Weezer Favorites: Volume 4 Songbook

The Weezer Favorites: Volume 4 collection features ten piano solo arrangements for intermediates and up by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like, "Holiday," "Say It Ain't So," "The Good Life," and "Pink Triangle."

This post is part five of the Weezer Favorites Songbook Series.
Weezer Favorites: Volume 4 Songbook Image credit: By Hunter Kahn - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89070148

About the Weezer Favorites songbook series:

I’m a huge Weezer fan. What I love even more than listening to Weezer is arranging their songs for the piano in a way that stays true to the originals, but keeps them playable for intermediate level pianists. This has been a “heart songs” project and I’m sure there will eventually be more volumes. If you’re looking for Easy Weezer Favorites (arrangements for easy piano) I’ve got those too!

A couple of notes about this series:

  • I have omitted all of my arrangements of the songs from the Teal album. I love Teal, but wanted to stick to Weezer’s original stuff.

  • I tried to represent a bit of everything, the old, the new, the popular, the deeper cuts. These volumes are by no means exhaustive, but the series will undoubtedly continue to grow.

🎸 About Weezer

Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, consisting of members Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Scott Shriner, and Brian Bell. They have achieved significant success, selling over 10 million albums in the US and more than 35 million worldwide.

Their career includes notable albums such as the self-titled “Blue Album” in 1994, which was a multiplatinum success, and “Pinkerton” in 1996, which initially had mixed reviews but later gained critical acclaim. The band went on hiatus after “Pinkerton” and returned in 2001 with the “Green Album,” featuring a more pop sound and achieving commercial success. Bassist changes occurred during this period.

Weezer continued to release albums like “Maladroit” (2002) with a hard-rock sound and “Make Believe” (2005) with mixed reviews but a chart-topping single, “Beverly Hills.” In 2008, they released the “Red Album” with the hit single “Pork and Beans.” Subsequent albums, “Raditude” (2009) and “Hurley” (2010), had mixed reviews, but are valuable albums in the Weezer ouevre.

They returned to a rock style reminiscent of their 90s sound with “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” (2014) and the “White Album” (2016). “Pacific Daydream” (2017) featured a more mainstream pop sound, and in 2019, they released a covers album (the Teal Album) followed by the “Black Album.”

In 2021, Weezer released “OK Human,” featuring an orchestral pop sound, which received critical acclaim, and “Van Weezer,” inspired by hard rock. In 2022, they released a series of EPs based on the four seasons.

🎶 Weezer Favorites: Volume 4 Songbook

The following songs are included in the Weezer Favorites: Volume 4 songbook.

These are all available as separate singles, but you get the most value by purchasing the whole collection. All of these arrangements are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  1. Can’t Knock the Hustle
  2. Holiday
  3. I Want a Dog
  4. Pink Triangle
  5. Playing My Piano
  6. Pork and Beans
  7. Say It Ain’t So
  8. Sheila Can Do It
  9. The End of the Game
  10. The Good Life

🎹 Watch a performance of the entire volume:

Let’s dive deeper with some more details about a few of my personal favorites from Weezer Favorites: Volume 4 songbook.

1. “Playing My Piano” (2021)

The fifth track from OK Human:

Cuomo has described “Playing My Piano” as a metaphor for computer programming, explaining in a podcast recorded for Audible that he’d originally written the song to be explicitly about programming, but found it “really weird and unrelatable,” and so instead opted for the use of the piano as a metaphor.

When asked about this song origins in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music,

“It’s weird. I feel like naturally I’m this amazing musician and composer. Like I was born that way, but I didn’t get any training and so I have very little skill. I feel that way as a piano player and as a singer, too. Inside I’m like Luciano Pavarotti - this huge voice and can hit all these glorious high notes, but I actually don’t have the instrument for it in my throat.

So when I’m here in my room, I have the door locked and, in some cases, even put a sound machine outside. So nobody can see me, nobody can hear me. I don’t really have to face the reality of my limited skills. In my mind, I’m just jamming away at the piano and I sound like Beethoven, Puccini, singing like Pavarotti. I think it allows me to go to all these places I really get so much pleasure out of.

Then the next day, I come back and listen to what I recorded. It’s pretty pathetic, but the ideas are in there. I can go in there and practice them, touch them up, and hand them off to some actual skilled musicians. And it ends up sounding really great.”

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

2. “Pork & Beans” (2008)

The lead single and third track off of The Red Album:

“Pork and Beans” was not originally part of The Red Album by Weezer. It was written by lead singer Rivers Cuomo after a meeting with Geffen Records where label executives criticized the album for being too slow and not commercially appealing. This led to Cuomo writing the song, drawing inspiration from a demo he had created in 1998. He reworked the riff and melody, adding new lyrics that expressed his frustration with the label meeting. Surprisingly, “Pork and Beans” became one of Weezer’s biggest hits, despite being the band’s first single without a guitar solo.

Initially, there was confusion among fans about the lead single’s identity, with Rivers Cuomo teasing cryptic hints. However, it was eventually revealed that “Pork and Beans” was the lead single from The Red Album, released in April 2008. The song received positive reactions from fans, with some noting its guitar tone reminiscent of their earlier work, although it was criticized for lacking a guitar solo in the second verse.

The music video for “Pork and Beans” became immensely popular on YouTube, featuring various internet celebrities and memes, earning millions of views and winning a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video. The song itself achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success, solidifying its place as one of Weezer’s most successful singles.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

3. “Say It Ain’t So” (1995)

Rivers Cuomo recorded multiple demos of “Say It Ain’t So” in the early part of 1992, drawing inspiration from his teenage years when he found beer in the refrigerator and feared his stepfather, Stephen Kitts, would leave the family due to alcoholism. The song was a reflection of his anger during his youth and his tendency to blame others.

One of the 1992 demos was released in 2020, revealing an early version of the song. Another demo was recorded with the full band for their second demo tape but was not widely available until later. A third demo was created in 1992 as part of their campaign to be signed to a record label.

“Say It Ain’t So” was released as a radio single in 1995, becoming the final single from The Blue Album and reaching #23 on a New Zealand music chart. The song received recognition, ranking #72 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.” It was also featured in rhythm video games like Rock Band, Guitar Hero Live, and Rocksmith 2014.

“Say It Ain’t So” is highly regarded by fans and band members, with some considering it their favorite Weezer song. Allmusic.com gave it a 5-star rating, naming it an “AMG Track Pick.”

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

4. “I Want a Dog” (2022)

He made the wrong choice 🤣:

Rivers adopted two cats, Jiji and Ginchan, in September 2021.

In April 2021, Cuomo mentioned the song title “I Want a Dog” to users on the Riverchat website, revealing plans to include it in Weezer’s 2022 album project, SZNZ. He asked if the song’s melody and chords existed on any later Weezer album and expressed interest in using it for the winter-themed segment of the project. However, the final version of the song doesn’t resemble “Piece of the Pie,” which was originally considered. Instead, the song’s bridge incorporates a melody previously used in the song “Still Dreaming” from the film The Space Between.

“I Want a Dog” was initially demoed with lyrics that were later removed in the final mix. The song was performed by Weezer (under the Goat Punishment name) at a secret show in West Hollywood in September 2022, ahead of the EP’s official release. It was also performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! two days later.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

5. “Pink Triangle” (1996)

The eighth track and third single from Pinkerton:

“Pink Triangle” was composed during the Songs from the Black Hole/Pinkerton period and played a role in shaping Weezer’s lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s creativity for the latter concept album. The song’s inspiration came from Rivers’ experience at Harvard in 1996 when he developed feelings for a girl in his class. Over a few weeks, he fantasized about marriage but was heartbroken when he noticed a pink triangle button on her backpack, which he interpreted as a sign that she was a lesbian.

Musically, the song features a xylophone in the intro and outro and includes slide guitar, a favored sound during that period, also present in other Pinkerton tracks.

In early 1997, “Pink Triangle” was chosen as the third single from Pinkerton, but it never progressed beyond the promotional stage. Two outtakes from the Pinkerton sessions, “Getting Up and Leaving” and “I Swear It’s True,” were intended as B-sides for the single but were never released.

To make the song more radio-friendly, it was remixed for the single release, and the bass line was reworked by bassist Scott Riebling since Matt Sharp was unavailable due to his work with The Rentals. Cuomo also made some lyric and vocal changes, especially in “Getting Up and Leaving.”

Promo singles containing the remix and an acoustic version from a Shorecrest High performance were sent to radio stations. However, the song did not perform well on the radio, possibly due to its repeated use of the word ‘lesbian.’ As a result, Geffen Records decided not to release it as a retail single. The two B-sides remained unreleased until the 2010 deluxe edition of Pinkerton, highly anticipated by fans in the years leading up to its release.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

🤔 Looking for more Weezer sheet music? I’ve got you covered!

👋 Do you have a favorite Weezer tune? I’d love to hear about it!

Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.


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