"Guard the Right"

Today’s post for NaCreSoMo is a cover of a song from a musical called The Unfortunates; the song is called “Guard the Right”. If you don’t count last year’s Watershed, this is my first all-parts a cappella song!1

If you’re on a slow internet connection, you might want to download the audio instead.

The Unfortunates is a folk–hip-hop–rock musical based on the 1918 flu pandemic and the song “St. James Infirmary Blues”. Most of the musical actually does not sound like this—there are actually some really fun folk-style hip-hop songs (which you can hear on Spotify)—but this one is a simple enough a cappella song that I can cover it in an afternoon. There are certainly some mistakes, and if I got the chance I’d probably redo the solo and harmony a bit more freely, but this is surprisingly good for how much it was just thrown together. (I’m sure my flatmates loved hearing me sing at my computer for a solid hour.)

The various flickers you see are from trying to get Final Cut Pro to cut out the wall using “color keying”. I didn’t decide to do this until after I had recorded most of the parts—otherwise I would have used a more distinct background. (There’s a reason people usually use green.)

I didn’t change any lyrics this time (though I flubbed a few), but I don’t see them easily accessible on the Internet, so here they are.

Guard the right, guard right, right, right…

Straight down the center, boy
You’re in the middle of the thick of it
Ain’t slept a wink all night long
Lord knows you must be sick of it

Where’s your baby tonight
She don’t call, she don’t write
Is this a soldier’s life, just
Counting the minutes, guard the left to right to the fight to the battle

To the scrimmage, to the finish
They’ll push you to the limits
Don’t be timid cause you’re in it till you win it or till death

Oh look left, guard right
Keep one eye on your fright
Keep it tight and we might
Just survive this night

Whoa, by heading straight down the center, boy
You’re in the middle of the thick of it
Ain’t slept a wink all week long
Lord knows we’re so sick of it

Where’s my baby tonight
She don’t call, she don’t write
Is this a soldier’s life, just
Counting the minutes, guard the left to right to the fight to the battle

To the scrimmage, to the finish
They’ve pushed it to the limits
And it’s getting to the end
And are they sending us to death?

Oh look left, guard right
Keep one eye on your fright
In the east shines a light
We’ll survive this night

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