Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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MAIN URBAN TAPESTRY PAGE

Welcome to our site! We're a Toronto-based filk trio consisting of Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle and Debbie Ridpath Ohi and have performed concerts in Germany, England, Canada and the U.S. Our songs have aired on national radio. 2013 will mark our twentieth year together as a group and as friends...how cool is that?

We have won four Pegasus Awards including two for Best Performer, two for songs ("The Lady" and "My Jalapeno Man"), and were honoured to have been inducted into the Filk Hall Of Fame in 2011.

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Urban Tapestry was inducted into the Filk Hall Of Fame in 2011! We are deeply appreciative of this honour. If you're not familiar with the term "filk", please see Debbie's Filk FAQ entry: What is filk?

 Still a couple of copies left of URBAN TAPESTRY: BEHIND THE MUSIC (A MOCKUMENTARY), our first and only commercial DVD! See the trailer here. Order your DVD in our new Urban Tapestry shop, which also has the mini trailer and more info about the DVD.

 

 

Saturday
Mar302013

Urban Tapestry's 20th Anniversary Concert

Starsoul

It's Urban Tapestry's 20th year together as a group this year. Wow, has it really been that long?

I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this group. Allison and Jodi are not only ideal creative partners but also good friends. We rarely perform in public anymore, but we still try to get together regularly just to catch up.

To celebrate our anniversary, we're going to be giving a concert at FilKONtario on the Friday night -- thanks, FKO!

Saturday
Jan122013

Hey, Tom!

Above: Tom and Sue Jeffers (The Stone Dragons) in their recording studio at home. 

In honour of Tom's birthday today, I'm posting the lyrics to a song that I wrote back in 1996 and that Urban Tapestry performed as a surprise for Tom:

HEY, TOM!

By Debbie Ridpath Ohi (1996), performed by Urban Tapestry

A                              D
Sittin' on the beach, feelin' kinda down, had a
A                       F#m
Bad Hair day, I'm goin' underground, 
   A                     A        E6   E
I feel like I'm in a bad music video.
   A                 D
I watch the sunset fade away with 
A              D
all the echoes of this day, and
A             D             E6   E
I remember a boy I used to know...

CHORUS:
   A        F#m      D                      E6      
  Hey, Tom Jeffers! C'mon c'mon c'mon, 
            E
      you make us feel fine!
   A        F#m          E                            A
  Hey, Tom Jeffers! And pour us a glass of Dandelion Wine.

I remember Tom when we were only three, I was
crazy 'bout him, but he couldn't stand me, he
used to fill my shoes with consomme, one
day he ate a bug that was two weeks' dead
Then he threw up all over my head
I didn't wash my hair for eleven days...

CHORUS

I remember Tom when we were only six, I
fell for that guy like a ton of bricks, but
he loved a girl who lived just down the lane, so one day I
took him to a field of wheat I found, then
nailed his little foot into the ground, and
Tommy ran in Circles In The Grain.

CHORUS

Now Tom plays with Dave Clement, he
drinks Cheap Hooch and pays the rent, and
sings about a Lady of the Sea
Tom has many fans, you know, and
Urban Tap, we love him so, if
Tom's Gone Filkin', that is where we'll be!

CHORUS:
  Hey, Tom Jeffers!
  C'mon c'mon c'mon, you make us feel fine!
  Hey, Tom Jeffers! 
  And pour us a glass of Dandelion...
  Hey, Tom Jeffers! 
  C'mon c'mon c'mon - you make us feel fine!
  Hey, Tom Jeffers! 
  You have such class, 
  so we haveta ask, oh
  pour us a glass of Dandelion Wine.
Wednesday
Jun132012

The Squirrels Are Taking Over

The Squirrels Are Taking Over
By Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Mar/2008
Performed by Urban Tapestry
Also see Debbie's Beware The Squirrel blog and her Squirrels Are Evil And Are Taking Over The World Facebook Page.

 

     Am                        G
When we moved in, we loved the neighbourhood
     F                      Am G F
We couldn't have asked for more
       Am        G             
Though I admit I kinda wondered 'bout the
F                G
crucifix on each door.
    Am                G
We planted roses, revamped the roof, the
F                     Am        G   F
future was looking bright, but then we
Am                     G
started hearing the strangest noises
F                       G
behind the walls at night...

 

CHORUS:
C                 Am
The squirrels are takin' over, they've
C                    Am
killed my plants and eaten Rover, my
F                                 F
postman used to think they were cute
             C 
but now he's gone (gone gone gone)
         G                    F                C
They're coming for me now, I think it won't be long.
    Am              G
One morning we saw Mrs. S.
      F                         Am G F
Our next door neighbour, she's sweet!
   Am                     G
We waved but I guess she didn't see us
    F                 G
as she ran down the street.
     Am              G
Suddenly we noticed something weird,
    F                          Am  G F
a seething mass of black and brown
     Am            G
and then the Evil Squirrel Horde took
F                   G
Mrs. Scuridopolous down.

 

CHORUS:
C                 Am  
The squirrels are takin' over, they've
C                    Am
killed my plants and eaten Rover, my
F                                 F
neighbour used to think they were cute
               C 
but now she's gone (gone gone gone)
         G                    F                C
They're coming for me now, I think it won't be long.
 
    F              G
We boarded up the windows
    C              Am
put garlic on the door
    F            G
Yet every day we found more scratches
     F                     G
and peanut shells on the floor.
          F                     G
"This is stupid," my boyfriend said, "Squirrels are
C                       Am  
harmless and that's a fact!
     F                G
I'm going outside to check things out
      F                    G
Stay here...I'LL BE RIGHT BACK."

 

CHORUS:
C                 Am
The squirrels are takin' over, they've
C                    Am
killed my plants and eaten Rover, my
F                                 F
boyfriend used to think they were cute
               C 
but now he's gone (gone gone gone)
         G                    F                C
They're coming for me now, I think it won't be long
         G                    F                
They're coming for me now -- (music stops abruptly)

 

Thursday
Mar292012

Homecoming: lyrics (based on a Ray Bradbury short story)

Words & music by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

This song was based on one of my favourite Ray Bradbury short stories, "The Rocket Man" and was included on our Sushi And High Tea live concert CD. Of the songs I've written, this is one of my personal favourites. It's not just about the short story, you see -- it's about love and loss and family.

I've always been a huge Ray Bradbury fan. His autograph had a prominent page in my collection when I was a kid: 

You can hear "Homecoming" on my music group's live performance album. I'm playing the rhythm guitar part on this track, Allison Durno plays lead guitar bits and Jodi Krangle sings lead. Allison and I sing some backup during the chorus. You can also listen/see Errol Elumir do a cover of "Homecoming" on YouTube:

Even before I experienced family loss myself, I was deeply moved by this story and others by Ray Bradbury. His writing affected me in so many ways, and was a major factor in my own desire to be a writer.

 HOMECOMING

Words & music by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

C(add 9)       D/F#          G/B           A7sus
===========    ===========   ===========   ===========
| | | | | |    | | | | | |   | | | | | |   | | | | | |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------
| | x | | |    x | | x | |   | x | | | |   | | x | | |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------
| x | | x |    | | | | x |   | | | | x |   | | | | x |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------
| | | | | |    | | | | | |   | | | | | |   | | | | | |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------

Intro:  D   Cadd9  G/B  A7sus

     D/F#                       Cadd9
My mother looks into the sky, I think she hears him coming
D/F#                         Cadd9
but the stars are blinding her so she cannot see
G/B                                    A7sus
"Help me keep him home this time," she says to me.
               D    Cadd9  G/B  A7sus
"He's coming home."

My father walks into the house, we laugh in his embrace
The scent of fire and stardust cling to his hands and face
Already we are wondering how long
Will he stay this time?


CHORUS (strummed):
D          Cadd9           G/B        A7sus A7
I hear the stars, they are calling tonight
C                 G/B
Listen, can't you hear them?
D          Cadd9           G/B        A7sus A7
I hear the stars, they are calling tonight
Cadd9
Calling me home
            D   Cadd9 G/B   A7sus
Calling me home.


He takes us to the carnival and swimming in the ocean
We picnic in the mountains, our faces to the sun
Each moment is a gift I take with me
A memory.

My father sits beside me, his laughter ringing true
"What's it like in space?" I ask as I always do
His eyes grow distant and he smiles, but mom...
she looks away.


BRIDGE:
Em           A          Cadd9
Before my father leaves, he takes me aside
    D        Cadd9        G/B               A
He says, "The next I come back, I won't be leaving
D         Cadd9          G/B              A
Tell your mother that I love you both and I am
        D    Cadd9  G/B  A7sus
coming home."

CHORUS

In the fading sunset, the message comes next day
His ship fell into the sun, a blaze of gold and gray
I try to tell Mom but she turns away...
             D    Cadd9  G/B  A7sus  D Cadd9  G/B  A7sus
and goes inside.

My mother looks into the sky, I think she hears him coming
but the stars are blinding her so she cannot see
The winds are cold, I hear them whisper to me
"He's coming home."


Tuesday
Dec062011

Library Boy: lyrics & streaming audio

 LIBRARY BOY

Words & music by Debbie Ridpath Ohi / Short URL for sharing: http://bit.ly/LibraryBoy

Here's a quickie home recording with Jodi Krangle on vocals and me on MIDI guitar (if you like Jodi's vocals, do check out her Voiceoversandvocals.com site!). This was a surprise birthday gift from Urban Tapestry to our librarian friend, Rand Bellavia, in April 2002. We don't tend to perform this in public anymore because it's a tad outdated. Someday I'll have to update the lyrics to keep up with modern library technology. :-)

C                                                F    G
I am a civilized girl, I comb my hair, I love family
C
but I confess my very favourite refuge is my local
F        G
library.
F                            G
The musty bookshelves are so picturesque
F                           G               C     C
But most of all I like the guy behind the desk.
--
CHORUS:
F        C
Hey, Mr. Library Boy, please wontcha
F                                 C
show me a little Heinlein or some Leo Tolstoy
F                          C
You don't know I exist but you have my heart
G
Wontcha stamp my card?
--

C  C
C                                                     F   G
The way you put away books, the way you always articulate
C                                
The way you gimme a look when I talk too loud, it makes my poor heart 
F       G
palpitate
F                          G
When I go home, the world loses its zest
F                                 G               C    C                    
Can't wait 'til I get back to the guy behind the desk.
--
CHORUS
--
C                                                       F  G
I've got a tendency to keep books 'til they're way overdue
C          
I get the notices but it's been six years, where's my special
F           G
visit from you?  
F                            G
   You smile at me and I can't help but obsess
F                           G               C   C
how I'd like to catalog the guy behind the desk.
        
--
CHORUS
--      
 
        BRIDGE/END:
                C                       F                       C   C
        Oh Mr. Library Boy, by now you surely know I'm not a newcomer
                  C                             F
        So baby, let's not be coy, I'd like to get your
                             C      C
              Dewey Decimal Number
  F                            G
I try but nothing I do will make me forget
F                            G               C -------
My passion for that special guy behind the desk.
              
              (Jodi: Mr. Library Boy, lemme show ya some
                     bibliophile joy)