Lately, I Have Wondered

Think about it. You have maybe 80 years to grow up, to conquer your internal demons of self-doubt, self-loathing, fear, etc., to find yourself, your purpose, your passion, to develope a skill, hone your talent, to realize your hopes and dreams and aspirations, to gain the respect and admiration of your peers, to finally, once and for all, achieve true peace of mind and to live fully in the present moment. Then you die. Is it any wonder we make up stories about an afterlife or reincarnation?


Digital Collage

A digital collage is different from a traditional torn or cut paper collage. The former, because it is created from digitized images on a computer, does not use an adhesive to secure the images. I have worked in both traditional and digital mediums. One the reasons I prefer working with digitized images is the freedom to experiment with size, saturation, flipping of images, the applying of filters, etc., to alter the images in an infinite variety of ways.


“You’ve Got The Freedom” Original Ukulele Song

Freedom of Speech is relative to your threat level in the eyes of the powers-that-be. And that’s what this song speaks to. I wrote it in 1984. And since I am still around to sing it and post this on YouTube would seem to indicate I am no threat at all.

Includes onscreen lyrics.

Written in 1984. Created and recorded this ukulele version in 2017.
Words & Music Copyright © 1984 by Burnell Yow!
Video Copyright © 2017 by Burnell Yow!

You’ve Got The Freedom
(words & music by Burnell Yow! Played in key of C on video)

The [G]rich get richer and the hungry they starve
That’s one of the rules to the [D7]game
Well, you’ve got the freedom to question their methods
As long as they can keep on the [G]same
But if what you’re saying starts to affect
The power and the [G7]money they [C]own,
Then your Bill of Rights goes [G]right out the window
And [D7]you’re left standing a[G]lone

And it’s the [C]FBI and the [G]CIA
[D7]There to protect the status quo, [G]wo, wo.
It’s the [C]FBI and the [G]CIA
[D7]They’ll tell you where to [G]go.

I [G]know you thought freedom was something protected,
Something that would always [D7]last,
But government of the people, by the people, for the people
Has become a thing of the [G]past.
You see, it’s big business that governs us now,
Where profits, not [G7]people, pre[C]vail.
You’ve got the freedom to [G]say what you like,
But [D7]you just might end up in [G]jail.

Repeat CHO:

[G]You’ve got the freedom to say what you like,
As long as they can do as they [D7]please.
But if what you’re saying is bad for their business,
They’ll cut you off at the [G]knees.
They’ll put you under surveillance, you’re phone they will bug,
They’ll attempt to dis[G7]credit your [C]name.
You’ve got the freedom to [G]say what you like
As [D7]long as it don’t cause them [G]pain.

Repeat CHO:

[G]There have been people who’ve had the courage
To stand up and say what was [D7]wrong.
But those determined to be a real threat
Never seem to last very [G]long.
They were killed by assassins or thrown into jail.
Or maybe they [G7]just disap[C]peared.
You’ve got the freedom to [G]say what you like,
But to[D7]morrow you might not be [G]here.

Final CHO:
And it’s the [C]FBI and the [G]NSA
[D7]There to protect the status quo, [G]wo, wo.
It’s the [C]FBI and the [G]NSA
[D7]They’ll tell you where to [G]go.
And they’ll show you.
[D7]They’ll tell you where to [G]go.

Copyright 1984 Burnell Yow!
Video © 2017 by Burnell Yow!


Quote from Sei Iam – 11.22.17

Quote from Sei Iam


Having A Little App Fun…

So, I got a bit sidetracked today playing with a caricaturing ios app called MomentCam. Made one for each of the two things I most love doing: Playing the ukulele and making art. One drawback of the app is that it does not have a full-beard option or the option to make the beard white. Although, you can choose white for the head hair. So, I opened up a second ios app called Pixomatic and grabbed my beard from a selfie and dropped it onto the other image. Also used Photoshop on the Mac to add tie-dye pattern to jacket, etc.


Preview Party for the Naudain Street Art Collaborative Group Show…

The Naudain Street Art Collaborative (NSAC) just had it’s Preview Party and Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) Fundraiser (Ticketed) on Friday, July 7th, 2017 followed by the free public opening of the annual group show on the 8th. The NSAC is the brainchild of artist, Bhavisha Patel. Her studio/gallery is Art and the Ageless Gardens and is located on, you guessed it, Naudain Street in Philadelphia. Bhavisha, along with 9 other neighborhood artists, myself included, exhibit in a series of shows throughout the year, each featuring works from two artists in the group, in addition to the annual group show.


Were You At Woodstock?

Don't Feed The Hippies

Part of the activity of any artist is getting your work out in front of potential fans who could become client/collectors. One of the ways in which I do this is through entering my work in juried shows. While the key benefit to getting accepted to such a show is the exposure to the buying public of your work, a side benefit is hand-delivering your work to the gallery when the gallery is far enough away to make the cost of packing and shipping it roughly the same as a road trip and overnight stay. The Limner Gallery in Hudson, NY is one such place. It’s a three-hour drive from Philadelphia and only about forty minutes from a wonderful airB&B we like in Woodstock – the town, not the music festival of the same name.

The 1969’s counter-culture music event actually took place in Bethel, NY., sixty miles from Woodstock. So why was the three-day-long festival of art and music called Woodstock? Well, the investment group that financed the festival was Woodstock Ventures (and is in Woodstock) They could not secure a local venue large enough to handle the projected crowd of 250, 000, so they held it at Max Yasgur’s Farm in Bethel. Good thing they did, because 500,000 showed up. But I digress.

The town of Woodstock, population 5,884 in the 2010 census, has embraced the whole notion and historical significance of the festival that bears its name. There’s plenty of tie-dye, new age shops and bookstores, organic produce, hip restaurants, and a weekend flea market (right across the street from the airB&B we stayed at). Buddha images and statues abound. The Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Buddhist Monastery overlooks Woodstock. Even the local real estate office had a Buddha on their sign.


Click Thumbnails Below


And through Columbus day, there is the 2017 Woodstock Guitar Sculpture Exhibition. Dozens of guitar-shaped artworks installed on the sidewalks and in shop windows. On October 8th, they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Family of Woodstock Crisis Hotline.

If you like drum circles, there is a Community Drum Circle in the center of town every Sunday from 4-6. Check out the short video I shot below. Got me swaying and foot tapping.

Needless to say, being an old hippie and all, I enjoy the vibe in Woodstock, NY. And please ignore the “Don’t Feed The Hippies” sign. Or, better yet, let’s meet for brunch at Oriole 9 on Tinker Street. You never know, you might run into Deva Premal & Mitten, as Betsy and I did during our last visit.

Curious about where I got my cool threads? Well, I used to be a guest blogger at, and I love their stuff so much, I just can’t stop mentioning it. Check ’em out.


Help Celebrate 1,000 Friends On Facebook…

Facebook recently let me know I now have over 1,000 Facebook friends. If I had you all in a big room right now, I’d feel compelled to share an original ukulele (oo-koo-lay-lay) song or two. And I just realized that if each of you sent me just $2.00 (less than a cup of coffee), I could finally afford the professional ukulele I’ve had my eye on for some time. So, let’s give it a shot. You can send it via PayPal to my account. Just log in to your PayPal account and click on Send Money. Then type in Or you can send it to 2301 Naudain Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146 USA. What a way to celebrate!

And while you’re hear, lend an ear to my most recent ukulele song, “Give That Boy Cremation.”

And a big thanks to those who’ve already done so. Share if you like the song. That would be most appreciated.


Original Ukulele Song – “Give That Boy Cremation” – by Burnell Yow!

When you are dead and gone my friend… 

Like this song enough to learn it and perhaps cover it on YouTube? You are not alone. After several requests for the words and chords, I have included a link to download the pdf – here and in the description for the video on YouTube. All I ask is if you post a cover of this song on YouTube, please send me a link. I’d love to see and hear your interpretation. Thanks.

Download lyrics w/chords at


New Series – Opening March 4th, 2017

Ritual Totems