1 Step Toward 1000 Miles


Cover art photos by Mark "Foto-Mark" Engel.

The thanks I owe for this album (the format this is recorded on doesn't matter to me, it's still an album) can probably be summed up by Track 12: For All Of This And More. However, I'll do my best to thank specific people:

To my Mom. If I blew off college to start a musical career, you would've been extremely disappointed. For that reason, your support of the pursuit of my art has been surprisingly encouraging. I'm proud to have you not only as my Mom, but as my fan!

To my niece Sami. When I thought I had written everything I could write after my first real song, you were my inspriration for other songs. They say you should write about what you love most, and that's exactly what I did. Thank you for loving "Tree To The Sky". It was proof to me that I could reach all age groups. Also, thank you for being blessed with the gifts that you've been granted. Of course, without you, there would be no Parker The Platypus book series.

To Tommie "Sox" Panazzolo. If I wasn't blessed with someone with your talent living right next door to me, this album could not exist. If this album sparks a world tour for me, you will still be my engineer of choice!!

To my fans. I call you that, because that's how recording artists are supposed to refer to you. In reality, however, each and every one of you is my friend, and many of you are my family, whether by blood or by spirit. None of this would be possible if you didn't keep supporting me in my endeavors to shine.

Finally, to Janie Barnett. When I was first looking for a vocal coach, you turned up closest to my office in The Yellow Pages. How blessed I have been for that to be the case. I would have never attempted to write a song until you made me try. Thank you for turning me from what a radio talk show host referred to as a "neighborhood singer" (and not in a very flattering way) to a full-fledged artist!

Finally, 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 taking a chance on me!

All lyrics, vocals, and harmonica by Joe Melillo.


  1. Exit

  2. The Toughest Around

  3. Bad Guy

  4. Back To Brooklyn

  5. Ring To Ring

  6. Music Is My Life

  7. Percy

  8. Cancun

  9. The Friend Zone

  10. Green Beer

  11. Grandma

  12. For All Of This And More

  13. Tree To The Sky

  14. Parker The Platypus

  15. Rhymin' Fool

  16. Parker Helps Hubert The Hippopotamus

  17. Hagop Hagopian

  18. Parker Befriends Bertram The Bat

  19. Off To Dreamland


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

Joe Melillo: tambourine

I came across a contest that was looking for the next great driving song. So I wrote one, but couldn't record it in time to enter the contest. Soon the next driving song contest came about, and I wasn't gonna miss this one! So I figured out how to get Janie's instrument tracks (recorded in her studio in Midtown Manhattan) over to Empire State Studios (literally next door to my house), and I recorded the song! I entered the contest, and, thanks to my awesome fans, I ended up fifth in the voting out of a field of about forty!


The 9 to 5 grind is wearin' thin

When the weekend comes I gotta get rollin'

I can't stay cooped up no more

What the hell is life worth livin' for?


Just give me four wheels and a smooth open road

I'll hit the gas pedal and won't carry no load

I'll go anywhere that I see fit

Don't even let me see no exit

I don't even care where I end up

As long as my gas tank stays filled up

I ain't lookin' to have no race

Just wanna feel the wind in my face


Nothin' makes me feel more alive

Then gettin' in my car and takin' a drive

With tall green trees and a bright blue sky

I ain't never gonna wanna fly

I don't never feel more free

Thank cruisin' down Route 63

I don't know no better way

To get across The USA!



music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: keyboard

I tried my hand at writing blues. I thought about writing one of those songs that seems to be about one thing, but is really about another. A guy bragging about his toughness, but then admitting that there's one person in his life around whom he's an ol' softy. They enjoyed this song at the Brooklyn Harmonica Club!


I would fight off a hundred men if they tried to take my dime

I would march through Central Park at night if it meant that I'd save time

I would crawl through the desert at high noon with no water in my canteen

I'd face down a junkyard mongrel, and show him what it means to be mean


'Cause I'm the toughest around, baby

I'm the toughest around, it's true

But when I look into your eyes, baby

I ain't tough when it comes to you

I would chew on broken glass if that's all there was to eat

I would walk across burning hot coals with only my bare feet

I would look a gunman in the eye and tell him to shoot

And after I shrug off the bullet, I would feed him my boot


I would hold a lightnin' rod in the middle of a thunderstorm

I'd pick the glass out of my teeth with a rusty nail, as the norm

I would wrestle a grizzly bear and an alligator two-on-one

I'd take a bath in molten lava, just for fun


Yeah, I'm the toughest around, baby

But I ain't tough when it comes to you


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: piano

I don't remember what inspired me to write a social commentary song about our society being attracted to criminals, but I'm glad I did! It's the most haunting song I've ever written, and I hope will have the influence to change the direction of the entertainment industry. I'm a self- admitted Sopranos fan, but genuinely have no love for Ice-T.....


David Berkowitz was told by a dog

To go out and kill

He was called The .44 Caliber Killer

And Son Of Sam as well

Silas read about him in the headlines

And felt the city's fear

He emulated his idol's murders

And is now serving twenty years


Why do we admire the bad guy?

Why do we think of him with revere?

When we have so many heroes,

Why does the bad guy get the cheers?

Jeffrey Dahmer was a necrophiliac

And also a cannibal

He was like that guy in the movies

The one called Hannibal

Jonas read about him in the headlines

And loved the freedom he enjoyed

He also ate his victims

But paid for the lives he destroyed


The bad guy defies authority

And does what he wants to do

This is the appeal of crime

This fact is nothing new

But why do we try to duplicate

The things the bad guy wants to do?

Luigi loved gangster stories

Because of their immense power

The Corleones and The Sopranos

Lived in an ivory tower

He got to know one of Gotti's men

And tried to join the mob

He'd rather run from the law and serve jail time

Than land an honest job


Ice-T wrote a song about killing cops

Now he plays one on TV

Byron got the message

And went on a killing spree

An off-duty cop tried to bring him in

But he got shot in the head

Byron was finally brought to justice

And the jury declared him dead



music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

Joe Melillo: tambourine

This is the true story of a boy taken out of his comfort zone in a bustling metropolis, and brought to a land of horror known as..... SUBURBIA!!! Everything in this song happened to me, and I just thought it was a great story, and a great testament to my home town that someone actually decided to return there from the surrounding suburban areas, that I had to write about it.


I grew up in Bensonhurst

Near 18th Avenue on 68th Street

It's fair to say that we struggled

We didn't always know how we were gonna eat

My grandparents didn't trust the bank

They had a mattress full of twenties, tens, and fives

They left it to my Mom when they passed away

So she used it to improve our lives

We couldn't afford a house in town

So we moved to another state

They liked the peace and quiet, the grass and the trees

But I didn't think it was that great


So I'm goin' back, where the sidewalk's cracked

Yeah I'm goin' back to Brooklyn

I'm goin' back 'neath the subway tracks

Yeah, I'm goin' back to Brooklyn

I wanna be able to walk to the store

To do anything I want to and more

So I'm goin' back, 'cause the suburbs lack

Yeah I'm goin' back to Brooklyn

I lived with my folks after college was done

And commuted to Manhattan for work

I had to put in all sorts of crazy hours

'Cause my boss was a total jerk

We had to drive from the bus stop to get to our house

And we only had one car

And I knew by takin' taxis home every night

That my money wouldn't go far

The last bus home was at 2am

But in New York, the bars close at four

My social life took a heavy hit

What was I doin' this all for?


So I got a new job, and a new apartment,

And I caught up on my sleep

The subway runs all night, and only runs two bucks

So my travel costs weren't so steep

Now I own my own home, and my life is great

I hope this feelin' never ends

I'm a big part of the Bay Ridge nightlife

And over time, I made of ton of friends

I'm watchin' lots of friends move out of town

As they settle down with spouses

They want to build a better life for themselves

So they go and buy suburban houses

And that's just fine if that's what you want

People think Brooklyn's on the wrong side of the tracks

But I did that move when I was younger

And I couldn't wait to get back!

So I'm glad I'm back, where the sidewalk's cracked

Yeah I'm glad I'm back in Brooklyn

I'm glad I'm back 'neath the subway tracks

Yeah, I'm glad I'm back in Brooklyn

I'm glad to be able to walk to the store

To do anything I want to and more

So I'm glad I'm back, 'cause the suburbs lack

Yeah I'm glad I'm back in Brooklyn

Yeah I'm glad I'm back in Brooklyn


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

I've been a professional wrestling fan for about thirty years now. When my father first introduced it to my brother and I, the first thing he told us was that "it's fake". I've educated myself on the industry (including a three-day training class which literally nearly killed me) to know that "fake" is way too simple a term to describe the performance art of professional wrestling. So deciding to write a song about it was easy. What was difficult was deciding on the slant that I ultimately took. Choosing this a a career is no easy choice, and the many, many young deaths of professional wrestlers that have made the mainstream news are a testament to that. My goal is not to chastise anyone involved with wrestling, but hopefully to relate to what goes on in their minds, and maybe provide a warning to avoid the same fate as so many of their colleagues.


My Mom named me Greg Evans

But I'm known as The Battle Ace

I wear a mask at work

But I'm the top babyface

I'm the current number-one contender

But soon I'll be the king

It's got to be your only goal

When you're working ring to ring

Last year I got a ruptured disk

Between vertebrae C4 and 5

I'm tryin' to avoid surgery

'Cause I know my career won't survive

I need to feed my family

So, to the arena, the fans I'll bring

You live life every day in pain

When you're living ring to ring

Next week we work in Mexico

The week after in Japan

Even though my family needs me at home

I'm workin' as hard as I can

We have a TV taping on Christmas

And a pay-per-view on Thanksgiving

I don't ever see the ones I'm working for

I'm slowly dying ring to ring

My back is makin' it hard to work

And my spirit is cryin' out

Alcohol gets me through the night

And painkillers through the bout

I watched a lot of colleagues die young

But I'm not worried 'bout anything

I'll have time to take care of myself

When I stop moving ring to ring

I'll have time to take care of myself

When I stop moving ring to ring


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

track composed on Band In A Box

I realized late in life how much of an influence music is in my life. I was into dancing pretty much since college, but singing came much later, and songwriting even much later than that. However, I've always had an affinity for remembering songs and lyrics, and now, combining it all, I can actually make people think I've heard a song before when I never have! I always knew, when I wrote this song, that it had to be a song in the style of '70s disco!



Music is my life, music is my life

It always helps me avoid all strife

Yeah, music is my life, music is my life

Sometimes it's my mistress, sometimes it's my wife

Music is mastered by very few

But is loved by everyone the world through

It doesn't matter what kind you dig

It's effect on the world is really big

A handful make enough money to live

By putting into music all they can give

The rest of us do other things to keep us fed

But music is what gets us out of bed


Music is different everywhere you go

But even if it sounds like nothin' you know

It all comes from the same place

And will always leave a look on your face

Sometimes it's happy, sometimes it's sad

Sometimes it's frightened, and sometimes it's mad

But you don't have to be good looking or smart

It makes you feel with your brain and think with your heart


Hey hey hey hey, na na na na

Do do do do, la la la la

Hey hey hey hey, na na na na

Do do do do, la la la la



music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Laughing Buddha Studios and Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: piano

Joe Melillo: shaker

The beginning of the story is from a philosophical moral dilemma called The Hines Dilemma, which I learned about in a freshman year college class called Moral Development. The story behind the dilemma doesn't have an ending, as what Hines should do and why is left to discussion. This was the inspiration for the inquisitive nature of the chorus. It occurred to me that, if Hines (whose name was changed to Percy, because it was more musical) did steal the medicine, and went to jail so that his wife could live, then that would make for a very romantic song! This is one of Janie's favorite songs out of my entire catalog.


Miranda's disease

Had never been seen before

Percy was her husband

And the news made him hurt to the core

But Doctor Starks in Wichita

Came up with a cure

Percy was ecstatic

But Doctor Starks' heart wasn't pure

He wanted 5000 dollars

For a ten-day supply

Percy sold everything he owned

But it wasn't enough to get by


What would Percy do?

What would Percy do?

How would he make it through?

What would Percy do?

Percy bought a bus ticket

To go to Wichita

He broke into Doctor Starks' lab

Ignoring the law

He stole the medicine

And left 300 bucks in its place

But the hidden cameras

Got a good look at his face


The police paid him a visit

And took him to the station

He plead guilty to the judge

And explained his situation

Percy's pleas fell on deaf ears

The judge gave him seven years

Percy served without any fear

Never did he shed a tear

The medicine worked for Miranda

She lived a long, healthy life

Percy served his time with a smile

Because he had saved his wife

Percy was proud of what he did

Percy was proud of what he did

It was a fact he never hid

Percy was proud of what he did

Percy became a free man

And returned home to his wife

He and Miranda cried for hours

The enjoyed the rest of their life


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

track composed on Band In A Box

I love how many songs about vacation spots aren't really about those places at all, but about people wanting to get there. Billy Joel's "Vienna" is a very inspiring song to me, but not because I've particularly wanted to visit Vienna. It's about a Type A personality like me, who's being told he needs to relax, and Vienna happens to be the place where he should go to do so. Similarly, Cancun is a beautiful place I've visited, and has never had a song written about it. So the song is sung by someone trying to get someone else to go away with him, and Cancun happens to be the place.


Your job has you running wild

My job does me too

We're both too busy making money

To find fun things to do

If we don't flee from this rat race

We are gonna lose it

Life is waiting there for us

If all we do is choose it


Life is what you make it

We have a chance, let's take it

Let's spend a week down in Cancun

Where the sky is blue and the sun is bright

Let's run away down to Cancun

Where the water's clear and the sand is white

Let's escape down to Cancun

Where the bands will always play a song

Let's get away down to Cancun

Where the party goes on all night long

We've got house repairs to make

And lots of bills to pay

We can't keep this pace up

Not for one more day

We make all this money now

But have no time to spend it

We have the chance to connect with someone

So we should befriend it




music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

Joe Melillo: tambourine

If you look at the rest of my Web site, you'll see that there's a section called "The Most Undesirable Human Being On The Planet". Without debating that fact (read the section for the full explanation), I just want to point out that that's why you don't see many love songs on this album. I haven't been in love very much, and I think I'm too old and cynical to really feel that to the level that a songwriter needs to feel it anymore. I CAN, however, write about all the reasons women don't WANT to fall in love with me! The fact that I fall into The Friend Zone very often is a big reason. The problem is that I can't become interested in someone romantically until I become friends with them. Apparently, many women are wired the opposite way, where they CAN'T fall in love with their friends. This is my plea to implore women to look at their friends in a different light. I'm certainly not the only person I've met to get trapped in this situation!



They say you marry your best friend

But best friends always end up alone

They never warned you about

The loneliness of The Friend Zone

Women love their guy friends

But not as lovers

Their friends have what they want

But they're like brothers

They need a bad boy

Someone they can change

It's true what they say

Love is very strange


Women say their guy friends

Can make any girl happy

"Anyone would be lucky

Anyone but me"

But if another woman

Should come along

They don't like the fact

That their attention's gone


Where have all the good men gone?

The ones who care for your woes?

Where's a man who'll listen to me?

He's right under your nose!!


They say the good ones are taken

But all you gotta do is pick up the phone

If you want a guy to grow old with

Try lookin' in The Friend Zone (x3)


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

Once I wrote Tree To The Sky, I didn't know what the theme of the surrounding songs should be on an album. I decided, rather than write other Christmas songs, I would write songs about other holidays, with a New York slant to them. Hence was born the Holidays In New York album-within-an-album on this CD. I was very excited to write The St. Patrick's Day song, because I saw writing an Irish tune as a challenge for an Italian guy. Now green beer is very hard to find in New York nowadays (which is why I bring my own green food coloring to wherever I happen to be on St. Patty's), but the sentiment is one I've heard from my Irish-born friends for a while, so I decided to poke fun at it. It's one of my more infectious songs, and the greatest compliment I got on the song was from my friend James Quigley: "Joe, that was great! And you're not even Irish!!"


Oh, we love Saint Patrick's Day in New York City

The lads are tough, and the lasses all look pretty

The pipes in the parade march down Broadway here

And in every pub people are drinkin' green beer

Beer is not the only food that's colored green

Cupcakes, donuts, even green bagels can be seen

Shamrocks are stuck on cheeks, and people grin from ear to ear

Mainly because their tongues are colored with green beer

Now in Ireland we do a lot more drinkin' to Saint Pat

It's not amateur night with people wearin' leprechaun hats

You'll never see no one wearin' green flowers here

And nowhere will a barkeep be servin' green beer

But here in America we can always have our way

And we can make a mockery out of any holiday

So we'll keep shoutin' out an "Erin Go Bragh" cheer

And all day we'll be drinkin' lots of green beer (x3)


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

This song is about my family. It's written from the point of view of my brother Anthony, and his relationship with our mother, and Mom's mother (our Grandma), and about his daughter Sami, and her relationship with him, and our Mom (her Grandma). My whole family is in the song. I just wrote and performed it. I didn't write this song with Mother's Day in mind, but thought it spoke to Mother's Day very nicely when it was done, so I included it in the Holidays In New York section of the album.


Mama always tucked me into bed

Mama always made sure I was fed

Mama put a steak on my eye when I was in a fight

But Grandma let me stay up late at night

Yeah, Grandma let me stay up late at night

Mama had given me my name

Mama bought me lots of video games

Mama always made sure that my medicine I'd take

But Grandma let me eat lots of cake

Yeah, Grandma let me eat lots of cake

Mama always made sure that I was well-dressed

But Grandma didn't care if I made a mess

Mama always made sure I did well in school

But Grandma always got to be real cool

Mama made sure that my face was clean

Mama bought me lots of designer jeans

Mama always helped me get my homework done

But Grandma was a lot more fun

Yeah, Grandma was a lot more fun

Now I have a child of my own

And I see how much Mama has grown

Now I'm the one who looks out for my little frau

And Mama has become Grandma now

Now I make sure my daughter's face is clean

Now I buy her those designer jeans

Now I'm the one who helps her get her homework done

But Grandma is a lot more fun

Yeah, Grandma is a lot more fun (x2)

Mama, you've grown up so fast!!


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Laughing Buddha Studios and Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: piano

Joe Melillo: tambourine

When I first came up with the concept of Holidays In New York, I knew I wanted to capture the real meaning of Thanksgiving in song. While The Macy's Parade or even turkey and cranberry sauce were easy topics to cover for New York, I wanted to do more than that, . Each and every one of us has so much for which to be thankful, and we probably don't say it often enough. The song has made its way to more compilation albums than any of my other songs, and has the distinction to be the only one of my songs ever to be recorded by another singer (but be thankful I didn't include THAT version on the album)!


For all the times you made sure I would be well fed

For all the times you made sure I was safe in bed

For the roof over my head

For the bandage when I bled

For all of this and more, I thank you all (x2)

For all the times you watched me try to catch the ball

For all the times you lifted me to stand up tall

For not letting me hit the wall

For grabbing me when I fall

For all of this and more, I thank you all (x2)

I thank you for the opportunity

To let me be who I wish I could be

I thank you for my health, and my prosperity

And, if I lost both, I thank you for the help you'd give to me

For all the things you made sure that I got to see

For all the times my heart could not contain my glee

For the long walks by the sea

For the right to live life free

For all of this and more, I thank you all (x2)

I thank you for my warm and cozy home

And for the urge to walk, explore, and roam

I thank you for the earth, and for the stars above

But, most of all, I thank you for showing me how to love

For all the time you took to teach me everything

For all the times you showed me all that life could bring

For all the songs we'd sing

For winter, summer, fall, and spring

For all of this and more, I thank you all (x3)


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Laughing Buddha Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar, piano

Joe Melillo: shaker

This was gonna be my ticket to stardom. Even a fledgling songwriter like me knew that writing one hit Christmas song would mean residuals for life. This would be especially true for MY Christmas song, which was the first ode to The Rockefeller Christmas Tree ever written and recorded. I was gonna perform it live on The Lighting Ceremony, and everyone across the nation would see me and hear my song on NBC!! I mean, how could Rock Center turn down my song? Well, they did. Now, if this album goes platinum, they'll have to pay through the nose to get me to perform it at The Lighting Ceremony!! Public thanks to my office Holiday Choir, who performs this song every year!


The greatest man who ever lived

Has a birthday 25th of December

He's been gone for over two thousand years

But to this very day we remember

We celebrate with family and friends

And gifts for every boy and girl

But nowhere do we celebrate Christmas

More than in the Capital Of The World


The holiday season is started

With the lighting of The Tree To The Sky

It's a symbol of joy, and peace, and love

And it can bring a tear to your eye

People come from miles around

To stand and skate under the tree

It's a great reminder of Christmas

In the heart of New York City

There's Santas on every corner

And lots of beautiful window displays

And the snow is fallin', but it stops no one

From enjoyin' the last shopping days

Choirs are singing, bells are ringing

Fun and laughter fill the air

But don't forget to stop by Rock Center

'Cause everybody wants to be there


The star on the top stands for Jesus

But the lights are every woman and man

They shine in lots of different colors

Just like the people of Manhattan

The season reminds us how special

Are the ones that we hold dear

It only lasts about a month

But you can keep it in your heart all year



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.


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


music by Joe Melillo

recorded at Empire State Studios

Joe Melillo: shaker

This is technically the first rap song I ever wrote. I'm not particularly fond of rap, but children can relate to it, so I reserve it for children's songs. It's just a cute little thing I wrote when I realized my gift of rhyming, which hit me after all the creative rhyming I've done in my songwriting. It's also the basis for my outgoing answering machine message on my home phone.


Hey, you can try to be hip or cool

But not me, man, I'm the rhymin' fool

I ain't got the look, I ain't got the clothes

But I can make a rhyme with my eyes closed!

I rhyme in the east, I rhyme in the west

There's no one better, 'cause I'm the best!

Gimme a word, and I'll be sure to rhyme it

Check how fast I am, go ahead and time it!

Wanna know my secret? Well, here's the scoop

I practice rhymin' when I'm takin' a..... loop-

De-loop in an airplane

Hey, I rhyme when I fly past a weather vane

I'm rhymin' right away, right from the start

I can even rhyme in the middle of a..... dart

'Cross the finish line in a race

Can you see the rhymin' look on my face?

People give me words they say can't be done

But I rhyme 'em right away, it's a lot of fun!

They say there's no rhyme for the word "purple"

I got so mad, I gave my dog a fur pull!


They say there's no rhyme for the word "orange"

I got so mad, I slammed the door off the door hinge!

Ha ha!!!

They say there's no rhyme for the word "silver"

Man, there's got to be SOME rhymin' word I can pilfer!!

That one was tough, so it's close enough!

They say there's no rhyme for the word "month".....

So how come it's called the first of the month..... and not the "oneth"?!?!

That was a stretch, but a rhyme I did fetch!!

So once again, I'm the rhymin' fool!!

I hope you learned that I rhyme as a rule!!

Thanks very much for taggin' along

But it's time to end my rhymin' story

Hey, just seein' if you were awake!

'Cause, if you weren't, my rhymes would give you a shake!

But really, thanks for taggin' along!

But now here's the end of my rhymin' song!!

No, really, that's it. I'm done. No more rhyming. Turn the stereo off.


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!


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!


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: guitar

Joe Melillo: tambourine

I got motivated to write a song about a guy with a funny name like "John Jacob Jingleheiner Schmidt" who loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Luckily, I had a name available to me: my college buddy Hagop Hagopian. He likes to say that his name isn't that funny, because "Hagop" is just "Jacob" in Armenian, and "ian" means "son of" in Armenian. "So it's really just Jacob Jacobson in Armenian!" My response is always: "Maybe, but Jacob Jacobson is a pretty funny name!" While Gopi (as we call him) likes peanut butter and jelly very much, he doesn't like it to the degree that the song suggests!


I got a pal named Hagop Hagopian

And he just loves to eat his food

It doesn't matter what kind it is

He always says: "Man, this is good!"

My pal, Hagop Hagopian (x3)

Yeah, he always says: "Man, this is good!"

His favorite food in the world is sandwiches

Made with peanut butter and jelly

He loves it when it's on his plate

But he loves it more when it's in his belly

My pal, Hagop Hagopian (x3)

Yeah, he loves it more when it's in his belly

The peanut butter can be chunky or creamy

Honey roasted or organic

If he goes a day without PB & J

Then Hagop Hagopian starts to panic

My pal, Hagop Hagopian (x3)

Yeah, Hagop Hagopian starts to panic

He can use jelly, preserves, or jam

Strawberry, raspberry, orange, or grape

If a restaurant doesn't serve PB & J

Then Hagop Hagopian will try to escape

My pal, Hagop Hagopian (x3)

Yeah, Hagop Hagopian will try to escape

You can't go wrong with what the sandwich is on

'Cause the number of breads he hates is zero

White, whole wheat, pumpernickel, or rye

But his favorite is PB & J on a hero

My pal, Hagop Hagopian (x3)

Yeah, his favorite is PB & J on a hero

So if you're ever eating peanut butter and jelly

Whether it's for breakfast, dinner, or lunch

Be sure to invite Hagop Hagopian

And he'll be glad to show you how to munch

My pal, Hagop Hagopian (x3)

Yeah, he'll be glad to show you how to munch

My pal, Hagop Hagopian

Yeah, he'll be glad to show you how to munch


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

track composed on Band In A Box

Another Parker song. 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".


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)


music by Joe Melillo and Janie Barnett

recorded at Empire State Studios

Janie Barnett: keyboard

I set out to write a lullaby. I mean a REAL lullaby that would put babies to sleep. I tested it against the toughest critics (crying babies), and it seems to work! It's at the end of the album, in case it puts you to sleep as well!


Good night, little one

It's time to close your eyes

And go off to a land

With green grass and blue skies

The sun will always shine

Even through the night

And you can always play

Outside in the light

The water's always warm

And full of friendly fish

And anything can happen

Anything you wish

It's a fun, safe place

And when your time is through

You will come back here

And start the day anew