In January 2011 The Dick & Jane Project began its inaugural workshop at an after school program. Eight 4th and 5th graders gathered at Weinland Park Elementary to test Ben Shinabery’s theory that young people could write the lyrics to hit songs. After explaining The Project to the students, all eight got immediately to writing with topics ranging from pet dogs to cutting grass to Ohio. Many focused on the few blocks surrounding the school, an area of Columbus called Weinland Park. Weinland Park, developed in the 1890s has, overtime, fallen victim to overcrowding and poor rental upkeep. Along with the closing of three factories that employed many of the residence, drugs and crime have since taken hold giving way to widespread vacancies. Currently though, the Weinland Park Collaborative is offering hope to the area, bringing new houses and well lit streets. Still, many old habits remain. When Sirrtom was writing his song, his request for a protected house resonated with many of the students.
Sirrtom is an active child with a limitless imagination. Even while writing the song he was asking when tickets to his album release would be printed. When Sirrtom’s song was selected for the debut CD and Sirrtom found himself at the release he dreamed of, he happily signed autographs for all his new fans.
I have ten thousand dollars of money and a house.
My mom would be so happy ’cause I got my diploma.
And I’ ve got guards to guard my house.
My house is red and blue with a big gate.
I was working on writing and science and social studies.
I was learning about the North Pole.
And I’ve got guards to guard my house.
We’re going to be chilling in my new house.
We’re going to be playing in my blue house.
We’re going to be singing in my cool house.
We’re going to be praying in my new house.
If you come over my house,
you have to cook something
like macaroni or sweet potato.
released February 23, 2012
Lyrics- Sirrtom, Weinland Park Elementary
Music- Trains Across the Sea
Recorded and mixed at Old Son Studios by Josh Landis, October 2011
Released on Orientation, Feb. 2012
Radio Premier: March, 2012
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