About: Living the Dream




Ray Burns & the DeComposers - Living the Dream

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Living the Dream

Jeffrey Powel, Chris Rininger, & Ray Burns

Not worried ‘bout money
Cuz I got a killer job
Not worried about my mojo
Cuz I’m dancin’ at the club

I’m livin’ the dream
I’m livin’ the dream
I’m livin’ the dream
I’m livin’ the dream


Not worried ‘bout my peeps
Cuz they always got my back
Not worried ‘bout my girlfriend
Cuz she’s always where it’s at


I got my homies from the old school.
New ones from Cordoba
Communion at the tiki hut
Now scoot your asses over


I’m dancin’ by the speaker
I can feel it in my teeth
Got the bootie movin’ Gangnam style
I got de total stress relief.


Don’ want no thriller killer
Getting’ bent when the hour’s late
It’s time to keep on movin
Its time to celebrate!


Nor Cal So Cal, Santa Barbie Ski Pal
East Coast, Mexico, Canada too
Isla Vista, tiki hut, beer bong, busta gut
Gotta renta houseboat, dirt Bike, take a hike
RV, pushin hard, take a spill, playin cards

Road trips, bus rides, sleepin on the mountain side
Mammoth, Tahoe, Shasta too
Spiritual, Pop a top, gotta dance, never stop
Callin on the shaman to bless the brew 

Pairin’ off, work's to the wall,
But stay in touch, with a sober call
The weekend’s comin’, grab the gear
Get the 411, start headin’ there.

Chorus x’s 2 & out




My children and their friends are, pretty much, living charmed lives. That about says it all. My son recently announced his engagement to a lovely young lady, Lauren. The date of the wedding was a year from the announcement but, to set the date off, an engagement party was thrown to allow an opportunity for their respective friends and families to visit and get to know one another before the big day. This song was inspired by that wonderful and amazing weekend and by the friends who came. The lyrical "hook" for the song "living the dream" is attributed directly to the group and has evolved to a kind of mantra spoken among them. I first heard it said by Justin Yahr but I don't know if he can claim responsibility for it. Nevertheless, none of the credit goes to me. The lyrics of the song are about this group, their remarkable chemistry, and the obvious affection and trust they have for one another. When around them, it just feels good and they are, by all appearances, living the dream.

Words and music for this song are the product of a collaborative effort by Jeff Powel, Ray Burns, and Chris Rininger. It began with the lyrical hook and a song list that Gregory had prepared so his friends could dance until they dropped. After the weekend, Greg sent me the play list and I listened to the songs with the goal of trying to do one like the ones they "like." Most had a beat of about 130 BPM and, according to my daughter, Melissa, fall into the genre of "house" music. Both Ray and Chris were more familiar with this style than I and Ray even knew the words to some of the songs we auditioned. I described what it was like to be with the gang, and then Chris, Ray and I started brainstorming lyrics. I also sampled sounds on the computer to try to emulate what we were hearing. The drums and bass were pretty straightforward. Thump, thump, thump... how hard could that be? But then there was something interesting in the vocals. Most had that "Cher/T-Pain effect" pitch correction, at least in places. In addition most of the songs had heavy emphasis on synth and, somewhere in the middle, a rap! So with that as structural background we wrote and recorded Living the Dream.

There are endless insider references... to sample a very few... nicknames : Eastcoast=ski team jargon for not in the state of California; places: Cordoba was Greg's dorm-like abode in Isla Vista while he was at UCSB and, yes, it really did have a Jimmy Buffett tiki hut in the living room with a beer-o-later.), Psy invented dancing Gangnam style; if you haven't heard of him, then go back to your cave. At 1 AM the second night of the engagement party weekend, following bacchanalian excess and pounding music loud enough to blow a hi-frequency tweeter, I entered the man cave to announce last call for the designated driver we'd hired to take them home. When I entered the control room of my studio, I saw a large contingent of the group standing around my computer as Michael Jackson's Thriller video just began. Not realizing the psychological harm I was about to induce, I turned off the song and announced the need to re-group upstairs and catch their ride , thereafter earning me the self-appointed moniker of "Thriller Killer." The power watcher will find the cameo of Bonnie in the video and the DD should be able to say the rap, at tempo, prior to receiving his car keys!

I have insufficient images to acknowledge every one of significance to Greg and Lauren in this wonderful group. For those I missed, see you next song :-)