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Ballad of the Barnes

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This video documents my family's trip to the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, an incredible institution whose site-specific art collections are in imminent danger of being dismantled and moved to a new home in Philadelphia. It's shot entirely with my Flip camcorder and accompanied by my original music.

Be sure to see The Art of the Steal and my Barnes Foundation parody based on Paul Goldberger's Vanity Fair review.

Ballad of the Barnes
Words and music © 2008 J. Ochshorn

1. we had gotten our tickets a few weeks before
the crisp morning air was still chilly
through the great garden state down to route 38
and the ben franklin bridge into Philly

2. took a break for some food down on South Street
pretty close to the historic center
then we drove in the car (it was not very far)
and received our instructions to enter

[chorus] one hundred and eighty-one works by renoir
eighteen by henri rousseau
sixty-nine more by the man, paul cezanne
seven by vincent van gogh

3. well the judge says a move wouldn't hurt anyone
and their architects tell them it's true
they say "since we're trendy not hokey, and hyped up as low-key
maybe no one will care what we do" [chorus]

4. they've got plans to move down to the Parkway
isn't anyone fighting this scam
well some neighbors are trying some artists are crying
seems like nobody else gives a damn [chorus]

fade out:
fifty-nine paintings by henri matisse
forty-six by picasso
should cover the hallways remaining there always
as dr barnes wrote long ago
other old masters like rubens and titian
not to mention el greco
metal things without names nailed between all the frames
so it's more like a working class show
sixteen-odd paintings by modigliani
four each by manet and monet
six george seurats each has got lots of dots
yeah but none are for sale or for loan

Production notes:
Music arranged and produced by J. Ochshorn
Recorded with GarageBand software
Vocals: J. Ochshorn
Real instruments: J. Ochshorn
Software instruments played live on midi keyboard: J. Ochshorn
Recorded at home in Ithaca, NY, December, 2008.