Ugly Stamps: A Song by Me

In the handful of times I have performed this song in public, I have jokingly introduced it as the song that might get me kicked out of the Commonwealth one day. That’s because it bemoans the state of the Canadian stamp with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on it on it as she ages. I don’t know why Canada Post decided to have an embossing of the Queen’s profile, like on the back of a coin, for many years during her youth, on its Queenie stamp. Then, sometime in late 80s, as the Queen started nearing seniority, Canada Post decided to put her senior face on the stamp, a face that would only wrinkle away as any other does with age.

I didn’t like the idea, but it’s not that I thought about it. It just so happened that one day, when I went to send something, I saw I only had sheets of Queenie stamps left. They were all staring back at me and I foresaw the same thing with a much older and more wrinkled set of faces on it, because I’m constantly thinking about the future. That was in 1997. Then, in September of 1992, something struck to make me write this Ugly Stamps poem about it.

In late 2004-05, I was getting into songwriting. I started using my poetry collection as the basis for lyrics because a lot of them were poems set to meters that would be easy to convert into songs. Oddly, though, the loose versed Ugly Stamps poem was among the first to come through, with the additional idea that I could write in some screaming you hear in the chorus as singing. This part has not changed much since the original lyrics.

Version 2.0 of the Ugly Stamps lyrics is pretty much as you see it on the video above aside from some very small, what I call craftsmanship changes.

Regarding the recording, it’s not great. This is the first time I’ve recorded anything with the equipment I have at home, and I don’t know much about recording at all. I just picked out a few presets from the factory that sounded best for this song and concentrated on doing the recording rather than finessing it. In future recordings, I may sound rather different as a result! 🙂

As for the video, this is what guitar tabs could, and perhaps, should, be like online. The bunch of text you usually get are not only a mess, but doesn’t help you much in a lot of instances because the author did the song in some way different from how you’ve heard it somewhere else and doesn’t annotate that, or doesn’t do it well. That’s why I have my set of guitar and ukulele tabs to share on this site, in PDF format, with letter of notes written out, and a video to give you an idea what the song should sound like. So far, I’ve only shared tabs that sound pretty much like standard radio versions for which I have found videos online to share. However, from now on, I only have “arranged” versions to share, a bit different from versions you hear on the radio, for which I will do my own recording to give users an idea of what the song will sound like if the tab is followed. I will be doing videos similar to this.

Now, not that anybody probably cares, but since I have the tabs to this song, I’ll share them. They’ll be useful to me, at least, for when I don’t have them and I can just go online to get them.

Next are the stamps I created in the video, included as thumbnails below (click to enlarge) in case anyone wants to use them for anything. I didn’t create the art featured, but I found them on various sites and made stamps graphics out of them. I hope you’ll find it amusing, as with the song.

Finally, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about getting kicked out of the Commonwealth for it. It won’t be heard by that many people, and not likely by anyone important enough who’ll care to do anything about it. After all, I’m a nobody not worth wasting their time on. 🙂

Other songs I’ve written can be found via this link.

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