No Drugs For Me

by Teresa Jennings

If your students have an anti-drug abuse program at your school, they may appreciate this new song. Its lyrics very clearly state the case for abstinence and resistance to drugs. To help make it usable with most students, we have created a call and response section. That way, you can assign the call to your stronger singers and let the others simply imitate them. This will give them a sense of security and direction so they can sing out. Then when the tune becomes unison at measure 17 each time, you can still let your stronger singers sort of "lead the way." The scoops that are indicated at measures 22 and 30 are optional, but they are fun for the kids to sing and seem quite natural. If they use them, let them exaggerate, as our singers did. Add the snaps, which are also optional, for a little extra "hip" quality.

No doubt about it, one of the coolest things about this song is the '30s jazz style arrangement. For our recording we used a walking acoustic bass, chunking archtop guitar, a trio of solo instrumentalists, drum set, and a comping piano. We also added an organ playing the melody for reinforcement (though technically this would not have been done in the '30s). Actually, if you had a rhythm section and instrumentalists of your own, you could do this piece live. The entire chart is on the piano/vocal, though you would have to transpose accordingly. We used trumpet for the top note of the chords, tenor sax for the middle notes, and tenor trombone for the bottom notes. But you can use other combinations, such as alto sax with or instead of trumpet.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.