Playing Accordion at the RailsConf Keynote (or: “They’d Never Let Me Do This at JavaOne!”)

by Joey deVilla on May 24, 2007

Joey deVilla on accordion, onstage at RailsConf 2007.
Photo by James Duncan Davidson. Click to see it on its original page.

Yes, it’s total bias on my part, but one of my favourite moments from the RailsConf conference was playing the intro musical number for the evening keynotes — me on accordion, along with conference organizer Chad Fowler on his ukelele.

Joey deVilla on accordion and Chad Fowler on ukelele, onstage at RailsConf 2007.
Photo by James Duncan Davidson. Click to see it on its original page.

We took the Radiohead single Creep and changed it from a song about unrequited love and self-loathing to a little ditty about Rails and its creator, David Heinemeier Hansson. Here are the reworked lyrics:

Writing applications
Used to make me cry
But you wrote a framework
So friendly and dry

You’re a supermodel
And I hear you code too
You’re so effing Hansson
David Heinemeier Hansson

But I’m a noob
I barely wrote depot
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

(Falsetto part)
Da da da da…
David Heinemeier Hansson
has_many
has_one

The song’s chords are pretty simple: G – B – C – Cm, over and over, so rehearsing it didn’t take very long. Here’s a video that Aaron Huslage shot during our rehearsal just outside the administrative area:

Here’s the video of the actual performance, shot by one “KeeperPat”:

This makes this the second RailsConf at which someone performed a musical number with the words “David Heinemeier Hansson” in the lyrics (why the lucky stiff did it last year with lyrics about how Hansson was killed by Robert Scoble after a flamewar). It’s a tradition now!

I’d like to thank Chad Fowler for going along with the musical suggestion and for being an excellent musical partner. Maybe we could do it again next year — perhaps a ditty where we mention everyone in the Rails Core Team by name?

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