the sports world, you'll go very far!
But remember, your dreams could have died,
If you had never simply tried!"

PARKER ENCOUNTERS EXTRATERRESTRIALS

concept by Sami Melillo music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

While I was designing the cover for the album, I was looking for sketches of some of the characters Sami did that didn't make it into a book yet. I found sketches of a boy and girl alien, which reminded me of the story idea she had of Parker getting visited by aliens. She didn't have much more of an idea than that, but it was obvious to me that the aliens would feel even more out of place than Parker did in his first song/book. So who better to help them get acclimated to Earth than Parker? His helpfulness extends FAR beyond our own planet!!

LYRICS:
Platypuses like the sun,
So Parker thought he'd go and get some.
He felt that he had it made,
When the sun was blocked by a big, dark shade!

There was flying, across the sky,
A big metal thing shaped like a pie.
Parker looked at all its girth,
And noticed it fell slowly to Earth!

Parker ran to where it hit,
And saw it wasn't scratched a bit!
There was a door. It opened wide,
And Parker couldn't see inside!

Outside came two strange creatures,
With even stranger features.
Parker heard inside his head
The creatures tell their story with dread.

"Won't you please help us here?
There's something wrong with our ship's gear!
I am Alistair, and this is Alice,
And I promise you, we mean you no malice!

Back on our planet, our folks are scared
And, at dinnertime, we should be there!
We know we must look strange to you,
But is there anything you can do?"

Parker thought, "I been told once or twice
That I look strange, but you seem nice!
If you were mean, then I would see,
Because you use telepathy

To communicate, so I would find
Lies and mean thoughts in your mind!
Now I can't help you with your repairs,
But I know someone who has the right wares!"

Parker and the visitors went to see
Owen The Owl in his tree.
Owen was very smart,
And he also had a big heart.

Inside the ship, he had a look,
And then consulted with his book.
"I've never seen such a complex maze,
So this may take a couple of days!"

Parker thought, "Owen's word is surely good,
So let me show you around the woods!!
I'll introduce you to all my friends,
While, to your ship, Owen will attend!"

The three new friends had lots of fun,
Hanging out with everyone!
They'd run and jump and play and sing,
And the aliens enjoyed everything!!

The next day Owen's work was done,
And the ship was ready to take them home!
They thanked Owen and Parker,
And were ready to take off for the stars!

"Come and visit us again!"
Thought Parker to the aliens.
Alice thought, "Alistair and I
Would love to come see you guys!"

Alistair thought, "When you hear us in your brains
Then you'll know we're coming back again!"
The four thought one last good-bye,
And the ship rose up to the sky!!

PARKER CONCOCTS A COMPROMISE

music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

This was the second Parker song I wrote. I was trying to show how Parker, living in between animal kingdoms, was able to bring different groups of animals to a common goal. I'm not even sure how the disagreement in the song came to me, or the solution, but i think it illustrates the point well.

LYRICS:
One day Parker The Platypus
Was walking through the forest
When he started to hear some shouting
That became very uproarious

Parker ran to the river
And what he saw gave him fright
His friends Bruno The Beaver
And Daria the Duck were in a fight

"Why are you fighting?" Parker asked.
"Whatever could be wrong?"
"Wait'll you hear this!" Bruno said,
"But get ready, because this story's long!"

"Whenever it rains, the river overflows!
And it floods our homes!
We're building a dam to block off the water
So we'll stay dry as a bone!"

"I agree that's a problem" said Daria
"But we ducks like to swim down there!
Now my ducklings and I can't enjoy the sights!
I tell you, Parker, it's not fair!"

"Yes, that's too bad," said Bruno.
"But beavers like to stay dry!!"
"I know," said Daria, "but ducks like to swim!"
"They get too tired when all they do is fly!"

The argument started up again.
And Parker covered his ears!
He wished that his friends wouldn't fight,
And it almost brought him to tears.

Suddenly, Parker had an idea!
On how his two friends could compromise!
The ducks could swim down the river,
And the beavers would stay dry!

"Why can't you build a gate in the dam?
It could stay open on a sunny day,
but it would be closed when it rained!
Now you can both have your way!!"

"The ducks don't want to swim in the rain,
so they won't care if the river's not there!
And, when the sun's out, the beavers won't get wet
Now, for everyone, this should be fair!"

Bruno and Daria both agreed
And they gave Parker a prize!
"Three cheers for Parker", they both shouted,
"And his great compromise!!"

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

A BOULDER BURIES PARKER'S BURROW

concept by Sami Melillo music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett
recorded at Empire State Studios
track composed on Band In A Box

Sami originally came up with the concept that humans would kidnap Parker as a pet, and the other animals would rescue him. I have a strict policy that, since it was established in the first line of the first Parker song that the songs took place "in the days when animals ruled the world", there would be no humans in any of the songs. However, as always, Sami presented a quality core to the story: with all the help Parker gave the other animals, it was time for them to give him hep when he needed it. It's the idea behind one of the greatest movies of all time: It's A Wonderful Life. Instead of giving Parker another living enemy, I made Mother Nature the "villain" of the story. One learns whom one's true friends are when one needs a place to stay. Luckily, Parker has amassed a LOT of friends over the course of all these songs!!

LYRICS:
All the animals were in their homes,
Looking out their window
At the storm that hit the forest,
Listening to the wind blow.

Parker The Platypus saw lightning,
Then he heard the thunder,
But the thunder kept getting louder
And he began to wonder.

He looked up at the mountain
And saw a boulder rolling down!
There was no way he could stop it
From burying his home!

Parker ran through a long tunnel,
And got out in a jiff,
But the boulder buried his burrow,
So he had nowhere to live.

Bertram The Bat was his neighbor,
And invited him to his cave.
Parker cried as he tried to sleep
Happy he was dry and safe.

The sun came out the next day,
And all the animals gathered 'round.
They all were happy to see
That everyone was safe and sound!

But when they learned Parker's burrow was buried,
Everyone offered their place!
But Parker was too embarrassed
And got flush in the face.

"Thank you all," said Parker,
"but I don't want to intrude."
"But with all the help you've given us,
To not offer would just be rude!"

"Right now you need some help,
Which you've given to us in spades.
So what's the problem if you stay with us,
Even if it's for many days?"

Along came Bruno and Balthazar,
And the beavers told Parker to follow.
They led him back to where his burrow was,
Down in the hollow.

Parker was surprised to find
A new burrow made of wood.
And a bridge that ran over it,
So no other boulders could

Crush Parker's home ever again!
Inside was a bunch of gifts
Given to him by the other animals
For Parker's new place to live!

"You taught us all about friendship," said the beavers,
"Now it's time for your reward!
No one who's been as kind as you
Should go without room and board!"

Parker threw a huge party,
And his planning was very thorough!
He was very happy to thank everyone
For building him a new burrow!!

ą
Joe Melillo,
Feb 8, 2015, 2:01 PM
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