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The Amoeba

sung by ellen kaye

Song Stories

album Liner Notes

In this series of Song Stories we’re taking you behind the scenes of each song.

Chapter II – A Brand New Universe is the second EP from our album Old Bones Odyssey

Coming soon: we’re creating a podcast that dives deeper into the stories and history behind our songs.


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The Amoeba


The Amoeba

“It’s me. It’s all about me.”
-Lyrics/Ellen Kaye

Ellen C Kaye – Lead Vocal
Ethan Fein – Guitar
Andrew Drelles – Clarinet
Koa Ho – Upright Bass
Zach Mullings – Drums

(c) 2022 All rights reserved  


Alone, alone in the brand new universe
A minute ago I was nothing
Now here I am
It’s supposed to be the first day
of the 
rest of my life
But it’s the first day of the universe
And nobody gives a damn about me

It’s me
It’s all about me
This is my story
This is my life
Though it sounds like I’m complaining
Everything I say is true

It’s you
What’s duh matta witch you?
Why don’t you get what I’m telling you?
For God’s sake I’m dying here

I’m the star
I’m the galaxy
I’m the whole universe
I’m the reason why you all are here
Alone in the primordial swamp 
It’s me
It’s all about me
I refuse to divide
They say it’s my destiny
But I will remain 
One cell 
Or die


© 2022 Ellen C Kaye and Ethan Fein. All rights reserved.
Ellen C Kaye – Lyrics
Ethan Fein –Music Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by Bill Moss
Ellen C Kaye, Ethan Fein, Bill Moss, Alan Joseph–Producers
Outlier Inn Recording Studio, Woodridge, New York
A Repair With Gold Production LLC SM
Copyright (c) 2023

The Story

The Amoeba

“My old pal the Amoeba is my take on the mad ego inside us all …”-Ellen Kaye

My old pal the Amoeba is my take on the mad ego inside us all that places us at the center of galactical time and space.
I don’t know if there’s really any other message in it. I started writing it during Trump’s presidency, so certainly narcissism was on the top of many people’s minds, pretty much all through the day. 
It isn’t really much more than a spoof on the genre of the one person show. There’s something called the “I Want” song.  It’s the moment where the main character tells you their raison d’etre and I was trying to figure out what would that song be for me? 
We’d written quite a few songs and I’d come at the idea of the “I Want” song many times, but it just wasn’t sitting right with me until I started to write it as “The Amoeba.”
I just love that at the very beginning of all time there’s this cranky, strange, little odd creature, kind of Gollumesque, and they’re not happy with the situation. I like the idea that human nature is such that from the very beginning of everything we were miserable, as opposed to the mentality of “it’s a brand new day and the beginning of everything.” Instead you get this little obnoxious creature that’s not even interested in helping the rest of the galaxy come into existence. It’s going to stymie and thwart everything. I like that whole notion.

So there’s a couple of different things going through my mind at the time. Starting from the premise of the “I Want” song and then feeling I didn’t have it in me to write that song, so what could I write? I definitely feel ambivalent about the memoir genre. I feel ambivalent about the one-person show. I feel it’s all been done to death. Or at least, I have my doubts on my own take on it. People do it brilliantly every year, but it eludes me.

With the Amoeba it was fun to create this untalented little monster. But that being said, I think it lives within all of us, hopefully the smallest part of us.  When I’m creating, and particularly when I’m performing live, but really in any artistic endeavor, I find it very easy to become completely, beyond the pale, self-absorbed. “The Amoeba” for me is a constant reminder and also definitely a warning, most especially to myself, that at any time anyone you know can succumb to putting everything about the project in front of everything else. As a woman and a mother and a business person I’ve never really been able to do that to the extent some people have been able to, because of the obligations of daily life. But even within those social structures, I certainly can become that way on any given day. So it is definitely a way to rein myself in. 

But it’s also how I feel about things that I see out in the world. Whether it’s in show business or in politics, another kind of show business, or wherever it rears its ugly little head. It’s inside of all of us and every day we have to make a choice if we’re going to rein it in or if we’re going to let it out. I also think it’s really freaking funny. I mean if you live long enough, that kind of self-absorption is hilarious. You can see it in yourself immediately and, of course, you can see it in others even faster. I’m definitely playing with that. 

Writing this song is also alleviating the tension I feel between thinking that I need to tell my personal story in order to get to the larger story or by telling the larger story I’m going to be able to tell the personal. There’s a lot of tension with that, because I really wish I didn’t have to do it that way. I wish I could just do straight out history, but I can’t. It’s not possible, in this lifetime, for me to do that. I am not a professional scholar of history, so I can’t do it that way. So a piece of me is wrestling with that, and then, just kind of giving over to it, in the most obnoxious way.

Interviews with Ellen

The Amoeba

Full transcript of interview with Ellen below

“I definitely feel ambivalent about the memoir genre.“-Ellen Kaye

It’s my take on the mad ego that lives inside us all. That cranky, irritable, everybody’s trying to take the spotlight away from me. Get out of my way! This is my show! This is my song!
Or just this is my day. It’s kind of the unrained, unfettered id that at least I wrestle with every day. So I kind of really enjoyed letting it go in this song and I had so much fun singing it. 

Well, hopefully that it’s not too familiar to them because then their lives are living hell because they’re living with a narcissist. But I think it’s hard to avoid being human and not connecting to the Amoeba either because it’s too much like yourself on a bad day or very much like the guy at the deli or somebody who’s like running the country or someone in your own family. 

I don’t know. I want them to be, I want recognition and laughter and that’s it I guess and solidarity.

Well, probably the opening lyrics. I don’t know. The end of it is pretty hilarious too. But I guess “Alone,Alone in the brand new universe. A minute ago I was nothing . Now here I am. It’s supposed to be the first day of the rest of my life.
But it’s the first day of the universe and nobody gives a damn about me. I think that’s pretty much sums up the rather narrow viewpoint of the Amoeba.

I think mostly that I’m just trying to fight my own narcissism. Writing amoeba was a really good exercise in that. Performing the amoeba is a really good exercise for that. It’s a daily battle against self -⁠absorption. It’s a way to rein myself in, like a mental discipline. To think about the concept of selfishness and unbridled, I don’t know, bad behavior. To me, the amoeba minimizes all of the possibilities that I have of that in myself. That’s how I look at it. It’s a form of meditation on the evils of narcissism.

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Ellen C Kaye

Ellen C Kaye

Singer/songwriter, producer, podcast maker, mom, born and bred in NYC. Night Club singer at heart.