Monkey Tree

from by Joe Craig

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In the song ‘Sail Away’, Randy Newman wrote about being “happy as a monkey in a monkey tree” and there’s a Kinks song by the great Ray Davies called ‘Apeman’. I think those were the two contrasting forces acting on me when I wrote this.

I’ve played this song for a lot of kids; depending on the age of the audience I sometimes censor the line, “Let’s stay naked & true”. The other line that sticks out for me is, “I’m living out on a limb, but it’s my soul on the line.” For some reason I’m especially proud of that one, though there are plenty of better double-meanings in my other songs. I think this one lets me picture the monkey sitting out on his limb, and that makes me smile.


Joe Craig

I was thinking about human evolution
It says modern man has complex needs.
But I have no claim to sophistication.
I follow wherever my instinct leads.
I'm a simple creature with a primitive heart.
They might run the human race, but I got left at the start…

I'm like a monkey up in a tree,
They could take everything away from me
But that wouldn’t hurt me one bit
If you, you could be the one to sit with me
Up in my monkey tree.
Yeah yeah, up in my monkey tree,
Oh oh, space here for you and me,
Yeah yeah, up in my monkey tree.
Hey hey, come up and sit with me,
Yeah yeah, up in my monkey tree.

You can satisfy my hunger.
You can feed me fruit, and comb my hair.
You’ve always been the Queen of my jungle,
So take your throne in my tropical lair.
I’ll survive if I can make it with you.
You’re my necessary luxury; let’s stay naked and true…

I'm living out on a limb,
And it’s my soul on the line,
But I feel fine…


from The Songman & Me, vol 1, released December 15, 2010


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Joe Craig Islington, UK

"The Songman & Me, vol. 1 is a collection of beautifully crafted songs in the classic tradition of Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb and James Taylor. At the keyboard and with his intimate vocals, Joe Craig performs with a raw emotion that cuts to the heart of the characters and stories in the songs. He may be a virtuoso storyteller, but on this evidence, he's very much a gifted songman too." ... more

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