Bridge Builder Blues

By on March 21, 2007

The Bridge Builder Blues is a fun little song I originally wrote back in late 2004. I forgot about it until the Science Olympiad season of 2006. I pulled it out, and with the help of my brother re-wrote the lyrics and came up with the music. Then in 2007 We made a music video of the song which you can view below.

Lyrics

Working late on the last Friday night
Before competition, I’m running out of time
I think I’ve got a chance to be the best in state
I just hope this last minute bridge can hold the weight

I can hardly move my fingers because of all the glue
I’ve got the bridge builder blues

I’ve got basswood and balsa scattered all around
I grab some of the sticks and I start going to town
Pretty soon I will emerge from this mess
With a fine looking bridge that’s sure to impress

And from head to toe I’m covered up in glue
I’ve got the bridge builder blues

At the competition people gather around
Amazed these little bridges can hold thirty-three pounds
Though I made a sturdy box, without a single flaw
What can a person do against old Murphy’s Law

I had to shave off all my hair to get out all the glue
I’ve got the bridge builder blues

And now it’s my turn, and my hands are shaking
I only get more nervous the more time that this is taking
Cup after cup after cup of sand I pour
I don’t know if my nerves can stand this anymore

Am I the only one, or have you got them too?
I’ve got the bridge builder blues
(What about you?)

Writer’s Commentary

These a few of my thoughts about the song, and some additional verses.
Working late on the last Friday night
Before competition, I’m running out of time
I think I’ve got a chance to be the best in state
I just hope this last minute bridge can hold the weight

This verse has probably changed the least amount of all the verses since the original. At first I wanted it to be “Working late on Saturdays nights,” but my brother changed it.

This verse is strongly biased to my experience in Science Olympiad. All of our competitions are held on Saturdays, so “Working on the last Friday night” basically means the night before. While I have only done this once (it was only an invitational), it sets the mood for the rest of the song.

All the verses are followed by a short chorus. Originally we only had one chorus, but we just thought of too many funny lines and had to include them.

2nd Verse

I’ve got basswood and balsa scattered all around
I grab some of the sticks and I start going to town
Pretty soon I will emerge from this mess
With a fine looking bridge that’s sure to impress

This verse is one of my favorites. The last line used to say “With a fine looking bridge that is covered in gussets.” My brother found that a little too hard to sing, so it was changed :(.

I can hardly move my fingers because of all the glue
I’ve got the bridge builder blues

Each of the chorus lines becomes increasingly funny, at least in my opinion. This is one that everyone who has used CA or super glue can identify with.

3rd Verse

At the competition people gather around
Amazed these little bridges can hold thirty-three pounds
Though I made a sturdy box, without a single flaw
What can a person do against old Murphy’s Law

This verse is really a combination of two other verses. Originally we had about 7 verses, but that made the song too long. We had to take out some verses, and in this case we combined two. The verses originally were:

The night before I’m getting ready to go
And hope tomorrow I don’t trip in the snow
But what defense do I have against Murphy’s Law
So I make a box full of padding and straw
At the competition some people are amazed
And start clapping out, and givin’ some praise
When they see those bridges so light and so small
Holding all the weight, they really are enthralled

I had to shave off all my hair to get out all the glue
I’ve got the bridge builder blues

This 3rd chorus is the best one. There is actually a better one, but it was *cough* censored by our producer (mom).

4th Verse

And now it’s my turn, and my hands are shaking
I only get more nervous the more time that this is taking
Cup after cup after cup of sand I pour
I don’t know if my nerves can stand this anymore

And here we are, at the pinnacle of the Science Olympiad experience: the competition. I have been to over 15 competitions, and tested countless bridges at home, but my hands still shake at the competition. I don’t know why, but nothing I have tried to do has stopped it.

Am I the only one, or have you got them too?
I’ve got the bridge builder blues
(What about you?)

Additional Verses

Finally I close my eyes to catch 40 winks
I dream I have a fine bridge but then my heart sinks
I get to competition with the lightest bridge in hand
But I find I have to use rocks instead of sand

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2 thoughts on “Bridge Builder Blues”

  1. WE LOVE BRIDGES!!! We’re building model bridges in our science research class and “Bridge Builder Blues” has really inspired us to take our bridges to the next level. thanks sooo much <3333

    By stacy and tiffany -- February 6, 2009
  2. hi! We were searching this site fo ra Physics class and came across this song. WE LOVE IT! We are performing it for our local talent show! THANK YOU! Hollywood here we come! We love physics!

    By KKA -- December 3, 2008

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