Leap Year anthem “2/29” by Rookie Card


You can get “2/29” on Rookie Card’s album Near Mint (2004 San Diego Music Award winner) from  
KEEP UP AT http://www.Facebook.com/RookieCardTheMovie
(this page was originally written way back in 2004 and updated just before 2/29/08, 2012 and 2016)

LYRICS
“I could walk and talk on my first birthday and by the next I was reading at the 4th grade level and by number 3, I felt so pre-teen and that’s a tender early age to get so disenchanted but all the other kids seemed to take theirs for granted. It’s “Time To Change” forever. Peter Pan would be better. I hang my head and sigh and calendars pass me by. Ahead of my time on 2/29. 2/29. Sorry ’bout your belated valentine. 2/29. It’s never too late to say that you’ll be mine. So you think it’s rough being born near Christmas? Try coming out on a day that doesn’t exist in 3 years out of 4. I’ll have faith no more in my god given right to closing eyes and making wishes. The combo of the hats and those stupid paper dishes. Call me on March 1st, if you’ve got the nerve. I could stand the test of time if they graded on a curve. And don’t go counting candles. That’s more than I can handle. I might live long but won’t get to see 29. Privileges of youth have been revoked sooner than I hoped. I’m aging faster at a quarter of the speed. My will to live don’t have a lifetime guarantee. I wanna leap off the deep end. I hope I fall on a weekend…”

I don’t remember how I first got the idea to write a song about being born on a Leap Year. I didn’t know of any and thought it might make a good subject. I wasn’t born on February 29th and I’d never met anyone who was. I wondered if it might make someone sad for their whole life to have that birthdate. It seemed slightly romantic somehow. I scribbled notes on anything that I could use relating to Leap Year’s and came up with something that didn’t seem like much of a novelty like I’d thought it would be.

I hadn’t written a song in almost three years but I started up again in 1999 and this was the first song I finished. It was easily the best thing I’d ever written and, for better or worse, I think it probably still is. A friend of mine told me it reminded him of the Seattle band the Posies, one of my big faves. That was high enough praise but several years later, I opened up for the band here in San Diego. Singer Jon Auer liked the song so much that he asked me for a copy of the song, was asking me about it months later and SANG me the hook an entire year after that. It’s all downhill from there.  Well, either that or when Rhett Miller asked me about the song and said he wished he’d thought of the idea first.

I was curious what a Leap Year baby might think of the song and before it had been recorded, my mom called me and asked me to make a copy of the song for a co-worker who was born on 2/29. The woman loved it and wrote me a very nice thank you note. When Rookie Card started doing the song, I’d ask if anyone in the audience was born on 2/29 but it took two and a half years before a Leap Year baby spoke up. When we finally recorded the song and sent it to The Honor Society of Leap Day Babies, their excited email reply was….well, just scroll to the bottom of this page and read it.  Trust me.

In 2004, a national news service did a story on the song and we got mentions all over the country.  Leapzine.com (now LeapYearDay.com, the most visited Leap Year site put the song up on their page and calls our song “their anthem”. We played a show on February 29th, 2004 at the Whistle Stop, a cool little neighorhood bar in San Diego.  We’d put the word out that we were looking for a Leap Year baby to sing the song and a guy in Orange County found out about it.  He somehow convinced his friends to come down with him without telling them that he was going to sing and surprised them.  Good times.

In 2008, we returned to the Whistle Stop on Leap Year Eve, February 28th.  I did a monthly music trivia night there and it just happened to fall on the 28th.  We weren’t planning on playing but friends and press people started inquiring about what we were going to do.  Newspapers and national news services helped spread the word and, with the band on hiatus, we played a few songs. We also made a quick video of Dylan and I playing the song to see how many plays we can get in one week and almost 10,000 people watched it. It happened again in 2012, when the band was set to do its first real shows in five years.  Once again, there was national press and a nice mention from Hulu TV show Leap Year on their Tumblr.

leap-day-2016c
For 2016, we’re rounding up the Rookies for a special FREE 2/29 show at the Whistle Stop at 8pm on Monday, February 29th. Per usual, we’re looking for someone born on Leap Day that can carry a tune. Know someone? Let’s talk.

Monday, February 29, 2016 8pm FREE 21&up
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St (30th & Juniper), San Diego CA 92104
FACEBOOK INVITE: https://www.facebook.com/events/1659594967623061/
KEEP UP AT http://www.Facebook.com/RookieCardTheMovie
———————————-
When the band first put the song up online in 2001, I sent an e-mail to the Leap Year Day website and got this priceless reply from Raenell, the woman who runs it:

ADAM! ADAM THE GIMBEL! ADAM THE LEAPING GIMBEL!!!!

What a great song! 2-29 is great!

I loved it. I can relate to it like a sister to a brother. My favorite lines:

I could walk and talk on my first birthday
and by the next I was reading at the 4th grade level
and by number 3, I felt so pre-teen

(Great opening. So true.)

and that’s a tender early age to get so disenchanted
but all the other kids seemed to take theirs for granted
it’s “Time To Change” forever
Peter Pan would be better

(oh-so-pro…found)

i hang my head and sigh
and calendars pass me by
ahead of my time on 2/29

(I love that line, it’s SO true)

2/29 i’m sorry bout your belated valentine
2/29 it’s never too late to say that you’ll be mine

so you think it’s rough being born near Christmas?
try coming out on a day that doesn’t exist
in 3 years out of 4
i’ll have faith no more

(Oh yeah, I use the Christmas thing too. Yeah, you think it’s rough being
born near Christmas, well rough this up.)

in my god given right to closing eyes and making wishes
the combo of the hats and those stupid paper dishes
call me on march 1st if you’ve got the nerve
i could stand the test of time if they graded on a curve

and don’t go counting candles
that’s more than i can handle
i might live long but won’t get to see 29

(No golden birthday for us Mister)

2/29 i’m sorry bout your belated valentine
2/29 it’s never too late to say that you’ll be mine

privileges of youth have been revoked
sooner than i hoped

i’m aging faster at a quarter of the speed
my will to live don’t have a lifetime guarantee

(i’m aging faster at a quarter of the speed – that line just made me go “mmmmm, good one”)

i wanna leap off the deep end
i hope i fall on a weekend…

(HA! There are only 11 times in 100 years that our Birthday Weekend happens. Where the 28th is on Saturday and the 1st is on Sunday. I make a big deal out of those weekends. Tease me all you want. It doesn’t affect me anymore.)

What a great song. I’m so glad you found us. I’ve GOT to have an autographed copy of the CD with 2-29 on it. Leap On my LeapBrother. You rock.

OK – people think I’m a little too into my Leapness. But whatever. I have fun and it’s totally cool meeting other Leapies.

I went to your site, you are very funny. I like you and I don’t even know you. So did you register with us? I don’t recall registering you. It’s free you know. Since the beginning, 17 years ago, we’ve been a free Society.

Thanks again for sharing and I hope you’ll stay in touch. I turned 10 last Leap Year. And you?

My Leapest Regards,
Raenell Dawn, LDB 1960
http://www.leapdaybabies.com
The Honor Society of Leap Day Babies

Once the Leap Year Day website put us up on the site, we started to get occasional e-mails and guestbook signings from 2/29 folks. Here’s a great e-mail from an Englishman about the song:

>Sorry to disappoint you but I think your song is rubbish. As for the lyrics >below
>
>”so you think it’s rough being born near Christmas?
>try coming out on a day that doesn’t exist
>in 3 years out of 4
>i’ll have faith no more ”
>
>my son was born on 29 Feb and its exactly this type of attitude that gets on
>my nerves. Do you really think we tell our children they only have a
>birthday every 4 years? We have always emphasised the originality and
>excitement of being born on such a special day. Contrary to popular (it
>would seem) belief, he has a birthday every year – on 1st March if it is not
>a leap year, and every 4th year he has an extra special birthday, some
>really big treat. I know 2 other people who have leap year birthdays and
>that is what they do too. Your mother’s co worker born on 29 Feb may have
>loved the song but personally I don’t think having this as your birth date
>is a reason to ask the world to feel sorry for you. So, no – being a leap
>year baby doesn’t make you sad for the rest of your life, unless you
>yourself want it to.

Our friend Billy and the ultimate form of flattery.

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3 thoughts on “Leap Year anthem “2/29” by Rookie Card

  1. Hey Adam, it’s your LeapPeep, Raenell :~D I’m so glad you’re doing a gig. If I were still living there I would SO TOTALLY sing it with you! I’ll put your gig on our Events Page. Will there be any specials for Leap Day babies who show up, like free dinner, free car, free incentive? Just checkin’. I’m excited about Rookie Card all over again :~D

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