The call of the sad trombone (skirmish)

The call of the sad trombone (skirmish)

mike skliar's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

This was a skirmish, done inside of an hour... the prompt was 'sad trombone' (with a bonus for getting the words 'with a knife' in there somehow)

I'm actually kind of pleased with this, and I'm thinking of it as a kind of Americana thing that 'The Band' might have done...

curious if it resonates out there..

this is (as of now) the original rough demo recording. I'm thinking of re-recording with room for a trombone solo, if anyone is interested)


In amongst the all too happy trumpets
And the saxophones so satisfied with their tone
There dwelled an all too quiet dreamer
You can call him the sad trombone

He would wait for that little part of the arrangement
That quiet part he could call his own
Then you would hear his sliding sighs
It’s the call of the sad trombone

Most of the audience, were busy being wowed
By the bragging of the burly showboater
Better to hold up a bold pigeon breast
Then to silently seem to rollover

But one in a hundred knew the power of a whisper
Where a shout would be overblown
It was for those folks he would play those notes
The call of the sad trombone

He was cut from the orchestra, it felt like a knife
In the shoulder blades into his backbone
the keyboard player was plugged in now
could simulate the sound of a trombone

and no one was writing arrangments
where the sadness could be felt with a moan
say goodbye to those sliding sighs
and the call of the sad trombone

(c) M. Skliar 2017

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


colgoo's picture

Great lyrics, Mike. Bet you were wishing you could play the trombone on this! There is room in this piece to find a trombonist for future performances. Great melody and story telling.

metalfoot's picture

So what you're saying is that my prompt was specific enough to spur something for you, Mike? Fun song and nice bluesy structure to the chords. Americana is a good style descriptor here, I'd say. And you worked the knife into it! Great skirmishing.

kahlo2013's picture

So clever and quirky! I love the sad trombone perspective and how you build the evolving story so well! Great subtle bluesy feel too to the delivery. Love it!

Kristi's picture

Amazing this was done in an hour for a skirmish! The underdog is a fave of included...and I think you constructed a very clever story here that speaks to that! Yeah, it would be lovely to hear the sad trombone in there somewhere. Well done!

3tdoan's picture

Can't say I've heard too many whispering trombones but you definitely sell the trombone as the under-appreciated member of the brass section Biggrin Fantastic story-telling, especially for a skirmish, and I like the chromatic chord changes - could well be echoed in the trombone part when it comes. Great write!

Rob From Amersfoort's picture

The lyrics are very well written! It's a sad story, a clever response to the skirmish prompt!

expendable friend's picture

Excellent storytelling lyrics. And I like your chord sequence here - a few unexpected twists and turns. Impressive skirmishing! You made a tricky title sound effortless.