Thing a Week 51 – Summer’s Over

ByJoCo September 22, 2006

Isn’t it though? Here’s the thing – this is song #51, and the next one is #52 and I’m freaking out. It was very hard to write this one. You can imagine how much pressure I’m feeling at this point to wrap the whole thing up with a couple of really kick-ass songs about monkeys and robots, really blow everybody’s mind. As a result, I can’t think of anything really interesting to say about monkeys or robots. So this one’s just about somebody leaving somebody else at the end of the summer (hint: no it’s not, it’s about the end of Thing a Week).

It was especially hard because I knew something you didn’t, which is that this is the last song I’ll write for Thing a Week. Next week is going to be a cover. Why yes, it is a cop out. But really, I can’t imagine writing something that’s as appropriate as this cover song will be – you’ll see. It just feels right to me.

Speaking of which, I need a little something from you folks to make it happen. If you have the capability to record decently (no built-in laptop microphones please), I would like you to record a single hand clap and email it to me. Your best hand clap please, mp3 is fine as long as it’s a pretty decent bitrate. By doing so you agree to let me use it for whatever I want from now until the end of time without getting any sort of credit for it, ever. But you’ll be on a CD.

And now, without any further adieu (hee hee):

Summer’s Over

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Matt says

*sniff* It's beautiful, man. Excuse me, I have something in my eye.

Jinge Su says

*cries* you write some awsome songs, it's so sad to see you stop this amazing project. I'm sorry I'm such a poor freeloader. If I ever get rich I would donate loads of money to you (though don't bet on the fact that I'll get rich). Please continue to write songs.

kathy says

aw that is lovely. a lovely way to nearly-end.

Gle3nn says

I can barely see through the tears to write this. Beautiful song man.
You got me weeping like a little girl. Please don't go away for long.
Thing a month would be good. Please?

Glenn says

This makes me very sad.

I am a sad, sad monkey.

Dave says

One of your prettiest chord progressions.

Len says

When do you need the hand claps by?

JoCo says

Er, Wednesday? Thursday's probably still OK too.

Spiff says

Jinge Su: "poor freeloader"? You've got a computer but you don't have $10 to help support this wonderful artist? I'm pretty sure you and all the poor freeloaders out there have the price of two burger value meals in your pocket that you can send JC in payment of his wonderful service. Just click the PayPal button and do the right thing. I think you'll find your life isn't that much worse off for being $10 lighter.

Dennis says

For some reason, I'm having trouble listening to this one.

Grailwolf says

Wow. Just... wow.

I totally get wanting to use a cover for the final song. I've had plenty of those. A song, a book, a poem that is written by someone else, but that resonates with something in my soul in a way that I doubt I'll ever be able to match.

Still, though, I'd love for the final words in this amazing project to come from you. So I'll take this as the final song with an appendix to follow next week.

That said, I do not think that anyone, anywhere could have written a better final chapter. Monkeys and robots and zombies be damned.

Well... I guess the zombies sort of already... oh, never mind.

Zach says

So if I opt for a lossless handclap, would you prefer AIFF or WAV or something else?

JoCo says

Either is fine - almost any format is workable for me.

Bob says

Have you ever thought of making the last song a run down of all the other 51 songs or even a remix of the most popular?

Or you could do the hillariously frustrating thing of going "no song these week, I'll put one up next week" or something evil and totally out of character.

Farris says

If next week's song isn't We Are The Champions, it'll be an utter shame! :)

Looking forward to whatever it may be. My claps are on the way via carrier midget.

Lauren says


Keith says

I'm staying here. Where else would I go?

Robert says

Bob, that's a pretty decent idea. I've seen that done before, in the form of Megadeth's Victory, in which the entire song was a story put together using references and titles of dozens of songs up until that point in the band's history. Sure, it made for a bit of disjointed references, and some references felt all but forced, but it made for an amazingly nostalgic journey through all their works.

Dan says

Anyone else think "This is the last song I'll ever write for you," when they heard the news?

MikeB says

JoCo, thou art brilliant and gracious. Giving us the chance to participate in one of your songs for the 52nd...very cool.

Hm...what songs have claps in them...I'll be thinking about that for the next couple of nights..!

Dave says

Why do I have the feeling that the cover is going to be the Barking Dogs version of Jingle Bells, but with hand claps?

The Doifter says

I should probably be slightly embarrassed at how long I spent clapping into the microphone, trying to get the best possible one. But JC deserves nothing less.

TheCoffinRobber says

/me sheds a tear for the Things that will never be written.

C4bl3Fl4m3 says

Does it make me a sap that I cried?

Well, to be fair, the end of summer always depresses the fuck outta me (having seasonal depression in the winter, you start to dread the changing of the seasons back to the cold months), and sad songs about the end of summer have a tendency to make me teary-eyed.

But, man... I CRIED. AT WORK. It's a good thing my desk is positioned with my back to my co-workers. (which is also a bad thing... they can read everything on my monitor... including my goofing off @

C4bl3Fl4m3 says

MikeB: JoCo is the King of the Hand Claps. He can put claps into ANYTHING. Not only that, he can put the claps in and make it WORK. So trying to figure out what songs have claps, IMHO, is a moot point.

Jody LaFerriere says

I have randomly sent money to support my JoCo addiction. I just read that Thing a Week is over...oh my God, I don't know what I have to live for now. You should have seen me every Friday, running over to the computer like a little kid.

I'm so very very very sad.

Oh, and I'm tossing cash in the kitty because I'm one of the people in MA who wanted you to come but I can't make the show tomorrow...Boston is a little too far for me to do that late on a "school night"...

Cody Jassman says

Jonathan, thank you so much for a year of beautiful and inspiring songs. You are truly an artist among an entire industry of stale, played-out songs that do more borrowing than creating.

Michael Letterle says

Jonathan, I just wanted to thank you for the last year of music. You are truely an artist and I hope you're able to make a living doing what your love. BTW Come to Cleveland!

jonturner says

Jonathan, thank you for this song -- it's wonderful! "Summer's over. You're going back to school. I'm staying here. Where else would I go?" That captures such a depth of emotion. Amazing. IMO, as fine as anything by Lennon & McCartney.

Please tell me you play this with a 4th fret capo. I've been playing this for the past few days and I've got to say it's more challenging than I expected. Another way of saying, man, you're good. you make it sound easy!

The chord progression is similar to another of my all-time-favourite songs: "Sleep On" by Alison Krauss:

Could your heart ever be mine?
Your arms hold me so close to you all through the night
Your eyes gaze into mine
Sayin' I should believe you, I always do, I don't know why

Cause you taught me a lesson the hard way one time
Told me you loved me but then changed your mind
I never told no one how I hurt down inside until now
Sleep on...

Talorat says

Beutiful, seriously, I cant belive that I just joined up with this cult and it is disbanding already. However I think there is a post on a different song I think you should read if you haven't already. It could really work and infact it has worked for webcomics so I have no doubt in my mind that it would work for you.

Copyed here for your conviniance

JY Says:
September 16th, 2006 at 10:32 am

Maybe release a “thing” when a target amount of donations are collected. Maybe put up a 30 second sample of the next “thing” and then when you’ve collected, say, $500 dollars worth of donations, you release the entire “thing”. If, after, say a month, the donations don’t reach the target, then only those who donated get an .MP3 of a song. Not sure if this would really work any better than just charging for an .MP3 download, just a wild idea.


Jinge Su says

Yeah, I totaly agree that I am pathetic. I mean this man has given me some of the best times these months and many fun times with my freind. Unfortunately, I don't even have a credit card acount... This computer was a final good bye present from my parrents untill they booted me to collage. I'm so sorry.