Below you can find RSO’s suggested audition cuts for some of his most popular tunes.
A BALL OF GOLD IN A BLOOD SKY: Start at “What do you make of
us” and go to the end. Cut the 3 bars between “and you know what I think?” and “I
forgot,” so that there’s no dead air.
A HYPOCHONDRIAC’S SONG: Start at “these pills, this problem”
and go to the end. You could also just start as “Get me out of my mind” to the
AWFUL PEOPLE: From “These days the kiddies” through end of
first chorus “pavin’ the road to Hell.” You can also do just the first chorus.
BLEED YOU DRY: From “Your woman is something” through end of
first chorus (ending on the B major chord.)
BROKEN MACHINE: Start at “with a ruptured spout” and go to
the end; take the last note up the octave.
CARALEE: Start at “Caralee likes spaghetti” and go to the
CLEVER: Start at “And I think I love you boy,” and go to the
end—but! Cut the four empty bars between “feelings seem to well, stick” and “My
heart got stolen.”
CRAYON GIRL: From “And now I’m in a world off starving artists” to the end.
CUT YOU A PIECE: Not an ideal cut, but you could start at
the top and after the first chorus, you could jump to the ending playout (last
GIRL IN CAMOUFLAGE: The second verse through the chorus,
adding a button “G” chord.
GOOD LOVE: Start at “My love for you is why, why I’ve come
back” (verse 2) through that chorus (“who’d have guessed.”)
GROUND: This one is very hard! Start at “You will
always be a child” and go through first
chorus, “Never tied to the ground.” If you have time with your accompanist to
work it, you could do the B-section “Oh if life were just easy, easy,” through “but
somehow I’ll get through on the ground” and end.
HALFWAY: I would sing “Now I’m here in this Kansas town”
(lower line) and sing through the final “stay,”
but resolve it to G major instead of Gsus (don’t sing the ending).
HEMMING AND HAWING: Start at “I’m tired of hemming and hawing” and go to the end, but only
sing “Goddamn I hate you heart” once.
HOW WE GROW: From “Unknown muscles” through end of the first
chorus “and now we go.” (singing all parts as a solo.) You can also just do the
I DON’T WANT TO BE SAD ANYMORE: Not an ideal cut for an
I GO ON WITH YOU: Either verse into its chorus.
I HAVE SEEN THE AFTER: Start
at “This time in the after” and go to the end. Don’t do the accent.
LEAVE LUANNE: Start at “Luanne’s fat lip is drying” and sing
through first chorus. If you have time
with your accompanist you could start near the end, “Someone’s howling” and sing
through the end (if a screaming dark song is what is best for your audition???
LOST BOY: Start at “But doesn’t every person” and go to the
end. You could also begin at “But there’s some new kid” to the end. Don’t
forget to play the positive—it’s not a sad song—and don’t worry about the high
MAKE ME HAPPY: Start at your preferred verse, but when it
gets to the chorus, skip to the end and sing your preferred line as a solo.
MAP OF SCARS: Start at “Blood now boils in my veins” and go
to the end, but at the end jump to the final today instead of the first one (ending
on the C the first time you sing it, and trimming it a bit).
MAMA, LET’S MAKE A PORNO: Start at the top and sing through
MRS. SHARP: If you’ve purchased the music from this site, contact RSO, subject “Mrs. Sharp cut” and he will send you the cut version.
MY LASS, SHE TIED HER LACE TO ME: From m. 19 to the end, singing all parts like a solo. Tell your accompanist to jam like an old Irish folk song.
ON MONDAY: Start at “You are cute but juvenile” and go to
the end—BUT, make a few tiny cuts. Cut the fourth system of page 9, and the first bar of page 10, so you sing “But I
uh I uh I, I wanna kiss you now.” Cut
the 3rd-6th “and kiss you” (and their bars) so you only sing the
first, second and last. Tighten it up!
OUT OF MY MIND: Start at “For now I’ll still cook every meal”
to the end. You could also start at “’Cuz soon I won’t care, dear” and go to
PLEASURE IN THE DESERT: Start at “But man this pleasure in
the desert brings a sort of guilt” and go to the end.
RECOVERY: Start at “So she waters the plants” and sing
through the end.
ROOTS DIG DEEP: Start at page 7, “Yes the roots dig deep,”
and go to “grow what’s good once again” before the final recit. Have your
accompanist end on A major instead of A minor, and add an octave bass button.
RUINATION: Dicey for an audition due to content, but hey! Start
at the bridge (“Our ilk ties the tether”) and go to the end.
SORROW DONE: From “Free
my heart from the drawer” to the end. Feel free to take the second phrase
(low!) up the octave.
STEPS IN THE SNOW: Start at “When I return it’s cloud number
9” and continue through the top of page 9 (singing the melody in the chorus as
STROKE BY STROKE: From “So let’s jump!” to the final “by
stroke.” You don’t need the final lines. I also recommend listening to
John-Michael Lyles’s version, who has the best optional notes.
STUPID BOYS: Start at “He loved me Sunday” through the end.
THE BALLAD OF SARA BERRY: If you’ve purchased the music from this site, contact RSO, subject “Sara Berry cut” and he will send you the cut version.
THE FORGETTING: Start at “Now it isn’t uncommon” and go to
the end. It’s a rarer song so make sure your accompanist sees the time and
tempo changes or it could be a disaster!
THE KILLING: From “Agnes showed me more than a killing” to
the end. You could also begin at “See the corpses after a killing” to the end.
THE LAST LOVE SONG: Start at the second verse through the
first chorus. You could also just do the chorus.
THE MAD DOG: Start at “Now I’m changing shape before an
empty moon” and sing through the end,
skipping the ensemble hum.
THE PARTY GOES WITH YOU: From “And when we’re dancing nose
to nose” through the ending.
THE SERAPH: Final verse (“I don’t believe in God”) through
first “I’ll be blessed.” (You don’t need
to repeat them.) You can also just do the final chorus.
TO DO: Start at “All the time that I’ve waited” and sing to
TWISTED TEETH: Do page 6 and 7, but instead of the final bar
or 7, have them end on a C octave button.
WE JUST WORK TOGETHER: Start at the top and go through the
WHAT I WOULDN’T DO FOR YOU: Start at “My life was school
weekend and summer” and go to the end.
WHAT YOU CALL
FREEDOM: Begin at “Maybe I’ll change my clothes,” and go to the end.
WHEN LILY CAME: Start at “Round Lily came near a dozen girls”
and sing through the end.
WHEN YOU GO: Start at “You who live in your private light”
to the end. You could also just do the final chorus.
WHY MUST WE TELL THEM WHY: From “Why excuse each deviation”
through “Look closely” and conclude the passage with a C5 chord to button it.