1. Old Familiar Way
2. Fun Loving Nun
3. Tulip Baroo
4. Jaques Lamure
5. The March of the Gay Parade
6. Neat Little Domestic Life
7. A Collection of Poems About Water
8. Y the Quale and Vaguely Bird Noisily Enjoying Their Forbidden Tryst
9. I’d Be a Yellow Feathered Loon
10. The Autobiographical Grandpa
11. The Miniature Philosopher
12. My Friend Will Be Me
13. My Favorite Boxer
14. Advice from a Divorced Gentleman to His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage
15. A Man’s Life Flashing Before His Eyes While He and His Wife Drive Off a Cliff Into the Ocean
16. Nickee Coco and the Invisible Tree
17. The Gay Parade Outro


1. The Problem with April
2. True Friends Don’t Want to Do Things Like That

Originally released by Bar/None, 1999

Kevin Barnes
Derek Almstead
Dottie Alexander
Andy Gonzales
Jamey Huggins
Bryan Poole

Additional Contributions by:
Andrew Rieger
Julian Koster
John Fernandes
Josh McKay
Heather McIntosh
Jeff Mangum
Laura Carter
Scott Spillane
Jeremy Barnes
Rob Carter
Pete Erchick
Robby & Kirsten

Album art by David Barnes



Neither the flowers on the hill
or the moonlight on the sea
Have ever looked so blue
And everything looks new again
In that old familiar way
The view from my room
of the ships on the bay
Had come to bore me through and through
But they suddenly seem new again
In that old familiar way
The delicate ballet of blossoms falling off a tree
Had long gone unnoticed by me
I’m stunned by what now I finally see
It’s amazing the wonders you can find
Just by stepping outside
There’s a skip in my step a divine state of joy
In everything I do
Cause I am feeling new again
In that old familiar way
When I’m awoken from my dreams
by a cuckoo on the roof
I always join in too
And every sound sounds new again
In that old familiar way
The life I used to know
when I was busy always on the go
Left me with nothing to show
Now I feel that I can honestly say
I’m living a suitable life
I’m glad I finally got it right
Welcome to the Gay Parade


She’s not quite like the
conventional sister no she’s not
I’ve never seen her frown
or hold her head down
I’ve never heard her say
“I’m bored” or “get away”
I tip top topple over for my fun loving nun
Cause she has so much fun has so much joy
And so much wonderful love for everyone
She’s not like an ordinary person no she’s not
She turns a lonely room into a happy place
Transforms a grumpy look into a smiling face
Some of us get covered up by the world
Become bitter from our loneliness
and forget our dreams
But she takes notice of the beauty everywhere
And wherever she finds herself
she feels peaceful there
I tip top topple over for my fun loving nun
Cause she has so much fun has so much joy
And so much wonderful love for everyone


Tulip Baroo Tulip Baroo
The magnetic rollerskater wears a bonnet of blue
Bonnet of blue
Tulip Baroom though you are four walls
You don’t make a room don’t make a room
I caught you
covered in tinsel
Bouncing your eyeballs off a pinstripe piano
Don’t you think
that I get lonely too?
Tulip Balanc Tulip Balanc
The mouse caught in the hubcap
Goes clanky clank clank
Clanky clank clank
Tulip Barance the turtle necked boatman
Does the plum dance does the plum dance
I caught you disguised as a man with a mustache
Selling secrets to a canned tomato
Don’t you think that I get lonely too?
Tulip Baroo Tulip Baroo
I don’t know what to make of you
You’re in charge of every coup
that the feds set out to do
Tulip Baroo Tulip Baroo
There’s an island off of Spain
Where it’s snowing out of season
and they claim its cause of you
Tulip Baroo
Tulip Baroob Tulip Baroob
The underhanded grocer is soaking a tube
Soaking a tube
Tulip Baraw the ground split wide open
Like a musical saw musical saw


Jacques Lamure is a
volunteer fireman
He longs to give his life
Saving a nice old man and his wife
When their house is
filled with flames
Earning him honor and fame
Jacques Lamure is a foreman
at a clock factory
He wishes he were boss
So he could fire that scoundrel William Moss
Who always puts him down
When Megan Blanchard is around
He told himself last year
that when springtime was here
He would suddenly appear at Meg’s door
He’d rent a mariachi band and respectfully demand
His dear Meg to take his hand
And to be his forever more
But of course he didn’t dare
and pretended not to care
About the insult or the loss
When he found out she’d married William Moss
Jacques Lamure goes to see a show
every other Friday night
He likes the westerns best
He’d rather be a sheriff with a gold star on his chest
Than that weird guy who never says a word
And when spoken to pretends he hadn’t heard
He realized one day that he didn’t have to stay
That he could move as far away as planes could fly
He chuckled as he mused
About the people who had rused him
And how shocked and confused that they would be
When he says goodbye and never turns around
Never returns to that miserable town
Then as weeks passed he soon did find
This move had greatly improved his state of mind


All the people look so beautiful
While they’re marching in the gay parade
They make friends with trees and animals
They gather up all the countries flags
and they burn them
There is nothing left on earth to separate them
I assure you they feel
completely free and pretty happy
All the people look so beautiful
While they’re marching in the gay parade


You clean the bathroom
and I do the dishes
I water the lawn
and you feed the fishes
What a neat little domestic life that we live
You change the light bulb and I hold the ladder
I get the frying pan and you mix the batter
What a neat little domestic life that we live
All the lonely days are gone
Those long lonely days when I was alone
And I felt this world was not the place I belonged
But then I met you and now I belong
You rake the leaves and I start a fire
I clean out the shed and you turn on the dryer
What a neat little domestic life that we live
I brush the dog and you knit a sweater
You vacuum the rug and I write a letter
What a neat little domestic life that we live
I clear the table and you draw the curtain
You ask if I’m happy and I tell you I’m certain
That this neat little domestic life is for me


The crowd gathers the rain
The crowd gathers
inside the rain
The sky is green
Greener than a
gardener’s dream
The grass is green
Together they sing
Gaily gaily glee
gaily glee gaily gaily glee
Green glass fish glide
cream colored glass
Umi ni ukande means floating on the sea
Me and my pussycat floating on the sea
There are blackbirds in rows behind the clouds
Pecking at the clouds
Poking holes in the clouds
Rain pours out of the holds in the clouds
When the clouds are empty
The birds climb inside and sing
I don’t mind a rainy day
It doesn’t make me blue like it’s supposed to
Doesn’t make me blue like it’s supposed to
But I don’t like this lonely life
It really makes me blue like it’s supposed to
It makes me blue like its supposed to


I’d be a yellow feathered loon for you baby
Be a German shepherd on the moon for you baby
Be a granulated spoon
for you baby
I’d be a camper in a photograph for you
Then when the sun has set
romantic times have passed
And our conversations are a bore
I’ll become a different man
So you can get to know me again
I’d be a rubberbanded flute for you baby
Be an union parachute for you baby
Be a baby that’s a mute for you baby
I’d be an insecurity in a Tibetan’s head for you
Then when the sun has set
romantic times have passed
And our conversations are a chore
I’ll become a different man
So you can get to know me again
I’d be a uniform on an imbecile for you
If you want me to die trying I will die to please you
I’d be a pepperminted rook for you baby
Be an unhappy organ donor’s book for you baby
Be a straw covered in scum and gook for you baby
I’d be a wrestler in a tuxedo shirt for you
I’d be an antacid with a brown wig on for you


I take a walk I mow the grass
I don’t worry ’bout
the years that pass
My wife is dead I live alone
in my little country home
I have my memories
and dogs for friends
I water the ferns I plant some seeds
I make sure to pull out all the weeds
And to help myself along
I like to whistle this funny little song
I sang in my army days when I was young
A hot air balloon I will float away
At times I’m holding you
My kids and grandkids come
to stay with me once a year
And on New Years I drive down to be with them
Though I’m happy often I feel lonely
But when I speak I hear my wife speak
Don’t feel alone because you’re not really alone
Sweetheart no don’t think you’re alone
I feed the cat I sweep the floor
I don’t fear dying anymore
I like to fish with Ed and Will
in the pond by the old paper mill
I am resigned to finish off my days this way


He’s a miniature philosopher
He stands five foot three
So no one takes him seriously
He’s in love with Gertrude Lullaby
But she doesn’t care for him
He’s like a house boy
to Miss Lullaby
And their future looks very dim
He’s a miniature philosopher
He takes notes on all he reads
But that doesn’t satisfy his needs
He’s a desk clerk at the bank and trust
There’s so many contracts and paperwork to do
He gets so busy at the bank and trust
There is no time for Nietzsche or Camus
He’s a miniature philosopher
He writes essays on Voltaire
But if he died no one would care
He doesn’t know why his life turned out this way
No one ever reads his dissertations or allegoric plays
So he comforts himself while searching a rhyme
That the public rarely recognize a genius in their time
(poor little guy)
He’s a miniature philosopher
Though he hasn’t got a friend
He’s sure he’ll be famous in the end


I wish I knew a man
Someone to steal me
from this sadness
I wish I knew a girl
Who’d run her fingers
through my hair and kiss me
Wish I didn’t have to pretend
That when I’m talking to the floor I’m talking to you
If I had a friend then
such stupid things I’d never have to do
I wish I had a friend
I wish I knew a man
One who’d help me to stop disguising my feelings
I wish I knew a girl
Who’d keep me from silencing my heart’s voice
Oh I wish I didn’t feel like an island
No country will claim
Wish I had a friend who’d stop me
From falling into this depression all over again
I wish I had a friend like that
But I know it will never be
So that friend for me has to come from inside of me
My friend will have to be me
I wish I knew a man
Someone to help me stop being self conscious
I wish I knew a girl
One to take away my fear of dying
I wish I weren’t afraid that some spirit
Will come out of the darkness and carry me away
I wish I had a friend whom if that happened
Would storm right in and save the day
I wish I had a friend like that
But I know it will never be
So that friend for me has to come from inside of me
My friend will have to be me


Hector Ormano is my favorite boxer
He goes smasho and everyone cheers
He turns big men into whimpering cowards
He’s so strong and how I adore him
But I’m so weak
So much so that I’m afraid
to walk alone down my street
I know I’ll never be as brave as Hector Ormano
Hector Ormano is my favorite boxer
His smile is so white like elephant ivory
He’s so handsome and all of his girlfriends
Are tall and blonde with hourglass curves
But I don’t know many girls
And I certainly don’t know any girls like that
Even if I did I wouldn’t be as cool as Hector Ormano
One summer day I was sitting on the bridge
Looking at the water below
When I heard some laughter and a familiar voice
Coming from down the road
It was then that I saw and my heart nearly dropped
I saw Hector Ormano with some friends
And as they approached my mind went blank
As I struggled to find the words
I was dying to tell him

As Hector walked by he picked up a stick
And threw it at my head
His friends went quiet and Hector said to me
“What are you looking at wimp?”


Hector Ormano is my favorite boxer
Even though he was mean to me
My father says I’m a meaningless no one
Compaired to the perfect Hector Ormano


You should stay away from roses
And be careful to avoid
chocolate hearts
Keep distant from romantic notions
Cause that’s where love
most often starts
Be sure to steer clear of diamonds
And mink coats are most certainly out too
For if she goes in for that kind of thing
Just might fall then what you will do
You know you’ve always been the sort
Who’s truly only fond of the sport
And who will never be satisfied
Reclining in slippers by the fireside
With a wife’s constant nagging
for things that you can’t provide
Who no longer bears resemblance
to that soft spoken flower
You were so desperate to have for your bride
Too much conversing with a woman
tends to dull a man’s wit
Never be taken in by poets
Who claim that love if it’s pure will never fade
Though love may last all right in a bibliotheque
In the real world man its too easily unmade
So don’t take your freedom for granted
Don’t let curiosity take you for a ride
As years drag on when you wake up next to her
You’ll wish that in your sleep you had died
You’ll wish you had died


I heard a human voice in an adding machine and my brain slipped out of my ear
Which made it hard to hear
A customer clapping in approval
A bird flew
through the window
And he sucked it
right into his mouth
I looked on the floor and saw
The carpet was turning to glass
I lifted my feet very fast and ran out the door
I walked to a bus stop there I waited the bus
And when it finally arrived I climbed up inside
A lady sat down beside me
She gave me a mirror
When I looked in it I saw I was her
This made me forget that I was
Driving at night with my wife
She’s so beautiful the love of my life
We drove into the sea


Nickee Coco woke up early one Tuesday morning and decided to go for a walk in the tomato field behind her house. As she was walking along she saw a magnificently tall invisible tree and decided to climb up on it. She found the foliage covered branches so comfortable that she fell fast asleep. She was still asleep when nightfall came and her mother became frantic with worry. She ran from house to house asking everyone she saw if they had seen Nickee or knew where she was. Soon the whole town was aware of Nickee’s disappearance and they immediately started the search.

And so the search began
Everybody was looking for Nickee Coco
They looked on rooftops and in trees in the park
Mr. Temboley even shouted down the well
“Nickee Coco if you are down there give a yell”
but he didn’t hear a yell
And so the search went on
Everybody was still looking for Nickee Coco
They asked the stuttering organ grinder in the square
Who said “No no no no
I hav-hav-haven’t heard a thi-thing
But the second that I-I-I d-d-do I’ll gi-gi-give a ring
Oh-oh-oh the poor poor poor little thing”
All the while Nickee was curled up fast asleep
Very peaceful in her invisible tree
Eating mangos in a dream
And so the search went on
All the while Nickee was curled up fast asleep
No longer peaceful in her invisible tree
Being chased by antelopes in a dream
And so the search went on
They’re wondering if they’ll ever find Nickee Coco
Nickee’s mother asked Miss Colvendom in tears
“Margaret tell me what on earth I’ve done
To deserve losing my sweet beloved one?
What could I have possibly done?”

Many weeks passed and though some people were beginning to lose hope they all kept searching and never did Nickee leave their thoughts. One day an owl happened to fly past Nickee still sleeping soundly up in the invisible tree and rushed back to tell the townspeople. After an owl translator was called in and the owl’s wonderful message was understood the whole town joyously followed the owl back to the invisible tree where little Nickee was still fast asleep. They all cheered when they saw her and Nickee finally awoke as they lifted her above their heads and marched victoriously back into town where they had a huge party in honor of her return and sang this song…

We love you Nickee Coco
We were so sad when we thought we had lost you
Nickee Coco now we’re so happy
Because at last
We found you
We found you
We love you


Hello my name is Claude Robert
And I’d like to thank you for spending time with the gay parade
We hope you found it enjoyable
And that we will see you again very soon
Because we’ve grown quite fond of you
And all agree that you make very pleasant company
If you ever feel that in your life
The moments of gaiety
Are too few
You can always come and visit us
Now that you know the way
And perhaps someday
You’ll be able to stay with us
Forever inside the gay parade