Sumo Things was the result of a challenge from Gary Taylor, a music manager based in Canada. “Write a song called ‘Sumo Things’,” he said. At the time, I had been listening to the band System Of A Down a lot. In fact, the band’s music helped keep me awake while driving across the country to Los Angeles where I attended the ASCAP Music festival. The chorus of this song was inspired by a SOAD song.
The album cover was Photoshop work. I had actually written “KIAI” in pen on my fingers.
This recording was the very first one I completed by myself after Robie of dance music fame taught me how to engineer using Digital Performer software. Please note that because the sound peaks (goes in the red zone), playback from the web may not work so well. But the song is available for download on Soundcloud.
I wrote the song in 2002 as a birthday gift to someone who I greatly admired. Before that time, I used to write songs for friends, perform them once or a handful of times, and then forget about them. By 2002, my songwriting had improved enough to be worthy of recording.
After time having become better at audio engineering and performing on record, I decided to place a Creative Commons With Attribution license on this recording. Last I checked, it had been downloaded over 4 million times. I plan to record a new version, and if I like it enough will put it up on iTunes.
The artwork is also mine, created on Illustrator CS1.
Here are the lyrics to Happy Birthday:
It’s that day that comes just once a year We are happy that you are still here If you think you’re getting old Well, honey, let the truth be told You only have eternity to go
You made it one more time around the sun Now’s the time you have to have more fun Kick up your heels enjoy the ride And let your God above just drive Now’s the time when we all have to say Have a happy birthday Celebrate and dance with all your might Have a happy birthday Laugh and sing, celebrate your life
You are full of love and grace It pleases us to see your smiling face To see you rise and be a star We know that you’ll go really far This life is short, and you have just begun So have a happy birthday Celebrate and dance with all your might Have a happy birthday Laugh and sing and celebrate Laugh and sing and celebrate Laugh and sing, celebrate your life