I have a confession to make: this CD began as a complete fluke. A couple years ago I was sitting in a café, minding my business while enjoying a kabob and a cheese pie, and seemingly out of nowhere this quirky little song came dribbling into my head. The tune itself was familiar, a children's classic, but the words-well, they struck me as bold and bizarre and possibly even offensive to some (namely, cigarette smokers). Most of all the song seemed to stir something inside me. I scribbled the lyrics on a napkin and a couple weeks later performed the piece at a festival in famous Hannibal, MO. Word of my quirky little creation soon made it to Tobacco Free Missouri, a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to the cause of reducing and preventing tobacco use. They contacted me about putting the song on the radio, and within mere weeks of it's inception Coughin' In Your Coffin was airing as a jingle in heavy rotation on several St. Louis radio stations. But that wasn't the end of it. Smoking For Two- a bluesy number featuring a singing, tobacco-addicted fetus named Cletus-came soon after, followed by a series of songs all related in one way or another to the message that smoking is bad, bad, bad for EVERYONE! Since the CD's release, the songs have been heard on more radio stations that I can count, possibly by millions of listeners. To be quite honest this feels more like a project that chose me rather than the other way around. Like I said, from the beginning I had no intention of writing, performing or recording a set of anti-smoking songs. I've never smoked myself, but almost my entire family does or has. As with so many other families, tobacco has taken it's toll on mine. Perhaps that's where the inspiration for these songs began. So, although none of this came about by design, it is a mission I have accepted wholeheartedly. I would truly love to see a world free from tobacco smoke and the diseases it brings...a world in which we can all breathe freely. These songs represent my small part in moving us closer to that vision. This CD is designed to be an educational tool. I believe in the power of music to teach and reinforce any message. Several children who've heard the songs have told me they are never going to smoke after hearing the lyrics. That's what this is really all about. And so, based on various requests and feedback, I have included the instrumental versions of all the songs along with the printed lyrics so that teachers, camp counselors, scout leaders or whomever so wishes may use the songs for the purpose they were intended: to drive the message home to children (and adults) that NOTHING good can come from smoking. Hopefully, anyone who hears the songs and dares to sing along will have some fun and laughs in the process as well. Many Heartfelt Blessings, Anthony Clark.