On a Roll

Rhymenocerous by Tim Seston

My name's Rhymenocerous.  He's Hiphopapotamus
We're here to tell our tale is this great metropolis
See I’ve got the rhyme and Hippe has the rhythm
He lays down the beat and I follow right with him

Our story begins in the African Jungle
Where I found myself in a bit of a bungle
You see I learned to rhyme when I was just a calf
I’d sit with all my cousins and make them all laugh
When I told a silly joke so the story goes
A rhino bull snorted grass right out of his nose

It made me laugh so hard, you should have seen his horn
But next thing I knew, I wish I hadn’t been born
Because that rhino bull told the rest of the herd
Not to listen anymore to my rhyming word
So I left my home and traveled out on the plain
Fell asleep in a puddle in the pouring rain


In the morning I awoke and what did I hear
This huge hippopotamus was mooing in my ear
I was startled at first by this deafening sound
I jumped up to my feet and then I stood my ground
I sized up the hippo and as he stared at me
I knew that he was just as scared as scared can be   

Then I asked him some questions, “Am I in your home?
Or did I just pick a puddle where you like to roam?
He turned his back on me then with a giant thud
Plopped down on the ground just to wallow in the mud
Well I thought he'd dissed me, but then instead
He started clapping both his hoofs and shaking his head


So I lay back down like a rhinoceros should
When in a situation that he knows is good
We were the fastest of friends and we spent our time
Hippe making rhythms while I thought up the rhymes
We practiced for a year on the African plain
Under a scorching sun and the torrential rain

Then with the laughter and the blessing of a lion’s roar
We prepared ourselves for an incredible tour
Then we packed all our bags and we said our goodbye
Found a way for a rhino and a hippo to fly
Our plan was ingenious, we traveled here by crates
To find fame and fortune in the fifty states

Steve Gross of Project Joy challenged me to write a song about these two
characters back when I was just starting out as a songwriter.  I loved the
idea and wrote the song in less than a day.  

When we learned that the names of these characters had been used
already in an adult song by the Flight of the Conchords we didn't pursue the
song to any extent.  

However, when I decided to make a CD about dealing with adversity and
thinking about the challenges that children have to overcome on a day to
day basis, I went back to the archives.  This story is about being excluded
from one group only to find friendship where it was not expected.  

Children are resilient but they need to know that it is OK to step away from
the "in crowd" and build strong relationships in our diverse and complex