Pair #29: "The Most Exciting Thing I Did in the Past Year Freestyle"

Original Post Date: July 12, 2005
Runtime: 0:34
Genre: Rap
Compilation Album: Pink Pants

Prompt Summary: an experimental song that's 35 seconds or less about the most exciting thing Andrew did in the past year, accompanied by instruments no one would be able to recognize

It's the end of a year, so let's take a moment to reflect on it. Mine was stressful, how about yours?

Okay, moment over. Let's check in on Andrew, with this awkward freestyle from 2005, "The Most Exciting Thing I Did in the Past Year Freestyle."

Your first impression may be, "Was this produced by a nine-year-old?". Everything about the track screams "amateur," which was most definitely the intention here. The backing instrumentals are discordant. (I think I hear claves?) The rap delivery is very drunk-guy-at-an-open-mic-thing. And the narrative is…implausible.* But then, so are most narratives in Songs to Wear Pants To.

Andrew recorded a handful of freestyle raps over the course of Songs to Wear Pants To. He performs most of them in this awkward, nervous style. By definition, the lyrics are entirely improvised. So you can safely expect them to end up in a very different place than where they started.

"Word to your whole family!" Happy New Year, folks. Let's all do better in 2023.

*I'm not sure which STWPT narrative is less plausible: this or "The History of"?

Pair #28: "15984 BPM"

"15984 BPM"
Original Post Date: October 2, 2008
Runtime: 2:58
Genres: Spoken Word/Electronic
Compilation Album:
Sweat Pants

Prompt Summary: a song that's faster than any song that's come before it, with snails as a possible topic

I would hardly call this track a song. It's certainly about a piece of music. And technically, there's music playing for most of it. It's just…you can't really tell. Because it's too fast for the human brain to comprehend.

Yes, indeed, as the prompt requested, Andrew tried to write a song that breaks the record for "BPMs," otherwise known as beats per minute, otherwise known as tempo. The end result doesn't exactly do that, but Andrew did write a song—an electronic song, specifically—then loop it, and then play back the loop for us at a whopping 15,984 BPM. And yes, it does sound like a tinny droning. Is that music? You decide!

Instead of centering around a very fast song, this track centers around the tempo at which Andrew plays back his new loop* in real time. He starts it out at that very specific, large number—was the previous tempo record 15,983 BPM? Or is there some significance to the sum of 999×16?—and then, over the course of almost three minutes, slows it down gradually. As you can imagine, it takes most of the track to get from that astronomical number down to a tempo at which it actually has any discernible rhythm, let alone melody, which is at roughly the original tempo's square root. You'll start to notice a bass beat around the two-minute mark; you'll hear a more complete song around fifteen seconds later.

But it's not just a waiting game. (And that's a good thing because for most of the slowdown, it is impossible to make out any differences, other than in pitch.) Throughout the process, Andrew adlibs about…random things. Including, as suggested by the prompt, snails. I think he also mentions something about having three ears? I dunno.

What carries this track are two things: 1) the suspense as you wait to hear what the loop actually sounds like, and 2) Andrew's meandering and/or nonsense spoken-word performance. So, as your 2022 winds down, and you reflect on the year that was, take three minutes to listen to all of the BPMs and some ramblings from a slightly bored-sounding sound engineer; you won't be disappointed.

*This track is a bit of a shame because I do like the loop he created for it. It's kinda chiptuney. Unfortunately, you can't really make any of it out for more than thirty seconds or so. Oh, and if this weren't a loop, he'd have to have written a song that's, like, an hour long in order to get it to last this whole track. (If anyone does the math on this, please let me know in the comments!)

Pair #27: "This Girl"

Original Post Date: August 15, 2005
Runtime: 0:27
Genres: Pop/Rock
Compilation Album: Pink Pants

Prompt Summary: a song that will help someone express their feelings for "this girl" ; requester lists three physical attributes to include, and that's it

Ah, the male gaze: creepy, often unwanted, and yet somehow still socially acceptable. With that in mind, I present "This Girl," the theme song of the male gaze.

Listening to this energetic track out of context may infuriate you, especially if you are a woman. (I would argue that they should infuriate you regardless of gender, but this isn't a blog about feminism, so I'm not going to argue that here.) The lyrics openly objectify a female's body, punctuated with the repeated line, "I don't even care about your personality."

When put into context, however, it becomes a hilarious, scathing work of art. See, the prompt behind this song asked Andrew to write a piece that expresses the requester's feelings for a girl he—presumably "he," though it would still be problematic to some degree regardless of gender—likes. The requester then went on to provide a short list of things about this girl that he finds worth expressing: "her beautiful light blue eyes, long brown hair, and great athletic body." You probably noticed that those are all physical, external attributes which are largely beyond her control.

Andrew included those attributes in the song, verbatim. The line about not caring about her personality? That was Andrew's idea. He turned this hormonal person's shallow expression of lust into a work of biting musical satire. Less than thirty seconds is all it takes for Mr. Pants* himself to rip this person a new one.

Now. We are human. Aesthetic and other attractions are a normal, healthy part of life—as are a lack thereof. But…tact is always important when expressing such attractions. And if we've learned anything from what women have been shouting at us over the last few years all of time, there's a time and a place for compliments that are only about physical appearance, and a song from an acquaintance is not that.

As a work of satire, this song is hilarious. The upbeat melody and the peppy punk sound, combined with the lyrics, produce an emotional whiplash that only perfectly constructed satire can muster. You start out thinking, "Oh, cool, a love song." And then you get to the last line, and you're like, "That is not what I was expecting, WTF. Why is he so happy about reducing this girl to her looks?"

I loved this song before I had even read the original prompt. Its message is pretty clear. And it's hilariously pulled off. But knowledge of the requester's original intention makes it even more hilarious because then you know that it's not just satire; Andrew epically trolled the requester. This song isn't just a cheeky interpretation; it's vicious.

*Throughout the vast majority (if not the entirety) of Songs to Wear Pants To's lifespan, Andrew credited himself as "Andrew Pants." Plus, addressing him as "Mr. Huang" in this context would have felt…absurd lol.

Pair #26: "Shooby Doo Wop Muh Muh Ne My My My"

Original Post Date: March 28, 2005
Runtime: 2:02
Genres: Doo-Wop
Compilation Album: Blue Pants

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] a doo-wop song as a Christmas gift for a mother and an aunt

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it! I don't, but there are no Hanukkah-themed Songs to Wear Pants To, so I'm doing this instead.

I honestly wasn't all that familiar with doo-wop until I first heard this and a couple of other Songs to Wear Pants To, but I immediately fell in love with this historically Black genre. The prominent harmonies, the fun scatting, the swing rhythms and syncopation…it's a beautiful tapestry of music.

Mouthful of a title aside, "Shooby Doo Wop Muh Muh Ne My My My" is a slow doo-wop song, commissioned as a Christmas gift to someone's relatives. It incorporates tropes like metaphors and radio shoutouts, with a smooooooooooooth chorus consisting entirely of scatting. As far as Christmas songs, it's not particularly Christmas-y, as the holiday only gets a single mention, but the slow tempo and overall smoooooooooothness of the song make it a great tune alongside which to slow-dance with a loved one beside a burning Yule log.*

I really don't have a whole lot else to say about this one. It's in my top 20 STWPTs. It's just so smoooooooooooooth.

*Please do not slow-dance on the Yule log.

Pair #25: "Songs to Wear Pants to Theme"

Original Post Links: Version 1 | Version 2
Original Post Date: July 7, 2004
Runtime: 0:34 (version 1) ; 0:52 (version 2)
Genres: Ballad (version 1) ; Rock (version 2)
Compilation Album:
Green Pants

Prompt Summary: a theme song for Songs to Wear Pants To—what a shocker!

We've hit 25 posts, so I'm doing something special today: two songs for the price of one. Except they're technically the same song. And they have the exact same title. And they were originally released the same day. So basically this is one song, just from two different universes. Or maybe it's like light: one thing made up of two phenomena existing in the same space at the same time. I am going to stop trying to explain this because I'm getting a headache.

Anyway, this is the official theme song(s) for the Songs to Wear Pants To website. Appropriately named "Songs to Wear Pants To Theme," each version of this song is a response to a separate prompt that asked Andrew to write a theme song for STWPT. Neither had any suggestions for genre, though the one used for the second* version does raise the idea of using an actual pair of pants as an instrument, an idea that not only did Andrew run with but that is also ingenious.

Both versions have basically the same lyrics: "Songs to Wear Pants To is a website. It has some songs, and you can listen to them in your computer. All you have to do is right-click and 'Save as….'" They also have the same basic melody. And that is where the similarities end.

Version 1 is a slow ballad, with a lone guitar accompanying Andrew's impassioned vocals. The mood is somewhat broken at the end, when Andrew's strumming goes out of control, leading to a delightfully awkward chuckle to punctuate the theme song.

Version 2 is an energetic rock song (though only slightly faster than the other version), with an electric guitar and percussion rounding out the vocals. This is Andrew at his STWPT-est, just losing himself in the song, getting us all super excited for Songs to Wear Pants To. This version has an interlude, however: a "pants solo." For said pants solo, all the music cuts out except for the faint sound of Andrew "playing" a pair of pants. At first, it sounds sounds like he's just rubbing his hand or something else against a pair of pants, with no sense of rhythm, before he eventually finds a beat while doing something more akin to drumming. You might have to turn your volume up for this solo.

Both versions are perfect theme songs for the late website. Not every Song to Wear Pants To is fast-paced and instrumentation-rich, but even the ones that aren't tend to devolve into some kind of craziness. Meanwhile, STWPT is all about fun and experimentation. It is perfect that we got these two different sides of the same coin because just one of them alone would not have done the site justice.


*Ever played the Oracle games in the Legend of Zelda franchise? In case you haven't, they're two standalone games that can each be "connected" to the other to make either game the sequel to the other. In effect, you get a chicken-or-egg scenario, where canonically, each one takes place both before and after the other. That's what we have here. There's no actual "Version 1" and "Version 2"; they're both "Songs to Wear Pants To Theme." I just applied version numbering here to make my life infinitely easier. It wasn't entirely random, though, as the one I refer to as "Version 1" was posted before the other one. While there are no discernible timestamps, we can probably safely assume that Andrew posted them in close succession, meaning "Version 1" is the first version in the way that one twin is older than another. There, wasn't that a fun footnote? What a ride!

Pair #24: "It Was the World"

Original Post Date: May 3, 2004
Runtime: 1:05
Genre: Showtunes
Compilation Album:
Green Pants

Prompt Summary: a song about a Broadway character who gets suspended above a shark tank and has to summarize all of world history in less than a minute and eleven seconds or die

Some Songs to Wear Pants To prompts were like this one: very specific and very weird. It's like magnetic poetry, or at least how I do it. ("Has you be fluffing" is my magnum opus.*)

You can get pretty much the whole song from the prompt summary, as Andrew hits every single beat, except perhaps from making the main character more like an out-of-character performer than an actual character. We open on a rather lengthy plea for help, in which our nameless protagonist screams for mercy and lists off all the other production staff that have already been killed. Then, the freaky but nondescript villain demands to hear a summary of world history.

Then comes the most jarring 180 imaginable, with the protagonist just like, "Well, okay!"—as if his life were no longer in danger and he were actually really delighted to comply with the villain's request. I love this 180 because it comes out of nowhere and is like a slap in the face right before the actual song begins: a bouncy showtune a la Liza Minnelli.

Obviously, this isn't a deep dive into history; we're already thirty seconds into the track before the song even starts, and the whole track is just over a minute long. bill wurtz famously covered world history at breakneck speed and still produced a 19-minute video. So don't expect to learn anything new…except for Andrew's birth year. Yeah, at the end of the song, he breaks the fourth wall and ends his history "lesson" with the real Andrew's birth. Apparently, he was a "beautiful baby," if there's such a thing for humans. :D

"It Was the World" is an unexpected rollercoaster of a minute. The narrative is bizarre and leaves you wondering about the main character's fate, but at the same time, it ends with a truly fantastic line that is even funnier out of context. The song part of the track is quite catchy and also successful at evoking a Golden Age of Broadway style of musical.

"So please don't throw me into the tank of sharks."

*My other magnetic poetry hits include "purple finger juice did," "club there garden milk," "me a mean watch," and of course, "these-ing-ed-s." What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Pair #23: "I Am Goldilocks"

Original Post Date: March 19, 2007
Runtime: 1:00
Genre: Alternative rock
Compilation Album: Pink Pants

Prompt Summary: an 80s rock ballad that retells the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Once upon a time, a young* girl trespassed on an ursine family's property and helped herself to their oddly human-oriented accommodations.

Summarizing media in a brutally honest light like that is something I very much enjoy doing. (Pok√©mon: minors training animals to fight each other for money…and their friendship…?) So it's no wonder that "I Am Goldilocks" fills me with joy.

Like other "I Am…" songs, the lyrics tell this famous tale from the perspective of the title entity, Goldilocks in this case. Except it's a somewhat grungy interpretation of her story because the 1980s; the lyrics also imply that Goldilocks is older when she is singing them. For example, according to this song, Goldilocks didn't just surprise the bears; she "pissed [them] off." Then there's my favorite line: "I'm the misdemeanor queen, I'll wreck your home / I've been breaking and entering since age nine."

This isn't your preschool's Goldilocks. She is a criminal (if a petty one), and she has no remorse about invading the bears' home. Anything she wants is hers; she's the queen. She's punk rock and runs. this. town. Welcome to the real world, foo'!

…Okay, I think I got a little carried away, there. Anyway, any fan of '80s alt-rock should appreciate the moody melody and Andrew's self-assured vocals. But when you also understand what he's parodying here, you'll never view Goldilocks the same way again.

*In researching this song, I learned two things that have made me question my entire education: 1) "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is not from Grimms' Fairy Tales, and 2) the Goldilocks character, as originally written by an Englishman in the 1800s, was a crotchety, old woman who broke into a bachelor pad (rather than a family) of bears. What is this? Why can't this be the popular version? It sounds hilarious!

Pair #22: "Bossa Bye Baby"

Original Post Date: March 28, 2005
Runtime: 2:19
Genres: Bossa Nova/Lullaby
Compilation Album: Blue Pants

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] a bossa nova lullaby that is "slowish" but carried by a bossa nova rhythm and lyrics ; list of things to be mentioned in lyrics is provided

Remember "Celtic Techno Burrito"? That was a meeting of two genres that probably should never have met, even if the end result was super catchy and fun. Well, I'm here to present another Song to Wear Pants To that is a meeting of two genres that never come together anywhere else: bossa nova and lullaby.

Bossa nova rhythms are always fun, but how could anyone possibly take such lively, swingy music and mold it into something for putting babies to sleep? The answer? *shrug* "Bossa Bye Baby" probably won't be putting any babies to sleep, but they'll probably still get a kick out of it, as will you.

Lyrically, this song is both extremely sweet and subtly odd. There's no explanation provided, but the original prompt includes a list of seemingly random things that Andrew should include in the song. (Click the song title at the top of the post to see the list on the original site.) I actually appreciate the lack of context for this list, as it makes the request more mysterious and also leaves open the possibility that the requester was just very drunk and/or high* when they paid Andrew to make this song.

Musically, this song is a typical bossa nova. The lullaby isn't in the music, hence why this probably won't work so well for bedtime, but rather it is in the lyrics' being about a baby. One could argue that Andrew's use of falsetto makes it more lullaby-like, but…okay, I just disproved my point. Meanwhile, the refrain is a hecka good hook, and it makes this song, like many other Songs to Wear Pants To, unbelievably catchy. (No surprise: it's stuck in my head right now.)

Not quite the ear-tingling weirdness of "Celtic Techno Burrito," but still an interesting combination of genres!

*I have to imagine that at least ten percent of the requesters throughout STWPT's lifespan were cognitively impaired because otherwise that means that there are a lot of strange people in the world. What? There are? And I'm one of them? Oh, okay, that explains soooo much! Thanks for clearing that up!

Pair #21: "Angry Ring Tone"

Original Post Date: October 25, 2010
Runtime: 0:13
Genre: Novelty/A Cappella
Compilation Album: Corduroys, with Tassles

Prompt Summary: a ringtone that gets progressively angrier before giving up and admitting that voicemails are better than live phone calls, anyway

…And now back to the shenanigans!

"Angry Ring Tone" is exactly what it sounds like: an angry ringtone. Wow, never saw that coming.

This non-song was requested by someone who wanted to hear Andrew's talents while on the go. Bear in mind that this was around 2010, so MP3 players had been around for about a decade; even the iPhone had been out for a few years. I definitely had some free STWPT tracks on my iPod by then,* and I listened to Andrew while on the go. We didn't need a ringtone for this.

Aaaaaanyway, now that that's off my chest, let's discuss the ringtone. It's purely a cappella, meaning there are no instrumentals. Instead, we get a nice three-part harmony of Andrew singing the word, "rinnnnng," a few times. Each time, true to the prompt, the performance gets a little more aggressive and demanding, getting quite loud by the end. Then we get Andrew talking to us in one last-ditch attempt to get us to answer the call before conceding that leaving a voicemail is easier than actually talking on the phone, a sentiment that very much lives on today. (Actually, the saying is, "texting is easier than talking," but that wouldn't have fit as well in a ringtone.)

That's about it. It's short and not-so-sweet. Funny, though! If I liked ringtones, I'd totally use this one. But I'll stick to my vibrate-only mode.

*At that point, I still hadn't heard much Songs to Wear Pants To, but my brother had shown me Shorts to Wear Pants To, and I'd since downloaded all of the songs featured in that collab that I could download for free. Some were $0.99, though, and I had no way of making Internet payments yet. Wow, that takes me back…

Pair #20: "Never"

"NEVER" (Extended Version)
Original Post Dates: November 30, 2005 (Extended: June 9, 2009)
Runtimes: 0:57 (Extended: 3:03)
Genres: Pop/Rock Ballad
Compilation Albums:
Pink Pants (Extended: Skinny Jeans [also available on Autumn])

Prompt Summary: a song about things that Andrew has never done, in 5/4 time and without any percussion

Ah, "Never." When Andrew posted the original version of this song just over 17(!) years ago, STWPT fans were totally blindsided. In a mind-blowing inversion of his frequent cheeky interpretations of serious prompts, Andrew took a fun prompt and made a beautiful, heart-wrenching masterpiece.

As the prompt summary above states, the requester wanted Andrew to write a song about some things that he'd never done before. To make it more fun, they asked for it to be in 5/4 time—five beats per measure; note that "common time" is four beats per measure—and have no backing percussion.* Instead of a whimsical list of outrageous or impossible (or, alternatively, humanly necessary) things, Andrew wrote a song about never having gotten the chance to say goodbye to an ex.

Yup. "Never" is a breakup song. A totally normal breakup song. Like one you'd hear on a Top 40 radio station. Minds: blown.

What makes "Never" even more of an outlier is that the vast majority of the serious songs in the STWPT project are the results of paid commissions. In other words, Andrew pretty much only ever wrote serious songs when someone paid him to do so; otherwise, he even made fun of blatant requests for breakup songs. Except here. We can only speculate as to why this is the exception. Perhaps Andrew had just gone through a breakup in real life? :(

Musically, "Never" does take its 5/4 time request in stride. (It's rather difficult to conduct a song in 5/4 time, as I've learned from this song.) As far as I can tell, the original song features only a guitar and a piano—no drums—which lends it additional emotional weight as Andrew sings over a relatively sparse accompaniment. The original, minute-long version ends on a sustained piano note, leaving you hanging onto the raw emotion that's just been dumped on you out of nowhere by this comedy recording artist, before it fades to nothing. Damn.

Over the years, as you can see for yourself in the comments section of the original site post—click the word "Never" at the top of this post to visit—Andrew was inundated with praise for "Never," with fans expressing awe and appreciation for his songwriting talent. Mixed in with the praise were requests for an expanded version of the song. More than four years later, they got their wish: "Never (Extended)." What began as an unexpectedly heartfelt vignette became a full-length song, complete with verses, a chorus, a bridge, and a coda, thanks to the anonymous hero who paid Andrew to make it so.

Much like the extended version of "Celtic Techno Burrito" back in 2004, this extended track includes the original cut at the beginning. However, per the extended version's request, that final piano note from the original fades out more quickly now, creating a seamless transition into the new parts of the song. There's also a more lively instrumentation, including drums, and while that could have detracted from the emotional impact, it actually builds up quite well, going all forte or even fortissimo during the song's climactic coda.

Andrew successfully raised money on Kickstarter to fund the production of a music video for the song, and while I'm not generally a music video fan, this is one of my favorites. It shows Andrew revisiting a house, presumably where he lived with the significant other, taking in all of the memories they shared before ultimately destroying everything in spectacular fashion, an outpouring of sorrow and pain. The video is visually striking, and it compliments the song brilliantly. Therefore, instead of embedding a YouTube Music song below, I've embedded the official music video!

Andrew also released the extended version of "Never" as the lead single from his second solo LP, Autumn (originally released under the "Your Heart" moniker, a duo that disappeared into thin air). It features as the third track on that album, which comprises ten wrenching but beautiful songs about troubled relationships. This is not the first Song to Wear Pants To to be re-released on one of his "Seasons" albums; he reworked STWPT track "Hidden Camera Show" into the song "1997" on his earlier album Summer.


*As a delightfully pedantic fan commented below the original version's post on the original STWPT site, technically, it does include percussion because technically a piano is a percussion instrument. I would personally consider it a hybrid percussion/string instrument; musicologists would classify it as a chordophone.

Pair #19: "Laika Loves Bananas"

Original Post Date: August 16, 2009
Runtime: 0:57
Genres: Children's/Pop
Compilation Album:
Skinny Jeans

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] "a lighthearted song" about an energetic child who loves bananas of all kinds, to be used in a short animation

Hello again! Did you miss me? No? Okay!

Here is another character theme: "Laika Loves Bananas." This aggressively wholesome song is the result of a commission from Cristina Rose Chua,* then a student at De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde in the Philippines, for Andrew to compose and produce the opening theme song to her capstone project: an educational animation about the varieties of banana that you can find in the Philippines. (Find the animation itself after the jump!)

At the center of the song, and its associated animation of the same title, is Laika Tan, a child (voiced in the animation by Cristina herself) who, as you might imagine, loves bananas. The animation is targeted at children, and the theme song definitely fits that audience, as well. In typical kids' music fashion, we've got a bright, upbeat hook set to the song title, as well as a bridge containing many adjectives describing the same thing, in this case, bananas.

There isn't a whole lot else to say about this song. If you're looking for some cheering up, definitely give this a listen because it's extremely adorable. (It's also extremely stuck in my head right now.)

*In case you're wondering, like I was in the process of researching this song, where C.R. Chua—as she goes by these days—is today, she does have a website, but it's unfortunately unfinished and seems not to have been updated in over two years. Which is a shame because if you check out her portfolio page, you'll see absolutely incredible (and predictably wholesome) art. Oh! And she's published a graphic novel, as well.